Possibly the most magical time to visit “The Most Magical Place on Earth” is during the Christmas season, as special limited-time decorations, merchandise, and entertainment are offered across Walt Disney World property. One of the most famous and beloved decorations are the wonderful life-size gingerbread creations that pop up across the various Walt Disney World Resorts and hotels (most notably, the gingerbread house at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort).
But what Disney does with all of the leftover candy and cookies will shock you.
We couldn’t contain our excitement last October when we learned that the gingerbread displays would be returning to the Walt Disney World Resort. These sugary displays popped up throughout the holiday season last year at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, and EPCOT’s American Adventure. But what exactly does Disney do with all of that leftover gingerbread? Well, Disney recently explained the rather bizarre process they use to clean up.
Apparently, according to the official Disney Parks Blog, Disney actually recycles all of the gingerbread by giving it to local bees in the area. You heard us right, bees help Disney clean up its Resorts.
Barry Stockwell, Planned Work Specialist with Event Decorating Suppor explained this weird method of recycling, saying:
“Ten years ago, when performing our annual gingerbread display cleaning, we noticed bees were very attracted to the sugar on the displays after deconstruction. We decided to bring the display pieces to our Disney tree farm and lay them out in our field to give the bees a chance to collect the sugar on the wooden structures.”
Disney explains this process further in a video posted to TikTok from the official Disney parks account (@disneyparks). See the full video below:
Disney claims that this recycling process begins just after the holiday season ends, leaving the Walt Disney World Event Decorating Support team and Pastry Chefs to begin removing gingerbread from the wooden structures used to build these magical holiday-inspired gingerbread displays. After all of the gingerbread is removed, “it’s recycled to use for compositing, leaving a wooden structure covered in royal icing made of sugar.
The team then breaks down the structure piece by piece and transports it to the Walt Disney World Resort tree farm. Then, it’s all up to the bees to find the sugar-coated wooden pieces and collect the sugar. After the bees have left, the wooden pieces are power washed with hot water, and the display is stored until the next holiday season.
More on Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Victorian elegance meets modern sophistication at this lavish Disney Resort hotel. Unwind outdoors, indulge in a luxurious massage and watch evening fireworks light up the sky over Cinderella Castle. Just one stop to Magic Kingdom park on the complimentary Resort Monorail, this timeless Victorian-style marvel evokes Palm Beach’s golden era.
Start your day at Gasparilla Island Grill, enjoy lunch at Grand Floridian Café, delight in dinner at Narcoossee’s and sip an evening cocktail at the Enchanted Rose.
Just a Hop, Skip or Monorail Away
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa is located close to Magic Kingdom park—now connected together with a lovely new walking path.
The Grand Floridian Spa
Renew your mind, body and spirit at this full-service spa, salon and health club.
The Grand Floridian Spa boasts a soothing confection of unique therapies and services—including massages, body wraps, haircuts, manicures, pedicures and more—that utilize therapeutic and revitalizing techniques to help you look and feel your best.
Have you ever seen the life-size gingerbread displays at Walt Disney World? What do you think about how Disney recycles them? Let us know in the comments below!
Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Disney World’s water parks, four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district!