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  1. #1

    • Tim Zinkan
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    Sleeping Beauty Castle's Chandelier Clock Mystery

    I've just returned from five glorious nights at Disneyland Resort with one of those oh, so fun mysteries stuck in my head and must:

    a) Finally join MiceChat, after years of enjoying from the un-registered sidelines. And...

    b) Put forth my take on why the non-functional clock chandelier seems to be permanently set at or near the time of 12:21 (p.m./a.m.?)...

    A few forums mention exactly what caused me to research this in the first place. Specifically, I was told by a Peter Pan cast member that the clock is permanently set to the time of Walt's death. I knew he died in the morning and have since confirmed that the time was in the 9:30 a.m. timeframe. The same cast member also told me about the "golden spike" being the absolute center of the park. I shared my better knowledge of the surveyor's marker, which she thanked me for.

    12:21-ish just rang some bell in my old, Disneyphile head. Upon research and confirmation of the significance of these two distinct numbers (the clock seems to be occasionally close to 12:21 - but may be slightly changed during cleanings? It always seems to be reset back to the 12:21 time, 'though), I believe that the set time is a nod and wink to December 21, 1937 - the date that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered and the Disney company entered the pantheon of major Hollywood studios forever setting the magical path we are all such lucky travelers on to this day.

    Too much has been written, some unfortunately mean-spirited and negative for me to absolutely assert this to be fact. It is, as I've stated, my best guess. I love a mystery. I love my Disney. I hope to become a productive and appreciative member of my new community. Thank you to the moderator(s) for their good works.Name:  IMG_7629.jpg
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  2. #2

    • Former Churro Jockey
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    Re: Sleeping Beauty Castle's Chandelier Clock Mystery

    Thanks for the post, and welcome to MiceChat! I have to be honest, I never noticed that the clock was permenantly set to any specific time, so I really don't have a good guess as to why it would be set to 12:21. Your guess sounds good to me. The only other thing I could think of would be that it is related to the movie Sleeping Beauty since it is Sleeping Beauty's Castle.
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  3. #3

    • Under that tree again!
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    Re: Sleeping Beauty Castle's Chandelier Clock Mystery

    The clock does not have a set time. It just displays what the last CM to touch it left it as.

    I'm sure if you search you can find the hands positioned differently.
    Be Cool Stay in School!
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  4. #4

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    Re: Sleeping Beauty Castle's Chandelier Clock Mystery

    Welcome to MiceChat!

    That's an interesting theory - I've never noticed it being always a particular time (or not, either), so it could be so. Much about certain little details and aspects I think at the park is destined to remain somewhat a mystery, but this might simply be a case of accidental 'design' presuming the hands on said clock do get moved during cleaning or such.
    when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

  5. #5

    • Disneyland 20 year APH
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    Re: Sleeping Beauty Castle's Chandelier Clock Mystery

    Well I was wrong. I have noticed the clock in the past but only once the park has closed for the day. I thought it was just displaying the current time. Opps . I should really look for more stuff during when the park is opened.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Sleeping Beauty Castle's Chandelier Clock Mystery

    Wow, great insight about an often missed detail! Thanks for the post.

  7. #7

    • New Member
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    Re: Sleeping Beauty Castle's Chandelier Clock Mystery

    The clock is broken. The electrical power to it is non-functional. It was supposed to be repaired during the last refurbishment but was forgotten. This information came from a long time Cast Member that works in the Castle Heraldry Shoppe. She gets asked about the clock nearly every day.

    If you notice what time it displays in the morning and then return later it will not have changed. As stated earlier, the time is random based on who touched it last.

  8. #8

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    Re: Sleeping Beauty Castle's Chandelier Clock Mystery

    .Name:  IMG_7629.jpg
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    Here is a photo I took last year. The arms are placed in different locations.

