THE MAGIC OF CINDERELLA’S CASTLE
Florida Guide > Magic Kingdom
Surely the most magical part of Disney has to be Cinderella’s castle? How many of us as children dreamed of castles, and princesses, princes and fairy godmothers, witches and dragons? I am sure that, like me, you cannot have failed to have been touched by the magic when you first saw Cinderella’s castle. Actually, it was a bit of a shock to me as I had always thought of it as being pink, but of course, that is the castle in Disneyland Paris, and Disneyworld’s magical castle is grey and blue, with gold spires. Set against the deep azure blue skies of Florida it is the perfect colour.
But did you know that it is supposedly the most photographed building in the world? How many of us have dozens of photos of the castle from every possible angle, and it is a firm favourite for a family portrait. I bet there is not one of us who does not have a photo of the family with the castle as a backdrop!
But what is it about the castle that stirs the senses and takes us back to a mythical age when dragons roamed and knights in shining armour rescued princesses? Well, whatever it is, Disney seems to have found the perfect formula – from sunrise when it is bathed in a golden glow, through noon when it stands proud against an azure sky, and finally to dusk when it is lit up with 16. 7 million colours. But of course it is night-time when the castle truly comes alive, bathed in a million exploding stars, as the dramatic firework display explodes around it and Tinkerbell flies across the sky.
Of course it is all an illusion – but one which we really don’t mind believing in. Said to be inspired by Neuschwanstein Castle in the Bavarian region of Germany, it stands only 185 ft tall but it appears larger because of forced perspective. The bricks and other details get smaller as the building gets taller, so it appears larger than it really is. In fact they are not really bricks at all. The inside of the castle is made of reinforced gypsum plaster, supported by a huge steel frame weighing six hundred tons. The exterior facade is fibreglass.
The castle was completed in July 1971, and took 18 months to construct. It is an amazing landmark which can be seen from almost every part of the Magic Kingdom. In fact Walt Disney did not think the castle at Disneyland was prominent enough so when the castle was built at Magic Kingdom at DisneyWorld it was elevated.
But one thing is for sure, Cinderella’s Castle will remain the prime icon of Disneyworld, Orlando, and one which will bring happiness and a touch of magic to millions in years to come.
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