Indeed the appeal of Disney films is undeniable. Their tales of heroes, villains and monsters, castles and fairy godmothers paired with the picture-perfect cities, storied palaces, and otherworldly landscapes transport us into the cinematic realms of fantasy.
But, do you know the majority of Disney films take inspiration from the real life places? Read on to discover some of the real-life places used in some of the most iconic settings in Disney films.
Inspired from- Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany
Built in 1892, The Royal Castle in Sleeping Beauty was inspired by Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany. This beautiful castle was constructed by Ludwig II of Bavaria to give a tribute to Richard Wagner, his favorite composer. Ludwig II, was a famous art patron, who used to leave behind beautiful structures throughout Bavaria.
Inspired from: Alsace, France
This tiny little village square showed in Beauty and the Beast was inspired by a real life location of Alsace- a charming region in North-West France. The land represents the perfect blend of two cultures of France and Germany, which can be clearly seen in the names of the various locations and especially in the region’s stunning pastoral architecture.
Inspired from: Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, France
The fascinating kingdom of Corona in Tangled has taken the inspiration from Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France. This unique island is located bit away from the mainland. Today, its stunning look makes it a famous attraction for tourists.
Inspired From- Angel Falls, Venezuela
How can we forget Paradise Fall from the movie? The same region has taken inspiration from the Angel Falls in Venezuela. Located at the height of 979m (3,212ft), it s the world’s highest waterfall, falling from the mountain of Auyantepui, Venezuela.
Inspired from- Taj Mahal, Agra, India
The magnificent Sultan’s Palace in Aladdin was inspired by the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The famous Taj Mahal is actually a splendid tomb that Emperor Shah Jahan has built in the year 1632 for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The iconic tomb is encased in white marble and surrounded by lush gardens and the River Yamuna.
Inspired from- Machu Picchu, Cusco, Peru
Remember the Pacha’s village in the Emperor’s New Groove, the same region has inspired by Machu Picchu in Cusco, Peru. Located at the altitude of 2,430m up in the mountains of Peru was once the residence of Incan emperor Pachacuti. The site remained forgotten for year after it got rediscovered in 1911.
Inspired from- Chateau De Chillon, Lake Geneva, Switzerland
Prince Eric’s castle in the The Little Mermaid has been taken into fantasy world by the Chateau De Chillon on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Dating back to the Roman Empire, the Chateau was used to guard a road through the Alps. The castle is not only beautiful, but its location directly on the shores of Lake Geneva makes it an amazing fairytale setting.
Inspired from- Grand Central Terminal, New York City, USA
Game Central Station in Wreck-It Ralph was imagined by looking at the Grand Central Terminal of New York City. The terminal was reconstructed t in its current style in the year 1913. This popular station has been in active use even after several bomb threats.
Inspired from: St. Olaf’s Church, Balestrand, Norway
The Chapel in Frozen was inspired by St. Olaf’s Church in Balestrand, Norway. It was also known as the English church because its construction was begun by Margaret Green, an Englishwoman who lived in the nearby mountains with Knut Kvikne, the man she fell in love with. Though she resided there with him, she was also very virtuous, and began building the church with him to be able to practice her Anglican faith. Unfortunately, she died before it was completed.
Inspired from- Louisiana bayous, USA
The lush green swamp of New Orleans from princess and The Frog was inspired by the real life lakes, marshes and slow moving rivers constituting the state of Louisiana. These bayous are an abode to creatures like catfish, alligator and turtles.
Inspired from- Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland, UK
Eilean Donan Castle of Scotland has inspired the Royal Castle in Brave. The Castle has an ancient history where it was used as the site of a monastery in 6th or 7th century and later became a home to the people that has protected the Mackenzie clan.
Inspired from- U-Drop Inn, Shamrock, Texas
Remember Ramone’s House of Body art in Cars was inspired by U-Drop inn. After Route 66 was decommissioned, this dreamy inn got closed down. Now, it is national art and architectural monument and a place of a Tesla electric vehicle charging station.
Inspired from- Angkor Wat, Angkor, Cambodia
The city of Atlantis in the movie Atlantis: The Lost Empire was taken inspiration from Angkor Wat in Angkor, Cambodia. The land of Atlantis is based on a legendary sunken Greek island that may or may not have existed but their realities have inspired the makers to turn it into a virtual thing.
Inspired from- Hotel De Glace, Quebec City, Canada
Try to recall when Elsa run away from the home and creates her own snow- castle, that same ice place was inspired by Hotel De Glace in Quebec City, Canada. The hotel is a seasonal construction that happens to be located on the outskirts of Quebec City in Canada every winter. Its architecture varies from year to year that has made it the perfect inspiration for a palace in Frozen.
Inspired from- Segovia Castle, Spain
The Queen’s castle in fairy-tale saga of Snow White was inspired by the Alcazar of Segovia, a castle of central Spain. The structure stands on a cliff at the convergence of two rivers, giving it a look similar to the prow of a ship.
Inspired from- Forbidden City, Beijing, China
The Forbidden City in Beijing, China has inspired the makers of Mulan. The structure looks almost like a replica of the real life structure. The expansive palace was considered Forbidden because of it being an abode to the emperor, and no one could enter without his permission.
Inspired from- Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France
The cathedral in the famous Disney movie ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ was inspired from the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The cathedral is one of the most famous attractions of Paris featuring Gothic architecture in the world. The building took almost 200 years to complete and was one of the first buildings to use flying ramparts in Europe.
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