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How Disney Creates the Dream Lights on Cinderella Castle for the Holidays

Dream Lights

It’s the holiday season again and the Castle Dream Lights on Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom are once again wowing guests with their icy beauty. But how do they make that magic happen? Earlier this month, Disney went behind-the-scenes with Creative Director Reed Jones to learn just what it takes to bring this show to life.

Of course, to get all that, we have to put up with this:

crane installing lights

Are a few weeks of a crane ruining photos for 100,000’s of guests worth the final result of the Dream Lights? What do you think?

2 thoughts on “How Disney Creates the Dream Lights on Cinderella Castle for the Holidays”

  1. One part of me says…I’m sure those guests can get a picture of the castle from a different angle so the crane is not showing.
    But are people who are there for their first time really willing to try and plan out getting to another side of the park to get the right angle for a picture of the castle without the crane showing?

    I think that many of us who visit Disney often still don’t get it. There are thousands and thousands (probably millions) of people who visit the Disney parks for their first time each year. Just pay attention to the number of “My First Disney Visit” pins seen on so many guests to the parks and you’ll realize how many people are there for their first time and this may be their only Disney experience (I know…sad to imagine it). Those are the people that are just excited to be there and are going to snap pictures of the castle as they first walk in….not wait to see if they can get a better angle somewhere else in the park so the crane is not showing.

    But…not decorating the Castle is just not an option either. It’s part of the Magic that should not go away….just could use some improvement.

    Three possible solutions I can think of to improve this:
    1. Make the walls of the castle safe for scaling to add those decorations…maybe simple invisible steps and different places to hook up safety lines are all it would take. This should totally remove the crane from being needed.
    2. Make up a hydralic system like the one used in the Fantasmic show to quickly lift up the crane for nighttime work on adding decorations to the castle overnight…but it can easily go right back down before the park opens the next morning.
    3. Paint the crane a light blue color to try and match the color of the sky so it’s not as noticeable to guests while it’s up.

    By the way…I’ve wanted to work at Walt Disney World my whole life…if you need someone to head up this project to improve on this process of decorating the castle (as well as improve on other processes around the parks), I’d be happy to step up to be that person ;)

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