Over the last few days I’ve been watching numerous Disney films with Marianna and her mother. As I’m sure most of you know, that at the beginning of pretty much every Disney film you see the image of Cinderella Castle, the Disney Logo, and it just struck me, that as a castle, it really doesn’t work.
Castles were built for a number of purposes, such as displays of wealth or as an architectural legacy, and for these purposes the Disney castle does hit the mark. Architecturally it borrows heavily from inspirations such as Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria and The Alcázar of Segovia which both exhibit a flamboyant gothic style that the Disney Castle is known for, but both have what the Disney castle lacks. Natural protection.
The main purpose of castles is protection and this is one thing that the Disney castle is sorely lacking. Whilst protected by a moat and 10 inch thick reinforced wall that encircles the castle, the approach is flat and over 200 miles from Florida’s famed swamp land, the everglades. The moat is crossed by a concrete bridge rather than a drawbridge so does not lend to protection, however it was designed to withstand the tumultuous Florida hurricane season. Its construction and placement lend little in the way of protection from advancing armies.
In its favour the round smooth design of the towers (27 in total) would lead some protection from cannonballs, more likely to glance off a rounded wall than a square, this became the architectural norm following the advent of the cannon for just such an eventuality. As well as this rounded towers are also more resistant to undermining, due to the way in which they are constructed.
Based on the design and relative accessibility however the Disney Castle could probably be taken over by a dozen men with climbing spikes, or a dozen kids with day passes, either way.