29 Real-life Destinations that inspired Disney movies

For every Disney addict, whenever we see the opening symbol in which the shooting star streaks across the sky above the classic Disney castle, we just feel excited, getting ready to dive into those fancy dreams and be children again.

If you too are completely enchanted by Disney cartoon, you must not miss the following 25 inspiring real-life destinations. Because they are exactly the original muse of amazing settings for those brave princesses and magical elves.

1. Little Mermaid: Château de Chillon, Veytaux, Switzerland

Prince Eric’s Castle in Little Mermaid was modeled after Chateau de Chillon in Lake Geneva, Switzerland, with a splendid view of blue sea and delicate building. Designed to be a German outpost, it’s now open for tours and sightseeing.



2. Beauty and the Beast: Alsace, France

In Beauty and the Beast, Belle’s village was based on Alsace in France. Just like the crowded cozy scene in the cartoon, Alsace is really dotted with adorable buildings which seem straight out of a fairytale.




3. Alladin: Taj Mahal, Uttar Pradesh, India

And this is the famous Aladdin Sultan’s Palace, one of the most recognizable Disney locations. It is first inspired by the Taj Mahal.



4. Tangled: Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, France

The Royal Palace in Tangled is extremely breathtaking, as it stands on the top of the hill and reflects itself in the quiet water surface. And you can see this beauty with your own eyes at Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, France now.



5. Wreck-it-Ralph:Grand Central Terminal, New York City, USA

So now guess. Where do you think the Game Central Station in Wreck-it-Ralph is trying to imitate? Yes, that’s exactly the Grand Central Terminal in New York City.



6.Up:Angel Falls, Venezuela

You must remember the Paradise Falls in Pixar’s UP, which the character dreamed to travel to from his childhood. Actually, we can find a place just like it in real life! Possessing the world’s highest waterfall, Angel Falls in Venezuela attracts not only the animators but all people with its charm and power of nature.



7.Mulan: the Forbidden City, Beijing, China

Obviously, the emperor’s home in Mulan was built based on the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, which makes it looks so “China”, extensively luxuriant indeed.



8.The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Notre Dame, Paris

The cathedral in the Hunchback of Notre Dame is apparently another recognizable copycat of the famous one in Paris, of course.



9.The Princess and the Frog:Louisiana bayous, USA

You would definitely be amazed by the Louisiana bayou. It’s a real-life destination of fairytale, and I think it was the charm that made it inspire the fantastic scene in the Princess and the frog.




10. Frozen:Hotel De Glace, Quebec City, Canada

Do you think you have to own super power like Elsa in order to live in such a frozen charming castle? In reality, you can be Elsa right now if you book one night in the Hotel de Glace in Quebec, which is reconstructed from blocks of ice every winter.



11.Frozen:Nærøyfjord, Aurland, Norway

Also, her kingdom Arendelle is not made out of nothing. The beautiful location of the isolated land is modeled after Aurland, Norway.



12.Frozen: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 stayed there with him, she was also very pious, and began building the church with him to be able to practice her Anglican faith. Unfortunately, she died before it was completed.



13.Snow White:Segovia Castle, Spain

And the queen’s castle in Snow White is actually a castle in Spain, standing on the cliff and facing the sea.



14. Lilo and Stitch: Kauai, Hawaii, USA

The “Garden Isle” Kauai is Hawaii’s fourth largest island and it was the model used in Lilo and Stitch. It’s also the oldest island located at the northernmost boasting numerous wonders like tropical rainforests, green mountains, jagged cliffs, rivers, and waterfalls.



15.Peter Pan: Bloomsbury, London, England, UK

It may be hard to believe when you finally notice the houses in Peter Pan are actually the ones in the center of London’s upmarket residential area. But these old houses is truly beautiful enough to welcome a fairy.



16. Bambi: Hunt Trail, Baxter State Park, USA

Moreover, the forest where our adorable friend Bambi lives is inspired by the Hunt Trail in Baxter State Park of Northeast Piscataquis in Maine, USA.



17. Cars: Wigwam Motel, USA

Remember the special Cozy Cone Motel in Cars? It is actually a copy of the Wigwam Motel. In fact, the Wigwam Motel is a motel chain in the United States which is known for its unique-looking rooms in the form of tipis.



18. Atlantis:The Lost Empire, Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Amazingly, Disney cartoon even capture the charm of Angkor Wat in Cambodia to create the spectacular dream of Atlantis.



19. The Emperor’s New Groove: Machu Picchu, Peru

In the cartoon of the Emperor’s New Groove, the green mountains looked so unreal as it was painted cute and twisty. But there do exist the origin.In the middle of a tropical mountain forest, the Machu Picchu is an ancient site made up of giant walls, stone structures and agricultural terraces.



20.Sleeping Beauty:Neuschwanstein Castle,Bavaria, Germany

The Royal Castle in Sleeping Beauty was inspired by Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, which was built by Ludwig II of Bavaria in 1892. It is surrounded by the forest and mountains, as a shinny treasure.



21. Beauty and the Beast: Chateau de Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France

The enormous castle in Beauty and the Beast is cool enough, but you might want to visit the cooler model of it in France. Built in 1547 by King Francis I as a “hunting lodge”, the castle is of unbelievable beauty.



22.Brave: Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland, UK

The Royal Castle in Brave was inspired by Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland. The island has an ancient history which was said to have been the site of a monastery in the 6th or 7th century.



23.Sleeping Beauty: New Forest, Hampshire, England, UK

The new forest is a mosaic of ancient and ornamental woodland, open heather-covered heaths, rivers and valley mire



24. Cars: U-Drop Inn, Shamrock, Texas

Ramone’s House of Body Art in the classic Cars was inspired by U-Drop Inn in Shamrock, Taxes. Believe it or not, this inn itself was inspired by a nail stuck in the soil.



25.Beauty and the Beast: Black Forest(Schwarzwald), Germany

The Black Forest in Germany is the biggest natural park in the country, and it was the best model for this background set.


26.Finding Nemo:Sydney Harbor, Australia

The usual postcard you get from Sydney is this landscape featuring the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the yachts and ferries sailing on blue waters. This sight can be entirely found at the Sydney Harbour and this natural playground is a favorite among locals and visitors. You can travel around Sydney Harbour by ferry or you can go sailing, swimming, diving, and walking around its foreshore.



27.Lion King :Baobab tree, Africa

Rafiki’s Ancient Tree, often called The Tree of Life, is home to Rafiki.In fact,it is a tall and thick African baobab tree. Its leaves are always green.And these trees are often found in the savannas of Africa and India mostly around the equator.If you want to find a special baobab tree, you can go to Limpopo, South Africa to see the world’s oldest and biggest baobab tree.



28.Lion King: Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Mount Kilimanjaro is known to be Africa’s most highest peak , the tallest free-standing mountain in the world with an elevation around 900 meters to 5,895 meters. It is one of the world’s most accessible high summits. It’s best to visit the mountain during the clearest and warmest conditions from December to February.



29.Cinderella: Neuschwanstein Castle, Schwangau, Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle was Ludwig II’s private abode that turned into a must-visit tourist spot after his death. Located in Bavaria, the “fairy tale-like” castle was built as a tribute to Richard Wagner, Ludwig II’s favorite composer. Moreover, the castle boasted its state of the art technology during the medieval times with advances like toilets with automatic flushing system and an air heating system for the whole castle. Neuschwanstein castle is just right above Hohenschwangau valley that’ll provide you a sight of its magnificent landscapes.