Cinderella Castle facts for kids

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Cinderella Castle
Cinderella Castle.jpg
Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom
Magic Kingdom
Area Fantasyland
Coordinates 28°25′10″N 81°34′52″W / 28.4195°N 81.5812°W / 28.4195; -81.5812
Status Operating
Opening date October 1, 1971
Tokyo Disneyland
Area Fantasyland
Coordinates 48°52′24″N 2°46′34″E / 48.8732°N 2.776°E / 48.8732; 2.776
Status Operating
Opening date April 15, 1983
General statistics
Manufacturer The Walt Disney Company
Designer Walt Disney Imagineering
Theme Cinderella

Cinderella Castle is the fairy tale castle at the center of two Disney theme parks: the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort, and Tokyo Disneyland at the Tokyo Disney Resort. Both serve as worldwide recognized icons and the flagship attraction for their respective theme parks.

Inspiration and design

Neuschwanstein Castle LOC print rotated
Castle Neuschwanstein of Bavaria, 19th century
Exterior Alcazar Segovia
Alcázar of Segovia, 12th century

Cinderella Castle was inspired by a variety of real and fictional palaces.

The chief designer of the castle, Herbert Ryman, also referenced the original design for the castle in the film Cinderella and his own well-known creation — the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland in California. Cinderella Castle was completed in July 1971, after about 18 months of construction. The castle is 183 feet (56 m) tall.

A set-building trick known as forced perspective makes the castle appear even larger than it actually is. At higher elevations, its proportions to full scale are reduced for elements such as stones, windows, and doors. The castle was the largest Disney theme park castle until the completion of the Enchanted Storybook Castle in Shanghai Disneyland Park.

Cinderella Castle is designed to reflect the late-Gothic, flamboyant style of the 1400s. Unlike Disneyland's castle, no gold is used on the exterior; all gold colors are anodized aluminum. Despite appearances, no bricks were used in its construction; the inner structure is constructed of six hundred tons of steel.

Contrary to a popular legend, the castle cannot be taken apart or moved in any way in the event of a hurricane. It would take months to disassemble, it would be too dangerous to operate the 300-foot (91 m) crane required in windy conditions, and there would have to be a safer building to keep it in. As with every other building at Walt Disney World, it was simpler and safer to design it to handle a hurricane. It can easily withstand the 125 mph (175 km/h) design wind speeds in Central Florida with a great deal of strength in reserve.

Cinderella Castle is also surrounded by a moat, which contains approximately 3.37 million US gallons (12,800 m3) of water; however, unlike the drawbridge at Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland, Cinderella Castle cannot raise its bridge. There are a total of 27 towers on the castle.

Originally, a suite was planned for the Disney family and executives, but since Walt Disney died nearly five years before the park opened, it remained unfinished, and eventually was turned successively into a telephone call center, a dressing room, and is currently a lavish Dream Suite hotel room for specially selected guests. There are three elevators inside the castle.

Cinderella Castle was designed so that it was tall enough that it could be seen from the Seven Seas Lagoon in front of the Magic Kingdom, where many guests took ferries from the parking lot to the gates of the park. In theme park jargon, Cinderella Castle was conceived as the primary "weenie" (a term commonly used by Walt and his Imagineers) that draws new entering guests through Main Street, U.S.A. towards the central hub, from where all other areas can be reached.

Tokyo Disneyland

It is generally considered to be a copy of Magic Kingdom's castle, although the Tokyo version is 168 feet (51 m) tall. However, from 1986–2006, a popular walk-through attraction called the "Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour" was featured within the castle. In June 2006, the castle was repainted to differentiate it from Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom.

At night

Cinderella Castle During Christmas Season
Castle with Christmas lights on it for the Christmas season (November 2014)

When the sun sets, the castle is illuminated by SGM Palco LED lighting fixtures placed on different castle levels and surrounding areas, providing an effective range of 16.7 million colors. The castle itself plays a role in the Magic Kingdom's fireworks show, Wishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams, in which it changes color in synchronization with the dramatic music of the display.

At the park's closing, the nightly 'Kiss Goodnight' is performed, in which Roy O. Disney's dedication speech for the Magic Kingdom is played all over the park alongside classic Disney music which changes with the vivid colors of the castle. The show is performed before closing time and also at 11pm (23:00), providing entertainment for guests of Disney resort hotels bordering the Seven Seas Lagoon.

Beginning November 2007, for the first time, the "Castle Dream Lights", with over 200,000 LED Christmas lights (as Disneyland Paris has since 2004), covered Cinderella's Castle and was lit nightly during a new stage show in front of the castle. The castle looks similar to ice and is very popular among guests during the holiday season, the only time it is now used.

Interior

Mosaics

Inside the castle's archway, a series of five mosaic murals tells the story of Cinderella. Designed by Imagineer Dorothea Redmond and crafted and set in place by a team of six artists led by mosaicist Hanns-Joachim Scharff, the 15-by-10-foot (4.6 by 3.0 m) ornate panels are shaped in a Gothic arch. The murals took 22 months to complete and contain just over 300,000 pieces of Italian glass and rough smalti (glass made specifically for mosaics traditionally used by Italian craftsmen) in more than 500 colors. Many of the hand-cut tiles are fused with sterling silver and 14-karat (58 percent) gold, and some are as small as the head of a tack. Looking closely at these ornate murals, one will notice that each of Cinderella's wicked stepsisters appears with a little added color - one sister's face is clearly "red with anger", while the other is a little "green with envy" as they watch Cinderella try on the glass slipper.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

As of September 10, 2007, the castle is home to the "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique", first introduced at Downtown Disney. Inside, guests can receive a one-of-a-kind "princess transformation", which features a Disney Princess make-up, one of three hairstyles, a manicure, a sash, and/or a gown, crown, wand and shoes.

Cinderella's Royal Table

Cinderella's Royal Table, formerly known as King Stefan's Banquet Hall, is a restaurant inside the castle. Located on the second floor, guests can take the circular stairway or the elevator to the restaurant, where children are referred to as princes and princesses, while the adults in the party are referred to as lords and ladies.

Walt Disney Imagineers had originally wanted to give the restaurant a regal name, and since there are no well-known characters from "Cinderella" that met their criteria, they instead took a little dramatic license and chose the name of Sleeping Beauty's father, King Stefan. The name was changed on April 28, 1997, in order not to confuse tourists.

The restaurant is decorated not only with a number of stained glass windows and medieval objects, but with more than forty coats of arms. Each of these is an actual family seal, and represent some of the many people that played a major role in the design and construction of Walt Disney World.

Cinderella's Royal Table is also the location of "Fairytale Dining at Cinderella's Royal Table." At breakfast, lunch and dinner Cinderella greets all guests in the castle foyer, and during the meal classic Disney princesses circulate among the tables.

Cinderella's Fairy Tale Hall (Tokyo Disneyland)

Cinderella’s Fairy Tale Hall is located in the castle where Cinderella lives with Prince Charming. Cinderella, wanting to share her magical princess story, decided to open up the castle even during her absence and exhibit various artworks that show scenes from her story. At the lobby and corridor, guests will find eight murals showing how Cinderella changed from beloved daughter, to servant girl, and then to Princess. They will also see a diorama of Cinderella magically transformed into wearing a beautiful ball gown, and other artworks made from various materials such as paper, wood and glass. In the Grand Hall guests will find a magnificent chandelier, the renowned glass slipper, a throne, and special paintings that reveal a magical message when photographed using a flash.

Images for kids


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