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Vintage Walt Disney World: Remember the Magic

Nate Rasmussen

by , Librarian, Walt Disney Archives

Sure, there were 25 candles signifying the 25th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort for all to see, but it’s not what guests remember the most.

25 Candles Signifying the 25th Anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort

This 185-foot-tall birthday cake as big as a castle (Cinderella Castle if we’re getting specific) was the centerpiece of this celebration that had guests talking for years. It was estimated the cake weighed in at 40 million pounds. That’s a lot of cake mix!

Centerpiece of the Anniversary Celebration - the 185-Foot-Tall Birthday Cake

With 55,040 tablespoons of pink paint in three different shades (who kept count? I lose count after counting out five tablespoons!), this cake was rich enough to satisfy any sweet tooth with its 50 gumballs, 30 lollipops, 4 Life Savers, 12 gum drops, 16 red candy hearts and 16 green candy stars.

During the 25th anniversary, guests knew it was Time to Remember the Magic and the transformation of Cinderella Castle is one memory no one is soon to forget.


  • My family and I were chosen as one of the families to ride in the parade the last week of the celebration. My kids had a blast and my wife framed the certificate we received for participating.

  • When was this took place in Magic Kingdom?

  • The castle cake certainly had no shortage of detractors, but I for one loved it!!

    Now on the other hand, there are the Epcot wand and the Studios hat. If you can’t say something nice…

  • AHH the Cake Castle, although I was disappointed when i first saw it, it began to grow on me!! My husband and I got to celebrate the 25th anniversary, and we said I love you to each other at disney in front of that cake castel and we are now taking our daughter for the 40th Celebration 15 years later!! Countdown begins 5 more days till Disney!

  • As a 7 year-old, the 25th Anniversary Celebration was my first trip to the Walt Disney World Resort. Looking at the magnificent castle-cake, I could never have imagined how much Cinderella Castle would become a central figure in my life. I have Walt Disney World to thank for countless priceless memories with my family — as well as the equally priceless new memories that we rush back to the parks to create whenever we can. Here’s to many many more years of families coming together to celebrate love and imagination in this place that truly is magical.

  • Any plans for the 40th next week

  • I was in Disneyworld in 1997 with my birthday.
    the castle was decorated specially for me..
    I will never forget this because it was big and so…beautiful
    compliments for the designers.
    be back in Disneyworld around october 7
    love to be there on october 1 but do not like overcrowding!

  • Was there that year. Going next week any plans for the 40th.

  • LOL, I worked at Chef Mickey’s back then and we watched the change over. “Yes, I know it is peptobismol pink, we will have to wait and see what they are doing” It was wild to watch it come together!!

  • I still think it was an awesome thing. It truly made the 25th anniversary a celebration to…well…remember the magic!!!

  • I’ve been going to Disney World my entire life and this is my absolute favorite version of the castle! I remember being there around Halloween and there were cobwebs all over the cake and the candles flickered! I remember going on Splash Mountain and being able to see the tip of the cake with its flickering candles right before going down Chick-a-Pin Hill. What a beautiful decoration! Great post!

  • I was four years old, and I remember how much I loved the cake castle.

  • I remember going here for this celebration. We were there over my 13th birthday. It was a beautiful sight to behold. I got to go on an animation tour and run amok in the parks by myself for the first time. My parents would give me some money for food and tell me see you tonight at the hotel. Was great having the freedom to hop a bus and off to see anything I wanted. I remember we went to Rainforest Cafe for my birthday meal. They brought me ice cream and sang to me. It was great. I’ve spent 2 birthdays there, my 13th and my 27th … at the same time I was celebrating my 27th, my son who was born 5 days before my birthday, was celebrating his 5th. It brought me to tears watching him running around and enjoying everything that Disney had to offer. I was only 3 years older than him my first trip there. I remember it still. Now I have a second on the way … guess where we’re vacationing someday when it’s old enough to enjoy the magic of Disney.

  • My family and I were invited by WDW to the 25th celebration!!! We were among the “Superfans”. We also were featured in the Disney Channel 25th Anniversary Inside Out program. We had a fantastic time and will never forget our experiences of the 25th Anniversary celebration!!!!!

    • Very cool.

  • When we were there that year, we were chosen to be in one of the castle shows while it was a birthday cake. It was awesome, and a memory we will never forget. The castle was cool, but I like the original better.

  • It was very cool. The castle was out of this world. I have some great photos.

  • The castle cake has a special place in my heart as it was my first visit (age32)and my daughter’s (age 5). She loved the big pink cake, I have a picture of her leaning against it and she told me when we looked at the picture later that she thought she had icing on her back!

  • I loved the way the castle looked decorated like a big pink cake. It was the perfect way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Disney World. I also love seeing the castle as a castle, jaw dropping awe, standing majestically above all of the lands. Truly amazing! Looking forward to my next trip, coming soon…:O)

    • I agree. I liked the castle decorated for the celebration, but I like it best in its iconic state.

  • I remember hearing the Remember the Magic song in the parade in the year 2000 and have looked all over on where I could purchase it or find it and have never been able to….Those that say they have it, where did you get it? The song was one of my strongest memories from our sons first WDW trip…

  • I loved being able to make a trip to WDW for the 25th anniversary! The Castle Cake was amazing to see…….only Disney! I leave for the world in three weeks and can’t wait to celebrate 40 years of magic!

  • I was at Disney World twice while the castle was decorated this way. In November 1996 with my boyfriend, who proposed while on this trip; and again in October 1997 for our honeymoon. After seeing the picture above, my daughter wants to go for the next anniversary….

  • I remember seeing the castle as part of the 25th anniversary. What is even more amazing is that WDW is celebrating it’s 40th birthday in October. I remember because I saw the park for the first time in November 1971 while at boot camp with the Navy in Orlando. At that time, Tomorrow Land was partially built with very few attractions. I wish I had kept a few E tickets for posterity. Hope to return soon.

  • My husband and I were there the first week of Oct. 1997. We were on our honeymoon! It was my second trip and his first. For better or worse, that cake will always remind me of our wonderful first trip together. I can’t believe it will be 14 years, this Oct. We have since returned twice with our children and nothing is more magical than watching them at Disney. How many people can say they have taken their children to their honeymoon destation!

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