Channeling Cinderella at Disney World
Off all Disney royalty, Cinderella holds a special place in the hearts of fans. Soon after the original "Cinderella" animated film was released in February 1950, it became the biggest critical and commercial hit for Walt Disney Productions since "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" in 1937. Importantly, it turned around the studio's fortunes after a string of money-losing films.
With a brand new live-action "Cinderella" film directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Cate Blanchett and Lily James now in cinemas, here's where to tap into the Cinderella spirit at Disney World.
Get a Private Audience
Don't have a FastPass? Try to arrive at the Magic Kingdom at the rope drop (opening time) or, better yet, an hour early during a morning Extra Magic Hour at the Magic Kingdom.
Meet Cinderella at a Character Meal
You can meet Cinderella at a number of character meals:
Cinderella's Royal Table
This meal has a magical setting inside Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom, complete with soaring ceilings, regal pageantry, and some of the most popular Disney princesses.
Cinderella's Happily Ever After Dinner
This buffet-style dinner at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort offers a variety of kid-pleasing things to eat as well as the chance to meet the enchanted royal couple as well as Lady Tremaine and Cinderella's nasty stepsisters, Anastasia and Drizella.
Princess Storybook Dining
Cinderella is frequently (but not always) among the princesses who appear at this event in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot. In a medieval castle setting, you'll get the chance to meet a variety of Disney princesses and friends while you enjoy an all-you-can-eat meal.
Trace the Cinderella Story
One of the loveliest places in the Magic Kingdom is the breezeway inside Cinderella Castle, which is decorated with five incredible mosaics that tell the story of “Cinderella.” Each mosaic is a masterpiece containing hundreds of thousands of pieces of glass fused together with silver and 14-carat gold. If you look closely, you can see that one of Cinderella’s stepsisters is tinted red (as in “red with rage”) and the other's face has a green tint (as in “green with envy”) as they watch Cinderella try on the glass slipper.
Get a Princess Makeover
At Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, a fairy godmother-in-training can transform the little princess in your life with a wave of her magic wand. Girls ages 3-12 can select their hairstyle, make-up, nail color and a Disney princess costume, if they wish, in this beauty salon. (Not to be outdone, little princes can be transformed into gallant knights.)
There are two locations at Disney World—one inside Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom and another in the World of Disney store at Disney Springs. Reservations can be made by calling 407-WDW-STYLE (407-939-7895).
Stay in a Royal Guest Room
Want a hotel that delivers the royal treatment? Book one of the Royal Guest Rooms at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort. Fit for a prince or princess, the regally themed rooms feature details including touches of gold and crystals, special fiber-optics headboards that create a magical “fireworks” display, and special mementos left behind by Disney princesses.
See Cinderella's Carriage
This is the golden carriage used in the "Cinderella" film, parked on Streets of America and ready for a photo opp. Decked out in gold leaf and measuring 10 feet tall and 17 feet in length, the carriage weighs nearly two tons—although it looks light as a pumpkin.
Here's the image on Instagram. [April 2015]