One of the most iconic structures at Walt Disney World is Cinderella Castle. In fact, it is one of the most photographed locations on the globe! Cinderella Castle was created in honor of Cinderella, Disney’s 12th animated film, and was built in 1971 for the grand opening of Walt Disney World. Despite its popularity, there are many things you may not know about this beautiful landmark.
Here are 18 fascinating things you didn’t know about Cinderella Castle.
Its Height was Well-Planned.
Although it appears taller, Cinderella Castle clocks in at only 189 feet tall. The height of this structure was well-planned.
At the time of its construction, any structure taller than 190 feet tall would have required a red, flashing aircraft beacon on top of it. Imagineers capped its height at 189 feet to avoid adding a not-so-magical red light to the top of the Castle. Instead, they used forced perspective to make it look larger!
Today, those height limitations are a bit different. Any structure taller than 200 feet requires a red aircraft beacon for the safety of passing airplanes.
It is Smaller Than it Looks.
Forced perspective employs optical illusions to make objects appear closer, farther, smaller, or larger than they are. Disney Imagineers used this technique to make Cinderella Castle appear larger than it is.
The first floor of Cinderella Castle is built to scale, while the second story is built smaller. The second story has windows and blocks which are 5/8th the size of the ones on the first floor and the top spire of the Castle is about half the size that it appears to be.
These forced perspective details “trick” the eyes into seeing the upper levels of Disney buildings as much taller and larger than they are.
It is Much Taller Than Sleeping Beauty Castle.
In order to put its forced height illusion into perspective for you, Cinderella Castle is actually 112 feet taller than Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland in California!
Despite its tiny 77-foot height, Imagineers employed forced perspective to make Sleeping Beauty Castle appear larger than it is as well.
It is Not the Tallest Structure in Walt Disney World.
Cinderella Castle is not the tallest structure in Walt Disney World. Currently, Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain holds that title at 199.5 feet tall. Trailing right behind it at 199 feet tall is The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
Notice that these heights also abide within the aircraft height guidelines we mentioned earlier. Imagineers will go to any lengths necessary to stick with the incredibly executed theming of their attractions while also maximizing the size of the attractions!
It Has Miss-numbered Turrets?
There are currently 27 turrets in Cinderella Castle. However, they are numbered 1-29. Original plans called for a total of 29, but the construction of turrets 13 and 17 was scrapped at the last minute.
Turrets 13 and 17 would not have been easily visible from anywhere in the park, mainly due to obstruction from other buildings in Fantasyland.
There are Two Cinderella Castles.
Did you know that Cinderella has two castles? What a lucky girl! Cinderella Castle exists in both Magic Kingdom in the Walt Disney World Resort and Tokyo Disneyland in the Tokyo Disney Resort.
Cinderella Castle serves as the flagship icon for both resorts. However, the one in Tokyo is smaller than the original in Orlando, clocking in at only 168 feet.
Cinderella Castle has Three Elevators.
Cinderella Castle has a total of three elevators. The first one is used by guests and travels between the lobby of Cinderella’s Royal Table and the second floor, where the restaurant is.
The second elevator is located in Tower 2 and travels between the Utilidors, the mezzanine level of the break room, and the second-floor kitchen. This elevator is mostly used by Cast Members who work in Cinderella’s Royal Table.
The third and final elevator is located in Tower 20 and services the Utilidors, the kitchen of Cinderella’s Royal Table, the breezeway, and the Cinderella Castle Suite.
It Houses a Secret Suite.
Initially, a guest suite inside of Cinderella Castle was planned for Walt Disney, his family, and executives to use when visiting Walt Disney World. Sadly, Walt Disney died almost five years before Walt Disney World and Cinderella Castle officially opened, and this suite remained unfinished for years.
Over the years, this space was used as a call center and as a dressing room. However, in 2005 it was announced that the suite would be completed and turned into a lavish 650-square foot “royal bedchamber”, that could accommodate up to six guests.
From January 2007 to December 2009, the “Dream Suite” was used as a prize for the Disney Dreams Giveaway during the Year of a Million Dreams celebration.
Presently, the suite is reserved for VIP guests of the Walt Disney Company, celebrities, and giveaway winners only.
There is a Unique Grandfather Clock in the Cinderella Castle Suite.
The Cinderella Castle Suite is impeccably decorated. It features two queen beds retrofitted with fluffy feather comforters, mosaic floors, beautiful portraits, a glass slipper, and a very unique grandfather clock.
What makes this grandfather clock so unique is that it doesn’t actually work. It is permanently “stuck” at 11:59 p.m. so that unlike Cinderella’s magic, the guests’ magic will never have to end. We love this impressive detail!
