Christmas in Disneyland: Santa’s Cabin & Storytellers Cafe Gingerbread House

Heather Sievers is the Disney Food Blog’s Dining in Disneyland columnist. See more of her columns here!

There are two awesome holiday experiences in Disneyland Resort that are not to be missed this year. Nope, I’m not talking about the homemade candy canes or the yule log (though both of those are definitely not-to-be-missed!), I’m talking about visiting Santa’s Cabin at Big Thunder Ranch in Disneyland and visiting the gingerbread house at Storytellers Cafe in Disney’s Grand Californian Resort!

Santa’s Cabin at Big Thunder Ranch

Every year my family visits Santa at his Disneyland home away from the North Pole.  His lovely cabin in Big Thunder Ranch is the perfect escape from the harsh winter back home. He even brings along Mrs. Claus and his reindeer too!

Santa's Just Around the Corner!

Santa's Cabin at Big Thunder Ranch

Santa is one lucky guy, because Mrs. Claus has been busy in the cabin’s kitchen.  All of these yummy goodies are waiting for him when he’s done listening to Christmas wishes.

The Cabin's Kitchen

Someone's Making Cookies!

That dough looks good enough to eat!! Check out a close up!

"Cookie Dough" Close Up

Santa's Kitchen Counter with Apples, Oranges, and a Basket of Eggs

Fruit & Nut Platter

Pumpkin Pie

A plate of fun cookies!

More Cookies for Santa

Gingerbread Houses

While we waited in line to see Santa, I loved listening to all of the little ones asking if the treats in the Claus kitchen were real.  The magic of Disney strikes again! Oh and when you get to the end of the line, this is who you get to visit…

My Boys with the Big Man: I'm enforcing this tradition for at least 18 years!

Have you visited Santa at his cabin in Big Thunder Ranch?  Did you run into Mrs. Claus while you were there?

The Gingerbread House at Storytellers Cafe

Now that we’ve shared a cabin full of goodies with you, it’s time to check out a house MADE of goodies!

Located in the “lobby” of the Storytellers Cafe at the Grand Californian Hotel is the only giant gingerbread house (other than the one in the Haunted Mansion ballroom) at the Disneyland Resort.  I know, I know, there are gingerbread houses aplenty at the Disney World Resort Hotels, and they are amazing; but I’m still proud of our cute gingerbread house here in Anaheim!

The house sits on a large round table to the left as you pass through the restaurant’s lobby, and it smells delicious!

Storytellers Cafe Gingerbread House

The house features gingerbread wafer siding with red & green nonpareil covered gum drops.  Cute green rice krispie treat wreaths hang from the front door and roof while matching trees and bushes can be seen in the front yard.

Gingerbread Wafer Siding with Nonpareils Covered Gumdrops

The colorful decorations on the “greenery” appear to be chocolate-covered colored sunflower seeds and sprinkles of rainbow nonpareils.

Rice Crispy Wreath with Chocolate Covered Rainbow Sunflower Seeds

Front Yard Rice Crispy Greenery

The candy rock pathway leading to the door is lined with mini candy canes, and the windows are adorned with sugar poinsettia flowers.

Candy Rock Pathway Lined with Mini Candy Canes

Sugar Poinsettia Decorations on the Windows

Window Close Up

I love the idea of gummy bear “Christmas lights,” and this is the first time I’ve ever seen a black licorice roof on a gingerbread house.  The peak of the roof is decorated with Spree Candies and the chimney is lined with Airheads Xtreme Sour Belts.

Gummy Bear Christmas Lights & A Chimney Covered Airheads Xtreme Sour Belts

Black Licorice Covered Roof with Spree Candies on Its Peak

Another fun feature of the Storytellers Gingerbread House? Its inside is lit and the windows are colored in purple, yellow & orange.  The light glows softly inside giving it a stained glass window effect.

Pretty Glowing Windows

The gingerbread house will remain at Storytellers Cafe through the holiday season at the Disneyland Resort.  My family actually stumbled across it on accident when we decided to make a spontaneous trip over for dinner last week.  Such a fun surprise!

Have you paid a visit to the Gingerbread House at Storytellers Cafe? What’s your favorite feature of the house? (Mine are the gummy bear Christmas lights!)


  1. Alan says

    I still have some qualms about using food for things like gingerbread houses ( or chocolate or other food items ) that will eventually be discarded. However it is very clever and well detailed. The cabin scene is so homey and full of Christmas warmth it brings me back to my childhood images of the holidays.

    Nice looking boys.

  2. Heather Sievers says

    @Alan – I love the cabin scene, you wouldn’t believe how many people thought everything was real.

    @Alissa – Cracking up about this, love that you referenced the fruit soaps!!! HAHA!!!

  3. says

    I love the cabin for Santa and all the honey touches he has there.

    I love gingerbread houses, I’m glad that Disneyland gets into the gingerbread spirit, too!

  4. Colin Buchanan says

    I’d have to see it in person, but the photo of the Fruit and Nut Platter looks like there might be a hidden Mickey in profile in the upper left. The placement of the cherry and apple look odd and when seen with the orange halves it looks like the start of a profile. Hmm, I’d really need to see if from another angle–but what you do you think?

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