Disneyland Castle: Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough & History

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Disneyland Castle has maintained its position as one of the most famous sites and attractions you can see and experience in Disneyland Park. But why? What is it about this small, pink, and blue Sleeping Beauty Castle that has grown fans from legions around the world?

Continue reading to learn about the history of this iconic Disney castle and what sets it apart from the rest. Plus, photo tips for navigating the crowds, seasonal changes for the castle, and other things 👀

Disneyland castle at night

What Inspired the Sleeping Beauty Castle? Hint?Germany

Ever gazed at the Sleepy Beauty Castle and wondered where it was inspired? Walt Disney gathered his inspiration for the famous Disneyland Castle from a late 19th-century German castle called the Neuschwanstein Castle.

This large Disney castle is located right above a small village, Hohenschwangau, in Bavaria, Germany. The castle was created initially for a king, but when he passed, it was opened to the public. Since the late 1800s, this castle has seen over 61 million people and continues to gain visitors annually.

History of Disneyland Castle

When was sleeping beauty castle first created?

The Sleeping Beauty Castle was constructed during the construction of Disneyland in 1954. This famous castle would further serve as a logo for a short time for Walt Disney Pictures until it was combined with a much larger Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom of Walt Disney World; why is everything at Disney World So Big?

But beyond its physical creation, the famous Sleeping Beauty Castle started as just a mere sketch by talented and well-known artist Herb Ryman. It then went through mini models and eventually was presented to Walt Disney, who loved it! Especially the blue roof on one of the models, as pointed out below 👇.

“Walt liked the model with the blue roof,”

Remembered Disney Legend, Harriet Burns.

” He thought it would blend in with the sky, making the castle look taller.”

Written by Sophia Jo at WaltDisney.Org

When was Sleeping beauty castle first opened?

The creation of the famous Disneyland castle also known as the sleeping beauty castle, was officially first opened on July 17th, 1955. This makes the Disneyland Castle the oldest castle when compared to other Disney castles around the world.

Why was Disneyland Castle closed?

No one really knows, because park officials never spoke about it, but the Disneyland Sleeping beauty castle walkthrough closed in the Fall of 2001.

When was Disneyland Castle reopened?

The Sleeping beauty castle walkthrough reopened on November 27th, 2008, after over 7 years of closure. The new and revamped walkthrough was completely refurbished, and new special effects and projections were added to the attraction.

When was the drawbridge first lowered?

Ever wondered when the castle drawbridge was first lowered during the park’s opening? Well, the first time this ever happened was actually during the opening of Disneyland Park, back in 1955. After this, is has only ever been lowered once and that as in 1983 when Fantasyland was refocused on.

Disneyland castle fantasyland view

Disneyland Castle Overview

When does Disneyland Castle open and close?

Open: 8:00 am typically

Close: 11:00 pm – 12:00 am

The Disneyland Castle attraction opens at the same time as the park, officially at 8:00 am, and then closes at park closing, which is usually around 11:00 pm – 12:00 am.

Although keep in mind the Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthrough may close during fireworks performances and reopens typically about 20- 30 minutes after the fireworks.

Wondering what other Disneyland Hours are essential and why you should care? Read our guide!

Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough

Location: Disneyland Park – Fantasyland

Who is this ride for? Preschoolers, kids, teens, and adults

Type of ride: Dark with lights, sounds, special effects and displays

Height Restriction: Any height allowed

Accommodation? The ride has a virtual experience version available for park guests who cannot climb stairs. This is located very close to the exit of the attraction.

The Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough is the perfect experience for almost everyone, who loves Disney, sleeping beauty, and seeing the work that was put into this grand Disney Castle.

Disneyland Castle Walkthrough Summary:

The Castle Walkthrough will allow Disney park guest the chance to explore the castle and walk in the steps of Princess Aurora as they navigate through her enchanting story, with pieces of her story intertwined into the castle and coming to life as you pass them.

