Florida Guide > Disney Parks
All about Cinderella’s Castle
One of the most renowned images across the world is the picture of Cinderella’s castle. This is an image that is now completely synonymous with the World of Disney and is used extensively as part of their brand. The significance of this image descends from the creation of this impressive piece of architecture which towers across the Magic Kingdom’s landscape.
The idea for the castle emanated from Walt Disney himself who in turn took his inspiration from the famous Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany and a number of elegant French châteauxs. Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella castle took 18 months to build and was completed in the July of 1971. The castle’s height is 189 feet but it actually looks much taller due to the clever use of the use of optical perspectives. As the spires become taller the actual proportions also become smaller giving an increased sense of height. Disney have also scaled various parts of the castle and used perspective angles to enhance the illusion of height and distance.
The exterior appearance of the castle also has Disney’s ‘magic’ touch applied to it. Whilst it appears to be built out of grey stone, none were used in its construction. It is actually built from 600 tons of steel girders with 10 inch thick reinforced concrete forming the base. The brickwork itself is made from a fiber reinforced plaster supported by hidden metal studs. Clever paintwork and an embossed surface provide the stone look to the walls. The towers themselves are a mixture of light weight steel and fiberglass welded and bolted to the sub structure. Altogether here are 27 towers forming the upper part of the castle.
Within the castle a residential suite was started for Walt Disney and his family, although this was never completed as Walt died in 1966 prior to the park opening. This area was utilised by Vista United Telecommunications and also served as entertainer dressing rooms for a while. In June 2006 the suite was completely refurbished and turned into a royal bedchamber sleeping up to 6 people, used often for Disney prizewinners. There are 3 lifts (elevators) within the castle, one of which serves the lavishly designed Cinderella’s Royal table restaurant, where character breakfasts and lunches are enjoyed daily. The restaurant is decorated in a medieval style with stained glass windows that portray over 40 coats of arms. These coats of arms are actually family seals that belong to many of the individuals that played a major role in the construction of Walt Disney World.
In the evening the castle becomes the centre piece for the superb ‘Wishes’ fireworks display which is enhanced by the multi coloured castle illumination system and dramatic musical production.
Cinderella’s castle acts as the focal centre piece of the Magic Kingdom and is host to many spectacular Disney productions which are of a consistently high standard and held periodically during the day at scheduled times of the year. These are well worth taking a break from the rides and attractions for.
Author: Denise and Nigel Taylor (Villa link: click here)
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Page added on: 17 September 2007
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