As part of Hong Kong Disneyland’s 15th Anniversary, the newly refurbished Castle of Magical Dreams has been unveiled. 15 years ago when the park opened it was Sleeping Beauty Castle and looked nearly identical to its counterpart at Disneyland in California. Now, the castle has been refurbished and given a new look that celebrates the story of 13 princess and queen stories from Disney and Pixar. Below is an in-depth look at the castle from different perspectives. Take a look and enjoy, then check out some factoids about the Castle of Magical Dreams.
Castle of Magical Dreams
A tribute to Sleeping Beauty Castle:
- To pay tribute to the original Sleeping Beauty Castle that was unveiled on Hong Kong Disneyland’s opening day, the tower dedicated to Aurora reaches higher than any other towers that represent fellow Princesses and Queens.
- Underneath the reimagined castle lies the Sleeping Beauty Castle architecture, of which the foundation of this castle was proudly built upon.
- The Castle of Magical Dreams is now over double the height of the former Sleeping Beauty Castle
Collection of “dreams” at the top of the castle:
- As part of the castle’s magical transformation, the resort invited guests, cast members, community partners and Disney friends, including Mickey Mouse, to share their own dreams and wishes on “My Magical Dream” cards
- These cards were collected in a treasure chest and lifted to the top of the tallest tower in the castle
Infused with local culture:
- When developing the overall design of the castle, Imagineers celebrated local culture and wisdom, by infusing some basics of Chinese architecture – the concept of a harmonious balance of the elements of Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth.
- Metal–gold and metallic theming colors were used
- Earth&Wood–this is the first castle that has artificial foliage and trees that are on the castle, evoking the feeling of a living castle
- Water–the castle’s moat and water fountain maintain a good presence of water throughout the castle. Water will also be used to add new visual elements to upcoming entertainment
- Fire–there will be pyrotechnics, fire and lasers used in upcoming shows
- Just like the princesses and queens’ flower symbols, a Bauhinia flower pattern as the symbol of Hong Kong can be found featured in the castle’s main front gate
Construction and assembly:
- The Castle of Magical Dreams is comprised of 15 modules that were pre-fabricated, fully painted and assembled off-site, then craned onto the existing castle like building blocks overnight to create a seamless transformation
- The whole lifting/installment of the modules only took 3 months
- The largest module weighed about 50 tons, which is the equivalent of about 3 fire trucks
By the numbers:
- This is the first-ever reimagined castle in Disney history
- The castle is inspired by 13 stories, and 14 heroines (including Elsa and Anna from Frozen)
- From initial concept to final design took 4 years (2016 – 2020)
- The transformation involved over 100 Imagineers globally, with 60% core team members from Hong
- Over 8,000 points of light will create a luminous show in the breezeway as Flora, Fauna and Merryweather light up the room with their magic
Castle of Magical Dreams Towers
Aurora: Aurora is an elegant, yet playful dreamer who overcame a wicked curse in order to rejoin her family and her kingdom.
- The tower dedicated to her reaches higher than other castle towers that represent fellow Princesses and Queens. That’s because this tower serves as an homage to the original Sleeping Beauty castle that was unveiled here on the opening day of Hong Kong Disneyland. It is the foundation on which this castle was proudly built upon.
- Her story is further interpreted through hints of color that match her iconic dress, which magically switch between pink and blue.
- The finial atop the tower features a shimmering golden crown that alludes to Aurora’s title and responsibility as a princess.Ariel: Ariel is the spirited and curious mermaid who finds herself enchanted by all things human.
- The color of Ariel’s tower is inspired by her dress, using subtle gradations of coral and green, while thedome features scalloped details with a pearly luster and gold highlights.
- A golden seashell supported by kelp and pearls serves as this tower’s finial, alluding to Ariel’s deepconnection to the ocean and all of its creatures.
Moana: Moana is the adventurous teenager who is inspired to leave the safety and security of her island on a daring journey to save her people.
- She is represented in her tower by the iconic earth-tone colors she is associated with, including variousshades of oranges, reds and tan tones.
- A sea-blue dome adorned with a water reflection motif that symbolizes the ocean sits on top of a richlycolored tower embossed with Polynesian patterns and waves.
- The golden finial on top of the dome depicts Maui’s hooks holding the heart of Te Fiti.Mulan: Mulan is a tough, devoted daughter who will do whatever it takes to protect her family from harm.
- Architectural elements that pay tribute to Mulan’s story include an embossed cherry blossom motifwith gold accents on a rose gold dome.
- Her tower also features jade corners and architectural ornamentation in the form of crossed goldenspears, symbolizing Mulan’s heritage and fearless, warrior spirit.
- The golden finial on top of Mulan’s tower features her faithful companion – the dragon Mushu proudlyand playfully using the finial as a gong.
Pocahontas: Pocahontas is a loyal daughter who has the courage to follow her own path in life. She also has a deep connection to nature, and will do everything in her power to protect it.
- Architectural elements inspired by Pocahontas’ story include a bas relief of flowing leaf patterns on herturret’s deep reddish-copper pointed roof, and a turquoise band below that represents her iconic
- The golden finial on top of the turret features her devoted hummingbird companion, Flit, withraspberries stuck on his thin, needle-like beak.
Tiana: Tiana is a hardworking young woman who has big dreams of opening her own restaurant.
- From the color of her ballgown to her transformation into a frog, green is a prevalent color in Tiana’sstory – reflected in the tower’s shading.
- Another prominent design element found throughout her tower are water lilies, with an embossedwater lily motif adorning the gold dome on her tower.
