There are Disney castles in theme parks around the world, each with its own unique features.
The drawbridge on Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland has only been lowered twice.
It took almost 18 months to build Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World.
Disneyland unveiled Sleeping Beauty Castle before the animated movie was even released.
Sleeping Beauty Castle has been Disneyland’s most iconic feature since the park opened in 1955.
However, Disney’s version of “Sleeping Beauty” was still in early production when Disneyland opened, so even though the castle is named after the princess, the movie wasn’t released until January 1959.
Inside Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World, there are detailed mosaics that tell Disney’s version of “Cinderella.”
The huge mosaic murals took more than two years to complete.
In one of the murals, pay special attention to Cinderella’s stepsisters as they watch Cinderella try on the glass slipper. One has a red facial tint to convey that she is “red with rage,” and the other has a green facial tint to show she is “green with envy.”
All of the Disney castles face north-to-south, so there’s always good lighting for photos.
This helps to prevent potentially tricky-to-work-with backlighting for visitors who want to photograph the park icon from Main Street USA.
No wonder every photo of the Disney castles looks so good.
Hong Kong Disneyland’s castle is set in front of a natural mountain landscape.
The mountain is part of a nature reserve, and it makes for a beautiful background for photos of the castle.
There is a secret suite inside Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World.
The Cinderella Castle Suite was intended to be an apartment for Walt Disney and his family when they visited the Orlando theme park. However, he died before the park was completed, so the space remained mostly unused for almost 40 years.
You cannot purchase a night in the luxurious suite. The only way to stay there is to win a contest or be gifted the opportunity by the Walt Disney Company.
Tokyo Disneyland’s Cinderella Castle is almost identical to the one at Walt Disney World in Florida.
There are minor differences between the castles, but one big thing is that Tokyo’s castle has a more detailed walk-through attraction that tells the story of “Cinderella,” and Walt Disney World’s only has the mosaics.
At Disneyland Paris, there’s a dragon lurking underneath the castle walls.
Shanghai Disneyland’s Enchanted Storybook Castle is the largest castle created in Disney history.
The castle doesn’t just honor one princess, it has different features that celebrate all of them. Plus the castle has multiple levels for guests to explore.
Thousands of glass crystals and twinkle lights were placed on Sleeping Beauty Castle during Disneyland’s 60th anniversary.
The year-long event was called Disneyland’s Diamond Celebration, and the decorations made the castle shimmer and shine all day and night.
Each Disney castle is lovingly referred to as the park’s “weenie.”
Each castle draws people into the park’s central hub so they can decide what to explore from there.
It took almost 18 months to build and complete Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World.
Interestingly, there were no actual bricks used in the long building process. Instead, the castle is completely made up of fiberglass and other industrial materials.
Sleeping Beauty Castle features a walk-through attraction that tells the story of the princess it’s named after.
The stained glass windows inside Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris were made by a master craftsman.
The windows were created by a master craftsman, and they took months of work to produce.
According to Radio Times, Peter Chapman worked on the windows, and he also helped restore the windows in famous landmarks like Notre Dame and Westminster Abbey.
According to “The Imagineering Story,” these windows are part of the walk-through attraction that tells the story of “Sleeping Beauty.”
So far, Hong Kong Disneyland is the only park that’s completely rebuilt its castle.
Originally, Hong Kong Disneyland’s castle was a replica of Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.
It features a few iconic events, too, including adornments of Snow White’s apple, Cinderella’s coach, and Belle’s rose.
There are over 40 coats of arms in Cinderella’s Royal Table, the restaurant inside Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World.
Each coat of arms represents people who have had significant roles in the Walt Disney Company, including Walt’s brother Roy Disney Sr.
Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disneyland has an attraction underneath it.
Tokyo Disneyland actually has two full-sized castles that guests can walk through.
The first is the park’s icon, Cinderella Castle, and the other is the Beast’s Castle from “Beauty and the Beast.”
When Walt Disney World celebrated its 25th anniversary, Cinderella Castle was turned into a giant, pink birthday cake.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the royal birthday makeover took 430 gallons of pink paint and 1,110 feet of heavy-duty inflatable icing to make the iconic castle look like a big birthday cake.
Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle has a functioning drawbridge.
The drawbridge has only been publicly lowered twice.
The first time was when Disneyland opened in 1955, and the second was when Fantasyland was rededicated in 1983.
There’s a golden peony on top of the highest spire of Enchanted Storybook Castle in Shanghai Disneyland.
The paint on Disneyland’s castle makes it look taller than it actually is.
Kim Irvine, art director at Walt Disney Imagineering explained on the Disney Parks Blog that her team used a technique called atmospheric perspective to make the castle appear taller than it actually is.
“We warmed the pink hues on the lower towers and gradually added blue to lighten the colors toward the top,” she said.
Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World isn’t dismantled during hurricanes, though it’s designed to withstand many of them.
Despite popular rumors and theories, Cinderella Castle is not dismantled during a hurricane.
But, with little preparation, Cinderella Castle is designed to stand tall during a Category 3 hurricane, according to Orlando Weekly.
Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World was modeled after various French castles.
Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris incorporated designs from storybook castles as well as real ones.
The Imagineers thought that it would be redundant to just model the castle after real ones the guests could go see around Europe.
Instead, Disneyland Paris’s castle took extra inspiration from storybook castle drawings and the animated film “Sleeping Beauty.”
That’s also why the landscaping around the castle grounds in Paris features square trees.
Shanghai Disneyland’s Enchanted Storybook Castle was built into an amphitheater.
Imagineers did this so more guests can view shows on the castle stage without being cramped together in a small space.
The theater is also a prime viewing spot for the nightly firework shows.
Each Disney castle features a special nod to Walt Disney.
According to the Walt Disney Family Museum, when Walt Disney saw the original model for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle he liked the bright-blue color of the turrets because it would blend with the sky and make the castle appear taller.
Varying shades of that same bright blue have been used on every Disney castle since as a nod to the founder.
There’s a full-service restaurant inside the castle at Shanghai Disneyland.
The Royal Banquet Hall is on the upper floors of the castle. As you make your way to the fine-dining restaurant, you’ll pass by stained glass windows and mosaic art.
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