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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tip Tuesday: Seeing the castle lighting

Cinderella Castle Dreamlights
Welcome to another Tip Tuesday!

As we continue to celebrate the holidays, I wanted to share a few tips about another magical event that takes place nightly at the Cinderella Forecourt Stage in the Magic Kingdom, and that's the lighting of Cinderella Castle. 

If you're never seen the Cinderella Castle "Dreamlights" (as they're called), then you must try to see this in person.  Like the Osborne Lights at Disney Hollywood Studios, photos and/or videos just don't do it justice.  It is truly a spectacle to behold.

Now the lights don't just come one once it gets dark.  This is Disney, which means we have to have some fanfare and a little bit of magic. 

Cinderella Castle Dreamlights

Each night around dusk, Mickey, Minnie and the gang come out to enjoy the evening and notice how everything's decorated for the holidays... everything but the castle that is.  After a bit of discussion about how the castle should the decorated, the Fairy Godmother intervenes and asks Cinderella how she would like her castle decorated.  Naturally, Cinderella wants her castle to shine with ice and snow (even in Florida).

Remember what I said about magic?  Well the Fairy Godmother (with a little help from the audience) magically adds shimmering ice to decorate the castle for the holidays.

Disney's Imagineers really outdid themselves on this effort.  When we all heard the Imagineers were thinking of "plussing" up the castle for the holidays, visions of pink birthday cake danced (more like exploded) in our heads.  Instead, the Imagineers took one of the most photographed building in the world and made it even better.  In all, more than 250,000 LED lights adorn the castle.  What's really impressive is that the Imagineers wove the lights into specially dyed fishing nets, so there's no tangling and, with the dyed net, the lights are nearly invisible except when viewed close up.  From the hub, you have a hard time even seeing them.

Ok, so now that I've got you dying to see this wondrous sight... just where's the best place to see it?

You can stand anywhere around the hub and if you're really interested in the stage show, you may want to plan to stand close up.  I personally like being farther back so I can take in the entire vista.  I recommend standing along the railing in front of the Crystal Palace.  You won't have anyone in front of you and it's a great vantage point.  The railing in front of the Plaza Restaurant also is a good spot.

Be sure to find a spot about 15-30 minutes before the show starts! 

See you next week!

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