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Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant: Wikis

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Coordinates: 48°52′23.34″N 2°46′33.68″E / 48.87315°N 2.7760222°E / 48.87315; 2.7760222

Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant
Disneyland paris castle.jpg
Le Château as seen from Central Plaza
Disneyland Park (Paris)
Land Fantasyland
Attraction type Walk-through
Theme Sleeping Beauty
Opening date April 12, 1992
Total height 167 ft (50.9 m)
Audio-animatronics 1
Handicapped/disabled access Wheelchair accessible
Disneyland Paris

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Euro Disney S.C.A.

Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant ("Sleeping Beauty's Castle") is a structure that stands at the centre of the Disneyland Park at Disneyland Paris and is a continuation of a concept first seen at Disneyland in California.

The castle is home to an Audio-Animatronic dragon, which at 27 metres from head to tail was the largest Animatronic figure ever built when the park opened in April of 1992. The building also contains la Galerie de la Belle au Bois Dormant, a gallery of displays which illustrate the story of Sleeping Beauty in tapestries, stained glass windows and figures, la Boutique du Château, a shop selling Christmas ornaments year-round and Merlin l'Enchanteur, a shop specializing in handmade glass figures.

History

la Galerie de la Belle au Bois Dormant.
"Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland was inspired by the Neuschwanstein Castle in Southern Germany. This European influence was fine for building a castle in Anaheim, but the fact that castles exist just down the road from Disneyland Paris challenged us to think twice about our design". —Tony Baxter, executive designer Walt Disney Imagineering[1]

Since Europe is home to the castles that inspired the structures at Disney's first three parks, Imagineering reconsidered what kind of edifice would stand at the hub of its first European theme park.

Many different concepts were created and considered, ranging from slightly modified versions of Disney's existing castles to radically new structures to stand instead in the castle's place. The team eventually settled on Imagineer Tom Morris' approach to the established Disney castle. Inspirations cited by Imagineering include illustrations from Book of Hours Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry and the Mont Saint Michel monastery in Normandy. (As Charles Perrault had not detailed the castle in his 1697 fairy tale, Imagineering had few restrictions regarding its physical appearance. However, Walt Disney Pictures's own 1959 film Sleeping Beauty provided the inspiration for, among other things, Le Château's surrounding square trees.)

The realisation of the stained glass windows in London was overseen by Peter Chapman, who had previously worked on the restoration of Notre Dame de Paris.

Finished in 1992, Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant stands 50 metres.

The castle has received several overlays throughout the years. Firstly was the 1st Anniversary in 1993. During this celebration, the castle was dressed up as a cake complete with strawberries, icing and candles. This overlay was removed after the celebration ended. The cake overlay was later copied by Walt Disney World's Cinderella Castle in 1996 for the 25th Anniversary of the resort. This cake overlay was different from Disney Paris's overlay, but is of the same concept. The cake overlay for Cinderella Castle was removed in January 1998. In 1997 was the 5th Anniversary of Disneyland Paris. During this celebration, Sleeping Beauty's castle was dressed up in carnival masks, jester hats, frills and bells to promote the animated film The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This overlay lasted until the beginning of 1998.

In 2002 was the 10th Anniversary of Disneyland Paris. For this celebration, the overlay was quite basic compared to the previous ones. The front of the castle was fitted with a golden scroll displaying a large 10. Also, the celebration saw the opening of Walt Disney Studios next door. The scroll, and other Anniversary material in the park was removed in 2003.

The most recent overlay for the castle is for celebrating the 15th Anniversary which started in 2007. It features golden Disney characters displayed on the turrets and spires, each holding a candle, and Tinkerbell on the highest spire - the candles are 'lit' each night during a special 'Candlebration' ceremony which took place on a raised stage in the Central Plaza at the front of the Castle. A huge illuminated gold plaque featuring a large '15' was hung on the front of the Castle. This echoed the overlay that was featured for the 10th Anniversary in 2002. The 15th Anniversary and the 'Candlebration' ceremony ended on the 7th March 2009 to be shortly followed, on the 4th April 2009, by the 'Mickey's Magical Party' event at the park.

References

  1. ^ Imagineers (1998). Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look At Making the Magic Real. Disney Editions. ISBN 0786883723.

External links

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