- Water lilies not only provide pleasant resting spots for frogs; these vibrant flowers are believed tosymbolize love, peace, and new life.
- The golden finial on Tiana’s tower depicts Prince Naveen in the form of a frog, sitting atop a water lily,puckering his lips ready for a transformational kiss from Tiana.
Snow White: Snow White is a beloved princess known for her charm, kindheartedness, and being the fairest one of all.
- Yellow, red, white, and blue are the colors that stand out most in Snow White’s dress. And these colorshave subtly been interpreted in the tower dedicated to her.
- A golden dome with an embossed apple lattice pattern sits atop a pale yellow tower with light bluehighlights and banding.
- A golden finial takes the shape of a weather vane featuring her iconic apple positioned on a smallercoppery-red dome. This represents the poisoned apple given to Snow White by the Evil Queen, serving as the catalyst of Snow White’s enchanted sleep.
Merida: Merida is a skilled archer and determined princess who set out on a heroic journey to undo a beastly curse.
- Fiery copper, regal blue, and gold highlights are used to interpret Merida on this turret dedicated toher courageous story.
- Celtic designs that reference the four Brave clans adorn the turret roof, alluding to a strong familybond as well as her Scottish ancestry.
- The finial on Merida’s tower is shaped as a golden bow and arrow on a target. In her story, the bowand arrow signify Merida’s natural sense of freedom and serve as a source of personal strength.
Cinderella: Cinderella’s kindness and her unwavering positivity and determination guide her through her story.
- Blue is often associated with Cinderella because of the memorable, transformative ball gown shewears when she meets Prince Charming.
- A light blue color inspired by her gown is used for the roof shingles above the rotunda.
- The finial on the roof feature takes the form of a golden pumpkin coach, symbolizing the magnificentcarriage that brought her to Prince Charming’s ball.
Belle: Through kindness and compassion, she helps a mysterious beast discover his own inner beauty and break a terrible curse.
- The colors used to represent Belle in her tower are blue and yellow; blue for the dress she wears whilestrolling through her village and yellow for her iconic ballgown.
- The golden finial on Belle’s tower depicts the enchanted rose from Beast’s castle.
- The blue dome features a golden embossed, book pattern that symbolizes her passion for reading.
- French flourish patterns also decorate the tower, paying tribute to her heritage.Anna and Elsa: Elsa is naturally regal and composed, and has learned to embrace her magic power as well as the love of her adoring sister Anna.
- The storybook-inspired architecture of their tower includes a light blue shingled roof reminiscent of Elsa’s icy blue dress.
- The shimmering silver finial on the tower takes the form of a 3-dimensional snowflake, inspired by Elsa’s ice magic and the snow that propels her on her adventure with Anna.Rapunzel: Rapunzel is a creative and feisty tower-bound heroine. With the help of a handsome bandit and her long, golden, magical hair, Rapunzel escapes the tower and finds her way back to the loving family she was taken from.
- Her turret is painted in shades of purple and is topped with a golden roof.
- The golden finial on Rapunzel’s turret is the Sundrop flower – the glowing lily-like blossom that is the source of magic in Rapunzel’s hair.Jasmine: Princess Jasmine is the daring and generous princess who made her own choices and followed her dreams of experiencing life beyond the confines of her father’s palace.
- An Arabic fabric pattern embellishes the fuchsia walls of Jasmine’s tower.
- Her tower features a turquoise dome with a golden pattern that includes sword-like shapes.
- The golden finial that tops Jasmine’s dome depicts Abu playfully hanging onto the decorative spire as if caught in the wind.
Castle of Magical Dreams – Exhibition
Castle of Magical Dreams Facts
- The launch of the Castle of Magical Dreams kicks off the resort’s 15th Anniversary celebration, along with a new milestone of its multi-year expansion plan. It acts as a shining beacon of courage, hope and possibility for all guests.
- Castle of Magical Dreams is the first-ever reimagined castle in Disney history.
- It marks the first time in Disney history that an existing castle has undergone a transformation as grand asthis.
- Taking inspiration from 13 stories of Disney Princesses and Queens, the architectural design of the castle embraces their unique characteristics through the interpretation of color, icons, symbols, patterns and cultural features.
- The castle is comprised of uniquely designed towers, turrets, and spires dedicated to these heroines’ respective stories, in turn celebrating a sense of diversity and inclusion.
- Castle of Magical Dreams takes design cues from many different architectural styles and references from different parts of the world based on our Princesses and Queens’ origins.
- The castle is comprised of 15 modules that were pre-fabricated, fully painted and assembled off-site, then craned into the existing castle overnight seamlessly to reduce disturbance.
- Among all Disney parks, this castle is the only one set within the natural backdrop of vibrant mountains. Trees and flora flourish on and around the castle giving it a sense of unity with its natural surroundings.
- The reimagined castle will serve as an idyllic backdrop for a variety of entertainment offerings throughout the year, including all-new daytime and nighttime shows coming soon.
- To help guests better appreciate the shimmering architecture of the castle a self-guided audio tour has been launched: “Glimpse into the Magic – a tour of the Castle of Magical Dreams.”
- Guests can also take a journey behind the magic of this reimagined castle, learning how architectural and story-driven elements from each Princess and Queen came together at the exhibition called “Building a Dream: The Magic Behind a Disney Castle.”
- As part of the castle’s magical transformation, the resort invited guests, cast members, community partners and Disney friends, including Mickey Mouse, to share their own dreams and wishes on “magical dream cards” which have been lifted to the top of the tallest tower in the castle. The experience was captured in a video titled “Lifting your Dreams.”