Explore winding passageways where the epic tale of Princess Aurora is told through spellbinding dioramas. Inspired by the film’s original Eyvind Earle artwork, this iconic attraction features 3-dimensional displays, sound and stunning special effects. Don’t miss the climactic final scene, when Maleficent transforms into a fire-breathing dragon. Inspired by Neuschwanstein castle in Bavaria, Sleeping Beauty Castle , along with Disneyland Park. Guests could not actually walk through the castle’s interior until 1957. The drawbridge has only been lowered twice—once at the opening of the park in 1955 and again in 1983 at the rededication of Fantasyland. The castle walkthrough entrance is on the west side of the building inside Fantasyland. Guests first see a large medieval-themed story book open to a page that announces the birth of the princess Aurora. After climbing the stairs inside, a scene depicts Aurora as a baby, being blessed with magic gifts by her fairy godmothers. Behind a glass window, there is an animation of the castle courtyard, and the king and queen watching as a large fire burns all the spinning wheels in the kingdom. At the top of the stairs, as guests reach the center of the castle's top level, another window looks out on the castle's great hall, where everyone in the kingdom is asleep, including servants and the cat and dog. The second half of the walkthrough becomes darker, featuring appearances by Maleficent, her crow, and several gargoyles which fly out of her nearby castle. At the end, the prince fights against Maleficent's incarnation as a dragon, amid a forest of thorny brambles, and then a field of roses appears with doves flying above, as he kisses Aurora and breaks the spell. As guests exit the walkthrough at the bottom of the stairs on the east side of the castle, another medieval-themed oversized book depicts an image of the prince and princess dancing together, as her dress changes colors from pink to blue and back again.
Beginning April 29, 1957, the visitors were able to walk through the castle and view several dioramas depicting the story of Sleeping Beauty. The voice of Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio (1940) singing "When You Wish Upon a Star" is piped into the castle. 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 on October 7, 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 p.m., drawing long lines going as far back as the Hub at the center of the park. 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.
Walt Disney and Shirley Temple in the opening day of this attraction.