The History of the DollsThe 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 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.
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.
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.
The old Doll Museum
In the early 90’s, at peak times it was home to well over 2500 dolls, collected and displayed with much love. Maintenance and preservation of the dolls was 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. Neverthelessmthe museum still boasted a large and eclectic collection of dolls and nic nac.
All Dolled Up
In May 2020 whilst the Castle Tour was closed due to Covid 19 the Castle team finally decided to renovate the doll museum during the closure.
Talented local artist Khatti von Leigh who had previously designed and painted the murals on the party terrace was asked to lead the project and instantly had a vision for the space. The new look doll museum now shines with many new backdrops and displays that have given the dolls a chic new home.
After many of our dolls were retired during the renovations, perhaps you love and collect dolls that would suit our new ‘All Dolled Up’ space.
Do you know why the dolls play such a big part in our History?