Prince Eric's Castle is where Eric lives with his wife, Ariel and his daughter, Melody. A wall was put around it to protect Melody from Morgana but was destroyed after Morgana's defeat. Between the events of the wall being built and the events of the second movie, a dolphin was trapped. The castle may have been inspired by Chillon Castle, Switzerland and Tintagel Castle, Wales.
Eric's castle is located on the shore of a Danish-like country, surrounded by mountainous regions, making entry into the kingdom by land risky. The castle is kept on the edge of a sharp cliff-face, limiting land entry to the main gate area, unless one were to scale the cliffs down to the shore.
The only other entries to the castle are two from the shore. On the eastern side of the castle is a dock leading to the hall of the castle where ships can depart and enter. The other entry way is a staircase leading up into the castle's keep that can be accessed by the shore. But the stair is narrow enough that any attackers would have to climb on foot up the stairway, allowing them to be picked off by archers on the barbican to the lefthand side of the staircase.
The design of the castle is cramped. The courtyard is deep within the walls; as well as the castle keep. (The keep most likely being the tower with the red flag, in the middle of the structure.) To the eastern area of the castle is the hall, where the majority of public activities are held. And protruding northwards from the hall is a walkway that grows cherry trees, leading to what may be the bathouse.
The castle has many plate glass windows, a design popularity introduced in the late 17th century, and tall ceilings.
The eastern area of the castle appears to have three floors; the uppermost floor is reserved for guest rooms (of which there are two). These guest rooms connect to the second floor through a stairway that protrudes from the northeast corner of the main hall. On this second floor, one may be able to find their way to the dining room and castle kitchen. The first floor is where the docks are, connected to the castle courtyard, which in turn leads to the gatehouse.
The western area of the castle has a stairway leading from the outside, winding its way around the outer barbican, at which then, one would assume it connects the outer barbican to the inner one. This area is also where a ship is kept docked for unknown reasons, suggesting a second dock for this vessel in one of the barbicans.
By the time of the main events of the second film, largely due to Morgana's earlier attack on Melody during her presentation, the castle was surrounded by a large wall separating it from the ocean. However, since Eric later into the film was able to assemble an armada to attack Morgana's lair, the wall either didn't impact the nearby village or otherwise had a gate allowing for ships to enter and exit the area.
Places of Interest
In the First Film
- Ariel's Guestroom: Ariel's guestroom is where Ariel sleeps during her stay in Eric's castle. Her particular room faces the western side of the castle, with a balcony in the same direction. The room is decorated with assortments of paintings and plants, as well as pottery. The wooden floor is carpeted in two areas; one carpet outlines the bed area, while the other outlines the door. In the northern side of the room is Ariel's bed, which is elevated by an extra layer of flooring, and has a curled up curtain to the sides of it, as well as a wall of leaves decorating the above area. And to the right side of Ariel's bed is a fireplace with a mirror over it.
- The Dining Room: The dining hall is on the eastern area of the castle, with large windows that face the eastern shore front. There is only one table to the middle of the room, with a fireplace to the western side. A red carpet decorates the checkered tile floors, while large paintings hang on the walls as well as the occasional pottery. Two doors lead to this room; one tucked into the northwest corner of the room, and one door to the south. The western door is the quickest way to access the kitchen. Eric rarely has guests to keep him company, as only three chairs are laid out for table clearly made to accommodate more people.
- The Outer Barbarican: The outer barbican is a large tower like area on the western side of the castle, protruding out to the shore. On the roof of this barbican, Eric had made a garden for himself, with trees, a gazebo, and a long row of beam columns ringing around the edge. He comes up here often to play with Max or be by himself to think. When he is not on this roof, he will on the beach below the barbican.
- The Bath House: The bathhouse is there area where Eric and his guests take baths. Inside the room is one marble bath tub, with a fish fountain that pours water into the bath. And poles to hang up clothes. On the ceiling hangs a lamp for times when someone may want to bathe at night. The room is isolated from the rest of the castle, with the only way to get there being a walkway leading out from the guest house. This allows the room a scenic view of the sea.
