This post features a photo tour of our visits to the Cinderella Castle Suite in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, a popular spot for celebrities and what used to be an exclusive prize for promotional giveaway winners. The Suite was built in 2006 by Walt Disney Imagineering out of a location in Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World that was originally intended to be an apartment for Walt Disney. After his passing prior to the opening of Walt Disney World, such plans were aborted.
The location would take on multiple purposes over the years, finally opening as a suite completely decorated and upholstered as a ‘royal bedchamber’, which can sleep up to six people for the Year of a Million Dreams (or Years of a Million Dreams, as they ended up being since the promotion extended into 2008). During this contest, it was given away as a grand prize of sorts to one lucky family each day.
Since, the Cinderella Castle Suite has become the dream experience for some Disney fans. Along the way, this fan-desire has been spurred by Disney-forum accounts from the Suite by lucky guests who won stays in the Suite, podcast details of the Suite from travel agents, and everyone’s favorite, Samantha Brown Travel Channel special tours of the Suite.
In just a few short years, it has attained the cult-like status of exclusive Club 33 restaurant or Walt’s Apartment in Disneyland, and rightfully so, as it’s arguably more exclusive than either of those locations. The photos that follow throughout this post are some of our unique photos from our visits to the Cinderella Castle Suite.
Let’s start our photo tour of the Cinderella Castle Suite!
In recent years, there have been a few tours of the Cinderella Castle Suite offered. These Tours are conducted by a Walt Disney World Guest Relations Cast Member–the same type of Cast Member who would serve as the overnight concierge for celebrities and giveaway winners who would stay in the Suite.
To call the Castle Suite opulent would be an understatement. Lavishly adorned with the full royal treatment, its “Beauty-Per-Square-Foot” Ratio is through the roof.
We have been in the Suite twice, via tours held during the D23 Magic & Merriment Event. Unfortunately, we haven’t had the opportunity to stay overnight…yet! 😉
Staying overnight inside Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is a dream of ours, but apparently we do not have the clout of Suri or Tom Cruise, Mariah Carey, and other recent celebrity guests. Oh well, perhaps after we get our own reality TV show on which we act like buffoons we’ll be invited.
The Cinderella Castle Suite cannot be booked, it’s by invite or via winning a contest, only. There are rumors that Disney has turned down large sums of money ($40,000+ per night) to book the Suite.
$40,000 for a 1-night stay seems like an insane amount of money, but given that it could only be booked 365 times per year and also given that there are a lot of stupidly rich people in the world, it would probably fully book up well in advance at that price point or higher.
The high demand for the Suite versus the limited supply probably partly explains why Disney does not book the room.
Originally intended to be an apartment for Walt Disney and his family when they were in Florida, the space became an area for telephone operators after Walt died in 1966. The Suite is visible from the bridges to Liberty Square and Adventureland; it’s the small stained glass windows some distance above Cinderella’s Royal Table.
Cinderella’s Royal Table is one of Disney’s most popular restaurants; it’s a princess character meal that is popular because it’s actually inside Cinderella Castle, making it a popular restaurant for families. So popular that it often fully books up 180 days in advance. You can read about it and other Walt Disney World restaurants in our Disney Restaurant Reviews.
Any visit to the Suite begins by boarding its elevator activated by what else, but a Key to the World card. While quite small, the elevator’s look foreshadows what is to come, with its intricate design and beautiful details. Upon exiting the elevator, guests find themselves in a small marble-floored foyer area before entering the main quarters.
This area is a veritable treasure trove of all things Cinderella, with the highlight being the fairytale pumpkin coach in the center of the floor. From the foyer, guests head to the Suite itself.
Upon entering the Cinderella Castle Suite itself, the first area visible is the bedchambers, where two lavishly adorned queen size beds sit opposite a fireplace.
Signs bearing the words “Show Ready” adorning chairs and beds provide a gentle reminder to Cast Members and guests just how nice their surroundings are.
I imagine the screening process for MouseKeepers who will be allowed to clean the room is a little greater than normal. Understandably so, as Disney probably doesn’t want someone like me in there, so filled with exuberance that it causes them to jump on the beds.
Behind this extravagant exterior lies 21st century technology. The ornately framed, 17th-century-style portrait of Cinderella above the regal fireplace in the bedchamber magically transforms into a flat-screen HDTV.
