Construction is set to begin at one of the most iconic and popular attractions at the Walt Disney World Resort, but news of the construction is creating more questions than answers.
Disney World is home to four theme parks, two water parks, a dazzling shopping, dining, and entertainment district, and more than two dozen Disney Resort Hotels, meaning there’s quite literally something for everyone at the Central Florida Disney parks. Guests who enjoy the thrill of heart-pounding rides can experience the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Don’t worry–you won’t plunge to your death. Here’s why.) or Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Fans of Disney’s Frozen can take a boat tour of Arendelle at EPCOT at the Norway pavilion along World Showcase, and for Guests who love all things classic Disney and Disney animation, there’s the sights, sounds, rides, and attractions of Magic Kingdom Park.
But of all the offerings at Disney World–from exciting rides and immersive attractions to Broadway-style live shows and a vast array of dining options and experiences–there is one attraction that took Guests’ breath away more than 50 years ago when the parks first opened and remains the most popular attraction and spectacle at Disney’s Florida theme park resort to this day, and that is, of course, Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom.
Cinderella Castle was built as the centerpiece of Magic Kingdom Park. After 18 months of construction that was completed in July 1971, the beautiful structure stood an impressive 189 feet tall, as measured from the bottom of the six-foot-deep moat that surrounds the castle, making it more than 100 feet taller than its castle counterpart at Disneyland–Sleeping Beauty Castle in Anaheim, California. Though its height is impressive, the use of a set-building optical illusion called forced perspective makes the castle appear even larger than it actually is.
Despite its appearance, not a single brick was used in the construction of Cinderella Castle. Rather, the exterior of the structure is made from an extremely strong fiber-reinforced gypsum plaster that must be supported by metal studs. The inner parts of the castle consist of six hundred tons of steel-braced frame construction, and a 10-inch-thick reinforced concrete wall encircles the structure all the way to its topmost parts. The roof of the castle is shingled with a type of plastic that is used to make computer monitor shells. The plastic is attached to cones of light-gauge steel sheeting over the sub-frame, which is made from steel.
Cinderella Castle is, in a word, perfection. But according to a permit filed by Coastal Steel Inc., on March 8, 2023, on behalf of Walt Disney World, changes are in the works for Cinderella’s abode, though the permit doesn’t specify what those changes entail.
Under the “Description of Improvement” section of the permit, only the phrase, “General Construction” is noted. General, indeed. Such a description could mean any number of things–which means that any number of things could be in the plans for the future of Cinderella Castle.
The work could be for something as simple as removing the “50” signage from the castle face and replacing it with new signage–possibly in celebration of Disney’s 100th anniversary. But the work could also be for something as complex as the construction of additional turrets on the castle top or the expansion of the castle altogether.
As of the time of this publication, however, Disney World’s plans for construction at Cinderella Castle remain a secret, as the Resort has made no announcements about possible additions or demolitions at the castle. For now, it’s any Guest’s best guess as to what the future may hold for the nearly 20-story-high dwelling fit for a princess.