LEGO Disney Castle 71040
- Highly collectible for both LEGO and Disney fans alike
- Excellent vignette rooms throughout the castle that reference various animated films, from various time periods, by Disney
- One of the biggest and tallest LEGO sets ever produced
- Floors can be detached from each other for more detailed viewing and easier transport
- Comes with only five minifigures and only one of the five is unique to this set
- Castle wall construction can be a bit tedious and repetitive
- Overreliance on decorative stickers
- Quality control issue with a couple of minor pieces missing from the set
One of the biggest LEGO sets ever produced in terms of pieces and height, LEGO’s Disney Castle is a faithful and detailed rendition of the Cinderella castle at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Florida from the front and houses a whimsical collection of room vignettes referencing a number of popular Disney animated films (mostly 20th century).
While this set does offer some playability (really, if only because it’s huge), it appears to have been designed more with the premise of “look but don’t touch.”
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|LEGO Disney Castle 71040|
|Release Date||August 2016|
|Official MSRP (USD)||$349.99|
|Price Per Piece (MSRP)||$0.086|
|Estimated Build Time||10 to 12 hours|
The Disney Castle comes with one very large bound instruction book and includes a few introductory pages about both the actual real castle in Disneyworld and the design of the LEGO version.
There are 14 construction phases for the set; each phase comes with two to four corresponding numbered bags with pieces. Given the 4,000+ bricks, I would recommend setting aside a large flat surface (that is not too slippery) for construction and sorting of bricks. When finished, the castle is fairly transportable given its size; the different floors connect to each other a key points and can be easily separated so you can transport the castle floor by floor.
As a minor note of disappointment, my set was missing one 1×2 white brick plate and one white small 1×1 cylinder brick; neither are particularly unique and can be easily substituted (e.g., with two 1×1 white plates and a white small 1×1 cone brick), but I would have hoped for better quality control on a set of this size and expense.
While construction time can vary per phase, expect to spend no less than 35 minutes and up to 90 minutes per phase. You build the set from the ground up, starting with the foundation and working your way through the floors and walls until you finish the final (and highest) turret. Overall, I would estimate a build time of 10 to 12 hours, unless you are an experienced and well-practiced LEGO builder.
As a reward for completing a phase, you sometimes get the components for an additional minifigure. The set arrives with a total of five minifigures: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, and Tinkerbell. Mickey comes with a printed tuxedo outfit, while Minnie wears a red polka dot dress that fits over her and complementing hair bow. Donald wears his signature blue cap, and Daisy wears a pink hair bow. Tinkerbell, the only minifigure unique to this set, is the most complex of this set’s minifigures, comes with a cloth green skirt, a pair of fairy wings that attach at the neck and a light green magic wand. While this set’s price-per-piece figure isn’t too shabby at less than nine cents per piece, getting only five minifigures (and only one unique minifigure) for a set of this size and expense is rather underwhelming.
The first floor includes a number of decorative castle-themed elements, notably two complete suits of armor and a shield rack display. While the stickers do make the shields much more colorful, I cannot help but wonder why LEGO is not able to produce printed shields now, especially for a big set, when I remember having them with the various castle and pirate series sets in the 90s. Aside from the shields, the first floor features a nice blue-and-white tile inlay, an understated chandelier, red vase with flowers, and a traditional grandfather’s clock (that is fast approaching midnight).
If you look closely, you will also notice that Aladdin’s magic carpet is quietly displayed opposite the shield display rack on the first floor, too.
The instruction book indicates that the castle’s kitchen is supposed to represent the kitchen from Prince Eric’s castle in The Little Mermaid. While I suppose it is a reasonably accurate representation of a kitchen (with a fireplace), I am also unsure how anyone aside from fanatical Disney fans would be able to establish that this particular LEGO kitchen is intended to mimic the one from The Little Mermaid.
As a regular non-Disney kitchen, however, this set does a good job of incorporating many of the accouterments you would expect to find in a kitchen. For utensils and cooking tools, you will find: two cutting knives (used as daggers in other sets), a butcher’s knife, a pot with top handle, a pot with a side handle, frying pan, golden goblets, and bottles. An orange pumpkin (or jack-o’-lantern to be more precise), red sausages, and a carrot complete the food accessories. For cleaning up messes and maintaining the fire, the kitchen comes with a broom and shovel. The fireplace features nice arch and light-tan brick detailing.
Adjacent to the kitchen is the easily-recognized Beauty and the Beast room, adorned with two cleverly-constructed blue window curtains hooked to a gold curtain rod. The room features a three-armed candelabra (i.e., Lumiere) on a small brown table, and one of the most iconic objects from the film, the Beast’s red rose. Just like in the film, the red rose is kept under a display glass set upon a pedestal.
Cinderella glass slippers in case and Once-Upon-a-Time fairy-tale storybook in compartment on second floor of the LEGO Disney Castle 71040.[/caption]The second floor is completed with a small outdoor archery set from Brave and a hidden storage area for Cinderella’s glass slipper, composed of a few transparent bricks, and a large brown book with a gold Disney castle logo on the front. The book opens up to reveal a “Once upon a time” printed tile.
As you move up higher in the castle, the floor space decreases. The third floor of the castle is home to two rooms, both of which should be easy to connect with Disney, even for the casual Disney fan. The first room is located within a turret (perhaps as a nod to its actual location in the film) and features the spinning wheel from Sleeping Beauty, complete with golden spindle. In a very nice touch, the spinning wheel is able to spin freely about its axle; the construction is relatively simply, but the result is a pretty realistic-looking spinning wheel.
Next door to Sleeping Beauty’s room is a small room that is home to a treasure chest, a blue wizard’s hat with printed silver stars, a brown book (presumably, with magic spells), a couple of mops, and a pail of water (with a circular blue translucent piece representing the water). While the LEGO version of the mops cannot come alive and wreak havoc, the room does a superb job of evoking the opening of Fantasia.
The fourth floor, located within the top of the large main turret, is home to a bedroom. It does not seem to be tied to any particular Disney film, but is a decent-sized sleigh bed with a large headboard.
The remaining two rooms are located in the tallest turret and would correspond to the fifth and sixth floors. On the fifth floor, we find a standard LEGO treasure chest that the instructions tell you to fill with Tangled items (Disney’s animated take on Rapunzel), such as a pair of scissors and a lock of hair. This floor also features the “fireworks” launcher on the turret from which you can project two multi-faceted LEGO jewels into the air.
On the sixth and tallest floor, in a little niche within the turret, there is a homage to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs featuring both a (poisoned) apple and a (magical) mirror that utilizes a reflective mirror sticker.
The LEGO Disney Castle 71040 set may not appeal to the more casual LEGO or Disney fans, but hardcore believers in either should be very pleased with this set, even if their wallets are not pleased. The design is superb in terms of mirroring the exterior of its real-world counterpart, and the little details in many of the rooms should bring a smile to many a Disney fan’s face.