When The Disney Castle was first revealed, I knew I had to have it :) It is certainly an impressive set due to it's size and is instantly recognisable by pretty much anyone. The Disney Castle contains lots of playable features from various Disney movies, some obvious while others were not so obvious (at least to me).
This review is quite image heavy and I tried to keep the size to a minimum. There are more images on my Bricksafe page if it's not enough to satisfy you!
The box is huge. Not quite the biggest I've seen - it's just a tad smaller than the Ghostbusters Headquarters box at 58 x 48 x 17 cm and 5.9 kg. At 4059 parts, it's the third largest set released this year (which has seen a lot of large sets). Like the Ghostbusters box, this one contained another box inside to help keep the outer box rigid and stronger.
The sticker sheet is printed on shiny reflective paper. Most of the stickers are repetitions of two different rocky patterns used on the bottom castle walls. The other stickers are for the shields and one for the mirror.
There are 5 minifigs (plus 2 suit-of-arms figs without faces) of iconic Disney characters. We've seen Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy already in the Disney Collectible Minifig series, albeit with slightly different outfits, but Tinkerbell is new I think.
Mickey Mouse gets a new Tuxedo torso and tails cloth.
Minnie Mouse gets a new red polka dot outfit.
Donald Duck appears to be the same as the collectible minifig.
Daisy Duck has a new torso print.
Tinkerbell gets some wings previously used in other collectible minifigs, and a skirt cloth.
Aside from the Minifigs, there are no new part designs. There are plenty of parts appearing in new colors though.
And several new prints:
There are also plenty of parts that have appeared rarely such as Tan 1 x 2 Bricks with Masonry, the Tan 2x2 Facet bricks, and the White Unicorn Horns.
The build starts with the very robust base of the castle. It uses plenty of Technic beams to give it strength.
The ugly seemingly random colors used inside the base are covered up pretty quickly with Tan plates and a pretty mosaic tile pattern in the floor.
The front gate and entrance are built next.
The angled walls are achieved with some hinges. The bottom of the pillars don't actually connect to the floor, but sit on some tiles. If you're not careful later they can break off - at least it did for me while repeatedly moving the castle around between my building table and photography table.
The top of the ground floor is covered with tiles and single stud bricks to facilitate the easy addition/removal of the top floors later. It is a similar structure to how the half-floors of the Ghostbusters Headquarters were built.
The top of the floor contains an archery display, from the movie Brave. The target looks good, but the bow is just placed loosely in the scene which makes it fall out often during the remainder of the build.
Some decorations are added. I'm not sure if these items refer to any specific movie scenes but they look great.
Two suit-of-arms are added by the supporting pillars. Like most playable items in this set, the flower pot/clock/knights are all connected via easy to remove stud connections. Although, they are buried underneath the floor and can be hard to reach.
Next we start to build the outer walls. The inside of the first wall contains some stickered shields.
The walls may appear to be boring, and compared with what's about to come they are. But there is actually a lot of precision and attention to detail going on here.
The second wall includes a tower built into it, so needs plenty of SNOT techniques. Something that is used extremely well all over this set.
The inside of this wall contains the magic carpet and lamp from Aladdin.
The ground floor of the castle is now pretty much complete. And it is already a large and solid structure - as long as you pick it up by the base.
The balcony over the entrance is built next.
We start to use some of those nice Dark Blue 2 x 2 x 3 bricks now. As well as some of the many Unicorn Horns used throughout the build to make the pointy spires.
The tower tops for the bottom wall contain some hidden complexity and use plenty of SNOT techniques to great effect to turn square bricks into circular towers. There is, however, a LOT of repetitive building in these towers which can't be helped given the symmetry involved.
Now that the base has the tower tops attached, it looks a lot more impressive.
We are done with the base for now and it's time to build the top section of the castle.
On the first floor, we have the kitchen from The Little Mermaid, and Lumière the Candlestick and the rose from Beauty and the Beast.
Once again, we have plenty of SNOT building.
On the second floor, we have some items from Fantasia (cool Mickey hat!), and the Spinning Wheel from Sleeping Beauty.
The top of this section contains an area where the top tower will be placed for easy removal later.
We have an elaborate bed with a couple of new printed parts to make up the tail boards. I guess this is Sleeping Beauty's bed?
We have two new prints making up a small fairy tale book, and a glass container containing Cinderella's glass slipper.
More Dark Blue bricks and pointy bits.
The story book and shoe box are stored in a hidden compartment. A simple addition, but it adds a playability to the set that the kids love.
The completed section of the castle.
In this tall tower, we have small rooms for Snow White's mirror and poisoned apple. At the bottom there is a chest containing Rapunzel's hair products. The outside of the tower is covered in yet more sideways studs, and Unicorn horns. There is also two small canons that seem to shoot colorful fireworks (I don't think they're real though).
Sooo many small parts in this section. It is hard to but you can get a minifigure to look through the window if it is leaning back.
Now we can combine the three sections together.
The final result is amazing.
When faced with the completed model, it is simply spectacular. Both in it's size and complexity, but also in how LEGO have managed to capture the design of the real building in such close detail.
There are a lot of advanced building techniques used throughout the model, however it can get a bit repetitive at times. My kids helped me with the build and had no real problems with the techniques, however did get bored at times.
There are plenty of playable aspects to the model, and the Disney minifigs are an instant hit with the kids. Due to it's size, it's not easily moved around unless you detach the floors, which thankfully is made much easier with the use of single stud tiles.
NOTE: No Unicorns were harmed in the making of this set.
Disclaimer: This LEGO set was provided for review by The LEGO Group. Anything said in this post is the opinion of the author and not The LEGO Group.