There’ a lot of fantasy involved in a Disney film, and while the characters might not all be based on real people, many of the film’s were inspired by real life locations. Here are some destinations that were used as inspiration for Disney films.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany
The Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany was the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle that is both featured in the film and also at Disneyland. The castle was built in 1892 by Ludwig II of Bavaria who was to use it as a personal retreat. He built it as a tribute to his favorite composer Richard Wagner.
Alsace, France was the town that inspired the cute village in Beauty and the Beast. The region is in North-West France and was politically German through a lot of its history so there is a cultural blend that has made it a really unique city. A lot of this uniqueness is demonstrated through the architecture.
Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, France
Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, France was the inspiration for the film Tangled. The Kingdom of Corona was based off of a real island commune that is sometimes separated from the land completely by the water depending on the tides. It’s a very popular tourist attraction these days.
Angel Falls, Venezuela
Angel Falls in Venezuela was some of the inspiration for the movie Up. The falls have an uninterrupted flow of 3,212ft tall which makes it the tallest waterfall in the world. It flows from the top of table topped mountain called Auyantepui. In the indigenous Pemon language the falls are also referred to as Kerepakupai Vena.
Taj Mahal, Agra, India
The Sultan’s palace in Aladdin was inspired by the Taj Mahal in India. Most people think that the Taj Mahal is a palace but it actually a tomb that the Emperor Shah Jahan started building for his favorite wife in 1632.
Machu Picchu, Cusco, Peru
In The Emperor’s New Groove there is a village that is based off of Machu Picchu, Cusco, Peru. Machu Picchu may have once been home to the Incan emperor Pachacuti. The area was totally forgotten about after the Spanish Conquest until someone happened upon it in 1911.
Forbidden City, Beijing, China
The Forbidden City in Beijing, China was the inspiration for the emperor’s home in Mulan. During the Ming and Qing dynasties the palace was home to emperors, but these days it is open to the public for tourism.
Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France
The cathedral in The Hunchback Of Notre Dame is the Notre Dam cathedral in Paris. The gothic style structure took 200 years to complete. The building was one of the firsts in Europe to utilize the flying buttress structure, which was necessary to keep the walls from buckling because they were so heavy.
Chateau De Chillon, Lake Geneva, Switzerland
In The Little Mermaid we see Eric’s castle, which was inspired by the Chateau De Chillon on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The castle dates back to the Roman empire and was used to guard a road that went into the alps.