You probably already know that Magic Kingdom is home to Cinderella Castle. After all, it’s one of the most recognizable landmarks in all of Walt Disney World. But did you know that it’s not the only castle you’ll find in the Happiest Place On Earth? Take a journey with us to find out where all of the castles in Magic Kingdom are located, including fun tips you can bring with you on your next trip.
Prince Eric’s Castle
When New Fantasyland opened back in December 2012, the Imagineers added not one but two new castles for guests to enjoy. While we’ll get to the second one later on, fans of the Little Mermaid were overjoyed when they could finally see Prince Eric’s castle up close and personal.
Prince Eric’s castle is located in Fantasyland and is home to Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid, which is an omnimover dark ride that has you board a clamshell and journey under the sea with Ariel. During this journey, you’ll relive Ariel’s journey from under the sea to land, all of which is told from Scuttle’s perspective. On this ride, you’ll get to see Ariel, Prince Eric, King Triton, Sebastian, Flounder, and of course, the sea witch Ursula, who is over 7 feet tall and 12 feet wide.
Fun facts about Prince Eric’s Castle
- When constructing this ride, Imagineers built the rock formations in such a way that it allows guests to catch a glimpse of a Hidden Mickey that can ONLY be seen on November 18th of each year – aka Mickey Mouse’s birthday! If the sun hits the rock formation in the right angle, a shadow of a Hidden Mickey will be cast on the wall to your left, near the shipwreck. Many people know about this little treat, especially Cast Members, so if it’s available on the day you’re visiting, you won’t miss it.
- If you grew up with the defunct 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, you’ll be able to spot a hidden Nautilus in the rock formation in the queue.
- There is a small hidden mickey on the right hand side of the ride’s signage
- The water that was used in the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride was reused in Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
- The ride is home to 183 different animatronics
- The walls in the queue feature artwork that depicts the history of a man’s journey on the sea – how fitting!
The Beast’s Castle
Like Prince Eric’s castle, the Imagineers brought the Beast’s castle to life when they opened New Fantasyland back in 2012. The Beast’s castle is home to Be Our Guest, an enchanting restaurant that allows you to step inside your favorite scenes from the movie. Be Our Guest is home to three different rooms you can dine in:
- The West Wing
- The Grand Ballroom
- The Castle Gallery
Be Our Guest is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Both lunch and dinner offer a prix fixe, 3-course French-inspired menu. For guests aged 9 and under, they can create their own 3-course prix fixe meal – all of which can end with the famous Grey Stuff that’s so delicious! Don’t believe me? Just ask the dishes!
Dining at Be Our Guest is a little on the pricy side with dinner starting at $70.00 for those 10+ and $41.00 for guests ages 3-9.
Pro tip: If you plan on eating here, opt for dinner. Not only do you have an opportunity to snag a photo with the Beast as he roams around his castle, but you will be getting more bang for your buck. Breakfast usually consists of pastries, which you can get anywhere in the park for a much cheaper cost.
Read more: Official Magic Kingdom Grey Stuff Recipe
Fun facts about the Beast’s Castle
- It uses forced perspective – click here for a behind-the-scenes look at the *true* size of the Beast’s castle
- In the Grand Ballroom section of Be Our Guest, you’ll be able to see baby photos of the Imagineers who created the Beast’s Castle – just look up at the cherubs on the ceiling!
- Be Our Guest uses RFID technology to magically bring your food to your table
- The stone figures leading to Be Our Guest are all named Frank and they make for an excellent photo op for Disney fans
And now for the most notable castle in all of Magic Kingdom – Cinderella Castle! One of my favorite feelings on a trip to Walt Disney World is the first time I turn the corner onto Main Street U.S.A. and see Cinderella Castle standing tall at the end. This iconic landmark is one of the first things you’ll see as soon as you enter the Magic Kingdom and was inspired by the 1950 film, Cinderella.
Cinderella Castle is home to Cinderella’s Royal Table – a dining experience fit for royalty! Before sitting down for your meal, guests will enter the Grand Hall to meet Cinderella as she welcomes you to her castle. After meeting her, you’ll be brought to your table which overlooks Fantasyland. Guests will be able to dine with their favorite fairy tale princess including Snow White, Aurora and Ariel in her human form. We have also encountered Princess Jasmine and Belle here on occasion.
Read more: Best Character Dining at Disney World
Fun facts about Cinderella Castle
- The castle uses forced perspective to make it look bigger than it really is
- It is home to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique – a beauty salon where guests aged 3-12 can be turned into their favorite princesses and knights with the help of their Fairy-God-Mothers-In-Training
- You can walk through Cinderella Castle. While you won’t be able to explore rooms, you’ll have the opportunity to get up close with beautiful mosaics that tell the story of Cinderella
- You’ll be able to see Tinkerbell fly from Cinderella Castle during the Happily Ever After fireworks show
- You get married in front of Cinderella Castle for a $30,000 ceremony fee
- The castle gets “Kissed Goodnight.” Every night, about 30 minutes after the park closes, a recording of Roy Disney’s dedication speed to the Magic Kingdom will play, accompanied by “When You Wish Upon a Star.” After this ends, Cinderella Castle will go dark.
