A Night at Cinderella Castle is Up For Grabs, But Here’s Why You Might Not Want to Win the Sweepstakes After All

cinderella castle suite question mark
Credit: Disney Parks/Canva

For Disney World fans who’ve been waiting for years for the opportunity to finally stay in the Cinderella Castle Suite at Magic Kingdom, the time has come. But for all the hype about spending the night in Cinderella’s abode, there are just as many reasons you won’t want to actually take advantage of the “opportunity,” should you be the lucky winner of a night in the Cinderella Castle Suite.

cinderella castle suite

Credit: Becky Burkett

Cinderella Castle “Suite” Dreams

The suite inside Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle is one of the most exclusive and mysterious locations across Disney’s theme park resorts.

Originally constructed in the late 1960s and early 1970s with the rest of Magic Kingdom, the suite was to be an apartment in the park for Walt Disney and his family, much like the apartment constructed over the fire station at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.

walt disney apartment over fire station at disneyland

Credit: Becky Burkett

But the suite was never completed, as Walt died five years before the Walt Disney World Resort opened, negating the need for such a space. Years later, the suite inside Cinderella Castle was reworked to serve as a space for telephone operators in the park.

Then, in 2006, the suite was finally completed in preparation for Disney World’s “Year of a Million Dreams” Celebration, during which numerous families were awarded a night in the exclusive castle suite as part of a sweepstakes held during the celebration.

Since that time, fans have searched in earnest for ways to book a night in the Cinderella Castle suite, but they’re always met with the same response: the space is not available for booking, cannot be reserved, and is only ever experienced by sweepstakes winners and the occasional celebrity. But that hasn’t stopped diehard Disney lovers from pining away for the chance to step inside the suite–if only just once.

What’s the Big Deal About the Castle Suite?

Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle Suite is likely the most exclusive and sought-after hotel room across Disney’s domestic and international theme park resorts. But what makes the suite so special, and is it all just hype?

cinderella castle from tomorrowland

Credit: Becky Burkett

First, it’s the only hotel room located inside a theme park at Disney World. While Disney World has tens of thousands of resort hotel rooms in which guests can stay the night during their visit to the four Disney theme parks in Central Florida, the Cinderella Castle Suite is the only room that can be found inside one of those theme parks. All of Disney World’s other accommodations are located just outside the parks across the resort’s more than 25 themed hotels.

On the way up to the suite, guests walk through the foyer that features a 24-hour concierge, as well as sculptures of mice, pumpkin murals, and a clock that stays forever at 11:59 p.m. In short, the clock never strikes twelve at Cinderella Castle, meaning the magic never has to end.

Then they board a private elevator that delivers them to the Cinderella Castle Suite. Once they step off the elevator, they notice a gorgeous mosaic floor made from 30,000 tiles, many of them in 24-carat gold, arranged to resemble Cinderella’s royal coach.

cinderella castle suite

Credit: Disney Vacation Club Shop

The suite itself features exquisite decor, including beautiful ornate furniture, accents and elements fit for a princess, stained glass windows, and more across 660 square feet. Inside the royal bed chamber, there are four-poster beds that sleep up to four guests.

cinderella castle suite

Credit: Disney Parks

In the sitting room, there is additional furniture, and the parlor sofa magically transforms into another bed that sleeps two guests, meaning that the entire suite can sleep up to six individuals.

cinderella castle suite

Credit: Disney Vacation Club Shop

The 17th-century Gothic antique limestone fireplace, which was molded from an original wood fireplace from France, serves as the centerpiece of the entire suite. Fiber optics create the illusion that the fireplace is giving off embers from burning wood.

High above the fireplace, what looks like a framed picture of Cinderella magically transforms into a television right in front of your eyes.

cinderella castle suite

Credit: Disney Parks

Centerpiece of the Cinderella Castle Suite is an antique limestone fireplace – 17th century Gothic molded from an original wood fireplace from France. The fiber optics create the sensation of a fire giving off embers. Above the fireplace an image of Cinderella magically changes into a television.

The bathroom is a retreat all unto itself, complete with a jacuzzi tub that offers guests a regal soak with an exclusive view of the park. Fiber optics technology creates the semblance of stars in the night sky high above the tub, and the effects are stunning.

cinderella castle suite

Credit: Disney Parks

Even the toilet is regal, as it’s made to look like a throne, literally. The water tank is situated high above the toilet, and guests pull on a braided rope to flush.

