I have ALWAYS been fascinated by the castle in Disneyland. And the one in Disney World. There is a nostalgia to them that brings joy to my heart. I mean, this is where princesses end up! They live in castles with their prince and sometimes, fairies or woodland creatures to be their friends. I don’t know anyone who isn’t taken with them. All three of my daughters wanted to live in one, along with their favorite princess, when they were little.
There are 5, well now 6 (!), real Disneyland parks in the world. They are scattered around our globe. Each with its own castle. What a thrill it would be to visit each one!
Let me introduce them, in order of appearance…..
Anaheim, California, USA (IT ALL STARTED WITH A MOUSE)
Opening in 1955, it only took 1 month to have over a million people visit. Walt was definitely on to something here. The first of many Disney parks, it cannot be duplicated by any others than the Disney Imagineers. Disney has a special magic to it, a quality that makes in 1 in a billion. This park has the first Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. It is a walk through visual adaptation of the cartoon, Sleeping Beauty, by Disney.
‘Partners’ is an iconic statue located in front of the castle. Walt and Mickey holding hands, pointing into the future. This statue has been replicated and placed in all Disney Parks, except Disney Hong Kong. I cannot verify that there is one there at the time of this writing.
2MousekeKiz’s kids in front
of the Disneyland
in front of Sleeping
Beauty’s Castle in
a few years back.
Orlando, Florida, USA
Disney did it again! This time with Cinderella’s Castle. Complete with pointy spires and a moat! Unfortunately, Walt himself never got to see this masterpiece. He passed away about 5 years before this Disney Park opened.
This castle is a REAL optical illusion. The windows up top are smaller to make the spires seem taller. And the building leading up to it on Main Street help this effect also. The 2nd and 3rd stories of those Main Street buildings get smaller too. Once again, those Imagineers know what they are doing.
This Disney park opened in 1983 and has the Cinderella Castle. This park is a point of pride for The Disney Company as it was the first Non-USA Disney park success. The Japanese Imagineers have included many subtle nuances of Japanese cutlure, which make it unique and amazing in its own right.
This castle is pretty much a duplicate of Walt Disney World’s Cinderella Castle. They basically reused the plans from Florida to make this work. It is located in the hub of the park too. Although in the past couple of years, they have changed its color theme to differentiate it from Orlando’s Cinderella Castle.
This park was known as Euro Disney when it opened in 1992. It is now Paris Disneyland. The castle here is Sleeping Beauty’s, but it is known as ‘Le Chateau de la Belle aux Bois Dormant.’ To me, it looks more like Cinderella’s Castle as it is taller and has more turrets. Sleeping Beauty’s Castle seems more square to me, more angular. But that is only my opinion, I think I am just used to the one in California. Guess that means I NEED to go to Paris and experience this castle for myself.
It is beautiful in landscape and architecture. This castle is said to have an audio-animatronic dragon inside. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to verify that!
Hong Kong, China
This park was opened in 2005, on an island, and has a Sleeping Beauty Castle. This is the smallest of all Disney parks, it only hold 34,000 people. This Main Street USA is most like the Disneyland one in style and color. And over 5 million people visit each year on average. Another NON-USA success for Disney.
This castle is pretty much a duplicate of the Sleeping Beauty Castle in California. There are subtle differences though. The tops of the castle are a darker blue and the castle itself seems more mid-evil in style that it’s Anaheim counterpart.
Brand new on the scene, this park opened June of 2016. This brand new park brings us Disney’s tallest castle yet: The Enchanted Storybook Castle. All I can say is WOW!
There is an underground boat ride inside this castle. Such fun! This castle was built specifically for all Disney Princesses with rides and walk-thru paths of their movies. Something else that is different about this park is that it does not have the ‘Partners’ statue, it has the ‘Storytellers’ statue like in Disney’s California Adventure Park.
There isn’t a castle at this park, but Disney Hawaii is famous just the same. Located on the island of Oahu, this resort opened in 2011. This park doesn’t have rides, that I can figure out. But it is a wonderful place to relax, soak up some rays, and play in the beautiful crystal blue water. There are characters walking around and tons of activities for the kids.
Wherever you choose to Disney, make it a great experience. Each park has Disney Cast members to help you and serve you. And each park has amazing restaurants and food. Not to mention parades, shows, and character meetings. Really, you just can’t go wrong going Disney!