Walt Disney’s creations are often the source of childhood memories for a great many people. His movies and characters have literally shaped our imagination, so that heroes, villains, fairies, and beasts have taken the images of Prince Philip (The Sleeping Beauty), Cruella de Vil (101 Dalmatians), Fairy Godmother (Cinderella), Shere Khan (The Jungle Book), and a myriad of other fictional figures, all of which were brilliantly animated.
There are two places in particular that make all Disney fans’ dreams come true. They are Disney’s Magic Kingdom, a theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort, and the Tokyo Disneyland at the Tokyo Disney Resort. The attractions’ visitors have said that a day at the park is as close to being in a real fairy tale as one could get.
In the center of these theme parks stands the ever popular Cinderella Castle, a symbol of Disney’s creative genius and recognized around the world.
This construction with royal blue roofs contains another dreamlike experience for the Disney fan–the Cinderella Castle Suite. Originally, the suite was made for Disney and his family and company executives but the death of Walt Disney in 1966, which happened soon after the opening of the theme park, hindered its completion. The place was left incomplete for almost 40 years until 2006, when the Walt Disney Imagineering team decided to renovate it.
The rooms were decorated and fitted in the style of a real “royal bedchamber,” one which could accommodate up to six people. It’s now a celebrity hotspot and an exclusive grand prize for promotional contests such as the Year of a Million Dreams Celebration, which, since January 2007, gives the suite away as one of the top prizes in the Disney Dreams Giveaway at the Walt Disney World Resort. It has stirred many fans’ desires, as they hope to become the next guest to win a stay in the suite. Shortly after its opening, it gained a rather cult-like status and was highly promoted by travel agents and the Samantha Brown Travel Channel, which runs special tours of the suite.
Despite its opulent design, the suite’s master bedroom is rather small, similar in size to a large bedroom and bathroom in a regular house. When one stands on the outside, it’s possible to spot its location by the ornamented glass windows, which are in the center of the west and north parts of the castle. The suite is accompanied by a balcony with five-foot-high walls. Unlike the interior of the suite, the balcony remains inaccessible for the guests.
Regarding its construction and interior, the suite works like a real time-machine. There are four stories, including a bedchamber, a marble bathroom, and a saloon, each of them extravagantly embellished in a 17th century-inspired style.
The bedchambers include a hand-cut stone mosaic floor and the most comfortable sofa imaginable, all underneath a lavishly detailed ceiling. The ever-popular glass slipper has a place of honor in the suite’s lobby. The furnishings and the accessories are made in “the Louies” era style, referring to the period in the Cinderella story. Wood panels cover the walls while the bathroom comes complete with metal basins, a reminder of the time when maids carried water for their ladies.
But despite its ancient details, the Cinderella Castle Suite is a 21st century attraction. There are wheelchair-accessible facilities and elevator access. The bathroom invites its lucky visitors to dip in the grand tub before they relax in the bedchamber, where they will find a portrait of Cinderella and a big mirror that magically transforms into a HDTV flat screen.
Regardless if you’re a Cinderella fan or just an old soul that longs for a distant past, the Cinderella Castle Suite promises to invoke all your childhood dreams and make you feel like the Fairy Godmother had the perfect plan for you.