10 Magical Disney locations inspired by reality

Most of us have all grown up loving the traditional Disney animated stories that were near magical on celluloid. From Cinderella and Snow White to The Little Mermaid, Disney enthralled us with his story telling magic. Those beautiful fairytales transformed into Disney movies entertained us in every sense of the word.


Disney is still going strong today entertaining kids around the world but did you know the animated backdrop of every Disney movie isn’t just a figment of imagination? Every setting has been inspired by real life structures that were no less magical in appearance just like Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Take a look at the 10 Disney locations inspired by reality.

1 Sleeping Beauty, Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria Germany

In the 1950’sWalt Disney was enamored by the beautiful Neushwanstein Castle in Bavaria while on vacation. Walt and his wife even visited the castle and felt he needed a similar attraction in Disneyland that was just being constructed. Sleeping Beauty’s castle soon became a reality in Disneyland and also formed the setting for the animated Disney Classic ‘Sleeping Beauty’ released in 1959.

Neuschwanstein Castle

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2 Beauty and the beast, Alsace France

This little town square in Beauty and the Beast was inspired by the village of Alsace, a beautiful locale in North-West France. Throughout the greater part of Europe’s history, it was politically German. In that capacity, it has a mix of two societies, which can be found in the names of different areas and particularly in the locale’s lovely peaceful design and elegant architecture.


Beauty and the beast, Alsace France

3 Tangled, Mont Saint Michel, France

Remember the beautiful castle belonging to the family of Rapunzel? Well the kingdom of Corona in the film ‘Tangled’ was inspired by the castle of Mont St Michel in Normandy, France. The unique island on which the castle stands remains segregated from the mainland by tidal waters. This makes it a virtual fortress and is a major attraction among tourists.

Tangled, Mont Saint Michel, France

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4 Mulan, Forbidden City, Beijing China

Although the Forbidden City was constructed a 1000 years before the story of ‘Mulan’ took place, the area inspired the animators where the Emperor’s palace is almost identical to the film. Mulan was based upon China’s most famous mythological warrior princess, Fa-Mulan and was immortalized in the poem, ‘The Ballad of Mulan’.

Mulan, Forbidden City, Beijing China

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5 Aladdin, The Taj Mahal India

The palace of the Sultan in Aladdin was inspired by one of the 7 wonders of the world, The Taj Mahal. An iconic monument constructed from marble, it was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1632 as a memorial tomb for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal stands on the banks of the Yamuna River amongst lush gardens.

Aladdin, The Taj Mahal India

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6 The emperor’s New Groove, Maccha Pichu, Cusco, Peru

Pascha’s village in the ‘Emperor’s New Grove’ was inspired by the beautiful but mysterious Inca city of Maccha Picchu in Cusco, Peru. Said to be a spiritual Mystery, the site of Maccha Pichu exists at an elevation of 7,970 feet in the Peruvian Andes. It was believed to be the residence of the Incan emperor Pachacuti. Perhaps that could also be the inspiration of the character’s Name Pascha. Macha Pichu remained hidden in obscurity till being rediscovered in 1911.

The emperor’s New Groove, Maccha Pichu

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7 The Little Mermaid – Chateau De Chillon, Lake Geneva, Switzerland

The castle of Prince Eric in ‘The little Mermaid’ has been inspired by the Chateau De Chillon on Lake Geneva, Switzerland. The Chateau dates back to the era of the Roman Empire when it used the chateau to guard the route to the Alps. The castle is makes an enchanting fairytale setting and appears magical on the lake during the setting sun.

The Little Mermaid – Chateau De Chillon

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8 Snow White – Segovia Castle, Spain

The witch queens castle in ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarves’ were inspired by the Alcazar Segovia castle in Central Spain. The castle is built on a rocky crag above the confluence of the two rivers in the Guadarrama Mountains. Believed to be built sometime between 1100-1200 AD, it was used by Spanish monarchs but damaged in a major fire in 1862. It has been restored and is used as a Museum.

Segovia Castle, Spain

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9 Brave – Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland, UK

Merida’s castle in brave was inspired by the Eilean Donan castle located on the Eliean Donan or Island of Donan. It was reconstructed in 1932 and served as a monastery in the 6th and 7th century. It was later claimed as a home for the Mackenzie Clan.

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland, UK

Image Source: www.viajesyturismosuntravel.com

10 Atlantis: The Lost Empire – Angkor Vat, Angkor, Cambodia

The city of Atlantis in ‘Atlantis, The Lost Empire ‘was inspired by the famed spiritual city of Angkor Vat in Cambodia. Angkor Vat was a Hindu temple that was later converted to a Buddhist temple complex in the 12th century.

The Lost Empire – Angkor Vat, Angkor, Cambodia

Image Source: www.cloudfront.net


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