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This article focuses on the first iteration of the castle.
For the second iteration, see Prince's Castle.

Every year when I was growing up, I used to watch these fireworks from afar... and I knew what they meant. Something special was happening at the palace.

Cinderella to Prince Thomas src

The King's Castle is an Enchanted Forest location featured on ABC's Once Upon a Time. It first appears in the fourth episode of the first season.

The King's Castle is based on the location of the same name from the fairytale "Cinderella", and the Disney film Cinderella.


Before First Curse

In an unnamed kingdom, the King rules as monarch with his son, Prince Thomas, as heir to the throne. Often, their castle has firework displays, which a woman, Cinderella, often sees from her own house. On the night her stepmother and stepsisters head off to a party at the castle, Cinderella gains help from Rumplestiltskin to do the same. In a deal, she promises to give him whatever he wants in exchange for a beautiful gown and glass slippers. At the ball, she attracts Prince Thomas' attention, and some time later, they get married. Before they go downstairs to greet their guests, Cinderella happily watches the firework display from their the balcony, and she tells Prince Thomas about her past longing to be at the castle whenever there were fireworks. Downstairs, the guests cheer and clap in approval as the couple arrive. Snow White and Prince Charming offer their congratulations, and as a dance waltz begins, Cinderella pairs off with the King as he hints at his desire for a grand child. Prince Charming becomes her next partner, and he wishes her happiness in marriage. Prince Thomas cuts in, but then Cinderella is whisked off to a dance with Snow White, who is proud of her efforts to change her life and set an example to others. As Snow White walks off to change dance partners, Rumplestiltskin shocks Cinderella by telling her he wants her firstborn child as payment for their deal. Some time later, Cinderella discovers she is pregnant and starts packing her things in order to run away. Prince Thomas, arriving home from a hunt, learns the truth from her about Rumplestiltskin's deal. Promising to protect her and the child, he decides to undo the old deal with a new deal. ("The Price of Gold")


On-Screen Notes

Production Notes

  • The computer-generated imagery model created for castle courtyard in "The Price of Gold" is recycled for the digital set of King Xavier's castle in "The Miller's Daughter" and Prince Eric's castle in "Ariel". This can be seen from the archways and the balcony outside, which have a very similar design. The model is used again for the Camelot Castle courtyard in Season Five and the Prince's castle in "Hyperion Heights", which can easily be seen from the similar design of the archways.[1]
    • The columns and archways in the new courtyard from "The Other Shoe" were recycled from the CGI model for the Camelot Castle in Season Five (itself recycled from the other courtyard in the King's castle in "The Price of Gold"), which can be seen from the identical design of the architecture.[2] The area by the stairs was also recycled from the Camelot Castle, which can be seen from the almost identical design of the windows and balustrades.[3]
  • Several of the guests in the background of Cinderella and Prince Thomas' wedding celebration ball are computer-generated.[4] ("The Price of Gold")

Set Dressing

  • The castle's coat of arms[5] is three bends sinister (bands running from the bearer's upper left corner of the shield to the lower right side). There are two different color schemes.[6] ("The Other Shoe")

Costume Notes

Filming Locations


Note: "Archive" denotes archive footage.


  1. King's Castle: File:104Waltz.png
    King Xavier's Castle: File:216RoyalCourt.png
    Prince Eric's Castle: File:306Waltz2.png
    Camelot Castle: File:502BallBegins.png
    Prince's Castle: File:701Ball.png
  2. Camelot Castle:
    King's Castle:
  3. Camelot Castle:
    King's Castle:
    Prince's Castle:
  4. File:104Celebration2.png
  5. File:603Staring.png
  6. File:603ApproachingThePrince.png
  7. File:104AndIHope.png
  8. File:603CinderellaAndGusEnter.png
  9. File:216Personage.png
  10. File:W102Drumming.png
  11. File:W105ReleasingBanner.png
  12. File:321MyLord2.png
  13. File:610EmmaWalksAroundTable3.png
  14. File:701EllaArrivesAtTheBall.png
  15. File:710LuckyWeAre.png
  16. File:722CameToAnEnd.png
  17. File:104ThisIsTruly.png
  18. File:216PoorPrinceHenry.png
  19. InstagramIcon.png emma_willey (Emma Willey). August 15, 2016.  "Constantly throwing back for I have nothing instant to post lol. This had to be one of the coolest jobs I ever had to do. Can you guess what it's for? Also, we're super energized and ready to work in this photo. Can't you tell?" (archive copy)
  20. InstagramIcon.png slockyer (Scott Lockyer). December 31, 2016.  "As 2016 comes to an end, I get to look back at all the amazing things that have happened to me this year. I'm so thankful for all the opportunities that I've had this year, and this is one of my favourite memories. Working on an amazing scene for @onceuponatime with @thepaulbecker1 and dancing with one of my best friends, @emilykshuttleworth. I'll never forget that day, working with so many people that I never would have worked with before, trying to keep each other sane into our 17th hour on set. Here's to 2017 and more incredible opportunities. Good things comes to those who hustle." (archive copy)
  21. Gittins, Susan (August 10, 2016). SHOOT: ONCE UPON A TIME in Burnaby's Central Park With David Anders as Frankenstein. Hollywood North Buzz. “This was the final set of the day. Scene of Cinderella and her stepsisters plus unwelcome suitor of stepsister.”
  22. File:407ThomasCinderellaStorybook.png
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