The Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough at Disneyland, which opened late last year, requires guests to climb stairs and navigate some rather twisty, narrow passageways. (“A twisty maze of passages, all alike” for those of you who remember Adventure!) But it’s a problem for those with limited mobility.
Disney offers a virtual experience for those who are unable (or don’t wish) to climb around inside the castle. I was able to experience this on a couple of visits this year and I was very pleasantly surprised – there’s a few things I like better about the virtual experience than the real thing!
The virtual experience takes place in a room in the castle (where one of the shops used to be). There’s a tapestry on the wall, a bench to sit on (though as you can see in the pictures below on my first visit this was some nice “throne” type chairs and not a metal bench), and a display case of Sleeping Beauty knick-knacks. There’s also a magic mirror…
As the virtual experience begins, this mirror transforms into a high-definition television screen. The trip through the Castle Walk through starts at the entrance as a narrator begins to tell the story of Sleeping Beauty. There’s some musical accompaniment, also. (And there are captions on the display itself, though I found those distracting.)
The virtual trip provides visuals of the entire attraction, including going up the steps and through the passageways (which are, fortunately, not really all alike!). It stops at each of the scenes inside, and shows you the entire scene including any special effects there might be. I thought it was a lot easier to see those on the screen than it was in the attraction!
It also visits the Corridor of Goons and allows the viewer to see those effects (and some of those weren’t working in the real walkthrough that I did afterwards).
As they all “live happily ever after” the Magic Mirror closes and the virtual experience comes to an end.
I thought the narration was a really nice touch – though the entire video isn’t narrated – mostly at the beginning and at the end.
The entire virtual experience takes about seven-and-a-half minutes. It starts to repeat within a minute or so.
Looking up at the ceiling, written on the beams were the gifts from the three Good Fairies.
I haven’t seen any Cast Members monitoring the room when I’ve been there – the door was open and anyone could come and go as they pleased – the video was set to auto-repeat once it finished.