Disneyland Paris (originally known as Euro Disney Resort and later Euro Disneyland) is almost 21 years old. The park features a version of Sleeping Beauty’s castle that Alain Littaye of the Disney and more blog claims is the most “fairy tale” of all the Disney park castles. Check out these photos and then let us know what you think. ~~Rick

Max Fan, D&M contributor and DLRP Welcome webmaster, came back last weekend with great pictures of Disneyland Paris’ Sleeping Beauty Castle. What follows is a special tribute to what is, for many, the most beautiful Magic Kingdom castle of all the Disney Parks – and certainly the most “fairy tale” castle. Today we’ll take a look at the exterior of the castle. I’ll cover the interiors in a future installment.

WDI Imagineer Tom Morris was in charge of DLP Fantasyland – and of course Sleeping Beauty castle – when they built the park. Almost everyone agrees that Tom did a fantastic job on the castle. The castle is considered superlative throughout. In the photo below, shot in 1995, Tom Morris stands with the castle model.

As usual, WDI Imagineers did lots of preliminary artwork and models like those shown below. (The great attraction poster is the opening image of this article.)

The aerial picture below was shot at the end of the 1990’s by the great photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand at the request of the park.

So how is the castle looking today, almost 21 years after Disneyland Paris opened its gates? Pretty good I must say. The castle has been repainted several times since opening day, and even its color was changed a bit. As you will see with Max’ photos below, all shot at sunset, it always looks magical.

St. David’s Day is celebrated at Disneyland Paris the first of March. The park now celebrates this great Welsh event. A short but special fireworks show was part of the celebration, and Max shares a video with us! But first, some photos of the castle at night with its great lighting.

And here is Max’ video of the St. David fireworks.

Special thanks to Max for his castle pictures. we’ll be back soon with a new update. Note that the above pictures were shot before the latest snow fall in the North of France! Yes, DLP has been covered by a major snowfall three times this winter. This has been an unbelievably harsh winter this year – not to mention freezing temperatures.

Alain Littaye is the author of one of the most collectible Disney theme park books of all time, Disneyland Paris From Sketch To Reality.  On special sale right now in the MiceChat Store for just $145 (a $40 discount).

Disneyland Paris From Sketch To Reality

It’s available in very limited quantities and makes the perfect present. Order your copy of this acclaimed book while you still can! The book is still available in the MiceChat Store at a discount – HERE.

  • eicarr

    While the WDW castle seemed too cold for me, the one in Paris was love at first sight. I was blown away by the artistry in the castle and the park itself.

  • jcruise86

    The three best things about this castle are:
    1 It is unique so you can easily tell which Disneyland in pictured when you see it.
    2. I think it’s the best looking Disney castle at night.
    3. The large, moving dragon under it.

    I think it’s kind of funny looking in the day, but it’s growing on me.

    • jcruise86

      “in” should be “is.”

  • jcruise86

    . . .before “pictured”

  • dland_lover

    It is truly the most beautiful Disneyland castle they’ve yet to build. It’s not just the castle, either, but the whole grounds around the castle all work together to create an amazingly beautiful vista.

    Too bad the fireworks suck. :/

  • Ravjay12

    Best Disney castle! Was completely awestruck when I first saw it in person. You could spend several hours walking around and through it just admiring the detail! The trees sculpted on the second story balcony, cathedral ceiling, and stained glass are incredible. On the outside, the grassy hill makes it look like the castle grew out of it. Also LOVE the Maleficent dragon chained in the dungeon of Merlin’s shop. There’s also doors on the second level where you can go outside for great views of Fantasyland. This castle completely blows away any of the other castles Disney has done. Must see in person to truly appreciate this work of art.

  • troyer

    The overall look of the castle is good. What significantly disappointed me when I visited was the small size of it, making the tall tower seem out of proportion. In person it is much smaller than it appears in photos-probably a homage to the on-the-cheap Disney mindset at that time. Particularly notable other examples are the Alice attraction being simply a garden with figurines, no Mr. Toad attraction, simply a restaurant so themed, the other end of Main Street being dominated by a tall hotel, and the lack of sophisticated special effects in Haunted Mansion being the worst. The park IS worth visiting-just don’t expect too much when you get there.

    • Ravjay12

      Despite the lack of maintenance, Disneyland Paris is the most beautifully themed of all the Magic Kingdom parks. You’re right about the lack of attractions, but as far as theme, story and detail, it is the best.

  • BriarRose13

    I love this castle, it is by far the best out of all the Disney Parks, truly magical. The inside is the best too, with the story of Sleeping Beauty (The Best Princess) done in beautiful stained glass. I will never forget it, only wish I could have it in my own house to admire each day. If only all the castles could be as amazing!!!!