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Grammar and the Castle

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Is there a more beautiful site?

The other day I got into a conversation with someone about a common misconception. She had no idea that Cinderella’s Castle is really Cinderella Castle. People make this mistake on the news, on websites, even Instagram Locations does not have this one right. The correct name is Cinderella Castle; if you don’t believe me check the Walt Disney World website.

From the Walt Disney World website

People automatically claim that this is a grammatical error on the part of Walt Disney World, but Cinderella Castle is not wrong. It’s all in the way that you look at it. Cinderella’s Castle implies possession, that the castle is owned by Cinderella. That’s not what is meant. Instead, it is the castle that is based on the story of Cinderella. It’s about the story, not about the princess. That makes Cinderella Castle grammatically correct.

Think of it this way. We don’t call it Walt Disney’s World. (Okay, some people might, but they will be quickly corrected.) It’s Walt Disney World, because it is based on the vision of Walt Disney. Cinderella Castle is the same way.

You don’t visit George’s Lake in New York, it’s Lake George. It’s not Big Rock Candy’s Mountain. Hoffman Estates in Illinois is not owned by the Hoffman family, so it’s not Hoffman’s Estates. I hope you see where I’m going with this.

Sleeping Beauty doesn’t get to own a castle either

If you have a hard time believing anything that I just said, think of it this way. At Disneyland you will find Sleeping Beauty Castle, not Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Walt Disney may not have lived long enough to see the Florida Project become a reality, but the same can’t be said of Disneyland. If Walt Disney wanted to call it Sleeping Beauty Castle, that’s good enough for me.

In the long run, I realize that this doesn’t matter. People are going to call it Cinderella’s Castle because that is what makes sense to them. People like me will bite our tongues because we know that it’s really Cinderella Castle. No matter what you call it, the Magic Kingdom’s icon will make you feel like a kid again every time you see it.