The History of the Dolls

The Dolls and Fairytales are the reason for our Castle.

Fairytale Diarams and Dolls

Over the last decade the Sunshine Castle shifted its focus to a medieval themed museum. Originally the Castle was built in 1973. Back then called the Fairytale Castle, it housed eight original fairytale diaramas and some dolls. Today, two diaramas can still be viewed on the mezzanine level of the Reception Hall.

The Beginning

The original Castle was built on the David Low Way. It only consisted of todays reception Hall and the Moat. For the first 20 years this was the only way north from Brisbane. Therefore the original Castle was able to attract a magnificent 1 million visitors in ist first 3 years of trading.

The second owners of the Castle travelled extensively and even sewed costumes for the dolls in order to represent as many different nationalities world wide as possible. In the mid 80’s a mechanical international Dancing Dolls display, built on two levels underneath the Castle Keep was the celebrated highlight of the Castle. Around that time the name of the Castle changed to Bli Bli Castle.

Bright and Colourful dolls in the Sunshine Castle

Today the Dancing Doll display is located on the ground level in front of the Castle Gallery. Even nowadays it still entertains customers with some moving dolls in national costumes.

Back then the Castle had expanded noticeably. The original owners residence, a plain house was encased by Castle walls and turned into the dedicated doll museum with display areas.

Highlights

The Fairytale Walk

In the late 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.

Bright and Colourful dolls in the Sunshine Castle

The Doll Museum

In the early 90’s, at peak times it was home to well over 2500 dolls, collected and displayed with much love.

Today

Maintenance and preservation of the dolls has been a difficult task. This is due to a less than ideal climate as well as some weather damage. Therefore some sections and dolls of the doll museum had to retire. Nevertheless, even today the museum still boasts a large and ecclectic collection of dolls and nic nac.

Bright and Colourful dolls in the Sunshine Castle

Furthermore, some exciting new doll collections and dolls have been donated to the Castle over recent years. Naturally, some of the older displays could retire, whilst they found a place in the doll museum.

You would like to donate to our collection? Please contact info@sunshinecastle.com

Surely, there will come a time when the dolls will fully retire – but for now they continue to be a big part of our History.

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