The Walt Disney World Castle’s Shocking Paint Job


Earlier this year in February Disney announced that they were going to give the famous Magic Kingdom centerpiece, Cinderella Castle, a “royal makeover.” They included images of the concept art showing slight changes to the castle color scheme, by adding in subtle rose gold hues and deep blues. For many, this was a shock, considering Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World has always been more of a grey and light blue color scheme. Of course, with the exception of a few limited time celebration makeovers. Anyone remember the cake castle from the 25th Anniversary?!

Disney has been working on the castle makeover while the parks have been closed due to Coronavirus. And the first Disney Resort hotels have just reopened as of June 22, including Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort which overlooks the Magic Kingdom. And that has given those who are staying there, an exclusive preview of the new castle makeover. 

To be honest, when I first saw the pictures and videos of it from afar, I thought they made another cake castle. But in fact it just appears that it is indeed the same castle as before, but taken over by pinks and dark blues. Check out these photos of the new castle below!

Mixed Reactions To The New Castle Makeover

While I can’t say that I was ever in love with the castle before, I definitely didn’t hate it. And there was no thought in my mind about ever changing it either. But when I first saw the new castle pictures, I was initially disappointed. And those feelings were echoed by a lot of the commenters on the photo as well. 

Although, some commenters really liked it. As I looked at more and more pictures, I felt like I might be able to grow to love it. And who knows, it might look really good in person, as the caption in the Instagram post above suggests. But I think I will always miss the old castle. The one that I grew up with and have photographed for years and years. I think change will always bring about mixed reactions. 

Though, it doesn’t help that the paint job in reality is very different from the concept art provided back in February with the original announcement. Here is a comparison photo of the two side by side: 

A comparison of the Walt Disney World castle and its concept art.
The mostly-finished product on the left, and the concept art on the right.

Is Disney Homogenizing Their Castle Designs?

After I realized that the new paint job was NOT a new version of the cake castle, my next thought was: “this looks like Disneyland.” Disneyland also went through their own castle makeover last year in early 2019. While Disneyland’s castle has always had a pink hue, the new makeover in 2019 deepend the pinks and blues overall. 

A comparison of the castles at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
Walt Disney World’s new castle on the left, Disneyland’s new castle on the right.

While opinions are still coming in, it seems that the castle makeover in Disneyland went over much better than the Cinderella Castle makeover has. I think that is because it wasn’t as big of a change. But there is no denying that the color scheme at Disneyland, is now also the main color scheme at Walt Disney World as well.  

In fact, it seems that Disney might be trying to homogenize their castles in some way. Because the castle in Disneyland Paris, and the new Hong Kong Castle, also have a very similar color scheme as well (though it is still under construction). I’m not sure what benefit homogenizing each theme park castle would have. Other than creating a more cohesive image of the Disney brand when you see a picture of a Disney park castle. But no matter the decision behind the changes, I’m sure we can all agree on their similarities. 

A comparison of the international Disney park castles.
Hong Kong Disneyland’s castle on the left, Shanghai Disneyland’s castle in the middle, and Disneyland Paris’ castle on the right.

So if Disney does want to make their castles all have the same cohesive look, with each park having its own special touch, which park is next? Really, as you can see from the international castle comparison above, there really is only one park left to get the castle overhaul: Tokyo Disney. Though, Tokyo Disney is not actually owned by the Disney brand. Rather, it is owned by the Oriental Land Company in Japan. So Disney might not get to have a say in that park.

Allison Strunk

Allison is a Disney travel agent and down right obsessed Disney fan. Allison has been helping clients and strangers on the internet plan amazing Disney vacations for over five years. She has sailed on Disney Cruise Line, is a current Disneyland Annual Passholder, though she still considers Walt Disney World her "home park" and visits there often. Allison loves to talk all things Disney and help others plan trips of their own!

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