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Information about Cinderella CastleCinderella Castle is the fairytale castle at the center of two Disney theme parks, the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort and Tokyo Disneyland at the Tokyo Disney Resort. Both serve as worldwide recognized icons for their respective theme parks.
InspirationCinderella Castle was inspired by several French palaces, most notably Château de Pierrefonds, Château d'Ussé in France, Fontainebleau, Versailles, and the chateaux of Chenonceau, Chambord and Chaumont. Neuschwanstein Castle (32 walls) was the original inspiration for Walt Disney in his concept for the castle in the classic animated movie Cinderella
The Magic KingdomCinderella Castle was completed in Jul. 1971 (46 years ago), after about 18 months of construction, and reaches to a height of 189 feet (57.6 m) tall -- more than twice the size of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. An optical trick known as forced perspective makes the Castle appear even larger than it actually is. As it becomes taller, its proportions get smaller. For example, using this method, the top spire of the Castle is actually close to half of the size it "appears." Major elements of the Castle were scaled and angled to give the illusion of distance and height, a method frequently used in Disney theme parks around the world.
Cinderella Castle appears to be made of white and grey stone with royal blue roofs on their turrets; the tops of several towers and two of the tallest spires are made with real gold and gold leaf. Despite appearances, no bricks were used in its construction; the inner structure is constructed of six-hundred tons of steel braced frame construction, and a ten inch thick reinforced concrete wall encircles the structure to the full height of the outermost "stone" walls. All of the steel and concrete works are supported on a concrete drilled caisson foundation. In spite of the fact that this is not a genuine fortress, it is the next best thing structurally speaking. Much less fiberglass is used than is popularly supposed. Rather, most of the exterior is a thick, very hard fiber-reinforced gypsum plaster that is supported by light gauge metal studs. Most fiberglass work is reserved for the exterior walls of more ornate upper towers. The roofs are not fiberglass, either. They are shingled in the same type of plastic that computer monitor shells are made from, attached to a cone of light gauge steel sheeting over the steel sub-frame. These towers were lifted by crane, then welded and bolted permanently to the main structure. Contrary to a popular legend, the Castle cannot be taken apart in the event of a hurricane. It would take months to disassemble, it would be too dangerous to operate the 300 foot (91.4 m) crane required in windy conditions, and there would have to be a safer building to keep it in; it was simpler to design it to handle a hurricane. It can easily withstand the 110 mph (175 km/h) design wind speeds in Central Florida with a great deal of strength in reserve.
Cinderella Castle is also surrounded by a moat, which contains approximately 3.37 million gallons (12.76 megaliters) of water; however, unlike the drawbridge at Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland, Cinderella Castle can not raise its drawbridge. There are a total of 27 towers on the castle, each numbered 1-29-- tower numbers 13 and 17 were deleted before construction when it was realized that they could not really be seen from anywhere in the park, due mainly to the other Fantasyland buildings. The tower with the clock in front is 10, the tallest is 20. 23 is the other golden-roofed tower.
Originally, a suite was built for the Disney family and executives, but since Roy Disney died shortly after the park opened, it remained unfinished, and eventually was turned into an office. There are three elevators inside the castle. One is for guest use and goes between the lobby of Cinderella's Royal table, and the second floor where the restaurant is. The second is for restaurant staff use, and is located in tower 2 to the left of the drawbridge. It has landings in the Utilidors, the mezzanine level in a break room, and on the second floor in the kitchen. The third elevator is in tower 20, and services the Utilidors, the breezeway, the kitchen of Cinderella's Royal Table, and the Cinderella Castle Suite. The suite is about 30 feet below the level where the cable is attached to tower 20. Access to the cable is by ladder. Since Jan. 2007 (10 years ago) the suite has been used as a prize for the Disney Dreams Giveaway at the Walt Disney World Resort during the Year Of A Million Dreams Celebration.
Guests have an opportunity to spend a night in the castle if they win the Giveaway. Guests could be approached by a Disney cast member at any time in one of the four theme parks and informed that they have won a prize. The chance to stay in the Cinderella Castle Suite is just one of the many prizes.
Cinderella Castle was designed so that it was tall enough that it could be seen from the Seven Seas Lagoon in front of the Magic Kingdom, where many guests took ferries from the parking lot to the gates of the park. In theme park jargon, Cinderella Castle was conceived as the primary visual magnet (known in Disney parlance as a 'weenie') that draws new entering guests through Main Street, U.S.A. towards the central hub, from where all other areas can be reached.
The castle was repainted in the Fall of 2006 (11 years ago), and now is a slightly off white, brown and pinkish color, and the turrets are a much darker blue.
At nightWhen the sun sets, the castle is illuminated in 16.7 million colors, thanks to SGM Palco LED lighting fixtures placed on different Castle levels and surrounding the castle. The castle itself plays a role in the Magic Kingdom's fireworks show, Wishes: A Magical Gathering of Disney Dreams, in which it changes color in synchronization with the dramatic music of the display. The same color changing and effects occurs for the other fireworks shows: HalloWishes (in Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party), Magic, Music and Mayhem (during Disney's Pirate and Princess Party) and the Christmas fireworks show Holiday Wishes during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.
At the park's closing, the nightly 'Kiss Goodnight' is performed, in which Roy O. Disney's dedication speech for the Magic Kingdom is played all over the park alongside classic Disney music which changes with the vivid colors of the castle. When the park closes before 11pm, the show is performed again at 11pm providing entertainment for guests of Disney resort hotels bordering the Seven Seas Lagoon.
Beginning Nov. 2007 (10 years ago), for the first time, the "Castle Dream Lights", with over 200,000 LED Christmas lights, covered Cinderella Castle and was lit nightly during a new stage show in front of the castle. The castle would look like ice and was very popular among guests during the Holiday Seasons.
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