|At A Glance
||Walkthrough attraction, some
areas inaccessible to wheelchairs or ECVs.
Dragons Dungeon may be disturbing to toddlers.
Beauty's Castle, as with the other castles at Disney theme parks,
dominates the park's skyline, and since it can be seen to a greater
or lesser degree from the majority of the theme park, provides
a good point of reference for navigation, standing as it does
at the end of Main Street USA, and at the entrance to Fantasyland.
Strictly speaking the castle is in Fantasyland, but
it serves to delimit the 'real' (Main Street USA), from the Imaginary
(Fantasyland). That is if anything within the confines of a Disney
theme park could be considered 'real'.
Very loosely based on the Sleeping Beauty story by
Charles Perrault, it takes inspiration from some of the German
and French castles, and more than a touch of imagination.
The castle although not actually all that big, is
carefully designed by the Disney Imagineers using forced perspective
to look much larger (taller) than it really is.
Sleeping Beauty's Castle also hides two other attractions.
In the castle celler, to the left of the castle as visitors enter
from Main Street is le Taniere du Dragon - The Dragon's Dungeon,
with two entrances. One leading to a viewing gallery is through
a door inside the castle on the left, whilst the other leading
into the dragon's cavern is located outside the front of the castle
below and to the left of the main entrance (it can just be seen
in the picture near the far left side).
The second 'hidden' attraction is the castle gallery,
reached via a staircase that leads off the inside right of the
castle. The staircase leads to a walkthrough area containing suits
of armor, and stained glass windows depicting the story of Sleeping
Beauty. The gallery overlooks the lower floor of the castle, and
also has an externally opening walkaround section that offers
some excellent views of the theme park.
The castle is also well worth visiting after dark,
when it takes on a new appearance, stunningly floodlit with blue,
green, yellow and red.