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July 17, 2008

Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough To Reopen

Anaheim, CA -- For the first time in seven years Disneyland Park guests will be able to walk through the interior of Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Sleeping Beauty Walkthrough Attraction DisneylandThis classic Disneyland attraction will reopen for the holiday season after being re-Imagineered with new technology. Guests will be offered a "reawakened" version with vibrant scenes of Aurora, her charming prince, the evil Maleficent and other characters from the beloved fairy tale film.

"It is fitting that we are announcing the return of a classic on the 53rd anniversary of Disneyland," said Tony Baxter, Senior Vice President of Creative Development for Walt Disney Imagineering, who unveiled a model of the castle on July 17, the birthday of Disneyland park.

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" animated film. The excitement of the anniversary spurred interest in the return of this Disneyland attraction.

Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough opened on April 29, 1957 two years before the premier of the Walt Disney animated feature.

The crafting of the 1957 walkthrough show fell to Walt Disney Imagineer Ken Anderson and animation art director and color stylist Eyvind Earle, credited with giving the motion picture "Sleeping Beauty" the distinctive and colorful look of storybook illustrations in medieval style.

The walkthrough was revamped in 1977 with miniature dioramas, including moving figurines similar to the window displays in the shops on Main Street, U.S.A.

When Sleeping Beauty Walkthrough reopens later this year, the "show" will differ from the dioramas of the 1980s and '90s, returning to the unique style of the original 1957 show and motion picture.

Disney plans to reveal enhanced scenes and special effects magic suing technology not available in the 1950s to represent scenes from the story Sleeping Beauty, including the magic of good fairies Flora, Fauna and Merryweather, and the more sinister spells of the evil Maleficent.

For those who are unable to climb the castle stairs or navigate the passageways, Disneyland will offer a chance to experience the walkthrough "virtually" in a special room on the ground floor of the Castle. A similar such experience is currently offered for the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage ride in Tomorrowland.

Also celebrating the milestone 50th Anniversary of "Sleeping Beauty" is Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, which will release a two-disc Platinum Blu-ray™ Hi-Def disc, making "Sleeping Beauty" the first Walt Disney animated classic title to be released in high definition, as well as on two-disc Platinum DVD.

A bonus feature on the new release will be "The Original Sleeping Beauty Walk-Through Attraction With Walt Disney Imagineering," an immersive experience recreating the original castle walkthrough.

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Sleeping Beauty artwork copyright © 2008 Disney Enterpises, Inc.

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