Looking into the archives during the production of our book, Elements of Magic: The Interactive Guidebook for Disney’s Magic Kingdom, we uncovered lots of vintage shots from the parks. Some of them made it into the book, while others didn’t quite fit the overall tone of the book.


However, we did want to share some of them here on the site for all to enjoy, so today’s Throwback Thursday is the Cinderella Castle Cake. If you are not old enough to remember, let this description from Wikipedia inform you:

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort on October 1, 1996, Imagineers transformed the front of Cinderella Castle into an 18-story “birthday cake.” Complete with red and pink “icing,” giant candy canes and 26 glowing candles, the castle served as the centerpiece for the 15-month long celebration. Designed by Walt Disney Entertainment Florida and later constructed by the Imagineers, this was no small undertaking. It took more than 400 US gallons (1,500 L) of pink paint to cover the castle, which was decorated with multicolored “sprinkles,” 26 candles, ranging in height from 20–40 feet (6.1-12.2 m) tall, 16 two-foot (61 cm) long candy stars, 16 five-foot (1.5 m) candy bears, 12 five-foot (1.5 m) gumdrops, four six-foot (1.8 m) stacks of Life Savers, 30 three-foot (91 cm) lollipops, and 50 two-foot (61 cm) gumballs. Additionally, more than 1000 feet (305 m) of pink and blue inflatable “icing” was needed to finish it off. On January 31, 1998, the castle was transformed back to its original state.


This transformation was an all-or-nothing response from  most people; they either loved it or hated it. With such detailing and palette of colors, it certainly made the walk down Main Street U.S.A. much more colorful. I thought it was interesting, but was not a fan and thought it was certainly overdone for the year+ it covered the beloved original.


We will continue to share more of these vintage images from over the years as we uncover them. In the meantime, enjoy this look back on Throwback Thursday.