When you reach a certain age, a certain level of maturity, there are things that you come to expect for your birthday. Things like a gift certificate to your favorite spa, or a fine bottle of champagne, or a new designer handbag. Or even your very own LEGO set.
I am that woman of a certain age and my husband has finally come to know me. The spa certificate I received for Christmas. The champagne I bought for myself. The designer handbag arrived on my birthday (to be clear, it was a Coach bag that I had picked out that was available at the Coach Outlet for a crazy price.
But the LEGO set was a total surprise Mostly.
I came home one day, weeks before my birthday, to my husband and son telling me they had picked out my birthday gift, both them exceedingly pleased with themselves. That would have been fine with me because I love surprises. But they kept saying things like…
Oh, you’re NEVER going to guess what we got you for your birthday.
It’s something totally unexpected.
It’s not something you need but something you’ll have fun with.
And so on. They just couldn’t let it go.
One day, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my son and saw his LEGO catalog sitting on the table. I opened it up and started to flip through but stopped right away and said, “Daddy got me the LEGO Disney Castle, didn’t he?”
It was meant to be rhetorical but the look on my son’s face gave it all away. I told him not to worry. I would act surprised when the day came.
When the day came, I tried my best to look a bit surprised but really I was just happy. Knowing that it was going to show up in our house and wanting to keep the surprise, I didn’t look at any of the details beforehand. I would see it at the LEGO store and turn the other way.
In fact, when I broke open the box to finally start assembly, I didn’t even study the picture on the box like my son does when he gets the latest Star Wars LEGO set. I wanted each bag (there were 14 of them) to be a surprise – like a mini gift each time I started building.
That was totally the best way to do it. I built slowly, about a bag a day when I wasn’t traveling, so that I could savor the detail and the process. And it worked. I loved the building of the set. I loved the completion of the set. And now, I love showing off the set (in fact, I recently did a Facebook Live tour of the entire castle).
Here’s your tour of the LEGO Disney Castle (all 4080 pieces of it) bag by bag.
LEGO Disney Castle – Bag 1
Of notice in bag 1: the foundation for the entire castle including the elaborate tile floor and the frog prince perched on the outer right edge of the castle.
LEGO Disney Castle – Bag 2
Our first character appears and it’s the master of the manor: Mickey Mouse!
LEGO Disney Castle – Bag 3
The walls and doors of the fortress have begun.
LEGO Disney Castle – Bag 4
The second level makes its appearance and you’ll see an archery set up top that, from what we assume, belongs to Merida.
Meanwhile, on the inside, look at the grandfather clock (about the strike midnight!), the flowers, and the chandelier. If you happen to see an inhumane act being committed with Mickey Mouse’s head, just know that ISN’T in the instruction book. That’s what happens when your 10 year old son starts playing with the set.
LEGO Disney Castle – Bag 5
The first exterior wall of the first level begins along with details, including stickers, to add to the authenticity.
LEGO Disney Castle – Bag 6
After the left wall, you’ll now see a similar right wall with a tower rising on the right.
On the inside, you’ll see Minnie Mouse now added to Mickey Mouse along with Aladdin’s lamp and a wall hanging on the left as well as shields hanging on the wall to the right.
LEGO Disney Castle – Bag 7
Now it’s starting to look like a castle with the ornate front and a clock face that, once again, is close to midnight. It is Cinderella’s castle after all.
LEGO Disney Castle – Bag 8
It doesn’t look like much has changed but the towers are slowly being built out and they require a lot of small, repetitive parts.
LEGO Disney Castle – Bag 9
Looks like a castle now, right? Not a Disney castle though. The magic is just beginning at this point!
LEGO Disney Castle – Bag 10
The second level has begun with a full kitchen on the left a room inspired by Beauty and the Beast on the right (there’s a candelabra and a rose under glass). Stay tuned for that secret little chamber just to the right of that.
LEGO Disney Castle – Bag 11
If we make it look good on the inside, we have to make it look good on the outside too.
LEGO Disney Castle – Bag 12
While we’re at it, let’s add a third level to the castle.
And look what’s inside! A top to the “secret chamber” as well as Sleeping Beauty’s spindle and a Fantasia-inspired room. And on that third floor I mentioned, you’ll see Cinderella’s suite.
LEGO Disney Castle – Bag 13
In the foreground, you’ll see a final tower for the top of the second floor addition. And the two gems sticking out the window can be launched for “fireworks.”
On the inside, it’s classically Disney. A room with a hairbrush and scissors (that I assume belongs to Rapunzel), the magic mirror and poison apple from Snow White, and one of my favorites, Tinkerbell.
LEGO Disney Castle – Bag 14
But there’s no denying the magic and authenticity of the Disney Castle from the front with an important figure to the castle night after night, Tinkerbell (wire not included).
The family that plays LEGO together…
Yes, the LEGO Disney Castle is a splurge (ARV $349). Many of my friends bought it as a family present over the holidays. I’m lucky enough to have been able to hog the entire set all to myself.
And when it was done, it was just a matter of time until I helped my son with the next LEGO project (for us, it was the LEGO Death Star that he got for Christmas!).
We say that family that plays LEGO together has fun together!
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