PHOTOS, VIDEO: Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort & Universal’s Aventura Hotel Present Adorable Annual Gingerbread House Competition

This year, Universal Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Universal Aventura Hotel are pitting each section of their hotels against each other in a gingerbread house competition, so we naturally stopped to take a look at what everyone came up with! This year, everyone showed their creative side to putting on some great (and even minutely detailed) shows while on vacation, so we’ll be showing you each participant individually.

Cabana Beach Resort by Universal

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When displayed at a long table in the lobby, guests are encouraged to vote for their two favorite houses in the ballot box at the end of the table.


Housekeeping went with a huge duplex arrangement featuring a bungalow, double decker, and garage in the middle, all decked out entirely with tons of icing and candy including jelly beans, gumdrops, Twizzlers, peach rings, and much more.


Recreations are inspired by the pool and lazy river at Cabana Bay, with Sour Patch Kids as beachgoers and loungers chewing gum, popcorn, almond rocks and brown sugar sand.

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The front office team came out with a North Pole look, complete with Santa’s sleigh, train, and three structures decorated with snow and candy. In this one, people were represented by Peeps.


While the cooking section may not be as large as the others have done, their section is definitely one of the most simple and visually appealing. Sticking with the house motif, they line the tops with drops of hard candy to give the house a coherent color pattern.


Security was very creative while sticking to a simple idea, with a dinosaur (presumably from Jurassic Park) destroying their sturdy home!


Leave it to the engineering department to create a simple and elegant design that features tons of color.


Drinks may have the most aesthetically pleasing house ever, with a log cabin style created with pretzel sticks on all sides of the house and elegant ice patterns on the roof. Combine that with the pretzels, the snowy trees in the back, the little campfire next to the house, and the fact that the house itself is on a log (!!) and you have a great contender for a loft house.

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Stewarding’s House may not be the visible masterpiece of its neighbor, but it certainly makes up for it in the amount of candy used. And let’s be honest, we all end up with a gingerbread house like this many times in our lives.


Bayliner built a village of five structures to enter, including four homes and a reindeer barn. Each features distinctive designs and embellishments that make them a great participant.

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A Starbucks entree is quite the decay-inducer, with tons of cookies, sprinkles, and powdered sugar to make this holiday treat your dentist won’t soon forget. There’s even a giant Christmas tree in the center!

Universal Adventures Hotel

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Just as at the cosmopolitan Cabana Bay Beach Resort, participants line up along a long table in the lobby.


The front office team did their best on references, dedicating their three homes to previous Universal Orlando resort attractions, including Nickelodeon Studios, “Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue,” JAWS, Dueling Dragons, and TWISTER: Ride it Out! the future.

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The Nickelodeon Studios home features plenty of orange ice and green mud from the house and front walkway.

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Beetlejuice’s Graveyard Revue purple and orange front with green roof.

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This home pays homage to the vintage attractions of Universal Studios Florida and the Islands of Adventure, including Twister: Ride it Out!, Back to the Future: The Ride, JAWS, and Dueling Dragons. There is also a churro section on the front.

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Storehouse and HR got into the Grinch theme together, decking out their house in green all over. There’s even a partially destroyed Christmas tree and a nod to his dog Max.

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Of all the houses, Geometry may be among the most beautiful of all, with such a cheery exterior, perfectly manicured roof, and even some mistletoe and poinsettia adorning the front roof.

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It’s best to prepare for another trip to the dentist by entering the Finance/Execution office. There are lots of icing, Mentos, marshmallows, sprinkles, and even more icing! Santa’s sleigh and chocolate reindeer on the roof are definitely a nice touch too.

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Food and drinks came together at Aventura, with a simple house featuring a KitKat roof, drops of gum on top, and snow made from marshmallows.

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Cooking went the same route as food and drink, presenting a Kit Kat-style roofed house with tons of candy, chocolates, sprinkles, and even an ice-cream Christmas tree in the foreground.

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Security came rocking with this perfectly manicured home that features intricate interlocking detailing, a subtle ceiling pattern, floors made of green cedar crispy, and even tiny window designs!

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Aventura’s housekeeping follows a simple red and green color scheme that keeps things organized and visually appealing while not sparing icing and candy.

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True to their name, the Recreation entry to the beach features full of cocoa powder sand, towel gum, mint life rafts, and candy cane trees.

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The oversight service has gone the extra mile, putting their names into the structure itself rather than writing a paper for them. They have two very large Christmas trees surrounding a very blue house with lots of red and green accents. Clean ice all over the place along with graham cracker fencing and intricate ice chips make this another top contender for sure!

You can stop by Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Universal’s Aventura Hotel to peep at these homes for yourself and vote on your favorites. You can also tell us in the comments which ones you liked and how jealous you are of their decorating skills!

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