Exploring Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough

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Exploring Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough can be a great way to slow down and walk through an attraction instead of riding another ride. There are so many things to explore and discover about Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland. Today I would like to share some fun facts and details about the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough.

Exploring Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough

One of the most photographed places at Disneyland, Sleeping Beauty Castle, is an iconic and historic part of the park. Exploring Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough can be a fun way to spend some time during your trip! Let’s see what this walkthrough is all about. 

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Please Note: My posts may contain affiliate links. If you use the links, it won’t cost you more, but I may receive a small commission to help keep the Disney love going! Life in Mouse Years is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com, ShopDisney, and other affiliated sites. Thank you for supporting Life in Mouse Years!

 

 

The Walkthrough Opened in 1957

First of all, exploring Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough has some interesting history. Even though Sleeping Beauty Castle opened in 1955, the walkthrough did not open until 1957. What this means is that in 1955 when Disneyland opened, no one was able to walk inside of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle like you are able to today! This is hard to imagine!

After Disneyland opened, Walt Disney asked his Imagineers to come up with a way to use the space inside of the attraction.  And by 1957, Disney Imagineers came up with an idea for a walkthrough attraction that wound up and down from the inside of the castle displaying dioramas that told the story of Princess Aurora from the 1959 Disney animated classic Sleeping Beauty. 

I know what you must be thinking…

How can they have built the walkthrough attraction two years before the movie came out???

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Prince Phillip and Princess Aurora statue at the back of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Question Answered

Well, I was wondering the same thing. I had never thought about the dates before I started writing this blog about exploring Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough. As a result, I did some research on it. 

So, the storyline for the movie originally started in 1951. By 1953, the art director had a storyline mapped out. Walt Disney had an entire scene from the movie taken out, which delayed the movie from its 1955 release date. Next, in 1954, Walt Disney told the unit in charge of the forest sequence that it was to be a moving animation and that he didn’t care how long it would take for them to do it. As a result, this changed the release date from 1957 to 1958. 

Some people have said that Walt Disney wouldn’t meet up to discuss the movie from 54-56. However, this was during the time that Disneyland was being designed and built, etc. In addition, the movie ended up having three different directors oversee it at various times. Therefore, I can see how the movie would be delayed during all of that. This makes me wonder, would Sleeping Beauty have been as successful as it was had it been released at the original date and storyline?

Even I learned new secrets of Sleeping Beauty Castle today!


Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough

Next,  I realize I didn’t explain more of what the walkthrough is. On the backside of the castle to one side is the entrance to the walkthrough. The sign for this attraction is above the doorway and is in the style of the banners in the animated movie.

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The banner at the entrance to Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough

 Once you enter this attraction, there is a huge storybook that starts the story of Sleeping Beauty. The book is in various places throughout the attraction helping to tell the story of Princess Aurora along with the dioramas.

Along the way, there are windows that you can look through and see dioramas of the characters that depict the story of Sleeping Beauty. Complete with Maleficent! It is a very neat experience.

Original Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough

Next on the list for exploring Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough is how this attraction was when it first opened.

Eyvind Earle was a background artist that worked with Walt Disney on multiple projects, including the background designs from the movie Sleeping Beauty. Therefore, the walkthrough was also designed after Eyvind Earle’s artistic design from the movie. When the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough opened, the original diorama figures were painted by Eyvind Earle. (If you would like to learn more about Eyvind Earle, you can find it here.) 

When the walkthrough first opened in 1957, Jiminy Cricket told the story of Princess Aurora and the song When You Wish Upon a Star played as you went through the attraction.


DisneyStore.com

Souvenir Pamphlet

When the guests were exploring Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough in 1957, when the attraction opened, they were given a pamphlet that told a short version of the story. I was lucky enough to find this pamphlet almost 20 years ago at a small shop when I was vacationing in Gig Harbor, Washington. I happened to find the pamphlet amongst some used books that were for sale. At the time, I had no clue what it was. However, I took a chance and purchased it thinking one day I will find out where it came from.

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The front of the 1957 Sleeping Beauty Castle booklet.
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One of the pages from inside of the pamphlet.
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Official Disneyland printing.

A couple of years ago is when I found out what a treasure I have! To find out that it was from when the walkthrough first opened! Likewise, now that I know the story of the attraction opening before the movie, it makes even more sense as to why they were handed out to guests. So they would understand what the story was. Wow!


Changes

First, Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough changed in 1977. It was designed in the same fashion as the windows that are around the Emporium store on Main Street, U.S.A. In addition, Jiminy Cricket no longer told the story of Sleeping Beauty. Throughout the attraction, storybooks were added to help tell the story of Princess Aurora.

In 2001, Disneyland closed down the Sleeping Beauty Walkthrough after the terrorist attacks. Due to it being dark and no visual monitoring at that time. The walkthrough was refurbished and brought back in the original style of Eyvind Earle in 2008. As well as modern enhancements added to tell Princess Aurora’s story once again! (Think projection.) It is amazing what can be done with projection! It really enhances the rides and attractions at Disneyland.

Alternative for Exploring Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough

Next, for exploring Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough, is the alternative to the walkthrough. If you or anyone in your group is unable to maneuver the stairs or handle dark enclosed spaces. 

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The sign at the entrance to the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough.

On the opposite side of the walkthrough entrance, is where this experience is located. All you need to do is let a Cast Member know you need the alternate experience and they will help you out. The alternative is a virtual experience in a separate room with a television so that you are able to experience this attraction too! 

This is a wonderful feature! One that I wish we would have used during our last trip due to my Mom having trouble with stairs. 

FYI-There is an alternative experience for Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage as well!


In Conclusion

Exploring Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough is a wonderful experience to have during your trip to Disneyland. It is different from other attractions in so many ways. Mostly being that you walk through instead of riding it! I hope that you are able to check out this attraction during your next visit to the park. 

Questions or Comments?

If you have any questions or comments on today’s post-Exploring Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough, please feel free to leave them below! 

Thanks for stopping by Life in Mouse Years!

 

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About Melisa Rice 144 Articles
Melisa has had a love for Disneyland that started at a very young age. Her family traveled to Disneyland every year or two when she was growing up. As she got older, she began to read anything she could get her hands on regarding Disneyland. If you ask her anything about Disneyland, she is always willing to share her knowledge. As a former Manager of a video store, she has a wealth of knowledge about movies as well. In addition to these experiences, she also loves to take landscape photography, do crafting, bake cakes for her nieces and nephews. But most of all, she enjoys reading the Bible.

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