History of Cinderella Castle Makeovers at Magic Kingdom

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Disney just announced some exciting news – Cinderella Castle will get a magical makeover in celebration for the 70th anniversary of the movie! These changes will completely upgrade the castle, and further separate it from the design of its sister castle in Tokyo Disneyland.

Royal Makeover of Cinderella Castle

Disney’s press release says the following:

“Cinderella first transformed into a princess 70 years ago this week when the animated classic was released—and ever since, her courage and kindness have been inspiring guests and cast members alike. We are excited to share that her story has inspired a bold, shimmering and royal makeover of her namesake castle at the heart of Walt Disney World Resort.”

Cinderella Castle Makeover
Courtesy of Disney

Work will begin on the enhancements in the next few weeks (February 2020) and continue through the summer. Showings of Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire and Happily Ever After will not be affected by the work!

Birthday Cake Castle

This isn’t the first makeover to come to Magic Kingdom. October 1, 1996, marked Magic Kingdom’s 25th Anniversary. Disney commemorated this important event by transforming Cinderella’s Castle into a 185-foot pink birthday cake, candles included!

Magic Kingdom Castle renovations 2020

Stitch’s Great Escape Castle

On November 16, 2004  visitors to the Magic Kingdom were greeted by a huge blowup sculpture of the mischievous Stitch. The loveable Stitch was on the loose to mark the official opening of Stitch’s Great Escape. The biggest surprise came when visitors strolled down Main Street and noticed something wasn’t quite right. It seems that Stitch was up to his usual tricks and toilet papered Cinderella’s Castle during the night. Upon closer inspection, it was discovered that “Stitch is King” was spray painted on one of the turrets.

Stitch Castle makeover magic kingdom

Happiest Celebration Castle

In 2005, Magic Kingdom celebrated the 50th anniversary of Disneyland with another castle renovation, this one more subtle than its previous two.  The castle commemorated the Happiest Celebration on Earth in honor of Disneyland’s 50th anniversary and was formally unveiled on May 5, 2005. The castle’s exterior was adorned with polished gold trim and accents, swags, banners and tapestries. Golden statues of Disney animated characters were also added to the exterior, including Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, and Wendy circling the tallest spire. Other statues included Kaa and King Louie from The Jungle Book, Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa from The Lion King, Sebastian and Flounder from The Little Mermaid, the Cheshire Cat and White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, and Victor, Hugo and Laverne from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Just above the front archway sat an enormous “stained-glass” mirror modeled after the magic mirror in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The mirror changed images every 40 seconds to feature each Disney castle and the date its park opened: Disneyland, 1955; the Magic Kingdom, 1971; Tokyo Disneyland, 1983; Disneyland Resort Paris, 1992; and Hong Kong Disneyland, 2005. The decorations were removed in late September 2006.

Magic Kingdom Gold Castle renovation 2020

Now that you’ve seen the new castle, are you excited for this change? Or do you think Cinderella Castle is sacred and shouldn’t be changed? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. Anna says:

    I like it! It’s cheerful!

  2. Taryn says:

    I have never seen the Stitch Makeover! That is too funny! Although I think I’d be upset if my castle pictures from my trip all looked like that! Haha!

  3. Carrie Hurst says:

    I personally love when the castle gets a brief makeover I am super excited for the rose/gold/darker blue colors this summer!

  4. Samara says:

    The Happiest Celebration castle is really pretty! Though I think it’s a little funny WDW was cashing in on Disneyland’s celebration!

  5. MICHELE C. says:

    I can’t wait to see the new Castle. I think the colors are going to be beautiful in person.

  6. Erica says:

    My first time to WDW wasn’t til 2016 so this was all totally new for me! Thanks for sharing all of the Castles, I absolutely LOVE this post!

  7. Jen says:

    I had no idea about some of these. I am torn on if I would love it or hate it! We get to go often enough I may not mind.. But I don’t know if I want a TP Castle photo.

  8. Jenn says:

    I’m excited for the change! I love the happiest celebration castle! But the Stitch one was so fun!

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