Have questions about the Disneyland Paris Castle? Want to know whether you can go inside, the hidden secrets of the castle and more? Then look no further than our ULTIMATE Disneyland Paris Castle Guide which covers facts, trivia and secrets that will enhance your visit.
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What castle is at Disneyland Paris?
Every Disney park around the world has a different castle. In my opinion the castle at Disneyland Paris is in fact the most beautiful of any Disney Castle.
Usually, each castle is dedicated to an individual princess and the Disneyland Paris castle is no different being as this is Sleeping Beauty’s castle.
Officially the Disneyland Paris is called Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant which in English means The Castle of Sleeping Beauty or Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.
The castle at the original Disneyland is also dedicated to Sleeping Beauty but is not as beautiful or as grand as it’s Parisian counterpart in my humble opinion.
Disneyland Paris Castle History, Facts and Trivia
Disneyland Paris Castle History
It is well known that the original Disneyland Park took its inspiration for its castle from the Castles in Europe. More specifically it took inspiration from the Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany.
However there was a concern in following the same design as Europeans are acquainted with castles and therefore the Disney castle would need to be different to ensure that it seemed magical to European guests.
In fact one of the imagineers said:
“Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland was inspired by the Neuschwanstein Castle in Southern Germany. This European influence was fine for building a castle in Anaheim, but the fact that castles exist just down the road from Disneyland Paris challenged us to think twice about our design.” —Tony Baxter, executive designer at Walt Disney Imagineering Department
Therefore at one point Imagineers considered a Discoveryland inspired castle based on the works of Jules Verne. However it was decided that this didn’t have the Disney wow factor expected of a Disney Castle.
The design went on to be included in the Discoveryland area around Videopolis and the Orbitron ride.
In the end it as decided to take inspiration for the castle from the Mont-Saint Michel Monastery in Normandy and illustrations in the famed book Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry or he Very Rich Hours of the Duke of Berry in English.
The castle then used tricks of the eye to make it look bigger than it really is and a color palette that reflects the gowns of Sleeping Beauty, pink and blue.
Disneyland Paris Castle Overlays
Since opening, the castle has had several overlays including:
- 1st anniversary celebration where it was made to look like a cake with icing
- 5th anniversary in 1997 where it had a Hunchback of Notre Dame overlay complete with masks and bells.
- 10th anniversary it had the addition of a golden scroll.
- 15th anniversary saw the addition of characters including Tinkerbell on the tallest turret
- In 2009 it had the Mickey’s Magical Party overlay
Surprisingly for the most recent 30th anniversary there was no overlay on the castle.
However you will find that if you get there early in the morning or late at night that the castle will have lights on the turrets that make it glitter and nowadays the castle is used to have projections on as part of the nighttime fireworks at Disneyland Paris and illuminations.
This is something that shouldn’t be missed when in the park.
Disneyland Paris Castle Trivia and Facts
SO now you know it’s history here are some of our favorite pieces of trivia and facts about the Disneyland Paris castle that you can wow your friends and family with.
Did you know the Disneyland Paris Castle, like all Disney Castle faces South? This is because that when a castle faces South it photographs best whatever time of day you are photographing the castle.
Disneyland Paris Colour Scheme
Did you know that the Disneyland Paris color scheme of pink and blue is based off the colours of Sleeping BEauty’s dress. Anyone who has seen the film will know the fairies try making the dress blue and pink alternatively and the castle includes both color schemes.
Disneyland Paris Castle Optical Illusion
When designing the Disneyland Paris Castle they incorporated an optical illusion to make the castle look bigger than it actually is.
This is done through using something called Forced Perspective which uses different scales to trick your eye into thinking the castle is taller than it really is.
How many turrets does Sleeping Beauty’s Castle have?
The Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland Paris has a grand total of 16 turrets. But why 16? Well that is because it was on her 16th Birthday that Aurora returned to her castle and had her finger pricked by a spinning wheel that sent her into the deep sleep caused by Maleficent.
Each turret is a different height and is completely unique but all are decorated with 24-carat gilt carving which adds to its beauty.
The castle turrets are also decorated with snails which is a nod to the French cuisines staple – escargots or snails in English.
Each turret also has a unique weather vane at its top including ones decorated with:
- Initials i.e. D for Disney
Landscaping at the Disneyland Paris Castle
One of the most unique things about the Disneyland Paris castle is the landscaping around it, in particular the trees. The trees are pruned into cube or square shapes and the reason for this is because of the famous forest scene in the Sleeping Beauty Film which also has trees in these shapes.
The Castle features in the Epic Mickey video game and the Disneyland Paris castle was adapted into the game’s starting and finishing level called the Dark Beauty Castle.
Are any other Princesses featured on the Disneyland Paris castle?
