March 27, 2013 -- It's so exclusive, money can't buy it. It's so elusive, only a lucky few have ever spent the night.
The entrance, at the base of Cinderella Castle, is unassuming. Just a door that leads to an elevator that will bring you to the only overnight room in the Magic Kingdom: The Cinderella Castle Suite.
Important distinction: This is not Cinderella's Suite. It is the Cinderella Castle Suite. That's because this isn't where Cinderella lives, rather, it's where her guests stay when they come for a visit. Cinderella actually lives upstairs, my guide explained.
The elevator opens to a foyer, where on display are the last remaining glass slipper, Cinderella's coronation crown and scepter and some of the pumpkins from her pumpkin collection. "Pumpkins are very important to Cinderella," my guide pointed out. There's a mosaic of the pumpkin coach inlaid in the floor, made of 30,000 Italian tiles.
The room itself, while lovely, is probably smaller than you would imagine at about 650 square feet. There are two queen sized beds in the chamber and a pull out sofa in the adjacent parlor. The suite sleeps six people total. There's an electric fireplace, with three hidden Mickeys inside. From the parlor, guests can view the Magic Kingdom's nightly fireworks through the window for a completely different vantage point than you would have from the park. The windows in the parlor are made of stained glass and tell the story of Cinderella's journey from pauper to princess. Staying in the suite includes access to a 24-hour concierge.
The suite was originally intended to be an apartment for Walt Disney, but he died prior to the opening of Walt Disney World. It didn't have a specific purpose for many years until The Year of a Million Dreams in 2007 - 2008, when it was given away as the grand prize to a family every day.
A handful of celebrities have also spent the night: Kevin and Danielle Jonas on the occasion of their first wedding anniversary and most recently, Tom and Suri Cruise on their Walt Disney World vacation in the summer of 2012.
What makes the suite so special, my guide said, is "it's a "money can't buy experience. It's so special that money can't buy it, gold can't buy it. You can't make a reservation to stay here, you just have to win." For example, in February, a Disney Sweepstakes prize included a trip to Walt Disney World Resort and a one-night stay in the Cinderella Castle Suite.
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