Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sleeping Beauty Castle, 1962

I suppose a person could visit Disneyland and not walk across the bridge and through Sleeping Beauty Castle's arch - but why would anyone want to do that? If nothing else, I like to hear "When You Wish Upon a Star", possibly my favorite Disney song. 

Regular readers will recognize this family - remember Mom with her Elton John glasses? She probably took them off to get a better look at the swans in the moat, the most incredible thing anybody has ever seen. King Arthur's Carrousel can be seen through the arch, and the toothy portcullis looks like a torture device from a Vincent Price movie.

Mom says, "Ta daaaa!". Or at least that's what I like to imagine. This slide was damaged, so I cropped it down to a nice square for your viewing enjoyment.


K. Martinez said...

The man with the camera and brown jacket is in both pics. I wonder if he was part of that family or just happened to be hanging in front of the Castle for a while thus ending up in both pics.

"When You Wish Upon a Star" IS my favorite Disney song. Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Am just enjoying this beautiful castle . . . hard to believe someone thought sky blue, Pepto-Bismol pink and gold would look good. Maybe on an Easter egg.


Nanook said...


But of course, I remember Mom and her boys. The view of them standing in Frontierland is still featured as my screen saver at work. I still get a kick out of it. The brother on the left is making no bones about his cuffs - "Wear 'em proud, kiddo-!" The 'young man', downstage, appears to have a Kodak Brownie Starflex camera strapped around his neck.

I think in the second image, Mom was trying her hand at prestidigitation, in an attempt to lower the portcullis on the next group of unsuspecting guests passing under its 'jaws'. (Although I think that trick only works if she wears her 'magic glasses').

Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...

@ "Lou and Sue"-

But... 'blue, pink & gold' are so... are so - "enchanted", according to Kim Irvine. And, aren't all castles "enchanted"-?? Evidently the current "on-trend" color scheme of grey & white doesn't cut it for castles, anymore - merely kitchens.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Nanook, I hear you. Walt had created a tastefully subdued castle - it's too bad it couldn't have stayed that way (at least as a testament to his original Disneyland), instead of looking like a cartoon image.


TokyoMagic! said...

Sue and Nanook, I couldn't agree with you more about the current color scheme for the Castle.....but I think you already know that by now!

Ken, I also noticed that guy with the camera around his neck (and hands in his pockets) had barely moved in between the two pics being taken. Come on, let's get moving...there are attractions to be seen and rides to be ridden!

Melissa said...

Yay, it's Elton Mom and the You'll-Grow-Into-It Kids! The handsome fellow in the foreground looks so melancholy. Maybe he's our Linda's boyfriend.

I don't know what the composition of the second picture was like pre-cropping, but it's just lovely as is. I don't think I ever noticed before that the arches under the bridge are the pointy Gothic style.

I used to be scared of portculliseses. On my very first trip through Pirates of the Caribbean, our boat got stopped under the big portcullis and it made me a bit nervous!

"Someday, sons, all this will be painted gold."

JC Shannon said...

Ah, the two boys with the sport coats. They have a kind of Nikita Khrushchev suit thing going on. A light starch would have helped. I also think camera guy looks a little like a young Bill Pullman. I concur with the castle paint eval put forth by my fellow GDBers. "When you wish upon a star, leave the castle like it are." Thanks Major.

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-

"Someday, sons..." I think you nailed it.

stu29573 said...

Painting the castle in garish colors just makes it look sad and fake against the later castles. It's like a very cute girl that wears too much makeup to look like a movie star. It just doesn't work. It can't. It's not what it was neant to be...

Nanook said...

@ stu29573-

Exactly. But, I'm afraid this sort of excess has become part of the Disney DNA: More is never enough. Perhaps when the next 'make-over' comes due for 'ol SBC, the-next "designer" will see fit to apply diamonds to the portcullis and searchlights atop each spire...

TokyoMagic! said...


And lasers, I hope! Hot pink and electric blue lasers! ;-)

Nanook said...

