20 Secrets of Disney’s Cinderella Castle

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 the Disney universe 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. Disney castles are everywhere in Disney movies and stories.

cinderella castle

What Castle is at 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. We have an entire blog post dedicated to explaining the differences between each of these castles.

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!

20 Secrets of Disney’s Cinderella Castle

1. How Tall is Cinderella Castle?

The Cinderella Castle is tall, but it isn’t as tall as you think it is. The height is an illusion! 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. 

Family on Disney World Main Street

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.

One of the ways you can stay at the castle is by winning a sweepstakes such as the Disney Dreams Giveaway. If you enter and win, send us pictures!

4. The Moat

Although the drawbridge doesn’t work, 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 cast members at the Boutique transform your little girl into a Disney princess by doing her hair and makeup! It is basically like having a fairy godmother.

Family in front of Cinderella Castle

6. Disney Castle is the Perfect Proposal Spot

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.

They’ll even send over a photographer to capture the big moment. Talk about the most magical trip ever!

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.

Main Street USA Cinderella Castle

9. There are 3 Elevators Inside the Disney Castle

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!

Mosaic Cinderella window Disney World

11. The Drawbridge is Fake

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!

(Want to learn more about the differences between the two castles? Head to this post!)

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 popular legend and there is no truth to it, however, it is true that the castle can withstand winds up to 110 mph.

This is important due to Orlando being in Central Florida where the can experience effects of hurricanes.

13. The Disney Castle is Decorated for Christmas!

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.

Cinderella Castle in Christmas lights

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.

Head here for everything you need to know about Christmas at Disney World!

Recently, Cinderella’s castle has undergone a new look to celebrate Disney World’s 50th Anniversary celebration! The castle has gotten a new look with some pink paint and gold accents. We are loving it!

disney castle 50th anniversary

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.

Some of these people are Imagineers Marc Davis, John Hench and Marty Sklar as well as Roy Disney, Walt’s brother.

Kids in front of Cinderella Castle

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!

(Love Tink like we do? Here’s 55 of her best quotes!)

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. The Castle isn’t 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.

Family in front of Cinderella Castle

18. No Bricks Or Stones Were Used

It may look like the castle was made with bricks and stones, but it wasn’t! Cinderella’s castle is constructed with steel beams and concrete walls.

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. A Kiss Goodnight at the Castle

A kiss goodnight 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!

Family in front of Cinderella Castle at night

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! You can never have too many pictures in front of this park icon.

Don’t be sad that it is over, be glad it happened!

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About disneywithdavesdaughters

Dave and his daughters have been going to Disney for 30+ years, all on a teacher's budget . They love helping families have the most magical Disney vacation ever by sharing all their expert family secrets. Feel free to send them a message or follow along on Instagram!

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