Is there anything better than walking through the front gate of Disney World, strolling through the town square, heading up Main Street and then seeing the stunning Cinderella Castle right in front of you? We can attest that our Dad, Dave, has left a few tears on the pavement as he has experienced it with his grandchildren for the first time! The castle is almost like a beacon of magic that beckons families from all over to come!
One of the most magical parts of Disney is all the castles. Everyone has one – Prince Eric has his castle by the sea, the Beast’s castle is in the woods, Jasmine’s castle has the splendor of Agrabah, and Snow White ran away from her castle to flee her evil stepmother! All of the Disney princesses have castles that we associate with them.
What Castle is in Walt Disney World?
Cinderella’s Castle is the castle found in Walt Disney World. Sleeping Beauty’s castle is what you will find in Disneyland in California. Cinderella’s Castle is an amazing part of the Florida Disney World experience. It is the most iconic image of Walt Disney World and arguably the most famous icon of all the Disney theme parks.. There are some pretty cool facts about this beautiful castle you may not have known. Here are a few!
1. The height is an illusion
The Castle is tall, but it isn’t as tall as you think it is. Cinderella’s castle is 189 feet tall which is 100 feet taller than the Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland. It may look taller to you because Disney uses something called Forced Perception which tricks your eyes.
As the castle gets taller the bricks and windows get smaller. The spires at the top of the castle are about half the size of what you perceive them to be! We love this little bit of magic that the Disney engineers did!
2. There’s a hotel room inside
There’s an ultra-exclusive suite inside the castle that overlooks the Magic Kingdom. It was originally going to be used for Walt Disney and his family, but after Walt died it sat dormant until it was opened in 2005 for overnight stays.
3. How much does it cost to stay at Cinderella’s Castle?
Surprise surprise, nothing! Most of the people who are lucky enough to stay overnight in the suite have won a contest or are a special guest of Disney. Only a very lucky few have had the chance to stay inside the Cinderella Castle Suite. They say money can’t buy happiness…and I guess it can’t buy a night stay at the castle either.
4. The moat
The moat around the castle has 3.37 million gallons of water in it. That’s a lot of water!
5. You can eat in the castle
There is a full service restaurant, Cinderella’s Royal Table which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Getting reservations to Cinderella’s Royal Table takes planning, but you can absolutely do it! Find out how to get reservations here. We splurge and eat breakfast here every visit (you can use dining plan credits if you have them). You just can’t beat walking up the spiral staircase to the dining room for a magical meal with disney characters!
You will also find a boutique, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique inside the castle. (Note, the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is temporarily closed.) The Boutique transforms your little girl into a Disney princess by doing her hair and makeup!
6. Thinking of getting engaged?
Speaking of Cinderella’s Royal Table, this has become one of the most popular places for romantic couples to pop the big question. A glass slipper with roses is brought to your table for the sentimental occasion.
7. The Magic never ends
Did you know there is a grandfather clock in the castle that doesn’t work? We all know that Cinderella’s magic ran out at midnight – the grandfather clock in the castle is always at 11:59! That way the magic never ends at Disney World.
Speaking of the clock, you’ll notice that the “4” on the clock is shown as IIII. No, Walt wasn’t confused or didn’t know his Roman numerals, they just didn’t use “IV” when it was made!
8. 27 Towers
Cinderella’s castle has 27 towers! The tower numbers start at 1 and end at 29….wait a minute….yep, that’s right! There is no #13 or #17! These towers ended up not being visible enough so they simply got removed.
9. There are 3 elevators
There are 3 elevators inside the castle. One takes guests to the second floor for the Cinderella’s Royal Table restaurant. One is a dumb waiter which takes food from the kitchen. The last one is for cast members to get around in the castle.
10. The Mosaic Art
There are 5 beautiful mosaics in the entry way of the castle. Dorothea Redmond was the Imagineer that led their creation and design using over 300,000 pieces of Italian stained glass which was fused together with 14k gold.
Can you imagine what this would be worth? Be sure to slow down and take in this beautiful art! These gorgeous pieces tell Cinderella’s story!
11. The drawbridge
Have you ever wondered why you never see the drawbridge go up or down? That’s because it doesn’t! The drawbridge does not move in Walt Disney World – but the drawbridge at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland DOES move!
12. Hurricane strength
Rumor has it that the castle could be disassembled in case of a hurricane. We can report that this is just a rumor and there is no truth to it, however, it is true that the castle can withstand winds up to 110 mph.
13. The castle is decorated!
The castle is always majestic and beautiful but during the holidays it’s especially wonderful. The Cinderella Castle is adorned with 200,000 lights (attached to 40,000 square feet of fishermen netting) and spectacular decorations.
It takes about six weeks for the castle to transform from its everyday look to the special “Dipped In Sugar” Christmas display and eighteen miles of electrical cable is used to light up the castle! Disney Plus has a special called “Decorating Disney: Holiday Magic” to show you exactly how Disney World transforms at Christmas!
Not only does the castle get decorated for Christmas, the castle has undergone a number of transformations over the years as part of the celebration of different events. Recently, Cinderella’s castle has undergone a new look to celebrate Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebration!
14. Coat of Arms
Inside the Cinderella’s Royal Table restaurant there are 40 coat of arms. Each one is in honor of someone who is of importance to the Disney history – including Roy Disney.
15. Tinker Bell flies
Since 1985 Tinker Bell makes a flight from the castle at night (on a zip line). It is estimated that the cast member playing Tink makes $500 per flight. If you plan ahead you can stand on the bridge by Tomorrowland you get a great view of her flying during the nightly show!
16. Where is the real Cinderella Castle?
It is rumored that the “real” Cinderella Castle – the one that inspired Walt – is the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. If you compare the two castles there are many similarities with the turrets and colors used.
17. It is not the tallest building at Disney World
It may look like the tallest but the Cinderella Castle isn’t! Currently the tallest sculpture at Disney World is Expedition Everest in Disney’s Animal Kingdom (one of our dad, Dave’s least favorite rides but his daughters’ favorites!). The Tower of Terror in Disney’s Hollywood Studios is also taller than Cinderella’s castle.
18. No Bricks Or Stones Were Used
It may look like the castle was made with bricks and stones, but it wasn’t! Cindrella’s castle is constructed with steel beams and concrete. This castle used 600 tons of steel in its frame construction! The walls in many of the towers are up to ten inches thick of concrete. This is practically a fortress – a magical, beautiful fortress!
19. No fly zone
Even with the height of the castle being 189 feet, Federal Aviation Administration placed a permanent Flight Restriction over the entire Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida to keep everyone safe.
20. Good night
A good night kiss is given by the castle each night. After the park closes, the castle is illuminated with twinkling lights while the music plays When You Wish Upon A Star and you hear the words from Roy Disney’s Disney World Dedication. What a great way to end the day!
We love the castle so much! The last thing we do before exiting the park is take one last look back and say “good bye, castle!” No matter how crowded it is, get your photo taken at the front of the castle. Try to get a picture during the day and at night!
Don’t be sad that it is over, be glad it happened!
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