This is done via displays, enchanting music, and cinematics, and then combined with the usual Disney special effects that make this park so impressive in the first place. The most notable of these is the infamous Maleficent, who transforms into an intimidating and ghastly green fire-breathing dragon.

Sleeping Beauty Walkthrough Detailed Overview:

To start you’ll enter the ride via the back entrance of the Castle, coming from Fantasyland, you’ll see an entrance labeled Sleeping Beauty Castle Entry, along with ride disclosures.

Enter via this entrance, and you’ll shortly find yourself in front of the magical storybook of Sleeping Beauty and the beginning of the tail.

Then walk further, and you’ll find yourself going up some stairs to reach the next part of the attraction. It is a second-story book of sleeping beauty but now shows the dark and powerful Maleficent curse she had placed on Princess Aurora and the king banning all spinning wheels and demanding they all be burned to ashes.

Walking further, you’ll come upon a dimension display showing the sad king and queen as they watch the the fire from the burning Spinning wheels.

The following dimensional display you’ll encounter is the three fairies, granting each a gift to baby princess Aurora.

Further along with yet another Storybook page showing how Princess Aurora grew with Grace and Beauty. However on her 16th birthday, an enchanting green light lured her towards a menacing tower, to a room where a single glowing spindle stood.

As a voice commanded her to touch the wheel, Princess Aurora obeyed and pricked her finger upon the wheel. As this happens, you can hear Maleficent’s horrific and ear-piercing cackle, and she gleams triumphantly at her conquest.

The next Display you see is the triumphant Maleficent gazing down upon the spellbound Sleeping Beauty on the floor next to the cursed Spindle. More Cackles follow suit.

As you make your way through the castle, you’ll come upon stony walls, dimly light chandeliers, and windows with views of the park. Eventually, you’ll come across a book showing the part of the story where the fairies unveiled their thorn to Malifencets plan by instead switching Princess Aurora curse to a deep sleep, they then went and placed a spell on the entire kingdom to sleep until she awoke.

As you walk further, you’ll come to a display showing all the sleepy people of the kingdom and then upon another display showing the deep sleep that had overtaken Princess Aurora. Then a page from the story showing the only thing that could break her curse was true love’s first kiss from Prince Phillip.

As you make your way further, you’ll come across corridors such as the corridor of goons and be able to see goons surprise you at the opening.

Next, you’ll see a part of the story where Maleficent calls upon all her goods and demons to stop Prince Phillip from reaching Sleeping Beauty. Then a dynamic display of Maleficent with her scepter and thorny scenery. Followed by another Dynamic Display of floating Spindles and never-ending staircases.

Eventually, Maleficent grew impatient and turned herself into a green fire-breathing dragon, she began to fight Prince Philip, but alas, he won by thrusting his sword into her heart as shown in a storybook page and dynamic displays.

After beating the fearsome Maleficent, Prince Philip made his way up the tower and kissed the sleeping beauty, and she and the kingdom awoke from their deep slumber.

At the end of the attraction, you’ll walk across to see a statue of Sleeping Beauty and Prince Philip ❤️

Disneyland Royal Hall

Sleeping Beauty Castle Surroundings

Snow White’s Pond

Just as it’s called, Snow Whites Pond is located to the right of the castle’s entrance, here you’ll see mini sculptures of woodland friends and the princess snow white.

Disneyland Fantasy Fair

Fantasy Fair & Royal Hall & Royal Theater

Located on the left side of the castle entrance, you’ll see Fantasy Faire, which is your go-to destination for character experiences such as meeting Disney Princesses at Royal Hall and snapping photos with your favorite Princesses, attending live performances a funny twist, and being enchanted by pure Disney magic 😉.

Fantasy Fair Character Experience Evil Queen from snow white

Disneyland Castle Best photo Spots

Sleeping Beauty Castle Entrance PhotoPass

This spot will be busy and specially reserved for photo pass users. It’s no wonder why since this is the best view of the castle; the only issue is all the crowds behind you. However, if you arrive early in the morning or snap a nighttime photo right before closing, you might get lucky 👀.

