Magic Kingdom

Cinderella Castle

 

History and photos of the iconic Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

Walt Disney World - Magic Kingdom - Cinderella Castle - 1971 Walt Disney World - Magic Kingdom - Cinderella Castle - 1984 Walt Disney World - Magic Kingdom - Cinderella Castle - 2012

Standing at 190 feet tall in the center of the Magic Kingdom, Cinderella Castle is a fairytale castle that captures the minds and imaginations of not only the children but the adult visitors as well.  Forced perspective makes the castle look even taller and more enchanting.  The castle is not only the symbol for the Magic Kingdom, but it's also one of the icons used for the entire Walt Disney World Resort.

Cinderella Castle itself has a French Gothic design and was inspired by several castles and chateaus throughout the French countryside.  Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland in Anaheim, California, has a more Germanic influence and was mainly inspired by Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany.

Cinderella Castle stands as the gateway to Fantasyland, beckoning guests to cross the moat, pass through the breezeway, and enjoy the various shows and attractions in the castle fairground area.  Castle walls, turrets, and medieval theming along the rooftops and entrances to various shops and attractions in Fantasyland help add to the castle fairground theming.

Inside of Cinderella Castle is a series of five mosaic murals that tell the story of Cinderella.  The murals use a total of 300,000 pieces of Italian glass, and it's really a sight to be seen.  Inside the castle is also where you'll find Cinderella's Royal Table restaurant (upstairs on the second floor of the castle) along with the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, a special salon where little girls can be transformed into princesses.  For you history buffs, Cinderella's Royal Table used to be known as King Stefan's Banquet Hall.  The restaurant changed names on April 28, 1997.  Before the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique there was The King's Gallery, a shop that sold Medieval and fantasy-themed items.  The store closed and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique opened on September 10, 2007.

At dusk is when the real magic with Cinderella Castle takes place.  As the sun descends below the horizon and the last rays of light light up the sky, giant lights illuminate the castle is various shades of red, blue, orange, purple and pink, slowly changing from one color to another.  During Wishes, the color changes in synchronization with the dramatic music during the firework show.

Cinderella Castle - birthday cake version - 1997 Cinderella Castle - ice castle version - 2008

In its recent history, the outside theming for Cinderella Castle has been modified to go along with the current celebrations.

For Walt Disney World's 25th Anniversary, the castle was themed to a giant birthday cake.

On November 16, 2004, the castle was covered with toilet paper as a joke to go along with the grand opening of Stitch's Great Escape!  This was a one-day event and the decorations were removed that evening after the park closed.

In 2005 and 2006 for The Happiest Celebration on Earth event, Cinderella Castle was given golden decorations that included a variety of Disney characters on and around the castle's turrets and spires.  On the front of the castle above the archway was a massive "magic mirror" that cycled between images of the five Disney castles:  Disneyland, the Magic Kingdom, Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, and the newest Disney castle in Hong Kong Disneyland.

Starting in the Christmas season of 2007, Cinderella Castle is transformed into an ice castle each evening.  The castle looks normal during the day, but each evening there's a small ceremony and the Fairy Godmother herself casts an enchantment on the castle, transforming it into an icy marvel.

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Walt Disney World - Magic Kingdom - Cinderella Castle:

Cinderella Castle - interior:

Cinderella Castle - evening:

Cinderella Castle - night:

Cinderella Castle - Dream Along With Mickey show:

Cinderella Castle - birthday cake (1997):

Cinderella Castle - The Happiest Celebration on Earth (2005-2006):

Cinderella Castle - Christmas ice castle (2007 - present):