- This article focuses on the fairytale Sleeping Beauty. For the Fairytale Land character, see Princess Aurora.
In a faraway kingdom that was both peaceful and prosperous, the reigning King and his Queen long to have a child but several of their attempts fail. Time passes and finally their wish is granted with the birth of a daughter. A great holiday is then organized for all of high or low estate to pay homage, with seven fairies being selected as godmothers to the infant princess.
During the banquet held at the Royal Palace, the fairies are seated before a golden casket filled with bejeweled utensils. Suddenly a Wicked Fairy enters the Great Hall - enraged that she did not receive an invitation - and is given a seating, but not a golden casket since only seven were made. The Good Fairies one by one bestow their gifts: the Gift of Beauty, the Gift of Wit, the Gift of Grace, the Gift of Dance, the Gift of Song and the Gift of Music.
The Wicked Fairy - who is still enraged - announces that she too has a gift for the child and proclaims that on her sixteenth year, the princess will prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die. All hope seems lost and the banquet descends into chaos. But then one last fairy uses her gift to weaken the curse so that the young Princess will instead fall into a deep sleep for one hundred years and be awoken by a kiss formed of true love.
Fearing for his daughter's life, however, the King decrees that the possession of a spinning wheel is forbidden throughout the kingdom and anyone found to be in the possession of one will be executed.
Years later, the Princess has grown into a beautiful young woman with the blessings that her godmothers bestowed to her. The Princess is wandering through the Palace on the day of her sixteenth year and chances upon an old woman spinning in one of the towers - a woman who is unaware of the decree against spinning wheels. The Princess attempts to master the unfamiliar task only to prick her finger and fulfill the Wicked Fairy's curse.
When the King and Queen learn of their daughter's fate, attempts to revive her fail and the Princess is placed on a bed of gold-and-silver fabric as the Good Fairy is summoned to the Palace.
The King and Queen learn from the Good Fairy that a powerful charm will be placed on everyone in the Palace, causing them to fall asleep until the spell is broken. The Good Fairy does this task and then summons a forest of thorns to appear around the Palace, shielding it from the outside world. One hundred years later, a handsome prince from a distant kingdom is on a hunting expedition with his attendants when he notices the Palace from behind the forest of thorns. The attendants make up differing stories and confuse the Prince until an older man recounts a story he learned from his father, the story of a beautiful princess doomed to sleep for a hundred years unless she is awakened by a kiss formed of true love.
The Prince decides to brave the forest of thorns only to see them part before his eyes. After entering the Palace, he enters the room where the young Princess is sleeping and falls to his knees. He is enchanted by her beauty and places his lips against her own, causing the spell to be broken. The two become infatuated with each other and are married before the entire Royal Court.
- Prince Phillip traveled with Mulan to find Aurora who had slept for 28 years, not a hundred.
- The character Maleficent, the villain of the 1959 Disney animated film based on the story, has made an appearance. The Evil Queen alluded to the sleeping princess.