- There is a secret, super luxurious suite located inside the castle
Read more: How to Stay in Cinderella’s Castle Suite
Cinderella Castle Overlays
There have also been other overlays or temporary changes in the past that didn’t go so well…
Cinderella Castle had been covered with toilet paper to announce the arrival of Stitch as a promotion for the latest movie out of Disney Animation Studios, Lilo and Stitch. The castle appeared to be vandalized by the mischievous experiment 626, complete with a handwritten note that said “Stitch was here”. It was brilliant! Only it wasn’t great for those visiting the Magic Kingdom, especially those on a once in a lifetime trip to Walt Disney World.
Think about it, it is practically required to take a family photo in front of the iconic castle. I mean, if you don’t have a picture in front of Cinderella Castle, did you even go to Disney?? Now imagine that you have toilet paper streaming in the background of your photo… Yeah. It wasn’t received well.
Perhaps the most controversial overlay on Cinderella Castle was the birthday cake overlay celebrating the 25th anniversary of Walt Disney World. The castle was painted bubblegum pink and decorated with candy and whipped cream details to make the castle one giant cupcake. It was fun and whimsical, but some people don’t know how to have fun so it faced a lot of scrutiny. The moral of the story is to be careful when messing with Magic Kingdom Castles!
While the castle obviously references the beloved Disney film, Cinderella, did you know that it actually drew real-life inspiration from the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany? A quick Google search of the castle and you’ll definitely see the inspiration for it.
Can You Go Inside Cinderella’s Castle?
Yes and no. Though there is a room that sleeps guests inside the castle, the Cinderella Castle Suite is famously reserved for Disney VIPs and the occasional sweepstake winner. What is amazing is that no one can just buy a room in the iconic Magic Kingdom Castles.
Honorable Mention: Rapunzel’s Tower
Going back to Fantasyland and next door to it’s a small world, you’ll find an area dedicated to the movie Tangled. Because this area is mostly known to be a bathroom area and place to store wheelchairs and strollers, many guests overlook this location and actually miss one of the most magical things about it — Rapunzel’s Tower and the Village of Corona.
Fun facts about Rapunzel’s Tower
- If you look down on the ground near the restroom, you’ll notice hoof prints from Maximus
- There are hanging lanterns, which glow at night – this is even home to a mostly unknown photo op opportunity
- You’ll be able to find both Rapunzel’s frying pan and Flynn Rider’s satchel on top of the entrance to the men’s bathroom
- There’s a hidden Pascal game where you have to locate the little green lizard in the flowers and greenery throughout the village
- It has one of the nicest — and cleanest — bathrooms in all of Magic Kingdom and are incredibly detailed
Read more: Hunting for Hidden Pascals at Magic Kingdom
Can you meet Rapunzel near her tower?
Unfortunately, no, but don’t worry! There are two places in Magic Kingdom where you can find her: in the Festival of Fantasy parade and at Princess Fairy Tale Hall.
Honorable Mention: The Haunted Mansion
I know what you’re thinking, the Haunted Mansion isn’t a castle and you’re right – technically – but it’s a large, sprawling estate and like the other castles mentioned on this list, we think it deserves its spot in the sun.
The Haunted Mansion is an omnimover dark ride that takes guests through the old, decrepit Gracey Manor. As soon as you enter, you’ll board your very own doom buggy before journeying deep inside the creepy rooms of Gracey Manor, greeting grim grimming ghosts as they start to materialize before your very eyes.
Fun facts about the Haunted Mansion
- If the wait time for this attraction is 13 minutes, it means you can just walk on
- In the stretching room, you will remain on the ground level as the ceiling rises up
- The original concept for the Haunted Mansion was for it to be a walk-through museum
- The hitching ghosts have names: Ezra, Gus and Phineas
- There is photo op at the end of the ride when a ghost boards your doom buggy – so be sure to smile!
- There is a theory that you become the 1,000th happy haunt on the ride. As the theory goes, Constance Hatchaway throws you out of the attic, which is why your doom buggy turns around to face the house as you descend into the graveyard. Pretty creepy, right?
Read more: Haunted Mansion Tips and Secrets
Is the Haunted Mansion scary?
It can be, yes. While there is no gore you’ll find on the ride, it does contain some dark and frightening scenes, particularly in the attic when guests meet Constance Hatchaway and in the room with Madame Leota. If your child isn’t a big fan of the dark or anything spooky, it’s best to avoid this ride until they feel comfortable.
Magic Kingdom Castles: How tall are they?
One of the really cool things about the Magic Kingdom Castles is that they was designed with forced perspective, much like the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Forced perspective is a trick of the eye that results in you believing a structure is much bigger than it actually is. Though the optional illusion is used on other park icons, the genuine size of the Beast’s Castle at a mere 15 FEET is so surreal. In comparison, Cinderella Castle is 189 feet tall.
Conclusion on Disney World Castles
So there you have it, all of the castles in Magic Kingdom you have to see! What’s your favorite princess castle in Disney World? Is it mentioned on this list? Think we should have expanded the list of honorable mentions to include Haunted Mansion or the Hollywood Tower Hotel? Be sure to let us know down in the comment section.
As a self-proclaimed Mouseketeer, Courtney Dercqu is a fan of all things Disney. Between decorating her desk with souvenirs from the park, to making unique mouse ears and having a dedicated Disney Instagram, Courtney is a true believer in the magic of a Walt Disney World vacation. Having had more than 200 articles published on various content, Courtney’s excited to share her knowledge and experience with everyone! Be sure to follow her on Instagram for all the Disney magic.
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