One of the most iconic Walt Disney World symbols ever, Cinderella Castle is always our first stop on a Disney vacation! The magic of the castle just never gets old, no matter how many times you’ve seen it. We’ve cobbled together a list of our favorite cool things that make us love Cinderella Castle – and some might just surprise you!
8. Suite Dreams
Did you know there is a hidden suite high in Cinderella Castle? It was originally built to be used by Walt Disney and his family, but sadly, he didn’t live long enough to use it. Eventually, the space became a “royal suite” that can sleep up to 6 people. But don’t get too excited – there’s currently no way for guests to book the suite. It’s been used by visiting celebrities and as a prize for lucky contest winners over the years, including the “Year of a Million Dreams” that ended in 2008. But even if you can’t sleep there, you can see photos of the suite – which is positively dripping with royal luxury and extravagance – online.
7. A Meal Fit for Royalty
While you may not be able to sleep in Cinderella Castle, you can dine there! In fact, we highly recommend it. Cinderella’s Royal Table offers three meals a day among royal tapestries, vaulted ceilings and gorgeous stained glass windows, overlooking the Magic Kingdom. You’ll definitely feel like royalty! As a bonus, each meal is a character dining experience, so various Disney princesses will visit you while you dine. Even better – if you manage to snag a coveted window table, and time your dinner reservation just right, you may be able to watch fireworks – from within Cinderella Castle itself!
6. Inspirational Origins
Inspired in part by actual European castles, Cinderella Castle is a magical mix of building styles and cultural traditions. From a church in the Czech Republic built in the 1300s, to the 18th century Castle Neuschwanstein in Germany (the famous model for Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland), to Versailles in France, Cinderella Castle represents the best and most romantic features of all of these historical buildings – with a healthy dose of Disney imagination thrown in, of course! See any similarities to Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle? Not surprising, since that castle’s designer, Herbert Ryman, was also the main designer of Cinderella Castle!
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5. Works of Art
Once you’ve finished taking your selfies with Cinderella Castle, head inside for more stunning shots! The castle’s arched corridor is your gateway to the rest of Fantasyland, but you’ll want to take a moment to stop at the stunning mosaic murals you’ll pass. They tell the story of Cinderella, and it took artists almost 2 years to make them by hand, using 14-karat gold and silver, as well as hundreds of thousands of pieces of glass – in 500 colors!
4. Hurricane-Resistant Construction
Rumor has it that Cinderella’s Castle was designed so that it could be disassembled and moved to a safer location in case of a hurricane. Alas, this is just a rumor! In fact, taking the castle apart and moving it would be much too impractical, so like all other buildings in Walt Disney World, Cinderella Castle was instead built to withstand a hurricane. It can survive 125 mile an hour winds, and then some!
3. No-Fly Zone
Completed in the summer of 1971, Cinderella Castle intentionally falls just short of 200 feet tall, so that it wouldn’t require a flashing light on top to comply with Federal Aviation Administration standards (Tower of Terror and Expedition Everest are also just under this height for the same reason). Since 2003, there’s been a flight restriction over the entirety of Walt Disney World – the same flight restriction enjoyed by the White House! Unless you’re law enforcement, good luck trying to fly over any Disney parks. Pilots use Cinderella Castle itself as the visual reference for the flight restriction.
2. Fantastic Fireworks
Magic Kingdom’s newest night-time show uses Cinderella Castle as a backdrop for a journey through some of Disney’s most beloved movies. You’ll listen to some of your favorite Disney songs while watching a stunning display of fireworks, pyrotechnics, projections, lasers and light displays, all with everyone’s beloved castle front and centre. Nothing shows off the splendour of Cinderella Castle like this!
1. Glorious Views
Because Cinderella Castle is so huge, there are lots of places within Walt Disney World you can catch a stunning glimpse of it – and many of them aren’t even in Magic Kingdom! And while you can pay an arm and a leg for a resort room with a view of the famous landmark, it’s not necessary to break the bank for glimpse of the castle. Some great views can be had from certain restaurants, and there are free spots to check out the castle as well. Try Narcoossee’s at the Grand Floridian Resort, ‘Ohana at the Polynesian Resort, or California Grill at the Contemporary Resort for magical Cinderella Castle views. Or you can simply ride the Resort Monorail for a fantastic – and fantastically free! – view.