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Little-known reason Disney castles across the world are a different colour

Chloe Rowland

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Little-known reason Disney castles across the world are a different colour

Featured Image Credit: Vlad Ghiea / LAR Cityscapes / Alamy Stock Photo

The famous Disney castles are the crown jewels of the company’s six parks across the world, but have you noticed they’re actually all different colours?

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I know what you're thinking - 'they're all just pink and blue, right?'. Well, there are actually differences in the colour palettes chosen for Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty's respective humble abodes, and the reason might not be what you think.

It's safe to say the iconic structures - sweeping through the US, Europe and Asia - are one of the most recognisable parts of the Disney resorts, and whether it's their size, hidden easter eggs or their very deliberate placement within the park, there are subtle elements added to each of them that make them unique in their own right.

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It's a subtle nod to Walt Disney himself. Credit: MARKA / Alamy Stock Photo
It's a subtle nod to Walt Disney himself. Credit: MARKA / Alamy Stock Photo

When it comes to the paint job, the choice all has to do with climate. Yep, really.

Back in the day, after first clapping eyes on the original plan for Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle, Walt Disney was drawn to the bright blue shade of the turrets because it would blend perfectly with the sky and make the castle appear taller.

The technique is something known as atmospheric perspective and has been applied to other castles across the world, which means they all have varying shades of blue to match the weather conditions at the resort.

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For instance, in Paris, the climate is typically colder and the sky can appear cooler-toned, while across the pond in Disney's Orlando park, the sky tends to be a lot brighter, meaning the blue used is less muted and pops more.

Credit: Disneyland Paris
Credit: Disneyland Paris

The use of gold tones also seemingly differs, with castles based in a warmer climate really utilising the metallic colour scheme to ensure the light bounces off and appears to pop more. And of course, even the variations of pink differ depending on the contrast the team are after.

Speaking of the company's castle in Disneyland California, Kim Irvine, art director at Walt Disney Imagineering explained: "We warmed the pink hues on the lower towers and gradually added blue to lighten the colours toward the top.

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"We focused the golden accents and pixie dust around the entrance to the castle."

What's more, when it comes to snapping the best Instagram picture, the folks on the Imagineering team have us covered - having placed every castle facing north to south, meaning the sun never rises or sets behind it, therefore creating the perfect backlighting for pictures.

It doesn't end there, though.

Each castle has its own hidden easter eggs or quirks which make it unique from the rest. So while I've got you, here's a full list of what sets each of the iconic structures apart.

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How many have you spotted?

Cinderella Castle: Walt Disney World Florida

Credit: TYLA
Credit: TYLA

Consisting of a whopping 27 towers, Disney World Florida's resident castle boasts a moat as well as a new sparkly paint job with a gold overlay designed to make it pop even more in sunny Florida.

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Sleeping Beauty's Castle: Disneyland California

Credit: Disneyland Parks
Credit: Disneyland Parks

The nostalgia-packed Disney castle is the OG of all its magical counterparts, having been completed all the way back in 1955. The structure takes inspiration from Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, with one of its little quirks being a walk-through attraction.


Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant: Disneyland Paris

Credit: Maurice Savage / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Maurice Savage / Alamy Stock Photo

When you think of France you might think of amazing pastries, the Mona Lisa and, well, snails. So in true Parisian style, the team behind Europe's only Disney castle actually added little snails to the two golden towers. If you look closely, you can spot them.

You might also notice the oddly-shaped trees on either side. This was a deliberate move to look more story-like and set the building apart from the typically castle-rich Europe.


Castle of Magical Dreams: Hong Kong Disneyland Resort

Credit:  REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Having been replaced back in 2020, Hong Kong's castle has been dubbed as one of the most creative of them all, with each turret or spire offering a nod to 13 different princess stories.

Meanwhile, at the castle's front gates, there's a reference to Hong Kong itself with the Bauhinia flower pattern.


Enchanted Storybook Castle: Shanghai Disney Resort

Credit: Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Sipa US / Alamy Stock Photo

The largest of all the official Disney castles, the team behind its creation wove in elements of Chinese stylings such as golden peonies, as well as drawing inspiration from Renaissance architecture.


Cinderella Castle: Tokyo Disneyland

Credit:  Parinya Suwanitch / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Parinya Suwanitch / Alamy Stock Photo

Instead of the restaurant you'd expect to find inside this castle, Tokyo's version actually contains the one-of-a-kind walk-through attraction called Cinderella’s Fairy Tale Hall, which chronicles the story of the 1950s classic and even lets you see her glass slipper.

Topics: Disney, Travel

Chloe Rowland
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