50 Cool Facts about All the Disney Castles Around the World
When you arrive at the Disney parks, for the most part, you are enchanted by the poignant landmark right in the centre – the castle. Each Magic Kingdom park around the world has a castle on its property. This magical structure attracts millions to its gates and of course is the focal point to thousands and thousands of photographs. Some school and exchange trips even take one step faster with a group surprise unveiling! But what about these castles? What are the fun facts and history behind their construction? What makes Florida’s castle different from California’s or Tokyo’s? Here are 50 cool facts about the Disney Castles Around the World.
Disney Castles Around the World- Orlando Florida
Known as the flagship park to most Disney vacation goers, the Magic Kingdom park in the Disney complex is home to one of the most beautifully imagineered and constructed fairy tale castles ever. Themed to emulate the royal residence of Cinderella, Orlando’s iconic Magic Kingdom certainly chose a beautiful princess’ upscale abode to feature as its everlasting and impressive centrepiece.
Cinderella Castle Facts:
- The height of the castle is exactly 189 feet. This height was especially chosen to avoid having air traffic blinking red lights and other ugly transmitter items upon it!
- The moat around the castle contains nearly 3.4 million gallons of water!
- There are 27 towers that make up the castle!
- More than 600 tonnes of steel was used to construct the castle!
- There are five gorgeous mosaic murals that adorn the hall of the castle. When walking through, you can see the amazing details added by the incredible artist Dorothea Redmond.
- The mosaics use over 300,000 pieces of glass to form these incredible pieces of art that showcase famous and popular scenes from the Cinderella film.
- Can you believe that there are more than 17 million lights that illuminate Cinderella castle at night in the various shows? This is particularly incredible just as Elsa freezes the castle in the winter months!
- Did you notice that the clock on the Castle has IIII instead of IV? This was done on purpose by the imagineers to avoid an anachronism with the time of the castle and when the roman numerals were created 🙂 Hidden Mickey tick!
- There’s a special Hidden Mickey right inside the Cinderella’s Royal Table of Jaq and Gus! It is a very popular one and can only be accessed if you are dining in the restaurant.
- After September 11th, Walt Disney World and above the castle became a no-fly zone!
- To ensure safety to the guests of Walt Disney World, especially in the summer when there is a lot of rainfall, the castle was made into a lightening rod! This also is the case with the Epcot Cinesphere and the Sorcerer’s hat that used to be on display at Hollywood Studios.
- Although there is a draw bridge, it doesn’t work! It is there for show. However, the one in Disneyland is functional.
- One of the flags that fly upon the castle include a transmitter to signal parade floats!
- The castle was built in 18 months and completed in July 1971 – 3 months prior to park opening!
- There are a ton of Hidden Mickeys within the architecture of the castle! Find them in railings, balcony panels, lighting, and windows.
- Cinderella’s Royal Table used to be called King Stefan’s Banquet Hall. Guests were perplexed on why a non-Cinderella character was chosen for the name of the most upscale restaurant in the park. Acknowledging this oversight, the Imagineers changed the name of the restaurant to its current title Cinderella’s Royal Table in 1997.
Cinderella Castle Attractions
So the castle is not only a landmark and starting point for many guests’ Disney itinerary, but it is also home to some original and unique experiences for guests.
Cinderella’s Royal Table
This is the most popular and most difficult restaurant in the entire complex to nab a reservation! If you are heading to Walt Disney World and wish to dine here, make your reservations 180 days in advance. This will seriously help you avoid disappointment. This royal restaurant is the perfect spot for princesses to-be to mingle with their beautiful mentors in Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel, and others. The restaurant is located right inside the castle and serves decadent 3-course meals complete with princess visits and optional souvenir experiences. For an even more magical experience, try to get a table during the time of the fireworks. Seeing them through the glass windows of the castle is absolutely enchanting.
Pro-tip: If you are on the meal plan, keep in mind that Cinderella’s Royal Table is a fine dining table service restaurant and requires 2 table service credits per person. Assess whether this is a good value on your plan, or if paying out of pocket is more cost-efficient.
