Building the Dream: The Making of Disneyland Park – Sleeping Beauty Castle – Part One

George Savvas

by , Director, Public Relations, Disneyland Resort


Although inspired by several medieval castles, with the help of forced perspective, Sleeping Beauty Castle was proportioned more to the imagination than to history. Walt Disney wanted this castle to be a friendly and welcoming presence in his new park so it was built on a smaller scale than its European counterparts.


I’m not sure if the people who were building the castle knew that they were creating one of the world’s most iconic structures, or that it would inspire unique Magic Kingdom parks around the world, but they did know that this 77-foot-tall beauty was the centerpiece of Disneyland park, around which everything that followed would be built.


We’ll check the progress on the building of the original Disney Parks castle in our next update.


Previously in the “Building the Dream” series:


  • Crissy – Bigger scale to the Magic Kingdom overall. The Castle is the focal point to the park, and with more land and everything more spread out a smaller castle just wouldn’t has as much presence. Conversely Disneyland is more compact, and Cinderella’s Castle would just dominate everything around it.

  • Wonderful photos! It’s great to see these rare images.

  • How ironic that the wanted it small and welcoming, but then decided he wanted Cinderella’s castle to be bigger. I wonder what changed.

  • I’ve never seen a picture of the back of Sleeping Beauty Castle being built!

  • Are all of these historic photos collected in a book anywhere? They are fascinating! My great-grandfather was an electrician who worked on building Disneyland, so I’m fascinated to see the construction images. Thank you!

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