Millions of Gallons of Water Surround Cinderella Castle.
A moat surrounds Cinderella Castle. This moat contains approximately 3.37 million gallons of water!
Despite being surrounded by a moat, the drawbridge at Cinderella Castle is non-functional and cannot be raised. However, the drawbridge at Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland can be raised!
There are Things to Enjoy Inside the Castle.
Guests don’t just have to enjoy Cinderella Castle from the outside. There are things to do inside as well!
Cinderella’s Royal Table allows guests to dine with Disney Princesses inside Cinderella Castle. This spectacular restaurant features soaring archways, stunning stain-glassed windows overlooking Fantasyland, and unique coats of arms.
Reservations are available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and are some of the hardest to come by in all of the Walt Disney World. This experience is very popular, and rightfully so! Dining in Cinderella Castle is an absolute dream come true. Click here to learn about making an Advance Dining Reservation!
A Bibbibi Bobbidi Boutique location is also available within Cinderella Castle. This boutique helps transform little boys and girls, ages 3-12, into Disney Princesses and shining knights with hairstyling, make-up, costumes, and manicures. This location opened in Cinderella Castle in September 2007.
There are Over 40 Coats of Arms inside Cinderella’s Royal Table.
There are more than 40 Coats of Arms on display inside Cinderella’s Royal Table. Each Coat of Arms symbolizes someone who has played a considerable role in the history of the Walt Disney Company.
Some of the people represented are Roy Disney, Sr., Diane Disney Miller, Mary Sklar, and Marc Davis.
The Partners Statue was not added to the Castle’s Courtyard until 1995.
The Partners Statue was designed and sculpted by the incredible Blaine Gibson. As a former Disney animator and Imagineer, Blaine based his depiction of Walt on a bust he created in the 1960s.
It took Gibson one year to create the Partners Statue, before it was officially added to the Cinderella Castle courtyard on June 19, 1995. This was the second Partners Statue to be added to the parks, just behind the one added to Disneyland in 1993. There are now five Partners Statues worldwide.
Tinker Bell has been flying out of the Castle since 1985.
Tinker Bell took her first pixie-dusted flight from Cinderella Castle on July 4, 1985.
Tinker Bell has magically flown almost every night since her first flight for approximately 34 seconds, at 15 miles per hour, for over 750 feet. You can fly, you can fly, you can fly… if you’re Tinker Bell!
It is not the Tallest Disney Castle.
There is a common misconception that Cinderella Castle in Walt Disney World is the tallest Disney Castle in the world. That is no longer the case.
There is a Secret Show Every Night.
There is a “secret”, two-minute show that takes place at Cinderella Castle every night. Many people don’t know about it, yet it is one of the most magical experiences in the Magic Kingdom. This show is not found on the online schedule, listed in the Times Guide, or available on the My Disney Experience app.
It is commonly referred to as the “Kiss Goodnight”, and it occurs about 30 minutes after the park has officially closed for the night. It is Magic Kingdom’s way of saying “goodbye” to its guests.
During the Kiss Goodnight, guests have a chance to watch Cinderella Castle twinkle, listen to “When You Wish Upon a Star”, and delight as Roy Disney shares a part of his Walt Disney World dedication speech.
The Clock on the front of the Castle is “Wrong” on Purpose.
You may not have noticed that the clock on the front of the Castle uses the Roman Numeral “IIII” instead of “IV” for depicting the number four. It is done this way on purpose!
The Roman Numeral “IV” was not used until after the Colonial period, and the original Cinderella story is based on the 1697 story. In fact, the Cinderella movie also depicts the number four as “IIII”.
Imagineers also used the Roman Numeral “IIII” on the clock in front of The American Adventure in Epcot, the clock along the sidewalk on Main Street, U.S.A., the clock at Pirates of the Caribbean.
It Features Over 300,000 Pieces of Italian Glass.
Cinderella Castle features a 5-panel mosaic that tells the story of Cinderella. It is located in the Castle’s archway and was designed by legendary Imagineer Dorothea Redmond. Mosaicist Hanns-Joachim Scharff and a team of six artists took 22 months to create this masterpiece.
The mosaic murals contain over 300,000 pieces of Italian glass in more than 500 colors. Many of the pieces are fused with sterling silver, 14-karat gold, and gemstones.
Next time you visit Cinderella Castle, take some time to admire these incredible creations. While there, notice Anastasia’s face red with anger and Drizella’s face green with envy. The attention to detail is mind-blowing!
Are there any other things we may not know about Cinderella Castle? Please let us know in the comments below! Thank you.
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