Castle Fountain Views

This spot is our go-to to snap a photo of the castle and avoid getting every passerby in our images, we go to the edge where there is seating, and if you take a picture from a lower angle, you look like you’re super close to the castle 😉. Plus, you avoid most random people ruining your photo, although you could also just edit them out if you’re savvy with Photoshop.

From the backside of the castle

This view is less popular than the frontal view of the famous California Disneyland castle. However, it’s still a great photo opportunity with the right lighting; we recommend only doing this photo in the earlier part of the day when the light will be better on that side of the castle.

Also, remember that people are coming through the drawbridge regularly, so try to snap an angled shot or edit the photo and delete the people.

Read our Disneyland Top Photo Spots Guide for other top Photo Tips at Disneyland!

Sleeping Beauty Castle during the holidays

During the holidays is a special time for the famous castle in Disneyland, you’ll notice it will be decorated in varying decorations depending on the holiday, and it just adds that much more to the Disney magic for each season.

Disneyland Castle during Halloween

During Halloween time in Disneyland, the Castle is themed after Halloween via dramatic light shows, special effects, and spooky pumpkins. This time of the year is one of our favorite seasons to be at Disneyland, from the pumpkins, specially decorated attractions, spooky Disney treats, and drinks to the limited haunted light shows displayed on the castle.

Disneyland castle during the holidays

Disneyland Castle During Christmas

During the winter holiday at Disneyland, the castle is even more done up than on other seasons or special occasions. The Castle will usually have wreaths, ornaments, and holiday Christmas lights.

If you’re looking for a jolly holiday, make sure to visit during the Christmas season as Disney goes above and beyond with not just their Castle and light shows but holiday parades, the holiday of festivals, Festive Treats, drinks, and foods, shows, and festive attractions.

Disneyland Castle at night vs Disneyland Castle during the day

When is the best time to visit Disneyland Castle? That answer depends entirely on the type of photo and experiences your trying to have. For example, if you love seeing every detail of the castle, from the pink towers to the blue roofs to the Disney house crest, then visiting during the day time will be best for you.

This is also true if you want the best photography of yourself, your group, or of cours,e the castle. Although we do stress trying to grab your photos with the castle during the morning rope drop, if the rides are not your focus, so many people will be busy with finding the best rides in the morning that many skip the castle.

Are there other Sleeping Beauty Castles?

Surprisingly there are other Sleeping Beauty castles! The first and original sleeping beauty castle is of course located in Anaheim California in the original Disneyland Park.

Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant at Disneyland Paris

The second Sleeping Beauty Castle located in Paris, France is actually known by a much longer name: “Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant at Disneyland Paris. This stunning and much larger version of the original castle in California name translates to “The castle of beauty in the sleeping forest” roughly from french to english, but also popular referred to as sleeping beauty castle.

Read our guide to learn more about the enchanting French version of Sleeping Beauty Castle in Paris! 

Plus, don't miss out on Planning The Perfect Disneyland Paris Trip!

Isn’t there a Sleeping Beauty Castle in Hong Kong Disneyland?

There was originally a Sleeping Beauty Castle in Hong Kong Disneyland. However, it was recently replaced by the new Castle of Magical Dreams, which features other Disney princesses.

Sleeping Beauty castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle FAQ

Which Castle is in Disneyland

The castle in Disneyland is Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and it is the original castle.

Does Disneyland have 2 castles?

No, Disneyland Anaheim, California only has one Disney castle in its park.

Does Disneyland still have the castle?

Yes, Disneyland has maintained its grand pink and blue castle, which belongs to the Disney Princess Aurora, from its grand opening till the present.

Can you stay in Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland

The highly coveted and beyond-inclusive Dream Suite, located in Disneyland Park, is not actually in the castle but is located above the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. The only chance you have at securing this suite is if you are either a celebrity, the president, a foreign dignitary, or invited.

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