I am still giggling in disbelief that I got to spend the night in Cinderella’s castle.
I have no doubt that I will be telling and re-telling this story for decades to come.
A few weeks ago I was enjoying the incredible hospitality at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, staying at the gorgeous Grand Floridian, one of Walt Disney World’s most luxurious hotels, feeling pretty pampered, when everything changed and an even more amazing adventure began.
My friend and conference roommate, Andrea Decker of Saving Lifestyle, won the most amazing gift she could ever win at Walt Disney World: An overnight stay in Cinderella’s castle in the Magic Kingdom!
We had to pack our bags and be ready to roll when the clock struck 4 p.m.
At 4 p.m., our modern day coach and driver rolled up in front of the Convention Center, collected our bags and whisked us into the Magic Kingdom. This was after much squealing and picture taking, of course!
Upon arriving backstage at the Magic Kingdom (behind Main Street) we were met by our personal guide, Steve.
We traipsed to the castle,
We slipped behind a “Cast Members Only” sign
and met Kate, who would be taking care of us in the Suite.
Kate unlocked the door to the castle and we marveled at the beauty of the entry foyer.
True to Disney style, not one detail was overlooked. Kate pointed out the grandfather clock which was set to 11:59 because the magic never ends
and ushered us into the elevator upstairs. (The elevator is run by the mice, of course.)
We stepped out of the elevator onto a tile mosaic of Cinderella’s coach.
Kate pointed out Cinderella’s glass slipper, crown and scepter as well as three glass pumpkins on display.
“The fairy godmother gave those the Cinderella so she would remember her beginnings and stay humble,” Kate explained.
Then she gave each of us our very own key to the suite! Unlike the rest of the resort keys which are blue, our keys were white, say “Cinderella Castle Suite,” have the “C” crest and had each of our names printed right on them!
We all squealed once again and turned to Andrea, our contest-wining friend, to use her key to open the door.
As we walked in, we squealed again: Cinderella definitely has a beautiful suite!
It is three areas: one bedroom with two beds, one parlor with a sofa that folds out into a bed and a luxurious bathroom with a massive spa tub.
Kate pointed out a few of the details of the suite:
The C’s over each of the bed to signify Cinderella and Charming
The hidden technology which modernized the 17th century castle, including a hidden alarm clock:, a wooden writing desk with hidden outlets for our laptops
and pointed out a telescope which Captain Hook gave to Cinderella as well as some fairy tale books from Belle.
As you can see, the suite itself is amazing, but there was so much more!
As guests of Cinderella, we also had access to Steve, who guided our visit to the Magic Kingdom, acting not only as a human FastPass to get us to the front of every line, but was also an enthusiastic encyclopedia of all things Disney. He pointed out hidden Mickeys, taught us how to gain extra points on the Buzz Lightyear ride and told the stories which guided the creation of each ride we experienced. He also brought each of us to tears as he told us the story of why Walt Disney World is Walt Disney World. We asked Steve as many questions as we could think of and kept him talking until 3 am!
Having Steve as our guide was almost as magical as ‘just’ sleeping in the Castle! His enthusiasm and love was contagious! (And guess what: You can book a Walt Disney World VIP tour with Steve or another castmember on his team!!)
As castle guests we also watched the fireworks from a VIP spot on the lawn complete with Mickey ice cream, popcorn and drinks, got a tour of the secret first floor of Walt DisneyWorld, watched the parade from a different VIP spot and just felt pampered in every possible way.
After all this fun, we returned to our suite to find a white chocolate carriage filled with chocolate-covered strawberries
and a replica of Cinderella’s glass slipper for Andrea to take home.
Just before turning in for the night, though, we put on plush Cinderella robes over our PJs and headed back into the park for one last photo session in front of the castle. Of course we squealed again when we realized we were the only ones in the park.
The next morning we were treated to breakfast with the princesses at Cinderella’s Royal Table, where we had our picture taken with Cinderella. Then Snow White, Jasmine, Belle and Ariel visited our table.
When Snow White dropped by, she made us all giggle yet again.
“Oh! you must be the b-loggers!” she said. And, of course, we tried to explain the whole concept of the internet to Belle who thought that it must be something like her magic mirror.
After breakfast we spent the morning with Michael, another fantastic castmember in Guest Services. He shared just as much as Steve and was uber accommodating. We grilled him on all things Animal Kingdom as he dropped us off there for a fun day of exploration. Before that we hoped to get a picture with Rapunzel, but when we couldn’t fit it in, he said he would try to do something for us. Later in the day he brought pictures of Rapunzel to us in our hotel rooms as well as extra copies of our Cinderella pictures from earlier in the morning! How nice was that?
What an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Thanks, Walt Disney World, for sharing your extra-special magic with us! It was truly unforgettable!