BACKSTORY (JULY 17, 1955—Present): On July 17, 2008, Disney announced that the Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthrough would reopen in the style of the original Earle dioramas, enhanced with new technology not available in 1957. The walkthrough reopened on November 27, 2008 at 5:00 PM, drawing long lines going as far back as the Hub. Unlike previous incarnations, visitors who are unable to climb stairs or navigate the passageways of the Castle can still experience the walkthrough "virtually" in a special room on the Castle's ground floor. This room is lavishly themed, and presents the closed-captioned CGI walkthrough recreation on a high-definition TV. This same virtual recreation is included on the Sleeping Beauty 50th Anniversary Platinum Edition DVD.
It is a common myth that the Disney family coat of arms hangs above the archway to the castle. The Disney family coat of arms is composed of three fleur de lis whereas the coat of arms on the castle is three lions passant in pale. The origins and meaning of the coat of arms on Sleeping Beauty Castle is unknown at this time. It is known that the coat of arms was not originally on the castle but was placed there sometime between June 1965 and July 1965.
In celebration of Disneyland's 50th anniversary in 2005, the castle was repainted and five turrets were decorated with stylized crowns, each representing a decade in the park's history.
The creation of Disneyland is represented by a pair of famous "Ears" peeking up over the horizon to see the wonders to come.
"A World on the Move", otherwise known as the "New Tomorrowland" of 1967, is represented by rocket ships and accented by opalescent planets.
The Blue Fairy represents the debut of the Main Street Electrical Parade.
The Indiana Jones Adventure is represented by the evil Eye of Mara, guarded by snakes.
The 50th Anniversary of Disneyland is represented by fireworks and Tinker Bell.