Once Upon A Time there was a rather successful company called LEGO who decided to design and build a magical LEGO castle based on the fairytale Disney World Castle. So magnificent was their creation that it ran out of stock (online) within the first 48 hours. Magnificent, magnifique, magnifico, 华丽的, великолепный, muhteşem, ausgezeichnet or prægtig no matter what language this LEGO build has set a new pinnacle for LEGO and will be the benchmark for future sets to come.
Considering its size, piece count and price tag it comes as rather surprising that the LEGO Disney Castle 71040 doesn’t come with the UCS tag? The set includes a whooping 4,080 pieces, stands 73 cm/30 inches tall, has 5 x minifigures and retails at AUD $499.99 / USD $349.99 / GBP £289.99. The set is currently exclusive to LEGO shops and can also be ordered via the LEGO Online Shop.
The poor old Postie/Mail Man had to drag two boxes out of his van and deliver to my door. This was only part of a big order and he asked me what the hell it was. When I responded LEGO he said to me in disbelieve “first Drones delivering parcels now LEGO are building home extensions!”
Inside the box we have a total of 31 bags (not including the smaller bags within a bag), Instruction booklet (please LEGO at this price can we have a hardback?), small selection of stickers and internal box for support. The bags are grouped and numbered 1-14 to correspond with the building stages, as listed out in the instruction booklet.
The first page of the instruction booklet gives you the opening paragraph introducing the lucky builder to the set and stating “Create your own Disney magic” not only that but the little Disney LEGO minifigures even took the time to sign the book!
The next page gives a brief overview of the classic Disney movies that the castle intended to capture with selected stills from the corresponding movies.
Stage 1 – Building a firm foundation! With a set of this size it’s all about setting up a rigid lattice framework using Technic pieces. This give the overall foundation a stronger base and as I saw later, means the set can be moved around easily without fear of it breaking under its own weight. The framework edges are also finished off with a nice smoothed curve giving the overall appearance of a cloud silhouette.
With the framework built all that’s left is to cap it off with the flooring. The central entrance has a really interesting and slightly sunken patterned floor (making great use of pieces newly designed and released for Nexus Knights). I also built the first scene covering “Princess and the Frog”.
Stage 2 – Finally off and under way building up the main columns that support the castle. Internally the colour scheme matches the sandstone colour of the main upper level castle.
Stage 3 – As we know every castle requires a main entrance. During this stage the doors were hung and i finished off the entrance with lanterns.
The doors swing inwards to reveal that gorgeous patterned floor.
Stage 4 – At this point I had to build the ceiling/flooring for the next level. I also built some internal fittings such as the Knight statues, a cool Grand Father clock and from our next movie scene “Brave” (looks like Disney Minifigures Series 2 will have Merida) a bow and arrow with target board.
Stage 5 – With the internals all but finished now is time to cap off the ground floor with the standard grey castle walls and fortifications. The build was interesting and I love the use of pieces from LEGO Star Wars (Imperial Destroyer – I think + others) to give depth and detail to the tower walls.
Stage 6 – The building of the external castle walls continued, now moving onto the right side (as seen front on). Note the variation on this side to capture the design of the Disney World Castle.
My only small (and I mean small) complaint is that the two external wall panels actually move slightly. Moreover when you investigate further there is only a few bricks that hold the walls in place. That a side the completed ground floor is a piece of art in its own right.
From the rear you can see we also have another movie scene “Aladdin” incorporated into the wall with genie’s lamp and Aladdin’s magic carpet.
Stage 7 – This stage starts off with a unique printed tile specific for this set. Will be interesting to see if LEGO offer this for sale under its “pick a brick”. I can see a lot of uses for MOCs.
However, this isn’t the only printed brick we also get the famous clock and coat of arms. All incorporated into the main clock tower roof above the entrance gate. The detail and overall appearance is great and a fair representation of the real thing.
Stage 8 & 9 – These stages were the only point through the build where I found it a bit repetitive and boring. The 3 main fortification towers are capped with this odd build technique which I struggled to understand why it was so complicated. The external detail is great, but I think it could have been achieved a lot simpler and therefore taken a shorter time to build and been less repetitive. Interested if anyone else has any ideas on this?