In addition to the beauty and grandeur found inside the Cinderella Castle Suite itself, guests who are lucky enough to stay in the suite for the night are also treated to other exclusive experiences, including VIP access to rides and attractions, VIP tours of Magic Kingdom, and a private viewing of the fireworks over Magic Kingdom from the suite’s balcony that looks out into Fantasyland.

guests at fantasyland at magic kingdom disney world at dusk

Credit: Becky Burkett

But for all its beauty, decor, and lore, guests might be surprised to learn that there are some major drawbacks to staying the night at the Cinderella Castle Suite, and they’re significant enough to make some guests pass on the chance to stay, even if they’ve won a sweepstakes.

A New Sweepstakes is Currently Underway

A new sweepstakes is underway as of the time of this publication, and the winner will get the chance to stay in Cinderella’s magical suite for one night with up to three additional guests, but that’s not all. The winner will also receive:

  • A 2-night resort stay in a standard room at a Deluxe Resort for up to 4 guests
  • Breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table 
  • Up to four, 3-day Theme Park Tickets with Park Hopper® Option
  • A Private 7-hour VIP Tour Experience including:
    • A completely customized experience based on your preferences
    • Ability to enjoy favorite attractions efficiently through most Lightning Lane entrances 
    • Shared insight from a highly knowledgeable VIP Tour Guide throughout the tour
  • Round-trip airfare for 4
cinderella castle

Credit: Becky Burkett

Though no purchase or donation is required to enter the sweepstakes, making a donation, which benefits the Orlando Youth Magic Foundation, will earn the donor additional entries.

The contest runs through May 24, 2024, and the winner will be announced on June 12, 2024.

Sounds perfect, right?

So Many Drawbacks That Make Cinderella’s Suite Less Magical

Before you decide to pack up the family and board the private elevator up to the fourth floor of the castle for your magical evening, consider the following drawbacks that might make the experience far less magical.

cinderella castle suite

Credit: Disney Vacation Club Shop

Because of its exclusivity, you’ll likely have a very limited number of dates that will be offered to you for your stay. If the date(s) don’t work for your schedule, to put it bluntly, it’s just too bad. Even in the event of a sweepstakes to win a night in the suite, the location simply isn’t available any night of the year.

Next, remember that the winning guest will only have one night in the suite, even though the grand prize is a multi-day vacation at Disney World, meaning you’ll be leaving your resort hotel early and moving to the castle suite–and only for a very short stay.

partners statue magic kingdom disney world cinderella castle

Credit: Becky Burkett/Canva

Check-in is at 4:00 p.m., and check-out is the next morning at 9:00 a.m. sharp. There’s no sleeping in or lounging around the suite to take in the sights and sounds of Magic Kingdom from this uber-exclusive locale.

To top it off, several guests who’ve been lucky enough to win a night in Cinderella’s suite say that there’s a lot of hype about the location, but overall, it’s still “nothing more than a regular hotel.”

old hotel

Credit: Canva

Redditor Portice77 shared her experience, saying:

They had all of the Disney movies and they made a white chocolate replica of Cinderella’s carriage. But other than that, nothing much more than a regular hotel. Besides the fact that just about everything was embroidered in gold foil. We got to stay out in the park for an extra hour and go on a few rides. But other than that we were shut up in the tower.

It’s true. Guests who are staying in the Cinderella Castle Suite don’t have free reign while they’re staying at Magic Kingdom. In fact, at a certain point in the evening, guests are not allowed to leave the suite.

cinderella castle suite circled

Credit: Becky Burkett/Canva

Shiba_my_inu shared the following:

[I] used to work for Disney but never stayed in [the suite]. The cast members can also sign up for seasonal sweepstakes events where a night in the castle is sometimes one of the prizes.

From what managers told me, something interesting about being chosen is that apparently once you check into the suite, you can’t leave til the next day. I don’t know if this rule was also enforced for the lucky guests that would get chosen but I know it was for cast members. I also forget why this rule existed. Maybe in order to keep from inviting unauthorized people into the room? I don’t know.

cinderella castle magic kingdom

Credit: Disney

The Redditor also said in her online post that “the suite is apparently not as big or spacious as most would think.” Yet another Redditor who had the chance to spend the night in the castle shared her experience, saying she, too, was forbidden to leave the suite once she returned for the evening.

We were not allowed out once we were brought back to the suite. There is a phone in the room that is directly connected to your concierge downstairs if you need anything and they are there all night. They had Cinderella playing and had turned the suite down for the evening.

And Redditor GoldWhale said that from her experience, “the Cinderella Suite is like a normal hotel room, but . . . more Disney-ey? Besides the spiffed up appearance, though, it was essentially a regular hotel room. Not a Motel 6, mind you, but, say, a four-star hotel such as some of the nicer Hiltons, etc.”

It seems that even magic can have a side to it in which “all is not as it seems.”

Take the full tour of the Cinderella Castle Suite with Good Morning America by clicking below.


About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

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