There’s something undeniably magical about Disney castles, don’t you agree?
Maybe it’s the way they shoot up into the sky or perhaps it’s the elaborate designs that look like they’re straight out of a fairytale.
But really, no matter what it is about them that each person loves, they really are stunning icons!
From the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle to the brand new Castle of Magical Dreams, let’s take a look at all of the gorgeous Disney castles around the world.
How many Disney castles are there?
There are six main Disney castles around the world that every Disney fan should know about.
These castles may be spread across different continents, but they all hold the same Disney charm that makes them oh-so special.
- Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland in California
- Le Château de la Belle Au Bois Dormant at Disneyland Paris
- Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort
- Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disneyland
- Cinderella Castle at Tokyo Disneyland
- Castle of Magical Dreams at Hong Kong Disneyland
Some Disney resorts have additional buildings that are modeled after castles, such as the Beast’s castle and Prince Eric’s castle, both at Magic Kingdom.
However, they are not considered major attractions, so for this post I will stick to the main castle at each Disney resort.
Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland
The Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland in California was the first Disney castle ever built and opened with the park on July 17, 1955.
It’s also the shortest castle at only 77 feet tall – less than half the height of the other castles!
The castle draws inspiration from the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany. Walt dedicated the castle to his wife, Lillian, who loved the story of Sleeping Beauty.
In 1957, it opened up to park-goers as a walk-through attraction that included artwork that told the stories of Sleeping Beauty and Pinnochio.
It closed to guests in 2001, allegedly due to lack of popularity, but was revamped using new technology and reopened in 2008.
Le Château de la Belle Au Bois Dormant at Disneyland Paris
The Le Château de la Belle Au Bois Dormant (The Castle of the Sleeping Beauty) is the centerpiece of Disneyland Paris, located just outside of Paris, France. It is an original attraction and opened with the park on April 12, 1992.
The castle is based on the original Sleeping Beauty castle in California’s Disneyland. However, it’s more than double the height at 167 feet tall.
It also draws on inspiration from the Mont-Saint Michel monastery in Northwestern France, as well as Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, which is a book of prayers from the early 1400s.
Guests can walk through parts of the castle, where you can see gorgeous Sleeping Beauty themed stained glass windows and tapestries, as well as shop for souvenirs.
Unique to this castle is La Tanière du Dragon, a walk-through attraction beneath the castle where guests encounter an animatronic dragon that lives below.
Cinderella Castle at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
The Cinderella Castle at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is the second Disney castle built and my personal favorite.
It’s based on the castle from the classic movie, Cinderella, and stands 183 feet tall, plus there’s a moat that’s 6 feet deep.
It is an original attraction, having opened with the park on October 1, 1971, and serves as the focal point for Magic Kingdom.
Guests can walk through the center of the castle, where there are a few gorgeous Cinderella themed mosaics.
Inside, guests can dine at Cinderella’s Royal Table, which is a character dining experience hosted by Cinderella, but also features several other princesses, like Aurora, Ariel, Jasmine, and Snow White.
There’s also Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, which is a makeover salon for children ages 3-12 to get done up as a princess or prince.
Lastly, there’s a private suite at the top, the Cinderella Castle Suite, which was originally built for Walt Disney.
Today it is invitation-only and Disney has run contests in the past for a 1 night stay in this suite.
Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disneyland
The Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disneyland is the tallest Disney castle in the world at 200 feet tall. It opened with the park on June 16, 2016.
Its design draws inspiration from various Disney princesses, as well as Chinese elements. It is, after all, located in China!
Inside the castle, guests can meet various characters at Storybook Court, dine with characters at Royal Banquet Hall, or get a princess makeover at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
There is artwork throughout representing Anna, Belle, Cinderella, Elsa, Merida, Snow White, and Tiana. Snow White even has her own interactive attraction called Once Upon a Time Adventure.
In addition, there is waterfront attraction called Voyage to the Crystal Grotto that celebrates Ariel, Belle, Mulan, Rapunzel, as well as various characters from Aladdin and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
Cinderella Castle at Tokyo Disneyland
The Cinderella Castle at Tokyo Disneyland is quite similar to the one at Magic Kingdom, but has a slightly different color scheme.
Most noticeable is that the castle in Tokyo is a shade of very pale pink, almost off white, whereas the castle in Florida is a medium shade of pink.
The castle opened with Tokyo Disneyland on April 15, 1983 and stands 168 feet tall.
Visitors can enjoy a walk through the castle and take a look at artwork and other artifacts that depict classic scenes from Cinderella in an attraction called Cinderella’s Fairy Tale Hall.
Castle of Magical Dreams at Hong Kong Disneyland
The last castle on the list is the Castle of Magical Dreams at Hong Kong Disneyland. And wow, is it a stunner!
It is the newest castle, having debuted on November 21, 2020, and reaches 167 feet tall. It replaces the park’s previous castle, which was a near-replica of Sleeping Beauty Castle.
The Castle of Magical Dreams takes inspiration from 14 characters, all princesses, queens, and leaders, emphasizing how every girl is a leader in her own way.
The characters include Anna, Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Cinderella, Elsa, Jasmine, Merida, Moana, Mulan, Pocahontas, Rapunzel, Snow White, and Tiana.
It features a princess meet-and-greet hall, as well as a jewelry shop called Enchanted Treasures.
Which park has the biggest Disney castle?
The Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disneyland is the biggest Disney castle in the world.
It towers over the theme park at 200 feet tall and draws inspiration from many of the Disney Princesses.
Whose castle is shown at the beginning of Disney movies?
At the beginning of most Disney movies, the castle you see in the opening credits is based on Cinderella’s Castle, much like the one at Magic Kingdom.
Which of the Disney castles is your favorite?
Each Disney castle holds a unique charm that adds to the magic of the overall Disney experience.
From the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland California to the brand new Castle of Magical Dreams in Hong Kong Disneyland, every castle has its own story to tell.
No matter which castle (or castles!) you get to visit, make sure to take the time to admire its beauty, imagine the stories that inspired it, and create your own magical memories.
About the author
Meg Frost is the creator of The Park Pixie, where she covers Disney World, Disney+, and Disney fandom.
She holds an M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University and B.S. in Communication & American Studies from University of Miami in Florida.