“Cinderella Castle” Finally Reopens to Guests, Visitors After Months-Long Closure

in Disneyland Resort, Featured, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

A vibrant scene of Cinderella Castle at sunset, with a stunning sky of pink, purple, and orange hues. Visitors are walking around the castle, which is adorned with blue roofs and golden accents. Bright flowers and decorative medieval banners enhance the foreground as the park reopens to delighted crowds.

Credit: Becky Burkett

After a more than 24-month-long closure, “Cinderella Castle” has finally reopened to eager guests and other visitors.

Related: Disney Park Building Its Second Princess Castle, Set to Open Later in 2024

A vibrant scene of Cinderella Castle at sunset, with a stunning sky of pink, purple, and orange hues. Visitors are walking around the castle, which is adorned with blue roofs and golden accents. Bright flowers and decorative medieval banners enhance the foreground as the park reopens to delighted crowds.
Credit: Becky Burkett

The Lure of the Disney Castle

Each of Disney’s theme park resorts around the world features an iconic princess castle, and the lure of each castle is undeniable. While there’s not a castle at each Disney Park, each of the resorts features a dazzling princess castle as part of its presentation to the millions of excited guests who visit each and every year.

Both Disney World and Disneyland Resort feature a beautiful, iconic castle among their iconic structures, as do the rest of Disney’s magical theme park resorts across the globe. There are Disney princess castles at Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland at Tokyo Disney Resort, Hong Kong Disneyland, and Shanghai Disney Resort. Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa in Oahu, Hawai’i, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort in Florida, and Disney’s Hilton Head Resort in South Carolina do not have castles on the premises, as none of these locations is a theme park resort.

A scenic view of a resort with a large swimming pool, surrounded by lounge chairs and palm trees. A multi-level water slide spiral structure stands adjacent to the pool. In the background, a large building with green-roofed towers and windows, reminiscent of Cinderella Castle, is visible.
Disney’s Vero Beach Resort/Credit: Disney

Cinderella Castle: Disney World’s Iconic Backdrop

Cinderella Castle rests easy in her familiar spot at the end of Main Street, U.S.A., inside Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort in Central Florida. Further, she’s the central hub for the theme park, centrally located among the pathways to Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland.

Not only does she serve as the iconic landmark that has symbolized Disney World for more than 50 years, but she has also found her way into the scrapbooks and vacation memories photo albums of millions of guests since Disney World first opened in 1971. Over the years, Cinderella Castle has become one of the most photographed structures in the world, serving as the iconic and magical backdrop for millions of guests’ Disney vacation photos

Related: Cinderella Castle is a Lovely Little Liar

A magnificent castle with towering spires stands at the heart of a lush landscape, surrounded by green trees. The recently reopened Cinderella Castle greets visitors with a vibrant, full-arched rainbow stretching across a bright blue sky with scattered clouds, adding a magical touch to the scene.
Credit: Inside the Magic

The Inspiration For Cinderella Castle

Disney World’s Cinderella Castle is the culmination of many forms of inspiration. Germany’s Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the real-life castles said to be among the structures that inspired the design and construction of Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle.

Related: A Night at Cinderella Castle Is Up For Grabs, But You Might Want to Pass

Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany, covered in snow. The picturesque castle, often compared to Cinderella Castle, sits majestically on a rugged hillside surrounded by snowy trees and a winter landscape, showcasing its tall towers, pointed spires, and intricate architectural details.
Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria/Credit: Neuschwanstein Castle

Built in the 1800s at the request of King Ludwig II, the structure of Neuschwanstein Castle combines various architectural styles, including Gothic, Romanesque, and Byzantine. The combination was incorporated into the castle’s design in an attempt to reflect the vision of art and royalty held by the king.

The castle is also said to have served as part of the inspiration behind Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Resort in Southern California.

Related: Horror Unfolds at “Cinderella Castle” as Man Kills One Tourist, Injures Another

A picture of Sleeping Beauty Castle with Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse's Partners statue in the foreground at Disneyland Park in Disneyland Resort
Credit: Ed Aguila/Inside the Magic

Another castle, located in Scotland, is said to have inspired Walt Disney when he began to imagine the design of a new princess castle at his soon-to-be-constructed Florida theme park resort.

Construction of the elegant castle known as Craigievar in Aberdeenshire began in 1576. Described as “spellbindingly beautiful,” Craigievar is nestled on a picturesque hillside and is one of the most beloved castles–and the best preserved–in all of Scotland. Its Scottish Baronial style is still evident, though the castle is nearly 450 years old.

It is widely believed that after the original Imagineer and incomparable visionary, Walt Disney, saw photos of Craigievar in Aberdeenshire, he based the designs of his fairy tale castles–at least in part–on the look of Craigievar.

A black-and-white image of a person walking away from the castle with Gothic architectural style, featuring arched doorways, a stone façade, and decorative elements. The ground is slightly wet, and benches are visible on either side of the entrance as visitors marvel at its reopened grandeur.
Credit: Disney

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Until the 1960s, Craigievar was a family home that featured a blend of “cozy interiors and rare antiquities within [its] ancient walls.”

Closure of the Castle That Inspired the Design of Cinderella Castle

Recently, however, the castle was closed to the public to allow artisans to initiate and complete the Pink Again initiative, aimed at reviving the castle’s so-called “Craigievar Pink” color. Work orders also called for the implementation of enhanced elements to protect the fabric of the castle, as well as its exquisite interiors.

A picturesque pink-hued castle, reminiscent of Cinderella Castle, stands amidst a lush green landscape under a clear blue sky. The castle features turrets, conical roofs, and a flag flying atop. Recently reopened to guests, tall trees surround the structure while sunlight filters through the foliage casting dappled shadows.
Craigievar in Aberdeenshire/Credit: Inside the Magic

More than 3,400 gallons of limewash were applied to the castle’s walls, restoring the seven-story structure’s original renowned pink color and breathing new life into its appearance. Limewash is used on ancient structures to prevent condensation.

Related: Fairytale & Nightmare In One: 500 Disney Castles Dot the Landscape In This Country

The extensive conservation work was executed as a means of protecting the castle from the effects of years of climate change. Subtle changes were also reportedly made to the detailing of the castle, as well as to its slate roof, in an effort to keep rain and snow away from the structure.

The Original Pink Castle Reopens

To the delight of locals and tourists, Craigievar Castle reopened on Friday, May 31, though it did so with a limited number of ticketed tours available for visitors to purchase. Walt Disney fans who want to see the beauty of one of the castles that inspired the design of Cinderella Castle can purchase tickets for castle tours by visiting Craigievar’s website.

Close-up of an intricately designed, weathered wooden door with large decorative brass studs, a rustic latch, and an ornate handle. The handle has initials "JHD" engraved on the plate. The door exhibits a vintage and historic aesthetic, reminiscent of the magical entrances at Cinderella Castle.
Credit: Craigievar Castle

A limited number of tickets are available for purchase for guests who want to tour the 17th-century castle and take in the splendor of her newly renovated exterior. Tickets range from approximately $1.30 per child or “Young Scot” to approximately $20.50 per adult.

in Disneyland Resort, Featured, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

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