April 1957 – present
Fantasyland – When you walk through the castle entrance, turn left immediately. You will see a small awning above a doorway, which is the start of the castle walkthrough.
When the castle was first constructed, Walt Disney was dissatisfied with the empty interior, deeming it a waste of valuable space. He challenged Imagineers to fill it with Disney magic, and the original castle walkthrough debuted in 1957. The dioramas were illustrations matching the style of the Sleeping Beauty film, but were adapted in 1977 to better match the visuals of the windows on Main Street USA.
About a month after September 11th, the castle walkthrough closed to the public. Although no official reason was given, it is widely speculated that Disney had serious security concerns about guests being inside the most important landmark in the park. Finally, after a seven-year hiatus, Disney reopened the castle walkthrough. The dioramas were restored to their original style, with updated technology and special effects to appeal to modern audiences.
- Single Rider Line – no
- Fast Pass – no
- Height Requirement – none
- Duration – N/A
As you enter the castle and begin the climb up the tower, you will encounter encased medieval storybooks open to the tale of Sleeping Beauty. Each page has beautiful illustrations and delicate script, and stands beside windows peering into scenes from the book. Guests can see the story unfold as if it were happening only feet away from them, and the 3D dioramas bring the beautiful animation from the 1959 classic to life.
MY RATING – ★★★★★
I love the castle walkthrough, and try to visit every time I go to the park. Sleeping Beauty has always been one of my favorite Disney films, so experiencing it up close and personal is so much fun. There are also a lot of hidden bonuses too, like Maleficent’s shadow looming at the end of the corridor or spotting her minions peering through the windows of the dungeon doors. Make sure not to race through too quickly, or you might miss all it has to offer.
Even on incredibly crowded days in the park, I’ve never encountered much of a line for this attraction. Visit any time you are in Fantasyland, and you shouldn’t have any trouble. For first time guests, I think it’s the most exciting to do the walkthrough immediately after walking beneath the castle and into Fantasyland.
The exterior of the Sleeping Beauty Castle was constructed four years before the film’s release, but the interior opened later. Guests who had just seen Sleeping Beauty in theaters in 1959 were able to go to the park and jump directly into the story.
When the Castle Walkthrough reopened in 2008 after a seven-year hiatus, the line reached all the way to the central hub of Main Street USA!
For guests unable to climb the stairs inside the castle, there is a ground-level version of the walkthrough next to the main attraction’s exit.