Monday, December 08, 2008
A Classic Restored
On Saturday morning, I left San Diego at the crack of dawn so that I could see the recently opened Sleeping Beauty Diorama before the crowds arrived. I have been more excited about the walkthrough than any other attraction that has opened at Disneyland within the last 20 years. I am too young to remember the original 1957 version; all I was exposed to before was the Barbie & Ken version, which was more akin to the Main Street Emporium windows than anything of an artistic nature. It seemed that my early arrival was not in vain, as I was definitely one of the first (if not the first) guest to go through the diorama on Saturday. All I can say is that it definitely did not disappoint. I found myself having a difficult time of taking photographs and just simply gawking at the practically flawless execution of each individual scene. The vintage feel of Eyvind Earle’s art had been captured and enhanced with modern technology to create an extremely cool attraction. Each scene is introduced with the familiar open storybook page.
Just to be inside the castle again was thrilling enough. When I first saw the virtual recreation of the walkthrough on the Sleeping Beauty blu-ray, I thought that was amazing; the in-person experience blows even that away. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that you don't need to visit this in person.
Here are a few of the dioramas:
I am also happy to report that the restored attraction still scares the bejesus out of kids, as I heard more than a few fleeing in terror!
A big round of thanks to Tony Baxter & Chris Merritt for their persistence, blood, sweat, and tears in making this attraction come back to glorious life. See more vintage & current Sleeping Beauty Castle Diorama photos at my regular website.