Gingerbread and Chocolate! - Orlando / Florida Guide
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Gingerbread and Chocolate! !
Now that I' ve got your attention, I' d like to share with you yet another of the wonders of Disney. With their usual, absolutely incredible attention to detail the master bakers of the Disney hotels each year create spectacular masterpieces to delight and astound everyone who sees them.
Step into the foyer of the Grand Floridian and you can' t help but be amazed by the sight of the hand crafted gingerbread house. This is by no means an ordinary gingerbread house, such as many of us sat round the table at Christmas time with the bowl of icing and the somewhat shaky house we' ve made, with nearly as many sugar jellies being eaten as go onto the house.
Using a vast list of ingredients (sure am glad I don’t have to do the shopping for this) this house stands tall enough to be used as a shop, with 3 staff inside, from which Guests can purchase their own gingerbread cookies and other delights.
The Swan hotel featured a fantastic tableau of Santa taking a well earned break after delivering all his gifts around the World. Presents scattered around, awaiting their excited new owners , whilst a fire blazes gently in the background. The scene would do credit to any master builder but step closer and you find that, incredibly, it’s all made out of chocolate! With my penchant for chocolate I think that after my first attempt I would have resorted to eating the supplies and certainly would never be able to achieve anything even remotely resembling the picture perfect setting before me. .
Children (ok so I had to have a go too, being Christmas Eve it was impossible not to get caught up in the magic and excitement) were encouraged to decorate their own brownies with all manner of goodies and sample them.
Moving onto the Beach Club and we were greeted by the familiar sounds of carousel music played all around us. Closer inspection and the, by now, familiar smell of gingerbread told us that the creation in front of us was indeed yet another edible fantasy for our delectation. The chocolate horses riding round majestically looked as if they were waiting for their next riders to hop onto their backs. Each one decorated in an array of bright colours.
One of the original bakers was working in a gingerbread shop and was only too happy to tell us of the effort that it takes to achieve these wonderful creations. You only had to listen to him to see how much they enjoy the challenge. Planning starts in around July and the gingerbread is getting prepared and baked in batches for the next few months and stored carefully. In early November in time for Thanksgiving the final preparations are made and in mid November they start in earnest to assemble them and add the finishing decorations. On the day of assembly a team of around 7 people worked for 14 hours straight to add the detail which makes it what it is.
And what becomes of the Gingerbread and Chocolate? Unfortunately as it has obviously been on display , the once edible masterpieces are not fit for consumption but the gingerbread is ground down and added to the composting for the grounds of the hotels and parks. The chocolate cannot be reused so has to be discarded, but not before it has bought enormous pleasure to all the many visitors who are fortunate enough to see them.
If you are lucky enough to be visiting at Christmas time, although each year the displays may be different, there is always something new and exciting to see.
If you want to tour the hotels, just ask at the Hotel for self parking and tell them you want to look around, and after checking your photo id will direct you to the parking spot.
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