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Sleeping Beauty Castle

The park's icon, Sleeping Beauty Castle, stands at the end of Main Street, U.S.A.

Since its drawbridge first welcomed guests in 1955 Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland has become a beloved symbol of hopes and dreams and one of the most consistently photographed icons in the world.

The pinks and blues of the regal, Germanic-style castle (designed by Disney Imagineer Herb Ryman and inspired, in part, by Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria) are a nod to the princess for whom the castle is named. Sharp eyes will notice such details as Walt Disney’s family crest above the entrance, 22-karat gold-leafing adorning the spires, “squirrel” water spouts inspired by Princess Aurora’s woodland friends and hand-rendered fresco paintings depicting scenes from the Disney animated masterpiece “Sleeping Beauty” (considered by many to be the most beautiful of all Disney animated films).

Unlike its counterparts at other Disney parks around the world, Sleeping Beauty Castle features a real functioning drawbridge (only utilized twice – on the opening day of Disneyland and the rededication of Fantasyland in 1983). Another notable difference between the castles is in regards to height and size.

Sleeping Beauty Castle is smaller (77 feet from moat to tallest tower) than its sister castles because Walt Disney believed a smaller castle would appear friendlier than a full-scale palace/fortification, which were built primarily to intimate both peasants and foes alike. So as other Disney castles in the world may be spectacular in their height and scale, the stature of Sleeping Beauty Castle is charming and elegant.

Castle Walkthrough

A vibrant new version of the classic Castle walkthrough attraction features colorful scenes of Aurora, her gallant prince, the evil Maleficent and other characters from the beloved fairy tale film.

This revived Sleeping Beauty Castle "show" differs from the window-display dioramas which could be seen in the castle during the 1980s and '90s. It takes its inspiration from the unique style of the original Disneyland castle walkthrough attraction of 1957, co-designed by animation art director and color stylist Eyvind Earle, who was credited with giving the motion picture "Sleeping Beauty" its distinctive and colorful look of storybook illustrations in medieval style.

Enhanced with new scenes and special-effects magic, the re-Imagineered attraction employs technology not available in the 1950s to tell the story of Sleeping Beauty, including the magic of good fairies Flora, Fauna and Merryweather, and the more sinister spells of the evil Maleficent.

For the first time, guests who are unable to climb stairs or navigate the passageways of the Castle will be able to experience the walkthrough "virtually" in a special room on the ground floor of the Castle.

About this Attraction

Location: Fantasyland

Type: Walk-through

Duration: Self-guided

Best time to visit: Anytime

Tips & Fun Facts

When walking through the Castle, take time to stop and look at the beautiful murals featuring scenes from the Disney classic "Sleeping Beauty."

Opened July 17, 1955.
During the holiday season, the Castle is transformed with 80,000 tiny LED lights.
The spires are plated with 22K gold, all apart from one, which was left bare, apparently by Walt as a reminder that "Disneyland will never be finished as long as there is imagination left in the world."
For Disneyland's 50th anniversary celebrations, the Castle received a makeover, and was swathed in richly colored royal banners, bejeweled with large, sparkling, custom-made jewel-like sapphires, diamonds and rubies and trimmed in gold, Sleeping Beauty Castle will glow with magic as never before. To top it all off, literally, the five most prominent spires of the castle were adorned with elegant, golden bejeweled tiaras.

Each of the finely detailed and sparkling crowns represented a decade of Disneyland history and featured iconography from each particular decade:

Tiara One: The creation of Disneyland is represented by a pair of famous “Ears’ peeking up over the horizon to see the wonders to come.
Tiara Two: “A World on the Move,” otherwise known as the “New Tomorrowland” of 1967, is represented by rocket ships and accented by opalescent planets.
Tiara Three: The beautiful Blue Fairy represents the debut of the beloved Main Street Electrical Parade.
Tiara Four: The Indiana Jones Adventure is represented by the evil Eye of Mara, guarded by mesmerizing snakes.
Tiara Five: The 50th Anniversary of Disneyland is represented by fireworks and Tinker Bell.

Additional Information

Accessible to all.

Reviews & Ratings
Recommended For


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Nearby Dining

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Related Links

Satellite Map
Park Map (.pdf)


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