Both castles occupy a prominent position in the visible distance of Main Street. As suggested in an earlier post, this may serve as a subliminal suggestion that the land of dreams and imagination is always ahead of us, yet is best viewed in the days of our idyllic youth.
The Kingdom Beyond:
Disneyland’s castle is that of Sleeping Beauty, suggesting that the kingdom beyond the gates is under the reign of Princes Aurora.
On the contrary, Cinderella Castle serves as the centerpiece of The Magic Kingdom. Again, this might suggest that the land beyond is hers. However, notice that the castle is not “Cinderella’s Castle” but “Cinderella Castle”, possibly suggesting that it is modeled after hers, but not hers. Yet, the addition of Beast’s Castle and Ariel’s Castle just beyond the kingdom walls may indeed clarify that this is indeed Cinderella’s kingdom.
One of the most notable differences in design is the size of each castle. Sleeping Beauty Castle stands 75 feet tall. This is less than half the height of Cinderella Castle which stretches 189 feet into the sky above.
The pink and blue tones reflect off the moat that surrounds Sleeping Beauty Castle. These soft and subtle tones portray a gentle, youthful feel of Aurora’s kingdom.
In contrast, Cinderella’s Castle is donned in stately gray, topped with regal blues and finished with real 14 karat gold. Much more austere, these colors coupled with the sheer size project an image of strength and majesty.
Sleeping Beauty Castle features an operational drawbridge, which welcomes you to a land of fantasy. This drawbridge has only operated twice – once before the opening and once during a refurbishment. However, once over the bridge, you can enter the castle to the left and walk through the inside hallways. While inside, you can view the story of the castle’s resident – Sleeping Beauty, before exiting to the other side of the castle.
Cinderella Castle offers much more room, and because of that, offers a different experience. Instead of walking through its resident’s story, you can catch a brief overview of the tale by viewing an impressive mosaic mural in the main passageway. In addition, you can meet Cinderella just prior to dining with her at Cinderella’s Royal Table.
Lastly, as revealed a few short years ago, Cinderella Castle features the Cinderella Castle Suite. This room was intended to be an apartment for Walt when he visited the Magic Kingdom, similar to the residence above the Fire Station in Disneyland. Due to his death in 1966, it was left unfunished. Yet, in 2005 Disney completed this suite by making it a Royal Bedchamber. Though 1 night’s stay was initially awarded to guests as a part of Disney’s Year of a Million Dreams, a night can still be won by random guests at Downtown Disney or in the WDW parks.