- The Kitchen: The kitchen is Chef Louis' area of expertise. In here he has all the necessary cooking utensils to carry out his duty of cooking all kinds of delicious dish from fish, or any other creature that comes his way. He has a heated stove with an assortment of silver pots on it.
- The Docks: The dock area of the castle faces out to the eastern side of the castle. It is here that ships can come and go from Eric's castle. To get to the dock, one must go to the first floor of the castle, and exit out through a large doorway leading into a long dock. From there, one can step onto the nearby boardwalk to get onto any desired ship that is taking passengers. The beams that line the dock are decorated with banners and curtains, and other decorations. One could get a view of the docks from the main hall area of the castle.
- The Main Hall: The main hall is on the second floor of the eastern area of Eric's castle, overlooking the docks. It is a spacious room, with large windows kept under deep arches. By these windows, are many assortment of benches, possibly for guests to sit on during events. Such would suggest that this may be a dance hall as well at the main one. To the northern part of the room is a path way to another part of the castle, kept underneath a corbel of Eric's emblem. To the northeast corner of the room, one may access Ariel's bedchambers from the stairs leading to the third floor.
- The Gates: The gates are to the south of Eric's castle, and leads out into the castle town. There are three in total, possibly for days when traffic to the castle must be controlled. The barbicans are covered in vines as a decoration. And a small little clock can be seen in this gate courtyard, possibly to tell guards when their shifts have ended. One may gain access to the castle courtyard through this gate area.
- The Shore: Eric has his own private shoreline. Guarded by steep cliffs, and many shoals, Eric uses this place to reflect by himself, bringing along Max at times. Random flotsam also tends to float ashore, allowing Ariel to dress herself from a ripped sail in the shoreline for when she meets Eric.
In the Sequel
These areas of the castle were specifically made for the sequel, and may contradict the original design in many ways.
- The Ballroom: This is the castle ballroom where most royal events are held. This is also where Melody's 12th birthday party was held. The castle is decorated with green plants with pink, white and red flowers and roses and yellow ribbons.
- Melody's Bedroom: This is Melody's room where she sleeps.
- Dressing and Makeup Room: This is a room where Ariel and Melody prepare themselves to get ready and freshen up for a event. This is the room Melody was in trying to get ready for her birthday party.
Prince Eric's Castle is a part of several Disney attractions. It is one of the miniatures in both versions of the Storybook Land Canal Boats at Disneyland and Disneyland Paris.
In Walt Disney World the castle can be found in the new expansion of Fantasyland and serves as the facade for the Magic Kingdom's version of The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure, with guests entering a series of caverns below at low-tide before arriving at the load area. It also houses Ariel's grotto, where guests can meet and get pictures with Ariel.
- Eric's Kingdom is most likely Danish, as Hans Christian Andersen appeared in the episode Metal Fish of the TV series, and was seen writing and talking to children at the docks of the kingdom about his adventures off the coast where he met Ariel. It being Danish is also supported by Eric's reference to the kingdom of "Glowerhaven" regarding a political marriage that Eric declined, of which the name of the kingdom in question matched the naming convention of northern European countries.
- Despite this, the creators indicated that they used Southern Mediterranean European Countries such as Italy for the setting.
- However, the beach in his kingdom where Ariel sang Part of Your World (Reprise) to Eric has similarities to a typical Scandinavian beach with grass, hills, and sand.
- In Eric's Dining hall, a portrait can be seen above the fireplace depicting a couple that looks suspiciously like Aurora and Phillip from Sleeping Beauty. Considering how large the painting is for an area that is for public dining, it's obvious that they have some importance to Eric's lineage. This may suggest they are Eric's ancestors, meaning Sleeping Beauty and The Little Mermaid take place centuries from each other.