DID YOU KNOW it cost $4.95 per person to enter the Magic Kingdom on October 1, 1971? I really like to play the “Did You Know” game. I learn so much about the many, many tidbits about Disney World that many don’t know about. While Walt Disney started with the Sleeping Beauty castle in Disneyland, it is the Cinderella castle at Disney World that is most popular and most iconic. DID YOU KNOW the Cinderella castle is 100 feet taller than the Sleeping Beauty castle? Both castles are beautiful, but it is the Cinderella castle that is most easily recognizable by the world that makes us all smile regardless of your age. Here are some tidbits I bet you didn’t know about the most famous castle on earth.
- The castle was built to withstand a hurricane. It took 18 months to construct this castle, which is made of steel and concrete. The parks do close for the safety of all guests and cast members, but if the park is open and you are out and about in the Magic Kingdom while a storm is brewing and the storm gets too dangerous fast, Disney cast members escort guests to the level below the park.
- There are 27 towers on the castle. All are numbered to easily identify when maintenance is required and to properly decorate each one with their designated decoration fittings. The castle received its most recent makeover in 2013-2014.
- The Disney Imagineers certainly have their work cut out for them. Not everyone can make the castle appear to be taller than it really is. Walt Disney wanted the castle very tall, but needed to keep it below 200 feet in order to avoid having a blinking red light on the top of the castle to warn planes. Well, if you can’t make it as tall as you want to, then make it appear to be taller than it really is! The upper level windows are made smaller than the lower level. This strategy confuses our eyes into believing the upper levels are much higher than they really are.
- Nothing bothers me more than to find professional articles, letters, marketing materials, etc., with spelling errors! Here’s an exception to what most think is a typo or a mistake: The clock on the castle has Roman numeral “IIII” instead of “IV”. Yes, this is intentional! The “IV” symbol was not used until after the Colonial period. The Imagineers also used the same “IIII” on the clock on the front of American Adventure in Epcot, the clock along the sidewalk on Main Street, the one at the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction and the Cinderella film. Intriguingly, the clock in the Castle suite on the stained glass has “IV”, though.
- Florida can have some nasty weather and TinkerBell is not impervious to the hazards, because he's or she’s not in Neverland anymore. Disney makes sure he or she is safe from the weather hazards before stepping up onto the ladder to climb to the cable that he or she safely flies down on. I say “he or she”, because TinkerBell has been a male at times due to the necessary weight needed for a safe journey down the cable.
- Photo Pass photographers took a major role in helping to develop the nightly projection show using the Castle as a screen in 2011. The Imagineers chose from all the photos taken that day and projected them onto the Cinderella Castle. The show has evolved over the last few years into a major and most beautiful nightly event.
- My ultimate FAVORITE thing to do is gaze up at the castle when it is adorned with its Christmas lights, which started in 2007. I, literally, fall in love with the beauty of it all. The castle has over 200,000 LED lights. As we all know, LED lights are incredibly energy efficient. So, no need to wonder how much their electric bill is. The cost of running those lights is less than some major appliances you have running in your house!
- I took quite a bit of time to really just “look” at the mosaic murals as I walked through the castle the last time I was there. The murals depict the story of Cinderella. Such beautiful work! So much time and effort was taken by the Imagineers on this project. It was designed by Dorothea Redmond, a Disney Imagineer. The Imagineer team along with the mosaic artist, Hanns-Joachim Scharff, completed all five panels in 22 months. There are over 300,000 mosaic pieces with a large array of materials and a 500-color palette. I was surprised to learn that some of the tiles contain real silver and gold!
- I have never experienced this, but I know people who have experienced the “Kiss Goodnight”. They, just so happen, to have been near the castle on their way out of the park about 30 minutes after the park officially closed. There’s a recording of Roy Disney’s dedication speech along with special effects. It ends with “When You Wish upon a Star” and then the castle goes dark. This is the “Kiss Goodnight”.