Stage 10 – After punching through Stages 8 & 9 and a good nights sleep my excitement and enthusiasm returned for the start of the main upper level castle build. The colour pallet returns to white and sandstone and we get treated to further movie scene builds.
From the rear you can see that “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Little Mermaid” make an appearance. The detail in the kitchen is great and considering the size captures the essence of the kitchen scene marvelously. Though the candle stick Luminair and Rose are simple they are iconic and need no more explanation.
Stage 11 – Now the height is growing! The second level continues the external detail with the capping off of another tower.
From the rear we have the classic movies “Sleeping Beauty” and “Fantasia”. The spinning wheel is a nice touch and just fits in the alcove. Fantasia scene is good, but sadly the wizards hat doesn’t fit on Mickey’s head and is really just a prop to set the scene.
Lastly we also have a hidden compartment where Cinderella’s glass slipper and a rather dainty Once Upon a Time book lives.
Stage 12 – At this point in the build the excitement started to build. I could feel the castle was verging on completion and was looking forward to seeing the completed set. The main part of the upper level castle is capped just leaving the remaining tower.
The main room is filled with a large bed fit for royalty and framed with large draped curtains.
Stage 13 – The final tower to crown the castle. Heavily detailed with white bricks to give the overall appearance of detailed masonry work. We also have a cool little play element with the two firework launchers that fire little LEGO jewel pieces.
Final two movie scenes cover “Tangled” and “Snow White”. Tangled props were ok, but not that exciting. Snow White mirror was spot on and the red apple in the glass bowl really finished it off perfectly.
Stage 14 – That exciting point “the last bag”, but the sinking feeling the build has come to an end. I was interested to see how LEGO was going to capture the final gold spire. Considering the size/footprint left to work with a think they did a rather good job at capturing the spire.
With the tower complete all that remained was to connect the three sub assemblies together to form the complete castle and just like that the build was complete! I have to say the final product is spectacular and if I was a mean father, would go on display for years/decades, but how could i deprive my lovely kids the right to play with this…
With the build complete and reviewed all that remains is to talk about the assortment of minifigures that grace this set.
First off the rank is the iconic Mickey Mouse and he is dressed for the occasion. Donning a black tuxedo, yellow bow tie and red pants/trousers (depending on your geographical location). The detail and printing on torso is great and very sharp. Mickey also comes with an extension to his tuxedo in the form of a folded cloth piece that goes over his legs (similar to the capes).
As most of you will know this doesn’t mark Mickey’s first appearance. Earlier this year he appeared in the Disney Minifigures Series 1. The above gives a nice comparison of the differences. Other than the detail on the torso and legs, I also noticed that the eyes were larger and printing sharper (nose line as well) on the new Mickey.
Minnie Mouse was next up and she is sporting a red and white polka dot outfit and bow. This is completed with a great little flowing skirt in matching design.
Like Mickey this is Minnie’s second appearance. Previously she was dressed in pink. Same point stands the detail on this new Minnie is finer and crisper.
Donald Duck’s turn and he comes in his standard affair – blue sailors outfit. This time round he is identical to his counterpart in the Disney Minifigure Series 1, so no comparison has been made.
The gorgeous Daisy Duck is next up and this poor girl is always in the shadows of Minnie Mouse. Like Mickey and Minnie has three colour printing on her legs and wears a pink and purple outfit with matching bow.
Daisy is also different to her previous outing and has slightly more detail and crisper printing.
Finally the star of the show is the one and only Tinker Bell. My daughter nearly had kittens when she saw this minifigure – ABSOLUTELY LOVES FAIRIES! Tinker Bell is unique to this set and is already demanding crazy prices on ebay and Bricklink for minifigure collectors (hopefully this settles down in the coming months). Detail is rather simple, but she comes with her tinker wings, wand and a little green fabric skirt that makes her adorable.
You’ll have to forgive my naff photography, but added some close ups of various parts of the castle and a few friends who photo bombed!
Well after all that building, photographing and writing, the review has finally come to an end. I hope you liked it and found some or all off it useful.
In closing this set is nothing but amazing and I would highly recommend purchasing this set for your kids to play with or purely for display purposes.
As LEGO put it go forth and “create your own Disney magic”
Keen to hear other’s opinions, so feel free to drop me a comment here or on the facebook page.
Final Rating: 10 out of 10