The castle is the symbol of Disney and it is the landmark attraction of the park. The logo for Disneyland Park is the outline of the Castle proving that this is the most iconic attraction in the park. For many, the first sight of the castle officially marks the start of their trip.
The gold spires sparkle in the sunshine and lights throughout the castle make it sparkle at night. At Christmas, it is dressed with thousands of twinkling lights, which is simply breathtaking. Be prepared to stop and stare in awe.
The walk down Main Street beautifully frames the castle and is the perfect photo opportunity. At night time, the castle becomes the center of attention as it hosts the nighttime spectacular Disney Illuminations. The views of the castle are wonderful but there is something special about walking across the bridge and entering the Castle. For any First Time visitor this is a must do and would be the perfect start to any Disney trip.
La Galerie de la Belle au Bois Dormant – As you walk through the castle, look up and you will be amazed by the beautiful stained glass windows. These form part of a walkthrough attraction on the first floor of the castle. The images depict the story of Sleeping Beauty through artwork, tapestry and stained glass. The balcony outside offers wonderful views over Fantasyland.
La Tanière du Dragon – What castle is truly complete without a Dragon hidden underneath? If you dare enter the cave you will be greeted by the largest animatronic in Disneyland with realistic movements. At times you will believe it is really looking at you which can be uncomfortable for young children. Arm them with a toy sword from the shops upstairs before they enter to add to the Disney magic (and keep everyone safe)!
Castle Stage – This is the home of a variety of shows. It has limited seating and a gentle slope to help guests at the back see over those at the front. In the sunshine this is the perfect place to watch a show, with the castle glimmering in the background. During Winter, wrap up warm as the wait for the show can leave you shivering (with the cold and hopefully with excitement too!).
Wishing Well – Many a parent can be seen here dropping in a coin and wishing for some peace and quiet. The excitement of Disney is wonderful but tiring so this is the perfect excuse for some quiet time. Remember wishes only come true if we stand quietly for 5 minutes (while Mum and Dad catch their breath).
Sword in the Stone – Spoiler: this sword is secured in the rock. However, this won’t stop every Macho Man and Woman try to pull this out and prove how strong they are. Be prepared to massage some Ego’s after an Epic Fail. Legend has it that if the sword is ever pulled from the stone Disney will charge you for the repairs to their attraction…
Disney Illuminations – It is late at night, you entered the park early and tried to go on every ride. You have queued for hours and there will be a voice in your head telling you to head back to the hotel now. Fight that temptation and you will be rewarded with one of the most stunning shows you can see anywhere. Fireworks, Music, Lasers and Disney will prove it was worth the wait.
Only in Disney could it be Christmas all year around. The inner child in you will be singing ‘I wish it could be Christmas every day’ while your cynical partner will be saying ‘So this is where they put all the stuff they didn’t sell before Christmas’. A clever marketing scheme or Disney magic, either way you will still find yourself going in and wanting to commemorate your trip with a decoration for your tree.
Across the way, is a shop that will delight your eyes and prices that will keep your purse / wallet in your pocket. Most visitors are draw to the ornate crystal recreation of the castle and leave open mouthed at the stunning price. For regular guests, there are treasures to be had here so browsing is advised. If the prices put you off, take time to watch the cast members make glass roses by blowing red hot glass and shaping it before your eyes. This could be listed as an attraction in itself given the crowds it often generates.
Auberge de Cendrillon – Table Service (Premium Meal Plan) – Cinderella and her Princess friends welcome you to dinner in this unique dining experience. This is an expensive option but it does allow you to sit and enjoy a meal while the Princesses come to you rather than waiting in line at the Pavilion. The food served is fine French cuisine and reviews are glowing. If you can afford it, it would be worth a visit.