Disneyland Paris Gets Fresh Repaint for Anniversary


In celebrating 30 years in business, Disneyland Paris has revealed a new look and a fresh coat of paint at its iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Reported to be the most visited castle in France, the structure now features gilded, golden details and unique, lavish mosaics.

“The castle looks real with our fairy-tale touch,” said Tracy Eck, Artistic Director at Walt Disney Imagineering Paris. “There are so many castles in France that people can go and see, it was important that ours had something different, a magic quality.”

Castle History

Original construction of the Sleeping Beauty Castle was launched in the early 1990s, with the park officially opening to the public in 1992. Architectural Digest reports that Disney went as far as to travel throughout all of Europe for design guidance, looking at Mont Saint Michel, the Hospices de Beaune in Eastern France and even Sainte-Chapelle.

“Everything received some kind of attention and every surface was touched in some way,” Eck recalled. “The castle is a giant set and the ground floor is one scale and the rest, like a huge movie set. The towers were built off site and brought in.”

At the time of its opening, Disneyland Paris was the first Disney theme park to open outside of the United States.

Renovation Details

According to Eck, the project took two years to plan and 12 months (50,000 hours) to complete. While most of the work would have been completed at night, Eck reported that thanks to COVID-19, much of the renovation was able to be completed while the park was closed for the nationwide lockdown.

In approaching the first 30 years of its life, however, Disney felt that it was time to give the park, and particularly its castle, a makeover. For the work, Disney officials noted that the castle’s roof would need repairs, a fresh coat of paint, waterproofing and various electrical and lighting upgrades. Thankfully, the park had an extensive history of working with French and European craftspeople to build and maintain décor across the resort, and this project would be no different.

“It was the first time we undertook something so monumental. Certain effects have even been improved so that the castle’s structure will be even more resilient in the upcoming years,” said Eck. “It took nearly a year to complete these works on site with all of the teams. Painters, electricians, gilders, craftspeople in charge of the tiled roofs… It was a hive of activity.”

Furthermore, because the Sleeping Beauty Castle has been respected as a sort of valued monument within the country, Imagineering and construction teams chose to call on various French experts in historical monument refurbishment across carpentry, roofing, painting and ironworking for the renovation. Nine different suppliers had also been employed for the project.

“Some of the suppliers with whom we were lucky to collaborate on this project only work on historical monuments. When they accepted this assignment, we realized that they viewed our castle as a historical monument that is a part of our heritage. It was very touching,” said Eck.

According to Disney Parks, in total, 1,200 liters (over 370 gallons) of paint was used for the project, which required 14 different shades of pink.

Crews also custom-designed 19,900 slate tiles for the roof structures. This aspect required the cutting of 4.8 miles worth of slate and 19,000 hooks for installation. In addition, the construction team was also reported to have applied 41,200 gold leaves by hand to gild certain parts of the castle.

Disneyland Paris officially celebrated 30 years last week. Since 1992, the park has reportedly seen over 375 million visitors.


Tagged categories: Aesthetics; Architectural coatings; Architecture; Color; Color + Design; Color + Design; Commercial / Architectural; Commerial/Architectural; Completed projects; Decorative Finishes; Design - Commercial; Disney; EU; Europe; Historic Preservation; Maintenance coating work; Program/Project Management; Project Management; Projects - Commercial; Renovation

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