The Magic Kingdom attracts close to 20 million guests every year, and Cinderella’s Castle has a lot to do with it. There’s nothing quite like turning the corner and seeing the castle in all its glory, especially for the first time. However, like many objects in Disney World, it has its fair share of hidden gems just waiting there for guests to discover. Here are a few of the craziest facts about the most iconic castle in the world.
There’s A Secret Message From Roy Disney If You Stick Around The Castle At Night
There Are Three Different Elevators Inside
One elevator goes up to Cinderella’s Royal Table, as Disney wanted to accommodate those in wheelchairs. Another elevator used to move food from kitchen to kitchen. Finally, the last elevator is used by cast and crew to reach the underground Utilidoors, as well as those who are lucky enough to stay in the signature suite above. What? Did we say signature suite? You weren’t supposed to hear that.
A Secret Suite Exists Five Stories Above The Bottom Floor
Christmas Lights Decorating The Castle Use As Much Energy As A Dryer
The holiday season is one of the busiest times at Walt Disney World. In fact, on Christmas Day the parks always reach capacity. In fact, the crowds are so strong that guests get packed in like sardines. With the holiday season also comes the beautiful light displays that make Cinderella’s Castle look like Elsa’s from Frozen. Covering the castle are some 200,000 LED lights that use about the same amount of energy as a dryer. Disney World has always been focused on being efficient with energy, in fact, they recently installed a field of solar panels just outside Epcot that help power a good amount of attractions inside.
There’s a ‘IIII’ instead of a ‘IV’ On The Clock
Imagineers Transformed It Into A Birthday Cake For Its 25th Anniversary
Pretty crazy to look at, huh? For Magic Kingdom’s 25th Anniversary, Imagineers turned the castle into a giant birthday cake. It took 400 gallons of pink paint to cover the castle, and had 26 candles ranging from 20-40 feet in height. Among other decorations were massive gumdrops, lifesavers, lollipops, and other goodies. Are you drooling yet? The castle stayed in this form for a good 15 months, delighting guests from 1996 until 1998.
A Room Directly Beneath The Castle Controls Basically Everything In The Park
The Castle is Only 189 Feet Tall For A Reason
When constructing the castle for Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney and the Imagineers ran into a problem. Florida required every building above 200 feet tall to have a red blinking light atop it for the safety of passing airplanes. There’s no way a red blinking light would look good on top of a medieval castle, so the Imagineers just made it 189 feet tall. But why does it look so big? That’s yet another secret behind Cinderella’s Castle..
Imagineers Used Forced Perspective To Make The Castle Look Much Bigger
There’s A Restaurant Inside Which Many Regard As The “Holy Grail” Of Disney Experiences
Perhaps the most sought-after experience in all of Disney World is a reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table. Always booked at least 180 days (6 months) in advance, if you want a spot here, you’ll need to give “planning ahead” a whole different meaning. When guests are called to be seated, they ascend a beautiful spiral staircase to meet Cinderella before sitting down in the medieval dining room of the princess herself. One more thing: It’s also one of the easiest ways to meet Disney princesses! Snow White, Cinderella, and Arielle all make regular appearances. You don’t want to miss this experience.
Tinkerbell Is A..Boy?
The Events Of September 11 Made It A No-Fly Zone
Sadly, after the events of September 11, the park had to change a lot of things. On that fateful day the parks were evacuated because it was a potential target for attacks due to large crowds and landmarks like Cinderella’s Castle. Now the entire park is a no-fly zone for added protection. Cinderella’s Castle is largely the reason why the government worked with Disney to make this law.
Cinderella’s Castle Is Also A Lightning Rod
There Used To Be 29 Towers But Now There’s 27
Adorning Cinderella’s Castle are 27 beautiful towers, however original designs included two other ones. Why weren’t they included? Because the other two wouldn’t have been visible from any direction, so Imagineers decided to cut them from the final construction. Each tower is numbered 1-29, and in case you were wondering, towers 13 and 17 were the ones to get removed from the final design.
