Cinderella Castle

Magic Kingdom
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Description

Cinderella Castle is the signature icon of the Magic Kingdom and is found at the end of Main Street at the entrance to Fantasyland.


Details

Facts and Figures

  • Opening Date: October 1 1971
  • Height: 189ft
  • Construction: Completed in July 1971, built of concrete, steel, cement, plaster and fibreglass
  • Towers and Spires: 18 total, 15 blue and 3 gold
  • Murals: 5, each 15ft x 10ft
  • Gargoyles: 13
  • Moat: contains over 3 million gallons of water

Design

The castle takes it's design inspiration from a number of European castles and buildings from the 11th century and later. The base of the castle resembles a medieval fortress, and the upper levels resemble a stately gothic architecture. Looking from the bottom upwards, the castle shows evolution from a fortress to a palace. Visual design cues come from Fontainebleau, Versailles, and the Loire Valley. The books from writer Charles Perrault also influenced the look of the castle.

Mosaic Murals

The story of Cinderella is displayed on 5, 15ft tall by 10ft wide murals inside the main hall of the castle. Each mural is surrounded by a gothic arch.

The murals contain hundreds of thousands of pieces of glass, using 500 colors, and many of them coated in silver and gold. The 6 person team, led by the famed Hanns-Joachim Scharff, took over 2 years to complete the Dorothea Redmond designed mosaics.

Towers

There are 18 towers and spires on the castle of varying heights and colors. 10 of them are 90ft in height and are located above th keep. 8 are located at the keep level and below. 15 are blue in color, with 3 colored gold.

There are 13 gargoyles on the outside of the castle.

The columns on the sides of the forecourt are decorated with mice and birds from the movie. The sculptures were created by the famed Imagineering sculpture artist, Blaine Gibson.

Coats of Arms

There are more than 40 coats of arms on the second level of the castle inside Cinderella's Royal Table. The coats of arms all belong to some of the most importannt members of the Walt Disney Company. Some of the people represented include Marc Davis, Roy O Disney, John Hench, Dick NunisMarty Sklar and Card Walker.

Transformations

Over the years the Castle has been transformed to provide a backdrop for various celebrations. Perhaps the most famous (and conntroversial) was probably the pink Castle Cake from the 1996 25th Anniversary of Walt Disney World. The most recent transformation was much more subtle, and was for The Happiest Celebration on Earth in 2005.

Cinderella's Holiday Wish

Started in 2007, 200000 tiny white lights cover Cinderella Caste in the Magic Kingdom in a dazzling light show performed nightly during the holiday season. More information here.

The Castle Suite

As part of the Year of a Million Dreams, a long unused area inside the castle that was originally intended to be an apartment for the Disney family, was elaborately decorated to become the Cinderella Castle Suite. A stay in the suite was given away each day for the use by a park guest to stay overnight in the Magic Kingdom. For more information clilck here.

Trivia

Despite popular myth, the castle is not built of bricks, and it cannot be taken down in the event of a hurricane. The castle is however built to sustain severe weather.

It famously became the most photographed structure in the world.

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