A Unique Point of View: Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

Today marks 55 years since the release of the Disney animated classic, “Sleeping Beauty.” The timeless tale of Princess Aurora has been immortalized here at Disneyland park in the form of the park’s icon, Sleeping Beauty Castle. Designed by Disney Legend Herb Ryman, it was inspired by a number of medieval European castles – most notably, Neuschwanstein castle in Bavaria.

Sleeping Beauty Castle made its first appearance five years before the animated feature itself premiered to the public – as part of the opening titles for the “Disneyland” television series in 1954. The castle was intended to be the central icon of Walt Disney’s new, ground-breaking theme park enterprise, and set the standard for the tradition of castle icons seen in Disney Parks around the world today.

Today, in honor of the 55th anniversary of “Sleeping Beauty,” I’d like to share some unique perspectives on Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland park, provided by Chief Photographer Paul Hiffmeyer.


A Unique Point of View: Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park A Unique Point of View: Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park



  • Gorgeous pictures!

  • Erin,

    Paul Hiffmeyer’s unique perspectives are always a treat! They give us a fresh, new look at “old friends”.

    Thank you both for sharing them!

    Arizona Mike

    • I couldn’t agree more, Mike!

  • What fantastic shots. I’m off to Hong Kong Disneyland next month and can’t wait to check out their version.

  • I cant believe i have never noticed that sleeping beauties castle at Disneyland is older then the animated film. I wonder if Walt already had planned in the future that he was going to make a movie or if he thought about it afterwards.

    • Great question, Rachel! Keep in mind that animated films can take years to produce; in fact, initial development on “Sleeping Beauty” began as far back as 1951. So the film was well into production when Disneyland was being built. It was actually a pretty savvy move on Walt Disney’s part to make his park icon the home of his new film’s heroine, huh? 🙂

  • Cool photos…

    Is there any word yet on whether or not the Bayou Bash/Mardi Gras is happening again this year at Disneyland or Disney’s California Adventure?

    • We’ll have information to share soon, Stacy.

  • Thanks Erin!

  • Beautiful! 🙂

    Erin–By the way, do you happen to know if the blog will have an update on on the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage refurbishment at some point?

    • Hi Fred – Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is scheduled to reopen later this year. As soon as we have a confirmed date, we’ll post it here. Stay tuned!

  • Dang it…I’d just resolved to leave my big zoom lens at home when I go down to Disneyland next, and now you have me thinking I should cart it along.

    These are great photos!

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