Things get even more magical once you step inside Cinderella Castle. 
 
It is one of Walt Disney World’s most iconic structures. It is the first thing you see upon entrance to Magic Kingdom and one of the last things that sends you off after a magical day. It is Cinderella Castle and it is one of the most impressive structures in all of Walt Disney World. Let’s take a closer look at how it got to be so famous.

Cinderella Castle was completed in 1971, after approximately 18 months of construction. It stands at 189 feet tall and is more than 100 feet taller than Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland. However, thanks to an optical trick called forced perspective, the castle appears to be much larger than it actually is. Its proportions get smaller the higher up the structure. The top spire of the castle is actually half of the size you think it is. This method, which has been used in other Disney attractions, recently Beast Castle gives the illusion of distance and height.

The design of the castle was inspired by Bavaria’s Neuschwanstein Castle. In the middle ages many castles were built for protection for inhabitants and as a fortress against enemies. Castles were not necessarily the glamorous structures we think of today. However, the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany was constructed by “Mad” King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who commissioned Neuschwanstein on a nearby ridge with a spectacular landscape surrounding it. His intention for the castle was to hold theatrical performances. It was not intended for protection of any kind. The castle is stunning and was the first inspiration for Cinderella Castle, but not the only one. Cinderella Castle engineers managed to incorporate the most romantic elements of Euro-castles into one elaborate fairytale castle. The base of the castle resembles a medieval fortress and the upper levels resemble a gothic architecture. In fact, looking at the castle from the bottom upwards, it looks like it evolves from a fortress to a palace. Cinderella Castle drew inspirations from several different castles including the Notre Dame in Paris, Alcazar in Spain, Fontainebleau, Chambord and Chenonceau in France. 

Things get even more magical once you step inside Cinderella Castle. One of the most notable elements of its interior is the gorgeous Glass Slipper, a featured piece in the Cinderella Castle Suite. Crafted by Steuben Glass, this custom-made slipper, which was formed entirely by hand by skilled glass artisans, was created exclusively for Walt Disney World for guests staying in the Cinderella Castle Suite to marvel at.

Unfortunately, a stay at the Castle Suite cannot be purchased; it is used for promotional purposes and special invitations only, but there are a few experiences guests are welcomed to attend inside Cinderella Castle, which are Cinderella’s Royal Table and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Cinderella’s Royal Table is a Character Experience for breakfast, lunch or dinner, where you’ll get to dine like royalty and meet Cinderella! The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique welcomes kids to get the royal treatment with a magical makeover. Choose a Disney Princess or Knight, and kids will get the outfit, makeup, and hairstyling of their choice, a perfect way to start the day.

For a chance to get a better glimpse at this iconic structure and learn more about it look for discounted Walt Disney World tickets right here on Best of Orlando. 

Orlando, FL 08/22/14

By: Jena Pugh