Likewise, in the den there is a mirror that can be turned on to reveal another HDTV. This isn’t your (fairy) godmother’s suite!
Lavish it is, but large it is not. The entire space is slightly larger than a Studio room at a Disney Vacation Club resort. It may look large from the photos, but it is quite compact (hence the need to use the fisheye lens to capture the space). Fortunately, it utilizes its space quite well.
The Suite itself contains a salon, bedchamber, and bathroom all befitting of royalty. In typical Walt Disney Imagineering form, the entire Suite looks like something straight out of a fairytale, or more likely, an authentic, Medieval Castle.
Also in typical Imagineering fashion, the Suite is bursting with details. These are a mix of nods to the film, plus the amenities expected of a luxurious hotel suite (despite its seldom use, it is a functional hotel room).
Disney has made efforts to ensure that the room is plausibly authentic as a suite in Cinderella Castle despite its modern conveniences. The Cinderella Castle Suite carefully toes the line between modern and Medieval.
Each celebrity guest who stays in the Suite is given one of these glass slippers commemorating their stay (at one time, we were told that this slipper cost $18,000–there is considerable doubt that this is its actual cost/value…unless there’s some serious Disney mark-up going on!). This slipper was given to Mariah Carey, who elected not to take it.
Some of the stately details include two queen size beds draped by regal canopies, a gorgeously stitched parlor sofa, and those beautiful stained glass windows mentioned above. Unfortunately, these windows don’t allow for much of a view of the park (it’s far from one of the Best Magic Kingdom Fireworks Viewing Locations), but they’re pretty, nonetheless.
One question that often comes up when people here that celebrities use the Cinderella Castle Suite or that it goes empty many nights is, “why isn’t Disney donating it to ‘Make A Wish’?” Unfortunately, given the size of the Suite, its accessibility limitations, etc., this simply is not a feasible option. I would suspect liability issues also have something to do with it. So, blame the lawyers!
The most beautiful space, I think, is the bathroom and, more specifically, the bathtub itself.
With its walls covered in mosaics reminiscent of those lining the walls of the passageway from Main Street to Fantasyland below, and its star-covered ceiling, guests bathe in style in this royal tub.
Here’s a view from the bottom of the bathtub looking up at the ceiling, because, why not? So, now you have an answer to the pressing question “what would it be like for Gus Gus to view the tub?”
The ambient lighting in the bathtub is exceptional. Take a look as it goes from normal (above)…
…to moody green…
…to blue. I think if I had the opportunity to stay overnight in the Suite, I would spend about 75% of my time in this resplendent tub. (Not that I’ve already allocated my time in such a hypothetical scenario or anything.)
The toilet, well…let’s just say there’s good reason to call this bad boy the “throne.”
The myriad of details in the Suite are such that you could spend hours poking around in there and still not discover everything. It is quite unfortunate that Disney hasn’t utilized this Suite more, as it presently is only used, on occasion, for visiting celebrities who supposedly make charitable donations for use of the Suite.
Tours of the Suite have not been offered to the public since 2007, and often, the Suite goes weeks with nary a guest stepping foot inside. Seeing the guest quarters is such a wonderful experience that it’s a travesty that park guests do not have the opportunity to see the inner chambers of the Cinderella Castle Suite.
I know an overnight stay in the Castle Suite is in my wife’s thoughts each time she stares longingly at the Castle on our Walt Disney World trips. I guess until the Year of a Million Dreams 3.0, that stay will only be once upon a dream!
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? If you’re interested in learning more about hotels, our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page is a good place to start. For where to eat, try out our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews page. If you want to save money on tickets or determine which type you should get, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at unconventional things you should take on your trip. Once you arrive at the parks, our Walt Disney World “Ride Guides” are great for determining what to do and when to do it.
For overviews of all of these topics and so much more, the best place to start is our comprehensive Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide to make the most of your experience!
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What do you think of the Cinderella Castle Suite?Would you like to see the Cinderella Castle Suite used for charitable purposes? Do you wish you could spend a night here? Or would you rather stay at a larger Walt Disney World hotel? Share your thoughts or any questions about the Cinderella Castle Suite in the comments!