It’s time for the first To Tell the Truth of 2014! Yay! This is a great time to jump on the bandwagon – if you have no clue what this is, here’s how it works. I will ask you a question, and then I will tell you the answer. But, there is a catch. I will mix in three other answers, and it’s your job to guess in the comments section which one is true. Are you ready? No? Okay I’ll wait. Alright, NOW are you ready? Let’s go!
Just to refresh your memories since it has been a while, the last To Tell the Truth questions topic was Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion®. “In the ballroom scene, there is a spider deliberately placed in Disneyland, and because they wanted the mansions to be nearly identical, they put a spider in the same location in the Walt Disney World attraction. Why was this particular ballroom spider placed in Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion® in the first place?” The correct answer was… *drum roll please….* Story Number Four! A gun was shot through the glass, so the Imagineers placed a spider there to avoid the gaping hole. When I was in Disneyland in November, I kept my eyes open for the spider and found it! It’s at eye level, but it looks like it belongs there. It’s kind of cool how Disney even makes accidents look like they had intentions! Now, onto a new topic!
This week I wanted to take a look into the one place that every Disney fan wants to go: the Cinderella Castle Suite. It was renovated in 2007 for “The Year of a Million Dreams” campaign Disney was doing, and a few lucky guests have gotten to stay for a night inside this place of luxury. When Imagineers were first discussing putting something inside the castle, it was going to be an apartment for Walt Disney. Unfortunately, Walt did not live long enough to see the gates to Disney World open, so the apartment was never put to use. My question is: What were the rooms in Cinderella Castle used for before they became the Cinderella Castle Suite, but after it was supposed to be Walt’s Apartment?
Can you imagine working inside Cinderella Castle? Well, for some very lucky telephone operators, that’s exactly what they did. That’s right; telephone operators could call Cinderella Castle their office! How awesome is that? I’m sure it made one of the most repetitive yet challenging positions in the company become one of the coolest and most wanted jobs just because of where you reported for work! Location, location, location!
Walt Disney’s relatives loved to visit the Disney properties often. When they visited Walt Disney World’s sister park, Disneyland, Walt’s apartment on the second floor of the fire house was opened for them and they were able to enjoy the park the way Walt once did. In Walt Disney World, however, the space in Cinderella Castle, originally meant for the apartment, was opened for them to use. Inside, there wasn’t a lot of decoration and nothing was elaborate, but the family came for the view of Main Street U.S.A, not for the décor.
With their initial plans waylaid, designers struggled with how to make use of such ideal space. Many ideas were thrown around but ultimately it was decided that the available space within Cinderella Castle would be used to house park security. With a unique vantage point to many regions within Magic Kingdom® Park and a centralized location, there couldn’t be a better place to have their office. Not only was this space used to accommodate officers of the Magic Kingdom, but the more senior security staff from around Walt Disney World found this to be ideal for their office space. Can you imagine that view when you go to work every day?
Although Imagineers couldn’t imagine anyone using space in Cinderella Castle as a home away from home, they also didn’t want such a remarkable spot to be wasted. The solution? Imagineers converted what was to have been Walt’s apartment into a conference room. This solved a few issues. First, no one could imagine that the space be “occupied” on a daily basis. It seemed like if Mr. Disney himself couldn’t be there, then no one else should have unlimited access to it. Second, a meeting spot for the Board of Directors (or other important gatherings) hadn’t been designated yet. Taking both of these things into consideration, it seemed natural that this space would be used for discussion of Walt Disney’s parks and ideas – to serve as an inspiration to carry on his dreams. An added benefit, what investor could possibly say no when looking out over Main Street, USA?
So, there are your four options. Which one of these is the truth? What was the purpose of the “Cinderella Castle Suite” before it became a place we all aspire to stay? Tune into my next To Tell the Truth installment to discover which story is correct.
See ya REAL soon!
Quote of the Week: “All my life has been a series of doors in my face, but then suddenly I bump into you” ~ Anna, Frozen
Makena is a 15 year old high school student who spends much of her free time researching Disney. She enjoys sharing Disney facts and even plans Walt Disney World vacations (including searches for secrets and Hidden Mickeys) for friends and family. You can follow Makena on twitter @Makattack98 or on Facebook (Makena Wolcott). Makena began blogging for WDW Radio in December 2011.