There has been much debate over these two castles and typically most people have a favorite. Whether you prefer the original Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland or the magnificent beauty of Cinderella’s Castle in Disney World, here are some fun facts you may not be aware of.
Sleeping Beauty’s Castle is located in Disneyland and is the oldest of all the castles in Disney theme parks. It opened when Disneyland opened on July 17th, 1955. The brilliant design of this castle is inspired by the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. Although it is only 77 feet in height, it seems much taller due to the forced perspective that was used by the Disney Imagineers. This helps to give visitors the image that the castle is much taller than it looks. The castle also features a real, working drawbridge. This drawbridge however has only been lowered 2 times since the opening of the park. Once on July 17th, 1955 on opening day, and again on May 25th, 1983 to unveil the newly remodeled Fantasyland.
The castle walk through is a hidden treasure of sorts inside Sleeping Beauty Castle. As you exit the back side of the castle go immediately left and you will find the entrance to the walk through. Walt Disney had always felt the inside interior of the castle was a waste of valuable space. So this walk through was a fun way to use that space and tell the story of Sleeping Beauty. I suggest finding this hidden gem them next time you visit Disneyland.
Cinderella’s Castle is located in Disney World which opened on October 1st, 1971. There is much debate as to whether this castle is 183 feet tall or 189 feet tall. The reason for the discrepancy is because it depends on where you measure the bottom of the castle from. If you measure it from the water level it is 183 feet. However the base of the concrete castle is located 6 feet down in the moat. So it just depends on where you see the base of the castle. Either way it is considerably larger than Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. As with Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, Cinderella’s Castle was also built using forced perspective. So even though it is more than 100 feet taller than Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, it appears to be even much larger. The Imagineers wanted to make the castle even taller but in Florida any building taller than 200 feet had to have a light beacon attached to it so that planes could avoid hitting it. Since the colored beacon would have looked out of place, they decided to keep it below that level so that it looked more natural.
Unlike Sleeping Beauty’s castle, the drawbridge on Cinderella’s Castle cannot be lowered. Inside the castle archway you will find a remarkable tile mosaic mural telling the story of Cinderella. It took 6 artists 22 months, using 300,000 pieces of glass in 500 colors to complete this dazzling work of art. The next time you walk through the castle, take some time to admire this mural.
As you can see this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many fun facts about each castle and they each have a special place in my heart. So the next time you are visiting either Castle, take the time to notice some of the unusual beauty that each one has. There are many fun facts with each as well and hopefully I’ve given you a few to enjoy on your next trip.
To Infinity and Beyond – Traci
Traci is the owner of To Infinity and Beyond Travel, an affiliate of Worldwide Travel Specialists. She has been helping people plan magical vacations to Disney Destinations for 8 years. She has been a lifelong fan of all things Disney that started when her parents took her to Disney World for the first time in 1978. Since then she has visited Disney World and Disneyland multiple times. In the fall of 2018 she and her husband moved to Florida to begin a new chapter in life as empty nesters. They decided being close to The Mouse and beaches was where they wanted to be. Part of her enjoyment now is to be able to visit with her clients while on vacation and make certain that all their vacation dreams are being met. She loves helping her clients by working with them on booking dining reservations, Genie+ and Lightning Lane reservations, special events and anything else that she can do to spread pixie dust. Her goal is for all her clients to enjoy their magical vacation instead of planning their vacation.
She is also the author/editor of The Infinity Mouse where she shares all things Disney to keep her readers informed about what is happening in and around Disney. Her goal is to bring happiness to her readers and to have everyone feel like one big ‘Ohana’.