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A photo tour through Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle

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Published: December 16, 2008 at 1:53 PM

Tuesday Park Visit: After more than seven years, Disneyland has reopened the Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-through. But you won't find the same attraction that closed in late 2001.

Yes, you still walk the steps inside Disneyland's castle and see the story of Sleeping Beauty, told in window dioramas. But the 1970s-era dolls and miniatures are gone, replaced with vivid animated scenes, done in the style of Eyvind Earle's designs from the original Walt Disney animated film.

The characters are rendered in two-dimensional cut-outs, not as three-dimensional dolls as they were before. That might seem like a step down in quality, but trust me, it isn't. Disney's enhanced many of the scenes with animated effects that help bring the story of Sleeping Beauty to life.

As before, the story is told on pages from books, placed opposite the diorama scenes throughout the walk through.

Yes, the flames flicker as the spinning wheels burn.

Sparks fly from the fairies' wands as they watch over Aurora.

The spinning wheel whirs and the spindle glows, as Maleficent gloats over Aurora's fallen body.

Each element here is 2D, but their positioning creates an engaging 3D image. Disney's multiplane camera brought to life?

A light shining onto the Aurora cutout creates a shimmering effect in this scene.

Demons fly over the castle, as lightning flashes.

This might be the most spectacular window in the entire show. Maleficent breathes green fire onto the branches below, which catch flame.

But Prince Charming prevails, and moves in for the kiss.

And, of course, they live happily ever after.

Readers' Opinions

From Tim W on December 16, 2008 at 3:11 PM
It looks so cool. much better than the dolls that didn't even look like the characters.
From Alan Puscus on December 16, 2008 at 5:27 PM
Thanks again for the amazing photos you take Robert.
Disneyland will always be a special and timeless place because of little gems like this and dozens of other treasures they have hidden throughout the park.

Next time I visit DCA I'll have to stop in and check it out.(Ha Ha, I think I'm the only one who likes DCA better).

From James Rao on December 16, 2008 at 5:32 PM
I have no problem with this revamped attraction. The change of pace from the normal ride-stylings of a theme park is nice, and actually requiring people to walk could be beneficial to the overall health of the average theme park visitor.

Question: do you just walk through in a continuous line, or is there some spacing between your party and the next bunch of yahoos trailing you? Also, are there cast members present maintaining order, or is it possible for the less "parentally-control" children to just tear through yelling, screaming, and doing other, less-acceptable things?

From Robert Niles on December 16, 2008 at 5:40 PM
It's a rather small and dark corridor, and there was no crowd control today. Of course, there was no crowd either. The park was open 9am-11pm, and the crowd in the park was large, though not overbearing. But there was no wait for the walk-through. (Indeed, there is no queue area for it. Just the door.) I find that the groups space and pace themselves well.
From Anthony Murphy on December 17, 2008 at 9:29 AM
Cool!

They should do something like this at WDW though they have the beautiful mosaics there that many pass over. If you want to see something really cool and similar to this, check out DLP's telling of Sleeping Beauty. Oh, and there is a dragon in the basement!

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