Christmas Begins at the Grand Floridian and Other DVC Favorites
The Disney Vacation Club’s Christmas season unofficially started! While Disney claims the event won’t begin for another few days, one domino has already fallen, with another coming soon. Let’s talk about the 2023 DVC holiday season!
The Gingerbread Store Opens at the Grand Floridian
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa took a slightly different approach this year. Construction of its beloved Gingerbread House started on Halloween. Disney doesn’t even wait until November now!
By the evening of November 7th, the Grand Floridian had soft-opened the store inside the Gingerbread House. Then, on the morning of November 8th, the popular storefront officially opened for 2023. Here’s a quick video:
Disney will operate the storefront from 9 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. daily. This year’s menu features items that range from $4 to $85, depending on whether you need a snack or want to cross someone off your holiday shopping list.
For 2023, Disney has priced the Stollen Bread at $25, with the popular Twinings Chai Tea Cupcake Sampler at $16. The 2023 Gingerbread House Ornament costs $14, and you can create your ornament kit for $25.
The most expensive options this year are the perennial favorites, the Grand Gift Box and the Gingerbread House. The 2023 gift box costs $60, while the Gingerbread House tops the menu at $85.
As usual, the lines grew long quickly on day one and will likely remain that way through the holiday season. Everyone knows the Grand Floridian’s lobby is a can’t-miss destination in November and December. So, you should expect crowds.
The Carousel Arrives
Are you a fan of DuckTales? I ask because this year’s carousel at Disney’s Beach Club Villas celebrates Scrooge McDuck and his nephews. That’s a bit more niche than last year’s offering, which was Disney Princesses.
However, Disney has nailed the timing here because DuckTales proved popular in the 1980s and 1990s. Now, the children from those generations can take their kids to Beach Club to show them a carousel based on the story.
We’re in year 23 of the Beach Club Carousel, and it remains the most remarkable of all DVC gingerbread options. I say this because it’s an actual working carousel made up of dessert components.
Cast members are currently converting 2,021 pieces of gingerbread into an edible carousel. Once they finish, the workers add their names to the icing so that you’ll know who worked on the remarkable gingerbread construct.
The 2023 version of the carousel includes marvelous touches like flags representing the characters. If you stare closely, you’ll notice that these flags pay tribute to everyone from Scrooge and his three nephews to Webby Vanderquack and Mrs. Beakley!
Perhaps my favorite element this year is the way cast members have adorned the carousel. At the top of the structure, you’ll find the DuckTales logo on top of a Spaceship Earth globe!
Remarkably, this isn’t the only option here, either. For the first time, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort will host its own Gingerbread House and storefront. On Thursday, November 9th, cast members started their work. I’m told it’ll be completed by the end of that day, which speaks to how impressive cast members are with their quick holiday builds.
Other Confirmed DVC Favorites
Across the street at Disney’s BoardWalk Villas, the miniature will return this year. I’m referencing a remarkably accurate gingerbread recreation of BoardWalk Bakery.
This storefront is so realistic that you can even gaze in the window and look at the mini-treats that the chefs have prepared. Disney has confirmed an opening date of November 17th for this year’s Gingerbread BoardWalk Bakery.
At Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the storefront will return to the Grand Canyon Concourse. That’s technically the fourth floor of the resort, but DVC members staying at Bay Lake Tower think of it as the fifth floor. That’s where you take the bridge that connects to the Contemporary.
You’ll find the storefront very close to the door by the bridge. Also, there’s a popular holiday photo op here. As for the gingerbread store and design, this year’s theme is Disney100. So, it’ll celebrate 100 years of Disney magic.
You’ll find the other Walt Disney World DVC offering at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas. Yes, Ginger the Giraffe and Debra the Zebra will return as the hotel lobby’s gingerbread animals! These are two of the most adorable photo ops at Disney during the holiday season.
Of course, we also have the usual at Disneyland Resort. A park reporter friend of mine confirms that construction is well underway at The Villas at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. The Gingerbread House here is nearly as much of a staple to Disneyland fans as the one at the Grand Floridian is to East Coast DVC members.
The 2023 version will include 700 pounds of gingerbread, 700 pounds of powdered sugar that create the backbone for a 12-foot-tall Gingerbread House. Also, you’ll find at least 20 Hidden Mickeys this year! Disney will officially open this structure on November 10th.
So, the holidays are back in full force at Disneyland and Walt Disney World! Enjoy the magic of the holiday season, my friends!