Every Disney resort is anchored by a massive fairytale castle, from the original Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland in California to the Enchanted Storybook Castle at the Shanghai version of the park that opened four years ago. Each castle serves as a landmark for visitors and, perhaps even more importantly, an icon for its park. So when a Disney castle gets a brand-new look, it’s a big deal.
This summer, Cinderella Castle, the centerpiece of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Orlando, will receive a major facelift in honor of the 70th anniversary of the film that inspired it, which was released on March 4, 1950.
Jason Kirk, the guy who runs the Magic Kingdom, announced the news in a post on the Disney Parks blog. He said that the iconic castle “is about to get even more magical” with a “bold, shimmering, and royal makeover.”
Kirk included concept art in the post that reveals just what that makeover will mean for the exterior of the concrete, steel, cement, plaster, and fiberglass structure.
The light grey faux-brick walls of the lower level look to be getting a bit darker, though that might just be in comparison to the color change happening on the higher level, which is going from grey to a more inviting shade of peach. The blue roofs of the various parapets will remain blue—perhaps with a new coat of paint in an identical or similar, slightly more vibrant color.
The most notable change is the gold detailing Disney is adding all over the castle: crenellations, archways, spires, finials, and other architectural features. It’s definitely flashier, and we’d be surprised if some park purists weren’t at least a bit disappointed with the changes.
But many others will welcome these changes, as based on the concept art, the castle is going to have a noticeably fresh look that doesn’t sacrifice its status as one of the most well-known buildings across the Disney theme park portfolio.
It’s hard to imagine that Disney’s Imagineers won’t also make some changes to the interior of the building, but we’ll have to wait at least a bit longer to hear about what they might be.
Kirk wrote that the work is going to begin in the coming weeks, and that it will continue through the summer.