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Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle

Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle

Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle Antenna Ball Topper 

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Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle Antenna Ball Topper 

Sleeping Beauty Castle is the fairy tale structure castle at the center of Disneyland Park and Hong Kong Disneyland. It is based on the late-19th century Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany,with some French inspirations (especially Notre Dame de Paris and the Hospices de Beaune).  

Opened July 17, 1955, the castle is the oldest of all Disney castles. Though it reaches a height of only 77 feet (23 m), it was designed to appear taller through a process known as forced perspective; design elements are larger at the foundation and smaller at the turrets. The castle initially featured an empty upper level that was never intended to house an attraction, but Walt Disney was not satisfied with what he viewed as wasted space, and challenged his Imagineers to find some use for the space.

Beginning April 29, 1957, visitors were able to walk through the castle and view several dioramas depicting the story of Sleeping Beauty. The original dioramas were designed in the style of Eyvind Earle, production designer for Disney's 1959 film Sleeping Beauty, and were then redone in 1977 to resemble the window displays on Main Street, U.S.A.. The walkthrough was closed for unspecified reasons in October 2001; popular belief claims the September 11th attacks and the potential danger that ensued played a major factor in the closing.

On July 17, 2008, Disney announced that the Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthrough would reopen in the style of the original Earle dioramas, enhanced with new technology not available in 1957. The walkthrough reopened on November 27, 2008 at 5:00 PM, drawing long lines going as far back as the Hub. Unlike previous incarnations, visitors who are unable to climb stairs or navigate the passageways of the Castle can still experience the walkthrough "virtually" in a special room on the Castle's ground floor. This room is lavishly themed, and presents the closed-captioned CGI walkthrough recreation on a high-definition TV. This same virtual recreation is included on the Sleeping Beauty 50th Anniversary Platinum Edition DVD.



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