Scroll to see some stunning historic Cinderella Castle photos, including construction photos and special castle treatments.
Oct. 1 and the World’s Most Magical Celebration are glimmering like a beautiful sunrise just ahead on the horizon. To help get you good and ready, Disney is taking a look back at one of the true staples of the Magic Kingdom—Cinderella Castle.
Steven Miller, Disney’s manager of External Affairs, recently unearthed a treasure trove of historic Cinderella Castle photos. The shots from Disney’s archives and Miller’s personal collection show just how this incredible structure has developed over the last five decades.
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Historic Cinderella Castle Photos Travel Back to the Beginning
As we all know, Walt Disney World opened its gates to the world on Oct. 1, 1971. Just before that grand opening, construction wrapped on Cinderella Castle.
In the photo above, you’ll see the near-finished castle surrounded by scaffolding. All said and done, Cinderella Castle took just 18 months to construct—a short time given its enduring legacy.
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Though inspired by the majestic castles of Europe, Cinderella Castle is built quite differently. There isn’t a single brick to be found in the walls of this castle—it’s all concrete, cement, fiberglass, plastic, and steel.
But even before the final not-brick was laid, guests got their first glimpse of the Cinderella Castle at The Walt Disney World Preview Center. The Preview Center featured the rendering of what the finished castle would look like from the perspective of artist Herb Ryman.
Disney also built a model of the castle ahead of its construction. The model—decked out in the signature blue, gold, and grey hues—still appears today in the lobby of the WDW Casting Center.
Want to learn more about the construction of Cinderella Castle? Check out Behind the Attraction‘s “The Castles” episode on Disney+.
A Look at Cinderella Castle Through the Ages
Taking photos of Cinderella Castle is something of a family affair for Miller. His parents snapped this photo from the comfort of the Swiss Family Treehouse in Adventureland.
When Miller paid his first visit to Walt Disney World in 1983, he snapped this photo of Cinderella Castle. This couldn’t be more 1980s if it had a hi-top fade.
In 1996—a year before Miller kicked off his Disney career—he got a chance to see Cinderella Castle done up like a birthday cake for its 25th anniversary. And doesn’t it look delicious?
Cinderella Castle is Ready for The World’s Most Magical Celebration
In subsequent years, Cinderella Castle would get makeovers to celebrate milestones and holidays. And it got yet another glow-up this Oct. 1 with an EARidsecent scheme as part of The World’s Most Magical Celebration.
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