Thorn-encrusted dragon rises from Maleficent's Court ready for Halloween ©RadioDisneyClub

Deadly thorns and an enormous, tangled briar patch are now occupying the usually peaceful Castle Courtyard in Fantasyland, as the Maleficent’s Court transformation sees its Halloween opening.

Works completed with just a day to spare, turning the space behind Sleeping Beauty Castle into a foreboding centrepiece for the Halloween “Gang” of Disney Villains to meet and greet guests. The usual Sword in the Stone at its heart has been completely concealed, with clever décor giving the impression that its stone walls have been warped and entangled by the spiny green briars.

Towering over 30ft high, the decoration is in fact an embodiment of Maleficent’s dragon alter-ego — look closely at the pictures by InsideDLParis below and you might spot the sharp jaw line, twisted horns and neck bending down towards visitors.

Thorn-encrusted dragon rises from Maleficent's Court ready for Halloween ©InsideDLParis
Thorn-encrusted dragon rises from Maleficent's Court ready for Halloween ©InsideDLParis

Even without Disney Villains surrounding it, the feature has already become an impressive photo opportunity for Disneyland Paris photographers. Already we’ve seen it captured as a tangled mess through the archways of the castle (by Radio Disney Club, top) or juxtaposed with the towers of Le Château itself, in a way we’ve never before seen Fantasyland in over 20 years (by @DisneylandBerry, below).

Thorn-encrusted dragon rises from Maleficent's Court ready for Halloween ©DisneylandBerry

Besides a new float for Mickey’s Halloween Celebration, this is perhaps the biggest “new” element of Disney’s Halloween Festival in 2014. It’s a real delight to see this festival continue to go from strength to strength, becoming not just more impressive but ever more fitting within the park’s lands themselves.

Update — The Disney Villains make their first appearances around the Maleficent’s Court briar, which seems to be gently erupting smoke, in a photo by @DisneylandBerry:

he Disney Villains make their first appearances around the Maleficent's Court briar ©DisneylandBerry

PHOTOS Radio Disney ClubInsideDLParis, DisneylandBerry

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