King Florestan declares a christening ceremony to be held in honor of the birth of his daughter, Princess Aurora. An entourage of six fairies are invited to the Christening to be godmothers to the child. As the fairies are happily granting gifts of honesty, grace, prosperity, song and generosity, they are suddenly interrupted by the arrival of the wicked fairy Carabosse, who is furious at the King’s failure to invite her to the ceremony. The King and Queen begin to remonstrate. With spite and rage, Carabosse declares her curse on Princess Aurora: she will prick her finger on her sixteenth birthday and die. But all is not lost: the Lilac Fairy, fortunately, has not yet granted her gift to the Princess. She acknowledges that Carabosse’s power is immense and she cannot completely reverse the curse. However, she declares, though the Princess shall indeed prick her finger, she will not die, but instead sleep for 100 years until she is awakened by the kiss of a prince. Carabosse departs, and the curtain falls as the good fairies surround the cradle.
It is Princess Aurora’s sixteenth birthday. Celebrations are already underway: the atmosphere is festive. Aurora receives her four royal suitors and their gifts of exquisite roses. Soon after, Aurora is presented with a spindle as a gift from a disguised Carabosse—an object which she has never before seen. Carelessly, she dances with it despite her mother and father’s warnings before accidentally pricking herself.
She faints. To the horror of all, Carabosse immediately reveals her true wicked self triumphantly. At that very moment, the Lilac Fairy appears as she had promised. She reminds the remaining guests and the King and Queen of her gift—Aurora will not die, but merely sleep. She then casts a spell of slumber upon the entire kingdom so that they will only awake when Aurora does.
One hundred years later, the prince Désiré, is at a hunting party with his companions. Désiré sees the Lilac Fairy who presents him with a vision of Aurora and he is entranced by her beauty. The Prince pleads with the Lilac Fairy to bring him to see Princess Aurora, to which the latter consents.
The Prince discovers the castle, which is now overgrown in thick vines. His first act is to defeat Carabosse. Once past her and inside the castle, the Prince finds Aurora and awakens her with a kiss. The entire kingdom awakes with her. The Prince then declares his love for Aurora and proposes to her. The King and the Queen are happy to give their blessings.
Preparations for the wedding are made. On the day of the festivities, different fairies are invited. These are the fairies to bless the marriage. Also many fairytale characters come to the wedding, such as Puss in Boots and The White Cat are also among the guests. A golden chain of dances is held: Puss in Boots and the White Cat,the Bluebird and Princess Florine, Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf Cinderella and Prince. The Prince and the Princess are wed, and the Lilac Fairy blesses their marriage. The ballet ends with all the characters making a final bow.