When the Cinderella Castle Looked Different


Cinderella Castle1
August 2020:  It will be all trimmed in gold with a new paint job.

With the Cinderella Castle getting an updated golden look this summer ahead of the 50th anniversary celebration next year, we thought we would take a look back at the different looks the Castle has had throughout the years, not all of them popular with guests.

February 2020: Current look.

The Pink Castle

Cinderella Castle
The most famous – and most unpopular – change to the Cinderella Castle:  Pink!

The most dramatic change was for the 15 month-long celebration of WDW’s 25th Anniversary (October 1996 – January 1998).

At the Castle, October 1996
At the pink Cinderella Castle with my mom, October 1996

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of WDW on October 1, 1996, Disney transformed the front of Cinderella Castle into an 18-story “birthday cake.” Complete with red and pink “icing,” giant candy canes and 26 glowing candles, the castle served as the centerpiece for the celebration. This was no small undertaking.

Aladdin7 GenieIt took more than 400 US gallons of pink paint to cover the castle, which was then decorated with multicolored “sprinkles,” 26 candles, ranging in height from 20–40 feet tall, 16 two-foot long candy stars, 16 five-foot candy bears, 12 five-foot gumdrops, four six-foot stacks of Life Savers, 30 three-foot lollipops, and 50 two-foot gumballs. Additionally, more than 1000 feet of pink and blue inflatable “icing” was needed to finish it off.


pink castle

It was the most beautiful shade of pink.
pink castle
January 2020:  You can even buy a t-shirt of the pink castle!
pink castle
So pretty in the morning sunlight!


But, it’s been changed other times too:

Happiest Celebration on Earth

Happiest Celebration look in 2005
Happiest Celebration on Earth look in 2005

We were there in 2005 for the castle’s redecoration commemorating the Happiest Celebration on Earth in honor of Disneyland’s 50th anniversary.

The castle’s exterior was adorned with polished gold trim and accents, swags, banners and tapestries. Golden statues of Disney characters were also added to the exterior, including Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, and Wendy circling the tallest spire.

Stitch is King

Stitich is King!
Stitch is King!  Awful!

The least appreciated Castle transformation – which only lasted 1 day (November 16, 2004) – was when the Cinderella Castle was modified to appear as though it was strewn with toilet paper and marred by graffiti.  😦

Stitch hiding out in the Castle’s turret.

“Stitch is King” was posted on a turret as faux graffiti to mark the grand opening of ‘Stitch’s Great Escape!’ ride in Tomorrowland that day. The material was removed after the park closed that evening.

Disney got a lot of complaints over that decor!  Wildly unappreciated and unpopular!!!

The Castle Cranes

Castel repairs, January 2014
Castle repair happen every January.

Every January, the gorgeous Cinderella Castle Dream Lights come down and Disney maintenance starts an in-depth sprucing up of the Castle’s exterior.

All the Dream Lights are removed by the end of January.

They repair any roof leaks, re-seal the exterior, clean all the Castle windows (a big job!), and touch up any Castle paint which got scratched from the Dream Lights.

On Main Street USA, February 2014.  Note the crane moving things in the background.
On Main Street USA in January.  Note the big Disney crane removing the Dream Lights in the background.

For most of January when you walk down Main Street USA, you’ll see the large cranes moving maintenance people and supplies back and forth.

It photobombs everyone’s Main Street photos!  😦

Spring/Summer 2020 Update

This year, Disney decided not to tarp the Cinderella Castle as it undergoes it golden transformation.

March 5, 2020:  The repainting of the Castle begins.
cinderella castle2
You can see the difference between the older lighter blue on the turrets and the new bold Royal Blue color.
May 2020: All construction work has stopped with the closing of the Magic Kingdom, but the cranes are still there waiting.
castle reopening
The Magic Kingdom is reopening on July 11th!!!
Cinderella Castle1
New look coming late summer 2020: We can’t wait to see it!



We’ve written two books about our time working – and playing – as Disney Cast Members at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Both are available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale and Adventures in the Animal Kingdom.

Adventure Book Cover
Adventures in the Animal Kingdom
book Two Girls
Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

If you’d like to follow our daily Disney blog, here’s the link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/

Have a magical day!

Two Disney Sisters


Throwback Thursday, Then & Now

May 1994





One reply to “When the Cinderella Castle Looked Different

  1. My first time at Walt Disney World I saw the Birthday Cake version of the castle. While I wasn’t a huge fan of it, I figured it was certainly an experience that wouldn’t be repeated.


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