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Tuesday
Sep102013

WDW Construction: Cinderella Castle

By late 1970 the partially-built Cinderella Casltle was the tallest structure on the Magic Kingdom construction site. By February, 1971 its spires were nearing completion. A scroll-shaped sign above the Castle entrance reminded everyone: "REMEMBER, OPENING OCT. 1971".

How many bricks are in Cinderella Castle??? ZERO. Harharharharhar. Anyway. No more "fun" facts. But really, what a beautiful sight this must have been. How great would it have been to walk around and see everything come to life??

 

Related posts:

WDW Construction: Magic Kingdom
WDW Construction: Liberty Square
WDW Construction: Contemporary Resort
Walt Disney World in 1971 [Part 1]
Walt Disney World in 1971 [Part 2]
Magic Kingdom's Space Mountain Construction
EPCOT Construction from the Air

 

Reader Comments (10)

WOW. I've never seen any of these particular photos before. Wonderful!

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBAMBOO

Great photo's. Especially like the photo of the finial being held onto by two workmen strapped into seats, all attached to a cable that is being picked by the crane. Even today, Disney legal and OSHA are cringing at the site.

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJustin

Great construction pics, thanks for sharing! I especially love the one with the workmen shouldering a section of decorative railing that should weigh a ton.

September 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMr. Mouse Monthly

I never fail to be completely amazed by that awesome Disney forced perspective! Love it.

September 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBill Thompson

Slightly off topic, but on the forced perspective path. Of all the points where the Imagineers have used forced perspective, the one that puts me over the edge is awe is in the Japan pavilion. To see it, wander from the front half of the pavilion and thru the gate leading in to the cultural exhibit building. Off to your left is a tower. For me, I have found this view up the tower, with the surrounding set pieces in the foreground to be awe inspiring.

-Justin

September 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJustin

Fantastic photos! It's so great to be able to see the "birth" of the castle.

September 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

Do they ever have to take down any of the spiries or towers for repairs or anything. I never remember seeing any missing. Or do you think they repair from the inside.

September 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

Hi. Does anyone know ... was the castle stage always there? I don't think it was. And I don't see it on these construction pics. When was it put up? I've searched the internet for an answer but can't seem to find any posting that has talked about it.

I mention this because something is always amiss for me as I approach the castle. Like you know when you're walking along somewhere in Disney World and everything is flowing coherently but then something sticks out that shouldn't be there that nudges you out of that coherency and flow? Sometimes you know what it is and sometimes it's hard to pinpoint.

Anyway, I always felt that "something amiss" feeling when approaching the castle and then I realized, I think it's the stage! To me it somehow takes away from the castle approach and sight lines.

I could be wrong and maybe it's just me or my imagination. Does anyone have info on the castle stage? Was it planned to be there originally or was it tacked on later. Thank you!

September 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBillNYC

The stage as it exists today was built for Disneyland's 50th, as every Disney park celebrated in some way. This was when the "other" Disney parks from around the World shared (drop in) attractions with WDW: Light Motors Action from WDS Paris, Soarin' from DCA and the Cinderellabration from Tokyo. The Tokyo show originated most, if not all of the design concept for this stage.

Now prior to 2005, there was a smaller and less complex stage in the castle fore court. I am not certain as to the overall history of this previous stage, such as when did a stage first appear or if there have been more stage designs than the two, etc.. If you look at the Olszewski miniature of Cinderella Castle, you will see he modeled it with the prior stage.

Hope this helps.

-Justin

September 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJustin

Thanks Justin ! At least I know now for sure the stage wasn't always there, at least the larger one.

The fist time I visited WDW was in 1982 . Of course I can't visually remember if the smaller or some other stage was there or not. But reflecting back on my many subsequent visits in the 1990s until now, I can sense that it wasn't always there. And I think that's why I feel the stage now takes away so much of the experience of walking up to the castle.

The current stage taking away from the castle experience could just be my childhood memory bias coloring my own subjective opinion. But I'd be curious if others feel the same way or maybe it has been an elephant in the room all this time, in that case it would move more towards an objective kind of thing. Like the Sorcerer's Hat at the Studios, although not as drastic.

I love WDW so I am not trying to be negative it is just something that has crossed my mind for years and this blog post nudged me to finally resolve it. Thanks again for getting me closer to an answer than I wasn't able to find anywhere!

September 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBillNYC

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