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The History of the Dolls

The Dolls and Fairytales are the reason for our Castle.

Bright and Colourful dolls in the Sunshine Castle

Over the last decade the Sunshine Castle has shifted the focus of its displays and and exhibits to a medieval theme.

Originally in 1973 the Castle (then appropriately called the Fairytale Castle) was built by the first owners to house 8 Original Fairytale Diaramas and some dolls.

Two of which can still be viewed on the mezzanine level oft he Reception Hall today.

Built on the David Low Way which for the first 20 years was the only way north from Brisbane – The original Castle (todays reception Hall) with Moat was able to attract a magnificent 1 million visitors in ist first 3 years of trading.

A mechanical international Dancing Dolls display underneath the Castle Keep was the celebrated highlight of the Castle in the mid 80’s with the second owners of the Castle travelling extensively and sewing costumes for the dolls to represent many different nationalities world wide.(This is where the Castle changed its name to the Bli Bli Castle). Built on two levels originally the Dancing Doll display you can see today located on the ground level in front of the Castle Gallery still entertains customers with some moving dolls in national costumes.

At this point the Castle had expanded so much that the original owners residence which was a plain house similar to its neighbours today was encased by Castle walls and turned into display areas and the Castle Entrance (current entrance was originally the household rumpus room) – with the establishment of a dedicated doll museum.

The Fairytale Walk – late in the 80’s a local Sunshine Coast artist was commissioned to  built a new display of Fairytales in the upstairs tract of the owners residence. The Fairytale walk is still a highlight on the castle tour today and allows young and old alike to delve into the imaginary world.

The Doll Museum – in peak times in the early 90’s was home to well over 2500 dolls, collected and displayed with much love.

Due to some weather damage and a less than ideal climate for the dolls has made maintenance and preservation difficult over time. The doll museum today has seen some sections and dolls being retired due to their age and stage – but still boasts a large and ecclectic collection of dolls and nic nac.

Some exciting new doll collections and dolls have been donated to the Castle over recent years and have found their place in the doll museum taking over some of the older displays. For donations please contact info@sunshinecastle.com

There will surely come a time when the dolls will retire fully – but they are a big part our History for now.

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