Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant

Welcome to the first of what will be many (and I mean many) posts from Disneyland Paris!  Last month, I embarked on a two and a half week vacation that stretched from the last few days of August through the first two weeks of September, traveling through France, Belgium, Denmark, and Sweden.  The first leg went through Paris, which meant, of course, that I had to visit the Disneyland Paris Resort.  I had been there before, eight years ago, but that was before my photographic hobby got as serious as it currently is. 

Beautiful Sleeping Beauty Castle stands tall at the end of Main Street in Disneyland Paris.
This time around, I went armed with my Nikon D600, and I came out of the day with hundreds upon hundreds of photos on what turned out to be a beautiful day in Marne-la-Vallée (when the sun was out).  But perhaps the most beautiful object in the entire resort is Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant, or Sleeping Beauty's Castle.  This centerpiece of the Disneyland Paris park is--in my opinion--the most beautiful and spectacular Disney park castle of them all. And though Shanghai Disneyland's Enchanted Storybook Castle will give this one a run for its money, until Shanghai Disneyland opens, Paris' remains the king.

With a verdant hill ascending one side and a jagged moat wrapping around, it's certainly dramatic!
The immediate difference one will discern is the fairytale, whimsical nature of the castle. It doesn't look like a real castle, but rather something out of an artist's brush for a fantastical story in a make-believe location.  The Imagineers knew that in France, land of hundreds of real life castles and gorgeous chateaus, simply creating a castle would not be anything special. And trying to outdo real-life historic castles of the countryside would be an unwise task. So instead, the designers went to the architecture of dreams, conjuring a beautiful structure that seems to be full of magic.

It's the most photogenic of all the castles as well! Nary a bad angle to be had for this beauty!
The result is a most wonderful "weenie" for the park.  And as you'll learn in upcoming posts (if you don't happen to know already), this castle hides some mysterious and exciting surprises!

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