Disney castles are so iconic, starting with Sleeping Beauty’s castle out in Disneyland and going to the world famous Cinderella’s Castle here in Florida at Walt Disney World. Today we want to pay tribute to our favorite castle by taking a look at Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World over the years.
Opening Day Cinderella’s Castle
I think it is only appropriate to start this list first by going back to 1971 and taking a look at what Cinderella’s Castle looked like on Magic Kingdom’s opening day. This castle design was inspired by a variety of real and fictional palaces. These included Château d’Ussé, Fontainebleau, Versailles and the châteaux of Chenonceau, Pierrefonds, Chambord, Chaumont and the Alcázar of Segovia but primarily, and most obviously, Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria.
The Classic Cinderella’s Castle
The look of Cinderella’s castle is absolutely timeless. The castle stands at 189 feet tall at the end of Main Street USA. Wondering why they stopped there? If the castle had been just a foot taller they would have needed to add lights for air traffic. This wasn’t the look Walt was going for so they kept it right under the requirement. Of course, this castle acts as the perfect gateway right into Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom.
Make sure you take time to explore when you get to see this castle for the first time. Cinderella’s Castle is surrounded by a tranquil moat, the grounds offer an array of picture-perfect photo ops. Explore lush lawns, gardens and Cinderella’s own wishing well.
Did you know you can actually go inside Cinderella’s Castle? First we recommend walking through the main entrance. There you can view exquisite handcrafted glass mosaics that tell the classic story of Cinderella’s rise from orphan to princess.
This castle is also home Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, a beauty salon where girls and boys are turned into princesses and knights by their Fairy Godmothers. Packages include hairstyling, makeup, costumes and more.
If you are lucky enough to be able to hunt down a reservation you can also enjoy an elegant meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table. During your meal you will be able to meet with Cinderella and her friends. Be sure to reserve a table in advance for this one-of-a-kind dining experience.
Lastly the castle is also home to a hidden secret, a lavish 650-square foot “royal bedchamber”, that can accommodate up to six guests. Unfortunately you can’t just book I night here in the magic. It’s reserved only for invited guests. One day I can only hope to be lucky enough to get a peek inside.
Icicle Lights on Cinderella Castle
Of course, Disney World goes all out during the holiday season and Cinderella’s Castle is no except. Since 2007, every year the castle gets covered in twinkling magical lights that give it the appearance of being covered in ice and snow.
Once the holidays begin at the Walt Disney World Resort you can catch these lights on display every night at the Magic Kingdom. Look out for the show a Frozen Holiday Wish at dusk. This is when Elsa does her nightly castle lighting show.
Cinderella Castle Birthday Cake
In 1996, for the 25th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort Disney decided to celebrate in an extra special way. The castle was transformed into a giant birthday cake complete with pink frosting and 26 candles. This special decor stayed up for a whole 15-month celebration. It had quite a polarizing effect you either loved or hated the new look. But looking back how could you not see how special of a time this was.
If you missed out on seeing the birthday cake castle don’t worry you can still catch a special nod to it today. During the nighttime castle projection show, they actually project the birthday cake castle look for a brief few seconds.
Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Cinderella Castle Makeover
This birthday celebration is a lot more subtle than what we saw 25 years ago. The rose pink is perfectly paired with lots of gold trim touches around the castle. The new-look was inspired in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Disney Animation classic film “Cinderella,” the princess’ namesake castle at the heart of Magic Kingdom Park.
The castle’s new color scheme features bold, shimmering and regal enhancements befitting The Most Magical Place on Earth. Special elements include a sapphire dusting on the blue rooftops and gold trim that makes the spires sparkle in the sun.
So that wraps up our look at Cinderella’s Castle through the years. Let know in the comment section below which version of the castle is your favorite.
I have been visiting the parks annually since my parents first brought me at just a year old. Recently I was able to fulfill my life long dream of being a Florida local and moved from the wintery Northeast to the sunshine and fun of central Florida. Now I am hoping to share my Disney knowledge with you so you can have the best vacation possible!