Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle to receive royal makeover for 'Happiest Homecoming on Earth'
Special decorations to be added to magical castle for Disneyland's 50th anniversary
ANAHEIM, Calif. – On May 5, 2005, as Disneyland Park kicks-off its 50th anniversary “Happiest Homecoming On Earth” celebration, it will officially unveil a whole new look for its landmark castle; an elegant transformation now underway inspired by the notion that Sleeping Beauty Castle is the “Crown Jewel” of Disneyland and an internationally recognized symbol of Disney magic.
As the launch of the 50th anniversary celebration draws near, Disney Imagineers are busy readying Sleeping Beauty Castle for the final stages of its magical makeover into the focal point of this once-upon-a-time occasion and the biggest celebration in Disney theme park history.
Gowned in swaths of richly colored royal banners, bejeweled with large, sparkling, custom-made jewel-like sapphires, diamonds and rubies and trimmed in gold, Sleeping Beauty Castle will glow with magic as never before. To top it all off, literally, the five most prominent spires of the castle will each be adorned with elegant, golden bejeweled tiaras.
Each of the finely detailed and sparkling crowns represents a decade of Disneyland history and will feature iconography from each particular decade:
Tiara One: The creation of Disneyland is represented by a pair of famous “Ears' peeking up over the horizon to see the wonders to come.
In preparation for its final décor (to “magically” be applied the night of May 4), Sleeping Beauty Castle has already seen its turrets painted in three different shades of pink, the stonework highlighted with golden crenulations and trim, and the roof now shimmering in tones of blue and green. The specialty paints, created by Walt Disney Imagineering, contain copper and prismatic glitter to create a shiny brilliance under the California sun.
By day, the majestic Castle will be the sight for numerous fanciful celebratory moments. As night falls Sleeping Beauty Castle will glow in vibrant hues of pink and blue, providing a stunning complement to the new “Remember . . . Dreams Come True” fireworks spectacular. The special Sleeping Beauty Castle decor will be on display through 2006 during the "Happiest Homecoming On Earth."
Since its drawbridge first welcomed guests in 1955 Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland has become a beloved symbol of hopes and dreams and one of the most consistently photographed icons in the world. Over the past 50 years Sleeping Beauty Castle has stood not only as a symbol of Disneyland but also of “Disney” overall.
Beginning as a title graphic on the original “Disneyland” TV series in 1954, Sleeping Beauty Castle, along with Tinker Bell, went on to welcome viewers to such Disney TV incarnations as “Walt Disney Presents,” “Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color” and presently, “The Wonderful World of Disney.”
The pinks and blues of the regal, Germanic-style castle (designed by Disney Imagineer Herb Ryman and inspired, in part, by Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria) are a nod to the princess for whom the castle is named. Sharp eyes will notice such details as Walt Disney's family crest above the entrance, 22-karat gold-leafing adorning the spires, “squirrel” water spouts inspired by Princess Aurora's woodland friends and hand-rendered fresco paintings depicting scenes from the Disney animated masterpiece “Sleeping Beauty” (considered by many to be the most beautiful of all Disney animated films).
Unlike its counterparts at other Disney parks around the world, Sleeping Beauty Castle features a real functioning drawbridge (only utilized twice – on the opening day of Disneyland and the rededication of Fantasyland in 1983). Another notable difference between the castles is in regards to height and size.
Sleeping Beauty Castle is smaller (77 feet from moat to tallest tower) than its sister castles because Walt Disney believed a smaller castle would appear friendlier than a full-scale palace/fortification, which were built primarily to intimate both peasants and foes alike. So as other Disney castles in the world may be spectacular in their height and scale, the stature of Sleeping Beauty Castle is charming and elegant.
The awe-inspiring new look for Sleeping Beauty Castle joins an incredible array of new innovative adventures and astonoshing entertainment premiering at Disneyland during its “Happiest Homecoming On Earth” 50th anniversary celebration, launching May 5, 2005. Other highlights include the interactive fun of “Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters” (inspired by a Walt Disney Pictures presentation of a Pixar Animation Studios film, “Toy Story 2,”) in Tomorrowland, the highly-anticipated re-launch of “Space Mountain,” the spectacle of “Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams,” “Remember . . . Dreams Come True,” (the biggest fireworks spectacular in Disneyland history), the engaging retrospective “Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years” and the rollicking energy of “Block Party Blast” where Disney presents the Pixar Film Pals at Disney's California Adventure.
The 50th anniversary will also be celebrated globally via the “Happiest Celebration On Earth” (Disney's first-ever global celebration), and will be highlighted by the introduction of spectacular new shows and attractions at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida; Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan; and Disneyland Resort Paris in France, plus the first west coast itinerary for the Disney Cruise Line and the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland (September 12, 2005).
Source: Disneyland Resort Press Release
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