“Cinderella” was probably the start of my mouse addiction. I don’t remember much of my early childhood, but one thing I do remember was an affinity for Gus the mouse from the Disney classic.
I paraded down the streets three years in a row soliciting candy in pink footie pajamas, mouse ears, a pantyhose tail, and black eyeliner whiskers. That easy-to-please Halloween costume garnered much candy corn for this mouse.
When I was Gus, I used to wonder whether or not that lovable, rotund rodent moved into Cinderella’s castle when she put on the glass slipper and slid into the happily-ever-after. Just as Cinderella transformed, I’ve graduated from whiskers to a tiara, met my prince charming, and I think it’s about time I lived in that luxury: Cinderella’s Castle.
Here on the Movoto Real Estate Blog, we love to make the impossible possible. With that in mind, I set out to figure out how much Cinderella’s castle would cost. After long hours—in which I did not turn into a pumpkin—I estimated the castle would be worth $76,811,710.80.
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Hop aboard the nearest pumpkin carriage and follow me to see how I figured it out.
How Did I Do It? (Magic, of Course)
As with previous novelty real estate posts, I used a special blend of Movoto magic to figure out the cost. This meant I needed to know three basic things:
- The location of Cinderella’s castle
- The size of Cinderella’s castle
- The cost of similar castles
To find out these three things, I fired up my TV—all in the name of research, of course. I’ll start with the location, the most difficult portion of this Disney puzzle.
Sweet Nightingale, Where Is My Castle?
To figure out the location of Cinderella’s Castle, I relied on the numerous “Cinderella” fans out there on the Internet. These die-hard fans have put forward a number of theories, the first of which posits that Cinderella’s Castle is located at the center of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. The second theory holds the “real” palace is Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany; appropriately nicknamed Cinderella’s Castle.
But I knew—I just knew—neither of these options were correct.
Cindy’s animated castle is taller and skinnier than its Magic Kingdom counterpart, and has five distinct turrets. As for the Neuchwanstein Castle, the land surrounding it doesn’t mesh with scenery that can be seen in the movie. Cinderella’s homeland is flat and has blue skies, which is completely different from the mountainous climes of Bavaria.
This left me with option three: find a new theory.
According to Wikipedia, no single castle was used as a model for Cinderella’s Castle. Instead, there were many real and fictitious castles that served as inspiration. Like the little rodent lover I am, I ferreted out pictures of all the castles and narrowed the results to our original inspiration, Neuchwanstein, and two other contenders, Pierrefonds and Chateau de Chambord.
With my list narrowed, I once again returned to the movie, firing up my web browser in hopes of finding some way to eliminate some options. Fan speculation was that Disney wanted to evoke a late 17th Century castle in France, the time period during which the original Cinderella story was written. This allowed me to toss Neuchwanstein; right look, wrong location.
At this point, I needed to choose between the two French castles. It wasn’t easy. Pierrefonds, located northeast of Paris, has a similar shape, but the structure’s turrets are too squat. Essentially, it’s like Cindy’s castle on steroids. Additionally, the landscape was too forested. As for Chateau de Chambord in the Loire Valley, the structure was wider than it was tall, but the blue skies and flat land it sits on made it a great contender.
In the end, however, I needed to make a choice. For my money, the structure that best resembles Cinderella’s castle is Chateau de Chambord in Loire Valley, Chambord, France.
With that difficult task out of the way, I turned to the next daunting task: calculating the size of Cinderella’s Castle. If only there were a ton of mice to help me out!
How Many Rooms Is That?
Who would have thought it would be difficult to calculate the size of an animated castle? What made it challenging was that there were no scenes from the movie showing an overview of the castle. I saw glimpses from the front a few times, but, other than that, nada.
To calculate the size, I needed to get crafty. My initial thought was to take the average size of the three castles I mentioned earlier and use this number. There must not be a tape measure long enough because I was only able to find the size of two of the castles, Neuschwanstein (65,000 square feet) and Chateau de Chambord (179,645 square feet). While Chambord’s location is spot on, I know Cindy’s palace is not as large.
My second thought was to use the size of the Cinderella Castle in Fantasyland. But again, I was unable to locate this castle’s dimensions, other than finding out it stands 189 feet tall. Besides, this castle is much smaller than the one featured in the movie based on what I could see in the film.
My third, slightly more desperate, thought was to find an image of Cinderella’s Castle from the film and then use some Movoto magic to create a scale. Unfortunately, it was one of those times when even this well worn-method failed—there just aren’t that many establishing shots in the movie. Strange, right?
In the end, I made an assumption. I eyeballed the structure and decided that Cinderella’s Castle would be larger than the Neuschwanstein, but smaller than Chateau de Chambord. This made the castle somewhere between 65,000 square feet and 179,645 square feet. Yes, that’s a lot of wiggle room. More than 114,000 square feet of wiggle room, in fact. A lot of mice can fill up that wiggle room. Still, I wanted to be as accurate as possible, so I made a second assumption. I decided that Cinderella’s Castle would be 75 percent the size of Chateau de Chambord. This means that Cindy lives in 134,734 square feet of bliss.
How Do We Find a Price: Castle Comps in Loire Valley
Armed with the location and size, I turned to the final piece of the puzzle: the price for homes in Lorie Valley. Surprisingly, there are no grandiose palaces listed for sale online, but there are some large chateaus. I looked at three pieces of property and the average price per square foot in Loire Valley is $570.
Happily Ever After
So how did I figure out how much it would cost myself and my prince charming to move into Cindy’s Castle? I took my square footage (134,734) and multiplied by the price per square foot ($570) and—bibbidi-bobbidi-boo!—I get the final price: $76,798,380. Wow, that’s a lot of mouse costumes! Plus, I think there’d be just enough room to let Gus move in with my prince charming and I. Now that would be a fairytale ending.