  9. #9

    • A Weather Eye Open
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    Re: Sleeping Beauty Castle's Chandelier Clock Mystery

    It's so funny you brought this up. I was hanging out with a friend about a week and a half ago around the castle side of Fantasyland. Even there was almost no foot traffic going through there at the time, we noticed SO many people coming up and looking at the survey marker and clock and I told my friend about how people always seem to believe it is the geographical center of the park (even though a simple Google image search or a stop by the scale model in the Main Street Opera House will show that it was never the center vertically!).

    Then I noticed the clock was non functional (it had been years since I looked at it or read about it here, I had forgotten!) and we speculated as to if the time was significant. I think that it says 4:01 or so right now, not 12:21! If you judge the length of the hands by comparing them to the outer rim, the one on the 12 looks longer. We overheard all the people saying that it was the time of Walt's death, and my friend even tried to correct one family by telling them that Walt had died in the mid morning hours, and the lady just smiled and nodded, said again "it's the time he died, and kept talking about what a neat hidden detail that was and then started going on about the "spike" next.
    We hadn't the faintest idea if it was actually significant or not; but the post above really makes me think that it is not! It makes me feel a bit better to know there isn't something glaringly obvious that we are all missing, but I doubt without the time REALLY meaning something interesting, this slightly morbid rumor will never go away.
    "And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by" (John Masefield)



  10. #10

    • Fountain Fan
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    Re: Sleeping Beauty Castle's Chandelier Clock Mystery

    I don't see any evidence of a box (for a movement) behind the hands, and they appear to be affixed to the same disk in the center, suggesting to me that the two hands move together. And don't move together on their own, but only when CMs move them. That said, if they ARE connected together and serve only a decorative purpose, they are indeed in the proper orientation to be set at approximately 12:21.

    They are also, however, appropriate for times approximating 10:10 (or 1:50) and 3:40 (or 8:20, depending on which position is occupied by which hand) which are both common arrangements for clocks in trade catalogues. An old legend of unknown veracity states that the former, 10:10/1:50, is often used because the clock appears to be smiling, and these hands could be arranged that way, adding a very subtle smile to the design.

    Does anybody have a photo taken from below, showing the backside? If there is no box behind the hands' center point, it is not a functional clock.

  11. #11

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    Re: Sleeping Beauty Castle's Chandelier Clock Mystery

    I've done research on this topic myself and I learned that this not Walts time of death, or some random time touched by a cast member. It's actually the time that Maleficent put everyone to sleep in the film Sleeping Beauty.

    Find our trip report videos on Youtube at FreshBakedDisney. Find our blog at www.freshbakeddisney.com.

  12. #12

    • Under that tree again!
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    Re: Sleeping Beauty Castle's Chandelier Clock Mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by FreshBakedDisney View Post
    It's actually the time that Maleficent put everyone to sleep in the film Sleeping Beauty.
    Which time did that occur? Since the time on the clock changes every now and then?
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  13. #13

    • Fountain Fan
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    Re: Sleeping Beauty Castle's Chandelier Clock Mystery

    If my guess about the hands (that they're attached to one pivot and, thus, are always the same distance from each other) is correct, whatever time is suggested must fit that distance, in some or other orientation. The hour hand is always 20 minutes ahead or behind; I say "or" because there appears to be little difference in length between them.

    If I was a CM, I would do the 10:10/2:50 arrangement, for the reason listed above: it gives the clock a smile, on an almost subliminal level.

  14. #14

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    Re: Sleeping Beauty Castle's Chandelier Clock Mystery

    Quote Originally Posted by swampymarsh View Post
    Which time did that occur? Since the time on the clock changes every now and then?
    Quote Originally Posted by FreshBakedDisney View Post
    I've done research on this topic myself and I learned that this not Walts time of death, or some random time touched by a cast member. It's actually the time that Maleficent put everyone to sleep in the film Sleeping Beauty.
    I've only seen it at 4:05.

    Find our trip report videos on Youtube at FreshBakedDisney. Find our blog at www.freshbakeddisney.com.

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