Walt Disney, born in Chicago in 1901, worked as a commercial artist before setting up a small studio in Los Angeles to produce animated cartoons. In 1928, his short film Steamboat Willy, starring the character “Mickey Mouse,” was a national sensation. It was the first animated film to use sound, and Disney provided the voice for Mickey. From there on, Disney cartoons were in heavy demand. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, took three years to complete and was a great commercial success.
In the early 1950’s, Walt Disney began designing a huge amusement park to be built near Los Angeles. He intended Disneyland to have educational as well as amusement value and to entertain adults and their children.
In the early 1950’s, Walt Disney initially envisioned building a tourist attraction adjacent to his studios in Burbank to entertain studio visitors but soon realized the place was too small. After hiring a consultant and doing research, Walt bought a 160-acre site in Anaheim in 1953 and unveiled the first Disneyland Resort Anaheim in California on 17th July in 1955.
From the construction of the original Disneyland, four more Disneyland was constructed around the world for you to visit.
Disneyland Anaheim, USA
One of the oldest, largest and the most enchanted theme parks, Disneyland Anaheim, was the first to be built by Walt Disney himself. Unveiled on 17th July 1955, this park has 9 different themed zones, where a day to explore is not enough. The best time to visit this theme park is in between March to May and September to October to avoid major holidays.
The original Disney castle has stood in the heart of Disneyland since the day the Anaheim park opened in 1955. It’s officially called Sleeping Beauty Castle as a tribute to Aurora, one of the first Disney princesses. Inspired by Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, Sleeping Beauty Castle is notable for its pinkish color, blue turrets and relatively short stature. At 77 feet high, it’s less than half the height of Cinderella’s Castle in Disney World.
Walk through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle to travel between Main Street and Fantasyland. Enter the castle from the Fantasyland side and follow the path along passageways to view a series of dioramas that tell the story of Aurora and Maleficent.
Disneyland Paris, France
The one at Disneyland Paris is known as the Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant also known as Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, making it one of three Sleeping Beauty castles in the world, alongside the ones in Anaheim and Hong Kong. Like the California version, the Paris castle has a pink hue, blue turrets and stained-glass windows. The biggest difference between the two is height. At 167 feet tall, the Parisian replica of Sleeping Beauty Castle is more than twice as tall as the Anaheim version.But although the castle was being built in Paris, its construction was still a thoroughly international affair. The towers of the castle were actually made in Italy and were shipped over and added to the castle on 2nd August 1991.
After excitedly entering Disneyland Paris, which opened in 1992, visitors are greeted with an arcade that features a small replica of the Statue of Liberty – a gift from France to America in 1886, making it a fitting introduction to Europe’s only instance of this American theme park.
This Sleeping Beauty Castle is the only Disney castle with its own dragon spanning 27 meters head to tail, the mysterious fire breathing dragon called La Tanière du Dragon that lurks underneath the castle at Disneyland Paris is one of the most striking and unique features of the park. In fact, at the time of Disneyland Paris grand opening in 1992, this was the largest animatronic that had been built to date.
Besides just being a beautiful backdrop for photos though, the Disneyland Paris Castle serves as a wonderful walk through attraction, depicting Sleeping Beauty’s story, beautiful stained glass and of course, little book passages in French scattered around.
As per current, there is no halal food option inside of the theme park. However, in the park you may choose vegetarian or seafood option or the surrounding area there is an option for halal food especially in Val d’Europe mall located only 2km from Disneyland Paris.
Best time to visit Disneyland Paris is in between January to June every year.
Tokyo Disneyland, Japan
Opened in 1983 and larger than the original Disneyland California, Tokyo Disneyland is the third most visited of any theme park in the world after the two Disney parks in the US. Like Walt Disney World in Florida, Cinderella Castle is located at the center of the park, rumored to have been chosen because the princess’s qualities of duty and a strong work ethic would resonate more deeply in Japanese culture than Sleeping Beauty, whose castle is featured in the center of Disneyland California.
The Cinderella Castle has similar architectural features as the Magic Kingdom Castle in Orlando. The idea of this attraction is similar to that of the Sleeping Beauty walk-through in Anaheim: guests walk through a series of elegantly decorated rooms where dioramas and paintings tell the story of Cinderella, happily-ever-after included. The walk through attraction tells the story of Cinderella in the high quality fashion expected of the Tokyo park, including a look at the famed glass slipper. Visitors may queue in the line to take photos on the royal chair located in the throne room.
Disneyland Hong Kong, China
Unveiled in 2005, Disneyland Hong Kong is one of the smallest parks, yet it manages to attract thousands every year for its imaginative themed attractions and entertainment. Hong Kong Disneyland still has a long way to go in terms of being a unique park that offers compelling draws.
Currently the castle is under renovation. As part of its multi-year transformation, iconic castle is becoming Castle of Magical Dreams. In addition, two exciting attractions are coming to a new, immersive “Frozen”-themed area at the resort.
Can’t wait for the completion of the brand new Disney Castle? Let’s visit the nearest Disney castle located in Shanghai!
Disneyland Shanghai, China
Shanghai’s Enchanted Storybook Castle is perhaps best known as the largest of all the Disney castles to date. It’s also one of the more interesting castles because it’s wholly original and not a replica of either Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella Castle. Instead, Enchanted Storybook Castle is dedicated to multiple Disney princesses, including Tiana, Merida, Rapunzel, Elsa, Anna, Belle, Cinderella and Snow White.
Designers also incorporated Chinese styling and decorative elements to appeal to the country’s audience. For example, the castle is topped with a golden peony, a flower popular among Chinese traditions. Besides the peony, the castle also bears a great amount of symbolic elements illustrate the partnership and the blending between Disney and Chinese culture.
Thanks to its tremendous size, the castle is home to several attractions. Royal Banquet Hall is a pricey waiter-service restaurant where diners can meet costumed Disney characters, so it’s a big hit with kids. Make reservations in advance. Voyage to the Crystal Grotto, a boat ride that travels past sculpture gardens depicting scenes from Disney movies, even travels underneath the building. And like the other castles, Shanghai’s castle offers a walk-through element. This one tells the story of Snow White.
Feeling hungry after walking through the Disneyland? Unfortunately for Muslim, there is no halal option inside the Disneyland. However no worries as there is a halal stall selling halal Chinese cuisine called “Yershari” in the Disney Town, next to the Disneyland. Muslim may find this stall inside of Food Republic, and don’t forget to exchange cash at a counter inside the Food Republic to get a Food Republic Card as all transaction here is cashless.