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Destinations 8 real life locations that inspired Disney

Some of the beautiful and grand fairy tale castles in your favourite Disney movies were actually inspired by real life locations.

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Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany play

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany


The beautiful scenes and castles in our favorite Disney movies may be products of imagination, but they are inspired by real-life locations.

These pictures comparing some Disney’s most popular locations with their real-life inspirations are sure to make you believe in magic!

ALSO READ: Fairy tale characters brought to life

While the Disney locations are not always exact replicas of the real life ones, the link is quite obvious and undeniable.

Some Disney’s classics are actually based on existing traditional fairy tales, thus the references to these real-life locations are more than appropriate.

1. Frozen:

St. Olaf’s Church, Norway play

St. Olaf’s Church, Norway


St. Olaf’s Church in Balestrand, Norway inspired the chapel in Frozen. The church is also known as the English church because its construction was begun by Margaret Green, an Englishwoman who unfortunately died before its completion.

Scene from Frozen play

Scene from Frozen


2. Snow White:

Segovia Castle play

Segovia Castle


This castle inspired the Queen’s castle in Snow White. Alcazar of Segovia, in Central Spain is a castle that was used by various Spanish monarchs for hundreds of years until it was severely damaged by a fire in 1862.

Castle in Snow White play

Castle in Snow White


3. Cars:

U-Drop Inn play

U-Drop Inn



U-Drop Inn in Shamrock, Texas inspired Ramone’s House of Body Art in Cars was. The inn itself was inspired by a nail stuck in the soil.

Though it fell into disrepair and was closed down for some time, it is now a national art-deco architectural monument.

Scene from Cars play

Scene from Cars


4. The Little Mermaid:

Chateau De Chillon play

Chateau De Chillon



Chateau De Chillon, on Lake Geneva, Switzerland is the inspiration behind Prince Eric’s castle in The Little Mermaid was inspired. The chateau was used to guard a road through the Alps during the days of the Roman Empire.

Castle in The Little Mermaid play

Castle in The Little Mermaid


5. The Hunchback Of Notre Dame:

Notre Dame Cathedral play

Notre Dame Cathedral



The Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris is the location the cathedral in The Hunchback Of Notre Dame is based on. This iconic cathedral is one of the most famous examples of Gothic architecture in the world.

The cathedral took almost  two centuries to complete and it is one of the first buildings in Europe to use flying buttresses. 

Cathedral in Hunchback of Notre Dame play

Cathedral in Hunchback of Notre Dame


6. Aladdin:

Taj Mahal play

Taj Mahal



The Sultan’s Palace in Aladdin is based on the Taj Mahal, India. The Taj Mahal started as a tomb that Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal in 1632.

Sultan's palace in Aladdin play

Sultan's palace in Aladdin


7. Tangled:

Mont Saint-Michel, France play

Mont Saint-Michel, France


Tangled's Kingdom of Corona was inspired by Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, France. This picturesque island commune is cut off from the mainland by tidal waters from time to time.

Kingdom of Corona in Tangled play

Kingdom of Corona in Tangled


8. Beauty and the Beast:

Alsace play



Alsace, a beautiful region in North-West France is the location the village square in Beauty and the Beast is based on.

Village square in Beauty and the Beast play

Village square in Beauty and the Beast



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