Walt Disney World opened to the world on the 1st October 1971 in Orlando Florida, the grand opening of this colossal theme park resort, the biggest and most famous in the world, would unveil a giant fairy tale castle sitting at its heart, the brilliant looming castle soon becoming emblematic of the Disney company across its entire operation.
1. Disney Imagineer and artist Herbert Ryman was the chief designer of the Cinderella Castle. Ryman was also famous for the design of Disneyland California's Sleeping Beauty Castle.
2. The castle took 18 months to complete, construction was finished by July 1971. From the bottom of the moat to the tip of the spire, the castle measures 190 feet tall.
3. In terms of design the Cinderella Castle at Tokyo Disneyland is an exact copy of the castle at Disney World Florida. The castle measures 100 feet taller than the Sleeping Beauty at Disneyland California.
4. The design of the Cinderella Castle has taken inspiration from several castles around Europe; Alcazar of Segovia, Castle Neuschwanstein Bavaria, Fontainebleau Versailles, Castile and Leon Spain and Moszna Castle in Poland. However, Herbert Ryman also illustrated the Cinderella Castle in the Walt Disney Classic Cinderella and this has also inspired the design of the castle.
5. The castle features 27 towers and each tower is numbered - the tallest tower on the castle is tower number 20. The tallest towers are painted in gold.
6. The moat that surrounds the castle is filled with 3.37 mllion US gallons of water, and contrary to popular belief the drawbridge that crosses the moat cannot be raised, unlike the Sleeping Beauty Castle.
7. Architects implemented an optical trick referred to as forced perspective which makes the Cinderella Castle seem far larger to the eye than it actually is. This is a technique often implemented in Disney's construction. As the Cinderella Castle gets taller, the scale gets smaller, making the castle appear as though it is decreasing in size due to its distance, forcing the human perspective to assume the castle is larger than actuality.
8. The Cinderella Castle is the most photographed structure in the world!
9. The Cinderella Castle is situated at the entrance of Fantasyland in Disney World's Magic Kingdom park. The castle does have a royal suite, however this is reserved for exclusive guests only, however park guests are invited to dine at Cinderella's Royal Table restaurant, also inside the castle.
The Cinderella Castle is a magical sight that never fails to overwhelm its onlookers, so iconic is the castle, that a theme park holiday wouldn't be complete without a glimpse of this spectacular Disney edifice.