Inside Is A Boutique Where Young Guests Can Become Princesses
The Castle Is NOT Made of Marble
The castle looks like it’s made from pure marble, but like many things at The Walt Disney World, appearances may deceive you. The structure is actually made from steel and concrete. Despite the appearance that bricks were used to construct it, there were none brought in when building it. Instead, what you see on the outside is very hard fiber-reinforced gypsum plaster supported by metal studs. The towers were raised by cranes and bolted into place afterwards.
The Moat Contains 3.37 Million Gallons Of Water
The Drawbridge Doesn’t Work
Pictured above is the drawbridge at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. We pictured this one because the drawbridge at Disney World doesn’t work. It’s not because the Imagineers failed or something, it’s just because it was never put into the end design. So there you have it, if there was ever a siege of Cinderella’s Castle in Orlando, those defending might have a tough time from invaders. Speaking of sieges..
Fans Have Actually Speculated About Best Siege Tactics To Take Cinderella’s Castle
The Castle’s Design Was Inspired By 10 Others Throughout Multiple Countries
Pictured above is Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, one of the many inspirations for Imagineers when designing Cinderella’s Castle. Other inspirations include Fontainebleau, Versailles and the châteaux of Chenonceau, Pierrefonds, Chambord and Chaumont. Overall, the castle is designed with the flamboyant gothic style of the 1400’s in mind. We think they hit the nail on the head.
Hidden Inside One of The Flags Is A Transmitter That Coordinates The Parades
It Took Just 18 Months To Build
Despite being an incredibly massive structure, Disney’s team managed to erect the Castle within 18 months. It was completed in July of 1971, making it an incredible 45 years old today. The park opened three months later in October of 1971.
The Castle At Tokyo Disneyland Is Basically A Carbon Copy
It Took Artists 22 Months To Create The Stunning Murals Inside The Castle
Imagineer Dorothea Redmond designed the five-pane mural set inside Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom. Incredible artists built each pane out of 300,000 pieces of Italian glass. It took 22 months. For longtime Disney fans, the murals inside the castle are some of the most spectacular sites to behold in all the parks.
There are 27 towers on the castle, numbered 1-29. (Tower numbers 13 and 17 were deleted before construction since they could not easily be seen from anywhere in the park, mainly due to obstruction by other Fantasyland buildings.) The tower with the clock in front is number 10, the tallest is number 20, and number 23 is the other golden-roofed tower. For the better part of 2015, Disney has added an additional 4 turrets to Cinderella Castle extending the lovely panorama!
Most of the exterior is a very hard fiber-reinforced gypsum plaster supported by metal studs. There is much less fiberglass used than is commonly thought. Fiberglass was used for the more ornate exterior walls of the upper towers. Roofs are made of the same type of plastic that computer monitor shells are made from. Towers were raised by crane, welded and bolted permanently in place.
In The Archway
Walking inside the castle archway, one will find five beautiful mosaic murals telling the story of Cinderella. The series was designed by Imagineer Dorothea Redmond and set by a team of six artists led by mosaicist Hanns-Joachim Scharff. Each panel is a 15 feet by 10 feet shaped Gothic arch. Skilled artists took 22 months to complete the murals using over 300,000 pieces of Italian glass in more than 500 colors. The tiles are hand-cut and many are fused with sterling silver and 14k gold. Some tiles are as small as the head of a tack! On your next visit, spend some time enjoying this incredible spectacle!
Within the Castle
Cinderella’s Royal Table lets you dine with Disney Princesses in a fairytale setting for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is a most sought after experience, and if you are lucky enough to reserve a spot, this may be your child’s most cherished memory of WDW.
Leisure for young guests
As a result of the September 11 attacks in 2001, amid concerns that general aviation could pose a threat to public safety, the Federal Aviation Administration placed a permanent Temporary Flight Restriction over the entire Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.