Sleeping Beauty Castle: Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant at Disneyland Paris
Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant or Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland Paris is perhaps one of the most beautiful buildings Disney has ever created in its empire of themed attractions. This podcast takes you inside and out, down to the dragon and up to the spires, and then even beyond to the courtyard. Three shops compliment the castle experience, and a wonderful princess dining experience is approximate in this area I refer to as the French Quarter of Fantasyland. From park opening until fireworks, this castle stands supreme. This is the castle you’ve been looking for. It’s unlike any other, and it is truly the most Disney of Castles. Join us as we explore Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland Paris.
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The original Disneyland Park took its inspiration from the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. That castle is only 79 feet tall. Cinderella castle is 189 feet from the bottom of the moat.
The castle’s architecture reflects a combination of elements of important French monuments. These include the stained glass windows from the cathedral Sainte-Chapelle, the castle shape from Mont Saint Michel, the twisted pillars in the church Saint-Séverin, the dome from Chambord Castle, and the tiled roofs from Hospices de Beaune.
The castle is truly fairy tale like in its appearance to distinguish it from castles that dot all of Europe.
The castle has soaring spires, ornate turrets, regal royal-blue rooftops, stained glass windows and tapestries, the 167-foot (50 meters) structure invokes both the magic and mystery of fictional palaces like the one seen in Disney’s animated classic Sleeping Beauty.
There are 16 turrets on the castle, that together celebrates Aurora’s 16th birthday.
- Tom Morris was asked to create height and scale but to make sure that wheel chairs and other vehicles could easily pass through.
- There are snails on the castle. They are in 14 carat gold climbing the gold turrets of the castle.
- There are 14 shades of pink on the castle.
- The castle is banked on a mountain that reaches up on the left side toward Adventureland. This makes it possible to hide the dragon.
- The trees around the castle are box like in design, similar to Eyvind Earle’s design for Sleeping Beauty. These were bent down during a major storm in 2000, but have since been repaired/replaced.
Fountains have been placed in the moat for day and nighttime shows.
There is a major stage area for shows that is off to the Tomorrowland side of the building. There is also a wishing well
A renovation was done in 2021. Walt Disney Imagineering Paris – Design & Show Quality and Construction teams called upon the services of recognized French experts in the field of historical monument refurbishment. Nine suppliers – who all came from France – were hired to perform the works, especially in terms of carpentry, roofing, painting and ironworking. It took 50,000 hours of labor to renovate.
There is an elevator that takes you to all three levels.
A stone arch linking the western part of the Castle to La Chaumière des Sept Nains shop, bears the coat of arms of the Disney family.
Based on feedback from Eddie Sotto, Tom Morris implemented columns for the interior of the castle to have a tree-like look.
Sleeping Beauty Story
The best of these, where Sleeping Beauty lays asleep, includes fiber optics
Elaborate Books: The pages in each of these books carries the same Eyvind Earle look and feel
Stained Glass: The realization of the stained glass windows, which are visible in Sleeping Beauty’s Gallery, was overseen by Peter Chapman, who had previously worked on the restoration of Notre Dame and Westminster Abbey.
Polage: Similar to the polage in the original Journey Into Imagination, and in the Disneyland shop featuring the White Rabbit, this polage turns from flower to dove.
Other objects can be found through the castle from a spinning wheel to a knight who has fallen asleep.
Here the Sword in the Stone still lays. It becomes a connecting point between Merlin’s shop and Le Carrousel de Lancelot.
From the castle you can look out on the upper floor to the courtyard and to Fantasyland beyond.
Restaurant: Auberge de Cendrillon
Auberge means hostel. This is the home of Cinderella and includes a tower.
This restaurant offers French cuisine. It’s probably one of your best places to get a taste of France. This is a prix fixe meal of three courses.
The restaurant also provides a princess meet ‘n’ greet. Suzy & Perla, Cinderella’s mice friends who help her get ready for the ball and Cinderella herself, plus 3 other Disney Princesses.
La Confiserie des Trois Fées
This is essentially the cottage of The Fairy Godmothers and its filled with sweet treats and chocolatey wonders.
Choose from a fine array of sweets scattered among gnarled tree-trunks, stained glass windows and beautiful wooden beams. And be sure to look out for the 3 fairies, found by the hearth.
Boutique du Chateau
An absolutely elegant Christmas shop. The attention to detail and theming is amazing!
And the last of all the stained glasses can be found here!
The store’s title is what the French version of Sword in the Stone is called. This sorcerer’s cave contains some of the most fantastical items in Disneyland Paris: exquisite etched crystal, delicate glass displays, dazzling jewellery and ancient medieval gifts. You can also see the work of Arribas brothers.
What is so cool about this shop is that there is a door that takes you to…
La Tanière du Dragon
The dragon is not influenced as much from Maleficent and the dragon in the Disney film of Sleeping Beauty, but rather Ray Harryhausen’s version of a dragon in the 7 Voyages of Sinbad, which is ironically close to Adventureland where that is also celebrated.
It is the only Disney castle in the world that is home to a dragon, which is just one of the biggest Audio-Animatronics characters designed by Walt Disney Imagineering. It is 24 meters (79 feet) long and it weighs more than 2 tons.
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