For many people, there’s nothing as magical as a trip to a Disney theme park. This year, Disneyland Paris is celebrating 30 years of that magic with a completely upgraded Disneyland Paris castle. In a Youtube video, Disneyland Paris’ Art Director Tracy Eck explains all the “Imagineering” that went into updating the park’s Sleeping Beauty castle (one of two in the world, the other at the Disneyland in Anaheim, California) in all its glory.
The renovation had some setbacks to COVID-19, so it took two years, and a total of 50,000 hours, to renovate. There was an advantage to doing the work during the pandemic, however. Disney Parks typically only remodel and redecorate at night, but with park closures, the crew could work during the day as well, according to Architectural Digest. The refurbishment was not only a chance for a fresh castle for the park’s 30th anniversary, but it was also necessary for the major repairs that often come with 30 years of wear and tear.
“These moments are incredible because we want to make it work, but we never know as long as it’s not done, so it’s kind of an intense moment where we’re precautious,” Eck says in the video. “[But] when it’s done, it’s amazing,”
The project required painters, electricians, gilders, carpenters, tile makers, and roofers to work together to restore the magic. Some suppliers that worked on the project exclusively work with French national and historical monuments — and considering the Sleeping Beauty Castle is the most visited castle in all of France, Disneyland Paris has established itself as an important part of the country’s history.
Some of the most notable changes include rebuilding a few of the towers, which were built offsite and had to be lifted by crane. Eek notes that the castle was entirely repainted by hand with at least 10 shades of pink and more than 41,000 sheets of gold leaf. The roof received 19,900 new slate roof tiles, and the electrical was revamped to add new effects.
The video above shows the mass of activity and energy it took to make the updated version of the castle come to life (for the non-French speakers, turn the English captions on).