Case Study: Hong Kong Disneyland Castle

Problem: How to theme the architectural ornamentation of a castle that is dedicated to all of Disney's princesses, not just one - without featuring any of their faces.

Solution: I worked with the team to develop a visual vocabulary based on each of the princesses' signature icons, flowers, and "buddies." For example, Belle was represented by a book, a rose, and Mrs. Potts and Chip (et al). Using that imagery, I designed a stained glass window, roof finials, column capitals, carvings, mosaics, figurines, ironwork, and more. The castle design was already incredible, and I wanted to create unique flourishes worthy of its beauty.

  • 2016-17
  • Concept, Design, Painting
  • Walt Disney Imagineering
  • Director: Doris Woodward

Stained Glass Window

I've designed a few other stained glass windows, so I knew how to arrange shapes and leading. This one was challenging because we had to represent 13 princesses, which would make an uneven geometric. So I put Snow White's imagery in the center to honor her as the original royal - and to preserve the even 12 on the outside.

I loved what Disney did with my design. That's the beauty of working with teams - everyone adds their expertise and vision, honing the work into something stronger than any one person could create on their own.

Roof Finial Designs

Each of the princesses had to be represented on one of the many towers and domes.

The Final Finials

These look so beautiful in place! As always, the fabricators did an amazing job.

Decorative Metalwork

Laser-cut repeated petals formed a geometric flower in the ceiling of an outdoor rotunda.

Carved Column Capitals

This part of the project was the most fun. I got to tell more of a story within each column capital, featuring each of the princesses' "buddies." For example, in Cinderella's column, the mice are playing with ribbons, pearls, and thread against the backdrop of a pumpkin patch. I created the image to fit around an angled capital, and talented artisans did a wonderful job of carving out the stories.

This whole project was a joy from beginning to end. I worked with some of my favorite people at Disney, and will be forever grateful to be a part of the team.