Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sleeping Beauty vs. Cinderella Castle

Having been to Walt Disney World so many times, I'm very used to seeing this beautiful castle towering over the hub at the end of Main Street USA.  This is one of the sights that makes me know I'm in my happy place!  I have more photos of this castle than I can even count!  
Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World
So, when we went to Disneyland in 2010 and walked down Main Street USA for the first time, I was quite disappointed in the castle at the end.  While this is a beautiful castle, it's size is what was disappointing to me.  I was expecting a huge towering castle, like WDW has.  This castle is much smaller, or shorter, but seems to be wider!
Sleeping Beauty's Castle at Disneyland
Here are a few comparisons I've made between the two:
  • Sleeping Beauty Castle (SBC) is much more colorful and "fantasy-like" 
  • Cinderella Castle (CC) is much more elaborate and majestic than fantasy 
  • SBC has a walk through attraction telling the story of Sleeping Beauty 
  • CC has an elaborate restaurant where you can dine with the characters 
  • SBC is very quaint and pretty 
  • CC is very grand and stunning 
  • SBC is the "original" that Walt designed 
  • CC has an apartment inside that was originally to be for Walt's family. Now special guests can stay there. 
  • Both castles have a moat, but SBC's drawbridge can raise and lower, CC can't 
  • Both SBC and CC allow guests to walk through the center and enter Fantasyland 
  • CC has a beautiful mosaic of Cinderella's story in the pass through area to Fantasyland 
  • Both castles are decorated for Christmas 
  • SBC is 77 feet tall 
  • CC is 189 feet tall 
  • CC's spires are painted gold 
  • SBC's spires are tipped with real gold leaf. Rumor is that Walt left one spire without the gold leaf to symbolize the fact that he never had enough money to do all he wanted to do. 
  • CC has been transformed into a birthday cake for the 25th anniversary (1997), was once "rolled" to celebrate the opening of Stitches Great Escape (Nov. 16, 2004), and was redecorated in 2005 to celebrate Disneyland's 50th anniversary with gold trim and accents, swags, banners and tapestries. Golden statues of Disney animated characters were also added to the exterior. Above the front archway was a "stained-glass" mirror modeled after the magic mirror from Snow White. The mirror changed images every 40 seconds to feature each Disney castle and the date its park opened. (See images below) 
  • With both castles, when you see the spires, turrets and moats, you know you've left the world of today and entered into a land of fantasy
images from Wikipedia (cake), Mouseplanet (rolling) and my camera (50th celebration)
What differences or similarities have you noticed between the two castles?


  1. Christina MumpowerJanuary 24, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    Thank you for sharing all those facts!  I love both castles for different reasons.  I never heard that Walt left the gold leaf off one spire on SBC because it symbolized that he never had enough money to do all he wanted.  I had always thought it symbolized how "Disneyland will never be finished as long as there is imagination left in the world."  I can't remember where I heard that, though.  :)  I love how there is a story behind everything at DL and WDW.  Christina ~ Disney in Our Blood

  2. I can't wait to see Sleeping Beauty Castle in person.. Or the inspiration - Neuschwanstein! Thanks for the facts!

    1. I'd prefer to see Sleeping Beauty in person!

  3. I love both castles, but SBC will always hold a special place in my heart because inside is where my husband asked me to marry him.

  4. i appreciate your thoughts very much. I was just discussing the parks with my girlfriend. i recall that SBC there is a wishing well that is kind of creepy to me (i have no idea why) where you can hear her singing. I wonder if CC has something similar, I dont recall because its been 25 years since I have been.

    1. Interesting! I've never heard about the singing wishing well. At Walt Disney World, you can find Snow White's wishing well outside Cinderella Castle. I've never heard if you can hear singing or not... it would be a bit creepy! :)

  5. Wow! So many similarities! The real Cinderella castle exists in Spain! Its known as the Alcazar of Slevogia. Read about it on my blog here: http://bit.ly/2pilBpy