Our eyes are drawn to it from the moment we enter Disneyland Park. It serves as the centerpiece and one of the main reference points of the park. We watch fireworks burst over it and dazzling lights stringed over it year after year. It’s photographed 10’s of millions of times each year. Sleeping Beauty’s Castle is what we think of when we talk about Disneyland.
The castle was an original idea of Walt’s and was to serve as the centerpiece of his new theme park. While the castle hasn’t changed a ton over the past 60+ years it’s been there some changes have occurred. Even before the castle was built it went through several last-minute changes.
Originally the castle was supposed to be Snow White’s castle based on the first princess film Walt did. However, it was changed to Sleeping Beauty’s Castle when Walt saw the opportunity to draw attention to the film with the castle. Even before its final approval, the top back of the castle that we see today was actually the front. Right before Walt approved the model the designer flipped it around and Walt agreed it looked better that way.
The inside of the castle has only served as a storage area, small offices and currently a walk-through attraction. The drawbridge leading up to the entrance of the castle is an actual working drawbridge and has only been raised and lowered twice. Once for the dedication of Disneyland in 1955 and once for the rededication of Fantasyland.
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Dean has been writing and blogging for over 10 years. He specializes in Disney theme park news including updates, openings, special events and general advice for travelers. He doesn’t shy away from the good, the bad and the ugly. His previous work includes being a Cast Member at Disneyland and working as a travel agent.