The castle in Paris Disney is definitely 100% Sleeping Beauty’s. However there are things nearby dedicated to other princesses such as the Well on the right hand side which belongs to Snow White and the Auberge de Cendrillon restaurant which belongs to Sleeping Beauty.
Disneyland Paris Castle Secrets
We love Disneyland Paris secrets and Easter eggs and there is a great one on the castle itself.
When Aurora dances with Prince Phillip she was first dancing with her woodland animal friends, chiefly the Owl. And they pay homage to him in the castle as he is carved into the stonework as a gargoyle on the castle balcony.
Disneyland Paris Dungeon
Did you know that the Disneyland Paris Castle is the only Disney castle around the world to have a dragon!
You can access La Taniere Du Dragon aka the Lair of the Dragon in English by heading to the left hand side of the castle and going underneath.
Here you will find a giant sleeping animatronic dragon that breathes out smoke, roars and moves. If you are traveling to Disneyland Paris with toddlers or with a baby then you may want to check this out before going ins as it could scare those of a nervous disposition.
Tips for Visiting the Disneyland Paris Castle
Can you go inside Disneyland Paris castle?
The great thing about visiting the Disneyland Paris Castle aka Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant or Sleeping Beauty’s Castle is that you can go inside the castle and explore and is actually one of my favorite things to do in the park in the rain or if you are visiting in Winter and want to get in out of the cold.
There are several areas that you can go to inside the castle
- the galleries
- the dungeon / dragons lair and
- the shops
We will look at each of these individually.
La Galerie de la Belle au Bois Dormant / Sleeping Beauty Gallery
The Gallery is on the top floor os the castle and it is like walking through the pages of a a fairy tale.
In the Gallery you can see:
- illustrated books
- stained glass that depicts the story of Sleeping beauty and
- amazing tapestries also telling the story.
The stained glass in the gallery actually was created by a master Stained Glass creator Peter Chapman, who although based in London did the stained glass restoration at Notre Dame.
The stained glass is truly stunning but the best one in my opinion actually has a double image which alternates between two doves and a flower. It is worth watching out for.
The tapestries are also exquisite and remind me of the amazing tapestries at Hampton Court Palace. My favorite is of course the tapestry that depicts the sleeping Sleeping beauty which twinkles with lights every few minutes. My little one loves this.
Other things that you should try and spot in the Gallery area include:
- The Sleeping guards / suits of armour who have fallen under Maleficent spell.
- The Stone Raven – rumoured to be Maleficents pet raven. If you take a picture of him using a flash then his eyes light up red, or so rumour has. I’ll be honest I only had my phone with me last time I walked the galleries and it didn’t work so on my next visit I will take my SLR camera and report back.
- Bronze Philip and Aurora at the end of the walkthrough attraction.
La Taniere Du Dragon aka the Lair of the Dragon
As I mentioned above, this is the only Disney castle that has a dragon. I like to think it is Maleficent caught in her dragon form.
it moves, breathes steam and roars so prepare younger guests for this if they scare easily. My little one won’t let us leave the park until we have gone and said hello to the Dragon and is one of her favorite things to do at Disneyland Paris.
Disneyland Paris Castle Shop
There are actually two shops within the Disneyland Paris Castle. They are
- La Boutique de la Chateau – a shop that celebrates Christmas at Disneyland Paris 365 days a year. We love it in here and we always buy out Disneyland Paris souvenir in this shop and
- Merlin l’Enchanteur – a shop that looks like Merlin from the Sword in the stone has wreaked havoc over with a mishmash of displays. It is a great place to get Disney souvenirs particularly for adults who like unique glassware and can do it in a more unique setting than the Village’s World of Disney Store.
FAQS About the Disneyland Paris Castle
So now we have covered the facts, trivia and secrets about the Disneyland Paris castle as well as tips for visiting we will turn our attention to your most frequently asked questions that we have yet to cover.
Does Disneyland Paris have Belle’s castle?
We get asked “Does Disneyland Paris have Belle’s castle?” a surprising amount. But I guess it makes sense when you think that Belle is one of the French Princesses, whereas Aurora is surprisingly from Northern Italy.
However Disneyland Paris does not have Belle’s Castle. Disneyland Paris only has one castle and the belongs to Sleeping Beauty.
If you want a Beauty and Beast themed area and a Belle Castle then you need to head to Tokyo Disney where the have a dedicated area for Beauty and the Beast.
Can you eat in the castle at Disneyland Paris?
Whereas in Florida’s Magic Kingdom you can in fact eat at the Disney castle, this is not possible at the castle in Paris.
However the Auberge le Cendrillon is next to the castle and you can eat there and meet the princesses as well as have your photograph taken with Cinderella’s Carriage.
For more information and full Auberge le Cendrillon review check out this post.