Sleeping Beauty Castle is the iconic centerpiece of the original Disneyland Park and the only Disney castle whose construction was personally overseen by Walt Disney. Its aesthetic was largely influenced by the famed Neuschwanstein Castle based on designs by Imagineer Herb Ryman.
While Neuschwanstein and other real European castles were imposingly large to intimidate common citizens, Walt supposedly wanted his castle to be friendly and less intimidating, so it was built on a smaller scale.
A representation of the Disney family coat of arms can be found above the castle’s Main Street facing archway. The official Coat of Arms consists of three gold fleur-de-lis on a red fess (representing purity), a crest with a red lion passant-guardant (representing bravery or courage), and the motto Vincit qui patitur meaning: He conquers who endures. The emblem used on the castle is a custom design featuring the lion symbol. A similar emblem can be found on Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom and its clone in Tokyo Disneyland.
Today, the castle houses a Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough attraction where guests can see various dioramas telling the story of the 1959 animated film, Sleeping Beauty, using the film’s original Eyvind Earle style of artwork.
Just across the esplanade in Disney California Adventure, you can fly down Disneyland‘s Main Street USA during Soarin’ Around the World, which leads to a beautiful nighttime fireworks display (#HiddenMickey included) over Sleeping Beauty Castle. This grand finale can only be seen during the DCA version of the ride since Soarin’ Around the World (Epcot), Soaring Over the Horizon, and Soaring: Fantastic Flight each have their own unique endings.
Be sure to take a look at the other iconic Disney Parks castles:
- Sleeping Beauty Castle (Disneyland Paris)
- Castle of Magical Dreams
- Cinderella Castle (Magic Kingdom)
- Cinderella Castle (Tokyo Disneyland)
- Enchanted Storybook Castle
This location is mentioned in our blog post: A Photo Tour Of The BoardWalk’s Hidden Disney Castles
Official Information: Disneyland.com