Cinderella Castle is the beautiful entrance to Fantasyland but can be seen once you enter the Magic Kingdom park and from all of the monorail resorts. It is the sight that lets Disney fans know they are home. Let’s take a look at my favorite Cinderella castle secrets and fun facts.
Cinderella Castle Secrets and Fun Facts
Let’s get the name right first. It is not a typo. It is Cinderella Castle is not Cinderella’s castle.
The beloved Cinderella Castle pays homage to the beloved story and characters from Disney’s 12th full-length animated feature film, “Cinderella,” which was released in theaters in 1950. Cinderella is the movie that saved the Walt Disney company and holds a special place in my heart.
Right now Disney’s Cinderella (the animated one) is in the Disney Vault. That basically means that Disney is not currently producing or selling copies of it. You may be able to find copies on Amazon, but they are usually expensive.
What is the Inspiration for Cinderella Castle?
Painted in traditional colors of grey, blue, and gold, the castle represents a romantic conception of a French palace-fortress. While the base of the castle resembles a medieval fortress typifying the Romanesque architecture and castles of the 11th through 13th centuries, the upper portion of the castle reflects the stately Gothic forms that were prominent in later centuries.
For inspiration, Walt Disney Imagineering researchers turned to the famous palaces of Charles Perrault’s France, still showplaces of Europe. Their design took the form of a romanticized composite of such courts as Fontainebleau, Versailles, and a dozen famed chateaux of the Loire Valley.
Charles Perrault was a French writer who is best known for his book of fairy tales collected more than 300 years ago, including the original story of “Cinderella” (“The Glass Slipper”).
How is Cinderella Castle Designed?
Despite internet rumors, Disney can not pull down the castle when a hurricane is approaching. That would be cool though.
Cinderella Castle took approximately 18 months to build and was completed in July 1971.
Cinderella castle appears to be made out of stone but no stones are used. The whole shell of the building is fiberglass. The inner castle is structural steel covered with fiberglass. The foundation is concrete filled with foam for weight conservation.
You Can Dine in Cinderella Castle
A circular stairwell or a themed elevator transports guests to Cinderella’s Royal Table, the elegant restaurant located on the second level of the castle where guests can meet Cinderella and some of her princess friends. Hosts and Hostesses address younger guests as “princes” or “princesses,” while adult guests are addressed as “lords” or “ladies.”
The Life of Spicer’s has a great, honest review of lunch at Cinderella’s Royal Table that you have to check out. I have not dined there yet, but it is on my bucket list. It is pretty pricey and Akershus is a great affordable alternative.
There are more than 40 coats of arms on display inside Cinderella’s Royal Table, located on the second level of the castle. Each coat of arms refers to someone who has played a significant role in the heritage and history of the Walt Disney Company. A short list of noteworthy people whose family names are represented include: Roy Disney, Sr., Diane Disney Miller, John Hench, Dick Nunis, Marty Sklar and Card Walker.
You Can Stay in Cinderella Castle
I mean you can’t book the room, but there is an elegant suite that Disney does use for guests. The only way to stay there is to win a night. This is on my bucket list, but unlike Cinderella’s Royal Table I have no real chance of making it happen on my own.
All About the Mural Inside Cinderella Castle
Inside the main hall, the tale of “Cinderella” is displayed on five glittering mosaic murals, with each ornate panel in the shape of a Gothic arch 15 feet high and 10 feet wide. It took a team of six people more than two years to complete the murals.
After careful observation, guests can see that each of Cinderella’s stepsisters appears with her own special facial tint. One sister displays a red tint to show that she is “red with rage,” while the other sister displays a green tint to show that she is “green with envy,” as they both watch Cinderella try on the glass slipper to reveal a perfect fit.
Disney World made the mural in Cinderella Castle with lavishly detailed mosaics utilizing Italian glass, sterling silver, and 14-karat gold. Don’t miss this mural, make sure to walk through the castle at least once.
Cinderella Castle Entertainment
Cinderella Castle is the backdrop to quite a few shows that you will not want to miss during your Disney World vacation.
Let the Magic Begin Welcome Show
You are allowed into the park one hour before the official park opening to see Main Street, grab some Starbucks, and get some pictures in front of Cinderella Castle. At about 5 minutes until park opening, there is a show where Mickey Mouse comes out and welcomes you. I like the show, but if you don’t catch it you are not missing much especially if you were a fan of the old Train Station Welcome Show.
“Disney Enchantment” adds its own new chapter to the storied 50-year history of nighttime entertainment at Magic Kingdom in a breathtaking spectacle of Disney music, stunning fireworks, enhanced lighting and immersive projection effects that extend for the first time from Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A. It plays out above and around guests in ways never experienced before at The Most Magical Place on Earth.
Inspiring everyone to believe in the magic that lives within them, “Disney Enchantment” features characters, moments and music from cherished films from Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios. The show’s stirring soundtrack is anchored by an emotional original song, “You Are the Magic,” written and performed by multiple GRAMMY® winner Philip Lawrence, whose musical career began as a Disney cast member performing in Walt Disney World shows.
The best place to watch Enchantment is in front of the castle near the Tomorrowland bridge. You will get a perfect view of Tinker Bell when she flies.
Celebrate the Magic
A special nighttime spectacular for Walt Disney World Resort guests, “Celebrate the Magic” uses projections to transform Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom into a kaleidoscope of Disney characters and stories set to music and special effects.
Fun Facts about Cinderella Castle During the Holidays
So Many Lights! Did you know that the castle has 200,000 lights on it during the Christmas season? The Castle lights are also attached to more than 40,000 square feet of fisherman’s net dyed to specifically match the colors of the castle. There is a blue net for the rooftops and gray for the walls. After the lights are hooked up on the nets, they’re programmed and tested and then written into lighting cues for the shows.
Right now Elsa lights the Castle during the Holiday Season. This Cinderella girl hopes they soon return the focus to Cinderella, I mean it is her castle.
Cinderella Castle is home to me. The castle reminds me that even though there is unkindness in the world, kindness wins, but most of all that dreams do come true. So when you are at the Magic Kingdom, don’t skip the beauty of the castle!
Post originally published November 12, 2013.