Disneyland at Dawn: Sleeping Beauty Castle Time Lapse

Shannon Swanson

by , Public Relations Manager, Disneyland Resort

Any cast member who’s had the opportunity to be at the Disneyland Resort during the wee hours of the morning would agree it is truly a magical time to be in the parks. With daylight savings time occurring this week, I thought it was fitting to start this series of videos: “Disneyland Resort at Dawn,” where I will highlight my favorite areas of the Resort at daybreak using “nat sound” or natural sound.

This video was shot in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle continuously from 6:30 a.m. until 8:00 a.m., before we moved the clocks forward. The shoot went a bit longer than expected because it was overcast that day. I was surprised to hear so many birds singing before sunlight!

Look for more videos showing this mystical part of the morning at the Disneyland Resort. Up next…Mickey’s Toontown!


  • That was so beautiful! I haven’t been to Disneyland (yet!) but we are often up and about as the sun rises at Walt Disney World during our Easter vacation week – the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom usually open super extra early during that week. Felt like I was there watching the video! 🙂

  • Awaiting our next visit, as everyone has said, the park in early morning is truly magical… I will watch this again and again, “wishing”……

  • I loved the birds chirping. It added even more magic to this video!

  • Awesome.. My husband & I always enjoy the simple things at Dland resort.. we find these klinds of moments everywhere & even into the late night….
    Please do a video of the CLOSING of the Park at night… that is a wonderful time as well..

  • Thank you so much for a wonderful memory! I was a Cast Member in Fantasyland. I saw this lovely view everyday I started my shift. It is as beautiful now as it was then. Disney magic at its best!


  • What memories this brings back from years ago when I was a cast member in the Emporium on Main Street. It was a very special experience getting to the Park at 5 or 6 in the morning to begin my shift and walk out onto Main Street and sometimes be the only one there. Many a morning I would take the long way around and walk up the East Side of Main Street, around the Hub stopping in front of the castle and then head back down the West Side to the Emporium. It was great seeing this video and especially hearing the sounds from the Snow White Grotto! What a privilage it was to have been a Cast Member at the Happiest Place on Earth!

  • I LOVE this video, and I’m so glad you are planning to do more of these. We are always within the first fifty people in the parks whenever we go (we were the family that opened Disneyland one morning) and have actually had a moment this quiet while walking through Downtown Disney. Thanks for posting.

  • lovely

  • Wow! What nice voices from those little birds.
    So vivid like the animation!

  • So Serene…I could watch this over and over. The castle is one of my favorite things to photograph at the park.

  • Absolutely gorgeous! Breathtakingly beautiful and serene. Morning time is one of the best times in the park when there are few people and everything is coming awake. This is just lovely with the castle and birds and if you listen closely you can hear Snow White’s Wishing Well in the background.
    I grew up in SOCAL going to Disneyland several times a year and never tiring of it. Every time was just as magical as the last. I love Disneyland and it will always hold a special place in my heart.

  • Wow, so beautiful!!! I really like this!!

  • What a beautiful video. The castle absolutely glows and the birds with the song make it s special.

  • Thanks that cheered me up, I can hear Snow White in the background singing at her well. Can’t wait to go back

  • I love how you can hear snow white’s well in the back ground just shows you how quiet it is!

  • amazing!

  • I just love this video, I wish my son and I were stand right there!

  • Beautiful! looking forward to more, please.

  • There is not much more beautiful than the castle at dawn. I used to get to work early just to spend time taking it all in, with a cup of hot chocolate. I even did a painting inspired by it. It’s still one of my favorite things. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this!

  • Excellent video! Early morning is the best time as there’s a little chill in the air and the daytime heat hasn’t hit yet. Even better is getting in extra early from the hotels..

  • That was so neat to see. I would so love to be at the park when it’s closed and watch it wake up.

  • truly magical. i would expect nothing less at disneyland.

  • **Goose bumps** So beautiful and I love how you could hear Snow White in the background!

  • Goosebumps. Just beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  • I love how you can hear Snow White in the background! Magical!

  • The peace and quiet is the best part of watching the sun rise. The fact that this is possible if you get lucky enough to score a night in the suite inside the park makes this a wonderful tease…I could find a way there if someone in Guest Relations could get me into that suite for a night, it would be worth the 20+ hour road trip from Oregon to spend the night in Disneyland…if it were comped that is…and since it’s such a long drive, it would have to be two nights…sort of got that early morning, nobody in the park quiet at Disney World’s Epcot when I was the first to get into the World Showcase when they just dropped the rope blocking off France from England and another time with the Segway tour of Epcot. But if Guest Relations can comp me a couple of nights in the old Disney Gallery/Walt’s never occupied apartment inside the park I will be there…

  • Absolutely beautiful video! I always love early mornings in Disneyland, just about as much as I like late nights in Disneyland. I can’t wait to see more time-lapse videos!

    Discussion Kingdom

  • That was beautiful!

  • I love Disneyland in the morning,especially before the park opens…it’s so peaceful and quiet.:0)

  • That is just beautiful. I love mornings at DL. So pretty as the park just wakes up.

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