The Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris is a true architectural masterpiece. With its majestic towers, stone ramparts, and lush gardens, it is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the theme park.

The Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris is one of the most iconic sites in the amusement park, and for many reasons. Not only is it one of the most popular attractions in the park, but it’s also one of the places steeped in history and secrets. In this article, we’ll explore the history of this iconic castle and reveal some of the most fascinating secrets hidden behind its walls.

Multiple Inspirations

The Sleeping Beauty Castle is, of course, inspired by the famous fairy tale of the same name. The story of the princess who is cursed to sleep and awakened by the kiss of a prince charming is a classic in children’s literature. The designers of the castle used the original illustrations from the story of Sleeping Beauty, released in 1959, to create its appearance. There are many references to the film, such as the hill on which the castle is built, as well as its magnificent cube-shaped trees and, most notably, its tallest tower adorned with its sumptuous stained glass.

However, even though the Imagineers who worked on the castle drew inspiration from more than twenty of them, the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris was primarily built based on Neuschwanstein Castle, a 19th-century castle located in Bavaria, Germany. Neuschwanstein Castle was built by King Louis II of Bavaria as a tribute to the culture and history of Germany. Similarly, the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris was built to reflect the history and culture of France. Other monuments have also served as inspiration, such as Chambord Castle, Mont Saint Michel, and the Church of Saint-Séverin.

An Exceptional Location

The Sleeping Beauty Castle is one of the most iconic symbols of Disneyland Paris. Located at the heart of the theme park, the castle stands proudly, capturing the attention of all visitors. But did you know that the location of the castle was carefully chosen to maximize its impact on visitors?

Indeed, the Sleeping Beauty Castle was placed at the center of the park to become the focal point of Disneyland Paris. The castle is visible from many points in the park and grabs the attention of visitors as soon as they enter. The choice of location was made to ensure that the castle becomes the most easily recognizable landmark of Disneyland Paris.

Furthermore, the castle is also positioned to create a perspective effect. Due to its size and location, the castle appears larger than it actually is. The designers of Disneyland Paris used this technique to give the impression that the park is larger than it really is. This gives visitors the sensation of being transported into a magical and fantastical world.

Lastly, another advantage of the location of the Sleeping Beauty Castle is that it offers a stunning view from Main Street, U.S.A. When visitors enter the park, they have a clear view of the castle in the distance, creating an immersive experience right from the start. The view of the castle from Main Street, U.S.A. is also spectacular during fireworks and nighttime shows.

An Architecture with Many Secrets

The Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris is an impressive structure, standing at a height of 50 meters with 16 towers ranging from 3 to 15 meters in height. The facade design is based on Gothic and Renaissance elements, featuring turrets, battlements, and fortified walls. Designers also added whimsical elements to give the castle a touch of magic, such as carved gargoyles or golden snails, undisguised references to French culture, adorning the rooftops.

The colors of the Sleeping Beauty Castle are also an essential part of its design. Imagineers chose vibrant colors to give the castle a vibrant and fantastical appearance. The facade of the castle is predominantly rose, blue, and gold, with accents of red and green. The colors are used to create a fairy-like sensation, with reflections and nuances that change depending on the angle of view, showcasing the castle despite the sometimes challenging Parisian climate.

The stained glass windows of the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris are a key element of its fantastical design. These unique artworks add a touch of color and light to the castle while telling the story of Sleeping Beauty and her adventures. The castle is adorned with 13 beautifully crafted stained glass windows, which are distributed throughout the structure. These windows were created by the French stained glass art house, Ateliers Simon Marq, which is also responsible for creating the stained glass windows of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.

A Unique Art Gallery

On the upper floor of the castle, accessible from the inside, you can find a magnificent art gallery, a true wonder to discover for art and history enthusiasts alike. This gallery is dedicated to Sleeping Beauty and features sculptures, objects, but above all, stained glass windows inspired by the princess’s story. Each stained glass window tells a part of Sleeping Beauty’s story, from her birth to her marriage to the prince charming.

The stained glass windows are crafted in a neo-Gothic style, which is in harmony with the castle’s architecture. They are colorful and luminous, with rich and vibrant colors that catch the visitors’ attention. Colors are used to represent different themes and emotions, such as blue for purity, red for passion, and green for hope.

Each stained glass window is accompanied by a description in French and English, allowing visitors to understand the story and significance of each depicted scene. Visitors can also enjoy a light and sound show that highlights the stained glass windows, adding a touch of magic and enchantment to the experience.

Visitors can thus spend hours exploring this fascinating art gallery, which offers a total immersion into the enchanting world of Sleeping Beauty.

A Basement Full of Mystery

The basement of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris is a one-of-a-kind experience that offers visitors the chance to discover the magical and mysterious world of Merlin the Enchanter. Indeed, the basement is where the famous Merlin’s dragon is presented, which is a must-see attraction in the park. Visitors can descend via a spiral staircase to reach the dragon’s lair, where they discover an enchanted cave illuminated by soft light. There, they encounter Merlin’s dragon, which was designed to be one of the largest and most impressive of all Disneyland attractions. The dragon measures over 20 meters long and has been created with impressive special effects and sound, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in Merlin’s fantastical universe.