After 12 months of restoration, Sleeping Beauty Castle has reopened at Disneyland Paris, just in time for the park’s 30th Anniversary celebration next year.
Built with respect for the European cultural heritage which inspired the creations of Walt Disney, the castle has undergone a massive renovation.
It is also the first major restoration of the castle since the park opened in 1992.
Tracy Eck, who works at Walt Disney Imagineering Paris – Design & Show Quality as Artistic Director of Disneyland Park, supervised this site in collaboration with the teams in charge of the renovation work at Disneyland Paris.
In a press release, she was quoted as saying, “It was the first time that we did something so important. Some effects have even been improved so that the castle can live even better in the years to come. It took almost a year to carry out this work on site with all the teams. Painters, electricians, layers of gold leaf, craftsmen in charge of tiled roofs… It was a hive of activity.”
Nine companies – all French – were mobilized to carry out the work, in particular the framework, roofing, painting, and ironwork.
“Some companies with which we had the chance to work on this site only work with historical monuments. When they accepted this mission, we realized that some consider our castle as a historical monument, which is part of the heritage. It was very touching,” Eck also said.
Did you know? The stone arch connecting the western part of the castle to the La Chaumière des Sept Nains boutique bears the coat of arms of the Disney family.
Walt’s ancestors lived in Normandy, France, when it was conquered by the English King William I, better known in France as William the Conqueror.
The name Disney is derived from the village of Isigny-sur-mer which, when shortened, would have become Isigny, which would be anglicized as “Disney”.
Some other fun facts about Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Paris:
- The Sleeping Beauty Castle is 141 feet/43 meters high.
- Its tallest tower measures 55 feet/16.8 meters and weighs 15 tons.
- 19,900 slate tiles were custom designed and installed on the roofs using 19,900 hooks. As a result, 4.8 miles of slates were cut.
- 41,200 gold leaves were applied by hand to gild certain parts of the castle.
- The team used 1,200 liters of paint throughout the project, including 14 different shades of pink.
- Finally, it is the only Disney castle in the world to house a dragon, and it is one of the largest Audio-Animatronics® from Walt Disney Imagineering, measuring almost 79 feet long and weighing over 2 tons. It resides under the castle in an attraction called La Tanière du Dragon.
Disneyland Paris even put together a video about the restoration of the castle, which I found fascinating. It does have English subtitles.