A Closer Look at Cinderella’s Castle Through the Years

A Closer Look at Cinderella’s Castle Through the Years

Cinderella’s Castle is the magical and enchanting centerpiece of Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. From the time that Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, it has been a landmark that people come to visit from around the world. It is the location of Magic Kingdom’s firework spectaculars, and shows performed throughout the day.

When you think of Disney World, you think of the Castle at Magic Kingdom.

The Castle is currently decked out for the 50th Anniversary Celebration!

Photo Credit: @dizndonohues

However, over the last fifty-plus years Cinderella’s Castle has donned many different looks. The original look for the castle was a bit more subdued. It had a light grey brick and blue accents as you can see below.

The castle, itself, took 18 months to complete. Unlike a real European castle, which it is modeled after, it has no actual bricks. It was built using steel, fiberglass, concrete, and plaster. The castle looks bigger than it actually is due to forced perspective architecture, which is brilliant and used pretty frequently by Disney.

Cinderella’s Castle in progress! It was finished in July of 1971.

Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Cinderella’s Castle completed!

Photo Credit: Disney Park Blog

Isn’t it absolutely stunning? Fun fact! Both Cinderella’s Castle in Walt Disney World and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disney Land are loosely based on the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. Walt Disney traveled to this castle with his wife and it left a lasting impression on him, later serving as the inspiration for the iconic Disney Castles. Check out the Neuschwanstein castle below!

Photo Credit: Schloss Neuschanstein Bayerische Schlosservererwaltung

For Disney World’s 25th Year Celebration the Castle was decorated to resemble a giant birthday cake!

Photo Credit: @thewanderingwayfinder

Disney Park tells us that “It was estimated the cake weighed in at 40 million pounds. With 55,040 tablespoons of pink paint in three different shades, this cake was rich enough to satisfy any sweet tooth with its 50 gumballs, 30 lollipops, 4 Life Savers, 12 gumdrops, 16 red candy hearts and 16 green candy stars.” That is one big birthday cake!

In 2005 the majestic castle was redone, once again in celebration of Disneyland Resort’s 50th Anniversary.

Photo Credit: Disney Parks Blog

The Castle sported gold accents and a rotating “magic mirror” was added that showcased Disney Park castles from around the world!

Not much changed about the castle over the next decade, apart from removing some of the gold accents, as you can see in the photo below from approximately 2016-2017.

Photo Credit: @bizzyrunninganddizn

From the years 2007 to 2019 Cinderella’s Castle was decorated during the Holiday season with “Dream Lights” that appeared like ice cycles dripping from the towers of the castle.

Photo Credit: @dizndonohues

In 2014, after Disney’s “Frozen” became Popular, Queen Elsa herself would “light up” the castle each night.

For the past few years, however, it seems that Holiday projections have replaced the iconic dripping lights on Cinderella’s Castle. Disney has not announced whether or not we can expect the “dream lights” to return in the future.

Photo Credit: @dizndonohues

In October 2021, Cinderella’s Castle was updated to it’s current state, which is in celebration of Walt Disney World’s 50 Years Anniversary.

Photo Credit: Felicia Hargrove at DizN Vacations

Disney has announced no plans to change the current look of the castle anytime soon. What has been your favorite look for the Castle? Comment below!

About the Author

My name is Courtney Trapp and I’m an independent travel planner with DizN Vacations at CS Elements Travel. I live in East Texas with my two year old Princess, Cora, my six year old future scientist, Cole, and my real-life Prince Charming, Jake. My husband and I are both Fine Arts Educators and performers. My family loves to travel and does so as often as we can. Contact me for help with your family’s next magical adventure!  Courtney@diznvacations.com


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