Disney World Recycles Their Massive Gingerbread Displays By… Feeding Them to Wild Bees
What happens to Walt Disney World's life-size gingerbread creations once the holiday season has come and gone? The answer to that question has the internet buzzing.
A new TikTok video documenting the theme park's eco-friendly gingerbread recycling process has gone viral thanks to its unexpected stars: local Florida bees.
That's right. After the holidays, Disney World dismantles its magnificent culinary creations and leaves the structure to be licked clean by swarms of hungry bees.
"After we break down every piece of cookie, candy, and cute chocolate character, each gingerbread display is dismantled and brought to our tree farm," a Walt Disney World sous chef explains in the clip. "There, local Florida bees get to feast on sweets until every bit is gone. This helps the declining bee population by keeping them well fed during the winter months when food sources are harder to find."
"Ten years ago, when performing our annual gingerbread display cleaning, we noticed bees were very attracted to the sugar on the displays after deconstruction," Stockwell said. "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."
Once the gingerbread is removed, the team breaks down the support structure and transports the royal-icing-covered parts 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," the blog post notes.
When the bees have had their fill, the wooden pieces are power washed with hot water and the display is stored until the next holiday season.