Will This Iconic Theming Finally Return to the Magic Kingdom This Year?

Cinderella Dreamlights Castle at Magic Kingdom
Credit: Matthew Cooper Photography

There is no question that one of the best views at the Walt Disney World Resort comes with seeing Cinderella Castle from the end of Main Street, U.S.A.

The most photographed structure at Walt Disney World has undergone several major updates over the years, whether it’s updating experiences inside Cinderella Castle like the addition of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or adjustments to its exterior theming.

In years past, Cinderella Castle has been repainted with different shades of blue, grey, and rose gold (pink). Turrets have been added, trees moved, and of course, the entire castle has experienced some large-scale redesigns, notably the pink birthday cake look for the 25th anniversary of Walt Disney World, an unfortunate takeover by Stitch, and a handful of additional milestone celebration looks.

Cinderella Castle in the MAgic kingdom

Credit: Disney

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The latest updates to Cinderella Castle came with a new emblem and gold decor designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort. The anniversary kicked off on October 1, 2021, and ran 18 months, only ending this spring on March 31, 2023.

Disney is currently in the process of removing the elements added to Cinderella Castle for the celebration and has already replaced the clock on the front of the castle (that was removed to make room for the 50th emblem during the anniversary event) and portions of the moat have been drained to prepare for crews to work on the site.

Some fans have speculated as to what the castle will look like going forward now that the 50th is over, and we have some thoughts to share….

Cinderella Castle Gold Concept Art from 2020

Credit: Disney

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Cinderella Castle’s rose gold makeover that was finished in 2020 seems to be here to stay. Disney’s initial announcement for the change never stated that it would be temporary, so the look of the castle going forward will include its current paint scheme without the extra 50th theming.

As for Disney100, the latest milestone to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company, only Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland has been made over. The Disney100 celebrations at Walt Disney World are focused on EPCOT; however, the entrance of the Magic Kingdom has its own Disney100 addition before Guests make their way to Main Street, U.S.A.

Cinderella Castle Dreamlights

Credit: Disney

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Arguably the best theming on Cinderella Castle to many Disney fans has been the Dreamlights, which typically adorn it during the winter holiday season. With the 50th-anniversary theming taking over much of the castle in recent years, the Cinderella Castle Dreamlights have not been seen in the Park since 2019.

In 2020, holiday projections replaced the Dreamlights, and in 2021, the 50th anniversary was in full swing with the gold decorations on Cinderella Castle making the installation of the Dreamlights impossible.

Will the Cinderella Castle Dreamlights return this year?

Disney has not yet announced holiday events for the theme parks and Resorts yet, but although our own speculation, we have no reason to believe that the Dreamlights will not return this year.

Leaving 2020 aside, as that was understandably an odd year for Walt Disney World reopening during the pandemic, the only reason we have not seen the Dreamlights return sooner was due to the 50th decorations. And with the anniversary theming coming down as you read this, we are very hopeful that we will finally see the Cinderella Castle Dreamlights return for the 2023 holiday season.

As we wait for official updates on this year’s holiday festivities in the Magic Kingdom, we will continue to monitor the latest news from Walt Disney World and share new information as we have it here on Disney Tips.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."