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

George Savvas

by , Director, Public Relations, Disneyland Resort


In my last post, Sleeping Beauty Castle was well under construction in the spring of 1955. Today, we’re even closer to opening day as construction enters the final phase in these rare images.


These photos were taken only two months before opening.


In this final construction image of Sleeping Beauty Castle, it appears to be very nearly complete. Look closely on the drawbridge and you’ll see the portcullis, set upside down, presumably awaiting installation.


Six decades after these photos were taken, Sleeping Beauty Castle debuted special diamond enhancements for the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration, including more than 100,000 glass crystals that shimmer on the rooftops.

Previously in the “Building the Dream” series:


  • It’s been well-documented that the original plans for the castle looked more fortress-like and realistic, but somewhere along the way, the look of the castle was “turned around” so that the front and back were switched, so that the castle looked more inviting and playful for park visitors.

    The popular story is that during the late stages of design, Imagineer Herb Ryman picked up the top of the castle model and turned it around on a whim. When Walt Disney saw it, he approved it right away.

    How much of this story is true? I’ve read different accounts in various books published about the history of Disneyland.


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