Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sleeping Beauty Castle

We’re all familiar with Cinderella Castle. It’s nearly impossible to see any commercial or add for WDW without at least a silhouette of it in the background. So, why don’t we pay that much attention to Sleeping Beauty Castle? A good friend of mine likes to cast aspersions on this pretty pink castle simply because it's short. Hey, a short castle is STILL a castle! Personally, if I were Princess Aurora, I’d be upset about this.

When the castle first opened, the upper level featured a walkthrough assortment of dioramas that depicted the story of “Sleeping Beauty” and were then redone in 1977. In October of 2001, the walkthrough closed and remained that way until recently. In November of 2008, the doors were opened yet again and were greeted with LONG lines of people eager to get a first look or the first in years.

Aurora and Her Castle

How about some quick facts about Aurora’s castle?

- Sleeping Beauty Castle rises to a height of 77 feet, less than half that of Cinderella Castle.
- The drawbridge in front of the castle was only utilized two times: when the park opened in 1953 and during the rededication of Fantasyland in 1983. The gears were removed during a refurbishment in 1996.
- The coat of arms over the door is that of the Disney family.
- When the moat around the castle is cleaned, the money collected is donated to charity.
- The castle’s original color was blue.

While it might be shorter than its younger sibling, the castle is still beautiful and is a bona fide part of popular culture and American history now. If you’ve never seen it then that’s just one more reason (or excuse) to visit Disneyland!!!