By Undercover Diva
This year the theme of Disney is ‘Limited Time Magic’. Almost every week throughout 2013 there have been exciting new character meetings, new merchandise and behind the scenes experience that are offered to guests. I happened to be lucky enough to be one of 125 people who were drawn to take a tour of the Cinderella Dream Suite and Be Our Guest with two different Disney Imagineers.
While 25 people are picked per day from October 14th to October 18th, only 14 ended up showing up for my group. We were split into two groups and we meet our Imagineers to start our tours. I started off my day in Be Our Guest with Gary…… While I had just eaten dinner there a couple days before, I did learn some pretty interesting facts. I learned the music in the Ballroom is created by a 50 piece orchestra, while in the Rose Gallery, it is the exact same song styled like a music box. The statue in the Rose Gallery is meant to be a gift from Maurice to the Beast and there are many trinkets in it: like a early sexton, a barometer, a clock and a zodiac calendar. This is, of course, opposite of the magical mirror the Beast gave to Maurice so that he could visit Belle in the castle whenever he likes. In the West Wing, when you see the pedal fall from the rose, make sure you watch the picture of Adam, because it will quickly change to the Beast and back. After a quick sampling of the Grey Stuff (and yes, it is delicious), we walked back towards Cinderella’s Castle to switch guides.
Cathy Carver, the interior designer of the Cinderella Dream Suite is the one who gave us our tour. She and two other Imagineers headed the project which was surprisingly completed in 6 months. She was commissioned by the royal family to create a suite within the castle. The small space that is now the Dream Suite was once supposed to be Walt’s apartment at Disney World before he passed away. The rest of the Disney family did not want to continue pursuing this project once he was gone. Until recently, it had simply been drywall. However, in 2006 they decided to makes something magical of the space, which they truly did.
You start in the main entry way which is home to a one of a kind tapestry with a pumpkin as the main focal point. There is also a clock that will be forever frozen at 11:59, so that Cinderella’s night never ends. You step into an elevator which is designed after the inside of a royal coach and this will take you up to the main event. Just before walking into the Suite, there is a little room which is home to Cinderella’s glass slipper, her crown and scepter, and part of her pumpkin collection. There is also an amazing mosaic on the ground which has 24 karat gold and white gold pieces in it. The room is also surrounded by replicas of some of the original artwork of Cinderella. From here you enter into the main Suite.
The main suite has two queen size beds beautifully made and marked with a crest. While the crest on the top of each bed is simply a C, once for Cinderella and one for Charming, Cathy bashfully recounts everyone making fun of her because those are also her initials. In the room there is also a fire place that seems to create its own fireworks and a magic mirror which can change from a mirror, to a portrait of Cinderella and to a TV.
There are two rooms off the main room, the first is another bedroom with a one of a kind, custom made period correct…. fold out bed. This room also has two closets, a set of drawers and a fridge hiding away. This room also has it own magic mirror which will turn into a TV. The stained glass in this room tells the story of Cinderella in 6 simple images.
The second room is a bathroom which is beautifully designed. The tub is custom size to fit with glowing stars and three beautiful mosaics surrounding. Hidden within the mosaics you can find the initials WD and RD (though I was only able to find the WD). There is also a walk in shower and a ‘throne’ room fit for a king.
Now that I have you all drooling, I’m sure your next question is “How do I get a chance to stay up there?” and I regret not asking for the true answer. When the Suite first opened, Disney would select one random family a day to stay there, but that has long since stopped. The three main things I have heard when asking the burning question are:
- “YOU don’t, it’s basically impossible.”
- “You can only stay there if you are an A list celebrity or a personal friend of Bob Iger (The current CEO of the Walt Disney Company).”
- or I once had a cast member tell me “It’s $3,000 a night, and I’m totally going to save up to stay there!”
As for getting a chance to tour it, I have no idea. They may decided to do another drawing sometime down the road, but as for right now, I would say that it is luck. They may randomly select guest to walk through but I have no idea. If you find the right cast member, they may have all the answers for you, but there is a lot of incorrect information out there. Your best bet is to go to guest relations at the front of the park and be ready to hear a big fat ‘No’. I wish you luck and hope you get the same magical experience I did.