@ TM!-

Isn't that already a part of the castle shows at both domestic parks-? I've seen the holiday show at WDW a few years back, and I gotta say - as someone who always had nothing kind to say about past shows - that one was a pleasure to watch, and wonderfully done. So much so, I returned the following night to watch it again. See... I'm not a total curmudgeon, and am happy to sing the praises of those things so deserving. It's just few, and far between for me, when it comes to Disney.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I think that guy is just an innocent bystander, he doesn’t appear in any of the other photos of this family. Don’t worry, security has their eyes on him! Are you telling me that “Let It Go” isn’t your favorite?!

Lou and Sue, not even sky blue, but “straight out of the tube” ultramarine blue. Yikes!

Nanook, yeah, little brother’s cuffs are making some sort of a statement. “I’m short now, but just you wait”. Maybe mom was saying, “I had a dream that this archway will someday be painted with garish and completely inappropriate gold paint”?

Nanook, it still kills me when I read that the current “color person” isn’t “afraid of color”. Maybe she needs to be a little more afraid of it, since it has been weaponized.

Lou and Sue, I still believe that a big reason that the old castle was relatively subdued in color was part of the forced perspective thing - it would make it appear further away, and therefore larger than it was.

TokyoMagic!, I figured you wanted the castle to be day-glo orange like those rifles. Maybe the guy with the camera has been HIP-MO-TIZED!

Melissa, I can’t wait to see “Rocket Man” and to see this lady’s performance as Elton’s mom. Hmmm, now that you mention it, I would have sworn that the bridge arches were round. Crazy. Ha ha, I can tell that you love that gold paint as much as I do.

Jonathan, these kids had to be a little bit rock and roll, just like Nikita. At least they’re not wearing cargo shorts and sleeveless t-shirts - that’s MY look. Bare midriff preferred.

stu29573, it makes me nuts to see how many people “love” the new colors. Your comparison to a girl who wears to much makeup is apt.

Nanook, have you seen what they are going to do with Hong Kong’s castle, which used to be almost identical to Anaheim’s? What an eyesore, lacking in taste in every way. Can’t anybody design something beautiful anymore?

TokyoMagic!, ooh, I do like lasers…

Nanook, Unfortunately I know nothing about the holiday show in Florida. If they use lasers, that’s fine. It’s like CGI effects - the computer is merely a tool, to be used at the discretion of those in charge. Hell, I used to go see “Laserium” at the planetarium, and as cheesy as it was, I got to hear Pink Floyd and relax (no chemicals involved) for 40 minutes or so.

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, I'm not sure if they use lasers at DL for the fireworks show or not.

I know what you mean about being happy to "sing the praises of those things so deserving." When I do that, I make sure to point out to my friends, "See, I don't hate everything that is new and I'm open to change!" For me, the change has to be as good or better than what it's replacing. Tomorrowland '98.....uh, no! New paint on the Castle, nope! Tarzan Treehouse...I don't think so! I won't continue that list, because it is a long one....but you get the idea.

On the other hand, I loved the new Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-through. And Buena Vista Street at DCA was a huge improvement over what was there before, which was basically nothing.

JG said...

Speaking from almost 40 years in architecture, it is wise to be "afraid of color".

Comparing that kind of sloppy talk to the measured care of the team who worked out the colors for the Haunted Mansion is almost painful. Blog "Long Forgotten" has a fine article on the "white" exterior of the Mansion and how vertical and horizontal surfaces of the same cornice trim molding are slightly different colors to heighten the contrast of shade and shadow and look "spooky". Master work by people who understood what color could do if left off the leash.

Rarely do exterior color schemes work out the first time, every color is more vivid in daylight than on the swatch in the conference room. Colors will change by the orientation of the elevation and colors that look fine on a vertical wall are way too dark for the ceiling. Even assuming these schemes are worked out in daylight on large-scale mockups (probably off-site), it' no laughing matter when a "designer" choice goes awry. I've seen owners demand the architect pay for re-painting bad choices.

Thanks Major. the castle as it should have been.