Hong Kong Disneyland Castle (Explained)

The Hong Kong Disneyland Castle, formerly Sleeping Beauty Castle, has been transformed into the Castle of Magical Dreams. It celebrates 13 Disney heroines and features architectural styles from different cultures.

This revamped castle is unique, blending various stories and designs, and serves as a centerpiece for shows and fireworks at Hong Kong Disneyland.

(The Ultimate Guide to Hong Kong Disneyland)

Our Thoughts on the Hong Kong Disneyland Castle

Looks like it’s out with the old and in with the new!

The NEW GLAMOROUS AND LARGE Hong Kong Disneyland castle, dubbed the Castle of Magical Dreams was launched on November 21, 2020.

As we discuss in our review of the new centerpiece, the enlarged fortress is a celebration of 13 princesses.

Disneyland Hong Kong officials believe the modifications will help it compete with Shanghai Disneyland’s Enchanted Storybook Castle as the Hong Kong Disneyland Castle added 90 feet and left the Disneyland original in Anaheim as the smallest Disney castle worldwide.

Here’s how the Disney castles stack up (Nerdy pun intended):

  • 200 feet – Shanghai Disneyland Enchanted Storybook Castle
  • 189 feet – Disney World and Magic Kingdom Cinderella Castle
  • 189 feet – Tokyo Disneyland Cinderella Castle
  • 167 feet – Hong Kong Disneyland Castle of Magical Dreams
  • 167 feet – Disneyland Paris Sleeping Beauty Castle a.k.a. Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant
  • 77 feet – Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle
Hong Kong Disneyland Castle
In this image released by Hong Kong Disneyland, the Castle of Magical Dreams soars more than twice as high as its predecessor and is stunning against the tropical backdrop.

As Sleeping Beauty Castle makes way for the new, Hong Kong Disneyland Castle of Magical Dreams, we are wondering when the Hong Kong Disneyland reopening is going to happen.

The Nerds are looking forward to once again experience the many Hong Kong Disneyland exclusive attractions including Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars, Mystic Manor, Ant-Man and Th Wasp: Nano Battle! and Iron Man Experience.

Iron Man Experience in Hong Kong Disneyland’s Tomorrowland.

The Hong Kong Disneyland Castle Debut

Since its 2005 opening, the Hong Kong Disneyland Castle has been a replica of the Disneyland original.

Hong Kong Disneyland Castle
Sleeping Beauty Castle debuted with the park opening in 2005

In 2016, Hong Kong Disneyland announced a major expansion for the resort.

And with Shanghai Disneyland launching the same year with Disney’s largest castle ever, the folks at Hong Kong Disneyland felt a bit inadequate.

Enter the Castle of Magical Dreams (The Disney Park Nerds believe they could have done a little better with the name).

13 is the Magic Number

The Castle of Magical Dreams, like Shanghai Disneyland’s Enchanted Storybook Castle, pays homage to all the Disney princesses and animated female lead characters from 13 Disney animated features including:

  • Anna and Elsa from Frozen
  • Ariel from The Little Mermaid
  • Aurora from Sleeping Beauty
  • Belle from Beauty and the Beast
  • Cinderella from – well – Cinderella, Jasmine from Aladdin
  • Merida from Brave
  • Moana from Moana
  • Mulan from Mulan
  • Pocahontas from Pocahontas
  • Rapunzel from Tangled
  • Snow White from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Tiana from The Princess and the Frog

But is Bigger Better?

Well, the Disney Park Nerds don’t know just yet. It’s a wait and see.

The background for the Hong Kong Disneyland castle has such unique topography and the original Sleeping Beauty Castle was beautifully nestled against the back-drop of green, tropical hills.

Though it appeared small and tucked in, the original castle reflected the intimacy of the park.

Surely, this is an image the Hong Kong Disneyland officials are trying to shake in order to turn this park – year after year, it ranks among the least visited of Disney theme parks along with Paris’ Walt Disney Studios park – into a true destination.

Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disneyland is grand, to be sure. But it is also overwhelming in its monstrosity.

A castle to everyone is a castle to no one and it lacks the focus, detail and intrigue of imagining a specific Disney Princess living in the castle.

It’s not so much a place that guests have pictured in their mind, it’s just a grand castle.

Hong Kong Disneyland Castle
Shanghai Disneyland’s Enchanted Storybook Castle

Contrast this to Disneyland Paris’ Sleeping Beauty Castle (or the even more magical Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant) where kids of all ages can actually “see” that Aurora could live here.

Whereas Shanghai Disneyland’s Enchanted Storybook Castle and the new Hong Kong Disneyland Castle of Magical Dreams boast intricate mosaics and are incredibly detailed, they also are sporadic and lack the nuance of a “dedicated” castle.

Disneyland Paris’ Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant

In a castle like Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant, every detail, every decoration, every coat of arms is specific to one person and one story.

Instead of trying to be everything to everybody, it focuses on being the best version of itself possible (okay, that reads a bit like a self-help book, but you catch our drift).

To top it off – errr, ehm, to bottom it out? – this focus allows for theming that is out of this world.

The dragon in the dungeon of Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant

In Paris, you can walk through the smoky dungeon and come face to face with a dragon and it all ties the entire story together.

There is an enormous stained glass gallery in the upper levels of the castle with scene after scene dedicated to Sleeping Beauty.

So while the Disney Park Nerds appreciate that grander may be necessary, bigger and more isn’t always better. Sometimes, the nuance is where its at!

Looking for an excuse to plan a trip once COVID allows? Check out our review of Hong Kong Disneyland!