Cinderella Castle and Walt Disney World’s home in central Florida is no stranger to intense weather, but each Disney theme Park used to be open through even the most inclement weather. While there are only a handful of times Walt Disney World has completely closed down, the frequency has jumped with climate issues and the intensification of recent hurricanes.
Walt Disney World Resort would go decades without closing for weather, but since 2016 it was forced to shut down four times for Hurricanes Matthew, Irma, Dorian, and Ian. Last year, Hurricane Ian even lead Florida Gov Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency.
Troubling weather like this understandably causes Disney fans to worry about the safety of the Magic Kingdom’s most emblematic structure, Cinderella Castle. Standing at 189 feet tall, Magic Kingdom’s castle is the second tallest castle in all the Disney Parks, just behind the slightly taller but more robust Enchanted Storybook Castle in Shanghai, China (197 feet).
How Does Disney World Prepare Cinderella Castle for Hurricanes
The iconic Cinderella Castle is Main Street’s pride and joy and is inspired by the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. Housing some of Walt Disney World’s most special Guest experiences, like the Cinderella Castle Suite and Cinderella’s Royal Table, Disney takes its preservation very seriously. This is how Guests came upon the Disney news that Cinderella Castle was able to be deconstructed and somehow folded down in cases of extreme weather.
While Walt Disney Imagineering certainly conquers some amazing feats, Cinderella Castle Oragami is conclusively NOT one of them. Yes, that’s right, I’m telling you this is 100% theme park myth…an urban legend probably born of a castle play set.
However, the Disney theme park team obviously does take precautions in the design and features of all Walt Disney’s creations, so they have safeguards in place. D23 quotes 24-year structural engineer Cast Member with Facility Asset Management, John Anderson,
The castle was constructed quite permanently. It’s built to withstand hurricane winds as required by the building code. Plus, there are no joints or seams in the exterior surfaces of the castle, which such modular construction would require (something to do with waterproofing, y’know?).
Apparently, that castle is pretty sound and can take winds up to 90 miles per hour! So no worries, Disney World fans, Cinderella Castle is one sturdy beast and will happily sit at the end of Magic Kingdom’s Main Street USA in spite of crazy weather. Don’t feel bad, though, this myth has been circulating around since before 1997 and is pretty enticing to believe.
The turrets persist so Tinker Bell may fly another day!