Did Disney World's Cinderella Castle Catch Fire & Burn Down? New Rumors Explained

By Gillian Blum Posted:
Disney World Cinderella castle fire

Videos featuring Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom burning to the ground surfaced online, much to many fans' horror. Luckily, the Disney World icon still remains intact.

The rumors of Cinderella Castle's demise began with a piece of satire, posted to MouseTrapNews.com on February 24.

MouseTrapNews is notorious for highly controversial Disney satire articles, using headlines such as "Man Shot for Cutting in Line Inside Disney World" or "'Disney Adult' Now Legally Recognized as an Ethnicity."

Did Cinderella Castle Burn Down at Disney World?

Cinderella Castle Burn Down at Disney World

Despite an article and videos from satire site MouseTrapNews.com indicating otherwise, Cinderella Castle at Disney World's Magic Kingdom did not catch fire and burn down.

The article featured several images of severe destruction as the castle burned down, and a completely fictionalized narrative about how "firefighters battled it ... as guests and onlookers watched the tragedy unfold."

The article goes on to pretend to theorize that the fake fire was started by Disney itself, in an attempt to "replace it with something more iconic and profitable." The article cited fake possibilities for such a replacement, like Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated from Phineas and Ferb or a Spirit Halloween.

In addition to the article, MouseTrapNews posted a TikTok video featuring the same satirical report as the initial article, backed by the music from the opening to Pixar's Up and cycling through video clips seeming to show the castle burning down, or missing entirely.

How Were There Pictures and Videos of the Burning Castle?

As revealed by the hashtags underneath the TikTok, the video clips featured in the post — which currently has 1.3 million likes — were generated by artificial intelligence.

Fans familiar with the parks may recognize certain pieces of potential source material. The Magic Kingdom castle going up in smoke but without fire does look relatively similar to the castle during and after daytime fireworks.

These shows happen several times daily at Disney World, with Mickey's Magical Friendship Fare (which ends in fireworks and smoke) being performed at Cinderella Castle roughly five times per day.

The article itself is a lot harder to recognize as fake, though. The only indication of it being satire in the first place is a note at the end, advertising the rest of the website as featuring "more very real Disney news like this totally made-up story."

The only mention of AI on the page at all is in one comment. User Jeska reminded MouseTrapNews that they were "struggling to combat AI and deep fakes" already, and that "even if [they] say it’s not real at the very end in an unassuming way," misinformation like this could be dangerous.

What makes this particularly difficult to discern, too, is the unfortunate regularity of theme park fires. Disneyland Park in California still has not re-opened its version of the nighttime spectacular "Fantasmic" after the giant dragon from the show's finale caught fire in April of 2023.

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- About The Author: Gillian Blum
Gillian Blum has been a writer at The Direct since 2022, reporting primarily from New York City. Though she covers news from across the entertainment industry, Gillian has a particular focus on Marvel and DC, including comics, movies, and television shows. She also commonly reports on Percy Jackson, Invincible, and other similar franchises.