Remember That Time Disney Did THAT to the Castle?! We Do.

Everyone knows the main icon of Walt Disney World looks like this:

Cinderella Castle

It’s the looming, grandiose presence at the end of Main Street U.S.A. The sight you crane your neck to see as your monorail pulls up, the beauty you take 500 selfies in front of. But every now and again… this is NOT what the castle has looked like.

Let’s take a look back at a few transformations the Castle has undergone over the years.

1. 25th Birthday Cake Castle 

In 1996, Walt Disney World had its 25th birthday. And what better way to celebrate, than by turning the Castle into a 189-foot tall pink birthday cake?!

Some people loved it, others were appalled by it, but you can’t deny that it left a lasting impression.

2. Stitch’s Great Escape Opening Day


Photo Courtesy of imgur


On November 16, 2004, guests heading down Main Street were met with a little mischief. Experiment 626 decided to celebrate the opening day of his attraction, Stitch’s Great Escape, by covering the Castle with toilet paper and graffiti!

3. A Touch of Gold

Cinderella Castle during Disneyland’s 50th celebration

Castles all over  the world joined together to celebrate Disneyland’s 50th anniversary in 2005. As part of the celebration, Cinderella Castle was decked out with spires of gold, as well as golden classic Disney characters. Above the castle’s front arch hung an enormous golden frame with a magical stained glass-style window. In it, colorful images of the five iconic castles from Disney theme parks around the world appeared at regular intervals throughout the day.

4. Pirates Attack!

Photo Courtesy: Trey Ratcliff via Flickr


During the short-lived Pirate and Princess Party, as well as Summer Nightastic! in 2010, some rowdy Scalawags BLEW UP the castle! Well… at least it looked that way. It was truly amazing — and a little nerve-wracking!

But the Castle isn’t the only park icon that has been dressed up occasionally.

There was one time down the road…

… that Spaceship Earth was turned into Mike Wazowski to kick off a “Monstrous Summer” in 2013!

Which of these crazy park icon makeovers do you remember? Do you have another to add to the list? Let us know in the comments!


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Molly is a lifelong Disney enthusiast, and former Walt Disney World Guest Relations Cast Member and tour guide. Her Walt Disney World favorites include Festival of the Lion King, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Fantasmic!, Mickey-shaped pretzels and rice krispie treats, and anything with Buzz Lightyear! She lives in Orlando with her husband (who she met in Guest Relations) and their two rescue dogs, Kronk and Cruella de Vil (Ella for short!)

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9 Replies to “Remember That Time Disney Did THAT to the Castle?! We Do.”

  1. My first trip to Disney was when the castle looked like a cake. I was a little kid and absolutely loved it. 😍

  2. My bestie and I went 25th. That was her first and only time. She is coming with me this trip. A week earlier Princess Di died.

  3. Hi,
    My husband and I were at WDW in 1995 and saw them painting the castle pink.
    We came back in 96 to see the finished castle cake.
    It was okay but I felt bad for people visiting the MK for the first time and never saw how beautiful castle can be.

  4. I remember the 25th anniversary at WDW like it was yesterday. So much fun!!!! Can’t wait for the 50th, & to see what they do!!!