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
Treat your little ones to the ultimate makeover! Cast members will transform your children into dazzling princesses and princes. Children choose the princess they wish to impersonate, their hair is done, nails are painted, very light make up is applied, and a pinch of Pixie dust finishes the look. Book this experience way ahead of your vacation as this is one of the more popular experiences for the family.
So this suite has just made its way to public knowledge recently. A beautiful apartment within the castle, five floors above the restaurant, this cozy quarters was originally built and created for Walt Disney and his family to stay and reside in the park. Sadly, Walt passed away before the park opened and the original purpose of this suite was no longer. Imagineers decided to offer guests a stay in the suite, but under very exclusive circumstances. Reservations cannot be made, and the only way at this time to get a stay in the suite is by being a contest winner. I was very lucky to have met a couple who won this experience who agreed to be interviewed for the blog! Their experience will be shared soon!
Enjoy evening spectaculars with award-winning fireworks, delightful montages of favourite films, and a visit from Tinkerbell! Every night the show takes place at sundown and is the best way to end a magical day at the parks.
Long Kiss Goodnight
Most guests make a beeline to the exit the minute the fireworks are over. DON’T DO IT! Wait about 20 minutes and hear the message brought to you specially from Roy O. Disney – The long Kiss Goodnight. It is a mini light show, a message of good night and safe travels, and honestly the perfect ending to your day at the Magic Kingdom.
Disney Castles Around the World – Anaheim, California
There’s something special about Disneyland in Anaheim California. Nostalgic Disney fans will have a personal love for this park for its historical proponents. This castle is Sleeping Beauty’s royal home. Unlike Orlando’s honouring Cinderella, Anaheim’s beautiful castle honour the gorgeous princess Aurora and her beautiful story.
Sleeping Beauty’s Castle Fun Facts:
- Sleeping Beauty’s Castle is significantly smaller than Cinderella’s Castle in Orlando’s Magic Kingdom
- Actress Shirley Temple cut the ribbon of the opening of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle!
- One of the inspirations of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle Design was Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany
- Hidden Mickey – If you look hard at the archway of the castle, see if you can spot Walt Disney’s Family crest!
- Unlike the one at Cinderella’s Castle, the draw bridge works on Sleeping Beauty’s castle! It has only been lifted twice since it’s opening in 1955. Once for the grand opening, and once while Fantasyland was undergoing improvements in 1983.
- There is 22 carat gold covering the spires – this is a nod to Sleeping Beauty, It’s a Small World, Dumbo classic films.
- Just like Cinderella’s castle, when you walk in the castle, check out the art work of famous Sleeping Beauty scenes on the walls.
- Up until 2001, guests could walk through the castle and see amazing diorama style displays depicting scenes from the Sleeping Beauty story. October that year it was closed to the public. Not much was revealed on the reasons other than removing the possibility of a terrorist attack.
- Walt has always said “Disneyland will be incomplete so long as there is imagination in the world.” Check out the slight imperfections of the castle while there – like one spire being non-gold plated for example.
- In the courtyard there is a time capsule that was buried on Sleeping Beauty’s 40th Anniversary. It is nicknamed “Time Castle.”
Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough
Since its closure in 2001, the walk-through reopened seven years later for guests to experience on the film’s 50th Anniversary. With the reopening, the artwork and attraction as a whole was revamped to feature more of the feel the designs and work Eyvind Earle put into Sleeping Beauty. Guests can marvel at Eyvind’s works either by walking through the corridors, or, if uncomfortable in closed spaces, can watch an HD video detailing the experience.
Heading to Disneyland in California? Check out this guide that will help you plan your trip to the California parks.
Disney Castles Around the World – Paris, France
Where better than such a romantic setting as Paris to bring Disney magic? The castle here, named Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant, is similar in structure to the Sleeping Beauty castle in Anaheim California, but with specific differences to make it unique to Paris. Check out our fun facts below to grab your enchantment upon arrival.
Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant Disneyland Paris Castle Fun Facts:
- As this castle is similar to Sleeping Beauty’s the imagineered opted to use the “Make it Pink,” “Make it Blue” feature from the film when the fairies debate on the colour of Aurora’s dress. This is the reason pin and blue are the castle’s prominent colours.
- Parts of the castle’s design were inspired by Mt Saint Michel.
- The Castle Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant, is 1/3 smaller than Cinderella’s castle in Orlando. This was to accommodate plans for experiences, shopping, and attractions within the castle itself (the dragon in the dungeon, the gallerie of stained glass windows, and the two shops.
- There are stained-glass windows in the Gallerie of the Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant. These allow guests to relive the Sleeping Beauty classic story.
- There are two special shops inside the castle – Merlin’s Enchanteur and La Boutique de Château.
- When you use your flash to photograph the knights on either side of the castle, one will be blue in your photo, while the other is pink to keep the feel from the fairy argument in the film! Seriously, give it a shot!
- Although the design had a few inspiring aspects from real castles, Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Disneyland Paris was actually created with a fairy tale feel over an historic feel.
- There is a dragon in the dungeon of the castle! It is the only one of all the Disney Castles around the world.
Are you heading to Disneyland Paris? Than you seriously need tips! Check out this post detailing what to do and what not to do on your trip to the Parisian Happiest Place on Earth!
Disney Castles Around the World – Tokyo, Japan
This wonderful park in the Japanese capital has quite a few similarities to the Walt Disney World Orlando park, but not to the same scale. Here are some fun facts about the castle that stands out as the ultimate photo backdrop.
Disney Tokyo Cinderella’s Castle Fun Facts:
- The castle in Disney Tokyo is a close replica to the Cinderella’s castle in Orlando.
- It has many of the same architectural features as the castle in Orlando.
- Cinderella’s Fairy Tale Hall is located inside the castle for guests to enjoy. It contains stained glass windows and dioramas of the famous scenes from the classic film.
- At the end of the Cinderella’s Fairy Tale Hall experience, guests can wait for a photo in the royal throne.
- The Castle is 167 feet high – significantly shorter than that in Orlando Florida.
Disney Castles Around the World – Hong Kong
Not to be outshone by the other Disney parks around the world, Disney Hong Kong has a pretty incredible castle! Here are the facts about the royal residence in this Disney Park around the world.
- Hong Kong’s castle went under refurbishment and recently reopened. It was originally a close replica of the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland California, but after the face lift, notions and details from other fairy tales were added for a more in-depth design. If you look closely to what was originally solely Sleeping Beauty’s castle, now you will see spokes from Cinderella’s carriage as well as nods to the poisoned apple in Snow White.
- The castle has a computerized strobe light system to have it look like it’s covered in crystals at night.
- The castle is one of the top photo opps in the entire country of Hong Kong.
- The castle is currently empty, but imagineers are considering a shop inside.
- Cinderella’s Castle at Hong Kong Disney, is the shortest of all parks at 77 feet tall.
Disney Castles Around the World – Shanghai, China
Shanghai’s Enchanted Storybook castle here in the newest of all the Disney parks has been deemed one of the most impressive and flawless of all. It is also the widest and most comprehensive!
Enchanted Storybook Castle Fun Facts:
- The Enchanted Storybook castle here in Shanghai is not a replica of any previous castle. It is a brand new design that integrates and honours a number of princesses and royal characters together. Within the castle you will see features from Belle, Tiana, Merida, Anna, Elsa, Cinderella, Snow White, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Rapunzel, and Aurora.
- The Enchanted Storybook Castle is the tallest of all the Disney Castles Around the World.
- The highest finial on the castle has a beautiful golden peony at the top – flower of China.
- As the castle is so vast, there are several attractions inside including a table service restaurant similar to Cinderella’s Royal Table, and a Walk through featuring Snow White.
- On odd occasions when guests walk through the castle, they will see the princesses walk by.
- There is a magic mirror portal for guests to enter the “Once Upon a Time” interactive adventure.
So there you have some fun and interesting facts about all the Disney Castles Around the World. Which one do you like the best or wish to see in person?
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