As one of Disneyland’s main icons, Sleeping Beauty Castle is definitely one of our favorite spots in the park. Each time we enter Disneyland’s main gates, seeing that gorgeous pink and blue castle at the end of Main Street gives us all the feels. At D23 Expo, we had the chance to attend a panel with Imagineers Tony Baxter and Chris Merritt, where we learned all about the past 60 years of Sleeping Beauty Castle magic. One of our favorite parts of Sleeping Beauty Castle is the area where you can walk inside! Check out some of the awesome new facts we learned about the walkthrough:
On opening day of the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough, Shirley Temple was invited to open the doors and cut the ribbon at the ceremony. The day also happened to land on her son’s birthday, which made it even more memorable.
Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather
Disney Legend and Imagineer Bob Gurr created the mechanism used to help Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather float in the original walkthrough’s third scene. He called it a “fairy box.
The walkthrough used the technique of forced perspective and strategically-placed mirrors to make each of the dioramas look larger and more grand, since space was so limited.
One of the original walkthough scenes invited guests to peer into little keyholes, in which Maleficent’s goons would blink and stare back at them. Tiny mirrors reflected the viewer’s eyes, and guests soon became entranced by this bit of Disney magic. The line began to back up so much that soon after its debut, these keyholes were covered by a black curtain.
Pepper’s ghost, an illusion technique that creates transparent effects, was used in the spinning wheel scene to give the appearance of fire. Similar to the dancing ghosts in the ballroom scene of the Haunted Mansion, a pane of glass is placed halfway between the guests and the diorama. Imagineers used a turntable, an old wine bottle, and a light to reflect off of the glass, creating the look of moving fire.
We can’t wait for another 60 years of Sleeping Beauty Castle magic!