There’s a Legal Reason Cinderella Castle Isn’t the Tallest Thing at Disney World

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Cinderella at Cinderella Castle at Disney World Resort

Credit: Disney

Many Disney Parks assume, for good reason, that Cinderella Castle is the tallest Park icon at Walt Disney World Resort.

cinderella castle 50th anniversary
Credit: Disney

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It’s arguably the most well-known of the four Park icons on property — the others are the Hollywood Tower Hotel, Spaceship Earth, and the Tree of Life — and the most undeniably magical.

However, the castle is also the oldest of the Park icons and, as such, was subject to laws that were valid in the early 1970s. Many hardcore Disney fans already know that Cinderella Castle sits at exactly 189 feet tall because, at the time it was constructed, federal aviation regulations dictated that any structure 190-feet or taller had to have a flashing light on the top as an aircraft warning.

Credit: D23

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What most people do not realize, though, is that these restrictions were changed to 200 feet by the time The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (1994) and Animal Kingdom roller coaster, Expedition Everest (1998), were built, so they are both taller than Magic Kingdom’s famous castle.

Tower of Tower and Expedition Everest both sit at 199 feet tall.

Credit: Disney

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While these are the tallest rides or Park icons at Walt Disney World currently, it is certainly possible that something taller will be erected if federal aviation laws ever change in the future. Currently, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirms that any structure 200-feet or over must have a flashing light installed.

More on Cinderella Castle

disney and pixar characters in front of 50th anniversary cinderella castle at walt disney world
Credit: Disney

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The official description of Cinderella Castle reads:

A Fairytale Come to Life
Cinderella Castle welcomes you to a magical world where dreams come true. The 189-foot landmark boasts lofty spires and ornate turrets and is the gateway to Fantasyland.

Surrounded by a tranquil moat, the grounds offer an array of picture-perfect photo ops. Explore lush lawns, gardens and Cinderella’s own wishing well.

Inside the Castle
View exquisite handcrafted glass mosaics that tell the classic story of Cinderella’s rise from orphan to princess.

Then, enjoy an elegant meal at Cinderella’s Royal Table. Be sure to reserve a table in advance for this one-of-a-kind dining experience.

Did you know Cinderella Castle isn’t the tallest non-hotel structure at Disney World?

Visit the official Disney World website to plan your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district OR the official Disneyland website to plan your trip to Disneyland Resort’s two theme parks — Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park — and the Downtown Disney District!

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