Things to do in Paris

Once Upon a Castle: A Tour of Disneyland Paris’ Sleeping Beauty Castle

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As you step into the enchanting world of Disneyland Paris®, your gaze is inevitably drawn to the majestic Sleeping Beauty Castle, standing as a beacon of wonder and fairy-tale charm. Unlike any other Disney® Park, this castle encapsulates the essence of French heritage, with its soft pink walls and deep blue turrets that seem to reach the sky.

This architectural masterpiece is not just a backdrop for photographs; it's an entry to a world where fairy tales come alive. A journey to this castle promises a nostalgic exploration of timeless tales, inviting guests of all ages to immerse themselves in the wonder and magic of its stories.

Quick facts about the Disneyland Paris Castle

Height: 43 meters (141 feet)
Also called: Sleeping Beauty Castle, Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant
Architect: Herb Ryman
Opened in: 1992
Zone: Fantasyland

Disneyland Paris Castle

Disneyland Paris Castle timings and entrance

The Disneyland Paris Castle is located inside Disneyland Park and is open daily from 9.30am to 11pm. Timings are subject to change, please check the official Disneyland Paris Calendar to get the exact timings for the day of your visit.

How do we get to the Disneyland Paris Castle:

From the Main Gate Esplanade, walk straight to Disneyland Park until you reach Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant. It will be a considerable distance to walk.

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The history and inspiration

The Sleeping Beauty Castle, also known as Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant in French, was opened in 1992 at Disneyland Paris. This castle stands out from others worldwide by incorporating French fairy tales and historical landmarks as a tribute to the region's heritage.

The design of the castle was inspired by various European castles, most notably the medieval Château d'Ussé in France, which is said to have inspired Charles Perrault when writing "Sleeping Beauty". Architects also were inspired by Mont Saint Michel for its upward spiraling look and Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany for structural similarities. This connection to fairy tale lore is beautifully integrated into the castle's design, featuring soaring spires, ornate turrets, and romantic stonework reminiscent of a storybook.

Inside, amidst the hushed grandeur of the castle's interior, the stained glass windows and intricate tapestries unfurl the timeless saga of Aurora, the slumbering princess whose story is interwoven into the very essence of these walls. Crafted with meticulous care and artistry, the castle stands as a testament to the collaborative efforts of skilled French craftsmen and Spanish artisans, each contributing their unique touch to the creation of this iconic edifice. The copper weathervanes on the castle's rooftops are a unique feature not seen elsewhere in the world.

All four Disneyland castles face north to avoid backlighting for guests and capture beautiful sunlit photos from Main Street. Gilders hand-applied 41,200 gold leaves on certain castle parts. Renovations required 170-200 tons of scaffolding and 1,200 liters of paint. Sleeping Beauty Castle's color scheme features 14 shades of pink. It is also home to a dragon, one of Walt Disney Imagineering's largest Audio-Animatronics® characters, measuring 24 meters (79 feet) in length and weighing over 2 tons.

A tour of the Castle

As you approach Sleeping Beauty Castle, you’ll see the exterior’s intricately designed stonework and stained glass. Each turret and tower has golden finials and flags that create a picture-perfect scene straight from a fairy tale.

1Interior Exploration

As you step inside the castle, you are embraced by a grand hall that exudes both majesty and intimacy. Here, the enchanting tale of Princess Aurora unfurls through a series of exquisite stained glass windows, each a bright display of color and meticulous artistry. Adorning the walls are tapestries that weave together the stories of magic, betrayal, and true love that define Aurora's narrative.

Sleeping Beauty Castle - Disneyland Paris interior - stained glass

2Le Galerie de la Belle au Bois Dormant

A highlight within the castle is Le Galerie de la Belle au Bois Dormant, a grand gallery that extends through the upper floors of the castle. The gallery is lined with whimsical twisted trees along the circular path. This walkthrough attraction showcases the story of Sleeping Beauty through a series of beautifully crafted dioramas. Each scene is depicted with rich detail, from the spinning wheel where Aurora pricks her finger to the forest of thorns that rises around the castle. The gallery culminates with the triumphant scene of the prince breaking the spell. The lifelike figures, dramatic lighting, and atmospheric music of Tchaikovsky make this gallery worth a visit.


3La Tanière du Dragon

Below the majestic façade of the castle, lies a mysterious dungeon known as La Tanière du Dragon. Here, in the darkened depths, a colossal animatronic dragon, stretching 27 meters in length, slumbers and stirs sporadically. You’ll be thrilled as the dragon's breath, veiled in smoke, and its echoing growls create a thrilling contrast to the ethereal beauty above in Disneyland Paris Castle.

Photo ops and viewing points

The Sleeping Beauty Castle has many stunning backdrops and angles for photography, making it a favorite subject for both amateur and professional photographers visiting Disneyland Paris.

Best photo spots

  • Central Plaza View: One of the most classic shots of Sleeping Beauty Castle can be taken from the Central Plaza. This spot provides a head-on view of the castle, capturing its full splendor against the sky. During parades, this location offers a vibrant foreground of characters and floats, enhancing the magical setting.
  • Castle Gardens: For a more serene and picturesque setting, the gardens surrounding the castle offer a variety of angles with beautifully manicured flowers and sculpted hedges. These spots are especially good for capturing the castle’s reflection in the water, adding a dreamlike quality to the photographs.
  • From the Side Arches: The archways on either side of the castle provide framed views that create a natural composition, leading the eye towards the architectural details and spires. This perspective is particularly striking during sunrise or sunset when the light casts dramatic shadows and illuminates the castle.

Seasonal views:

Frozen Elsa illumination on Sleeping Beauty Castle, Disneyland Paris

As night falls, Sleeping Beauty Castle transforms under a cascade of lights, making it a breathtaking sight. The nightly illuminations and fireworks show, Disney Illuminations, is a spectacle that combines light, music, and pyrotechnics, all centered around the castle.

Disney  Christmas

Throughout the year, the castle undergoes transformations to celebrate various seasons and festivals, such as Christmas, Halloween, and Spring. Each theme offers unique photographic opportunities with corresponding decorations that enhance the fairy-tale aesthetic.

Disneyland® Paris Castle