When the holidays are over and Walt Disney World is retiring its seasonal decorations, the gingerbread displays have a very specific destination: a tree farm where bees get to feast on the cookies and candy.
Disney revealed its secret in a now-viral TikTok video last week, which shows the process of breaking down a gingerbread house once the holidays are over.
In the clip, the narrator, who introduces herself as one of sous chef Rheanna, explains: “After we break down every piece of cookie, candy and cute chocolate character, each gingerbread display is dismantled and brought to our tree farm. There, local Florida bees get to feast on sweets until every bit is gone.”
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“This helps the declining bee population by keeping them well-fed during the winter months when food sources are harder to find,” Rheanna adds in the clip. “The wooden structures used to build the displays are then washed so we can reuse them during the next holiday season.”
Since it was posted on Thursday, the clip has been viewed more than 13.9 million times.
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Many of the commenters were impressed by Disney’s secret.
“That’s so cool,” one person wrote.
Someone else said: “This was the best fun fact I’ve heard all month.”
“This is incredible,” another person commented. “I’m so glad I know this fact now.”
“Didn’t expect that,” one commenter said.
Someone else even joked: “My toxic trait is knowing I could eat that house faster than those bees.”
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In a blog post, Disney expanded on the social media video and gave more details about its gingerbread recycling process.
In the post, Barry Stockwell, a planned work specialist with Disney’s event decorating support, explained that Disney has been offering old gingerbread displays to bees for about a decade.
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“Ten years ago, when performing our annual gingerbread display cleaning, we noticed bees were very attracted to the sugar on the displays after deconstruction,” Barry 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.”
According to the blog post, once the bees are done with the wooden structures, Disney employees powerwash them and store them until the next year.
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The blog post also said that Disney helps the bees because it is “committed to conservation and caring for the environment.”
“With the bee populations declining around the world, Disney has made it a mission to provide pollinators with even more habitat and resources through pollinator-friendly gardens located across property,” the blog post said.