The incredibly beautiful worlds found in some of our favorite Disney movies are works of imagination of talented people, but not entirely. Some Disney artists were definitely inspired by real-life locations.
Sleeping Beauty – Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany – The Royal Castle in Sleeping Beauty was inspired by Neuschwanstein Castle, one of the most beautiful castles in the entire world. It was built by Ludwig II of Bavaria, back in 1892 as a tribute to his favorite composer – Richard Wagner.
Tangled – Mont Saint -Michel, Normandy, France – Tangled’s Kingdom of Corona was definitely inspired by Mont Saint Michel located in Normandy, France. This unique fortified island was an easily defensible position back in the day, because it is cut off from the mainland by tidal waters.
Up – Angel Falls, Venezuela – The beautiful Paradise Falls in Up are without a doubt inspired by Angel Falls located in Venezuela. In case you didn’t know, Angel falls are the world’s highest waterfall, with an uninterrupted fall of 3,212 feet.
Aladdin – Taj Mahal, Agra India – The Sultan’s Palace in Aladdin was inspired by India’s Taj Mahal, which actually isn’t a palace. Taj Mahal is in fact a tomb that Emperor Shah Jahan built for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
Mulan – Forbidden City, Beijing, China – The Emperor’s home in Mulan takes inspiration from the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, which was once home to the Ming and Qing dynasties. Back then, nobody could enter or leave this complex without the emperor’s permission. Today, this amazing attraction is open to tourists.
The Princess and the Frog – New Orleans, Louisiana – The Disney animators perfectly captured New Orleans’ picturesque architecture and streets in this cute animated movie.
The Hunchback Of Notre Dame – Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France – This one definitely wasn’t hard to guess. The cathedral in Disney’s movie clearly looks like the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, which is one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic architecture in the entire world.
Wreck-It Ralph – Grand Central Terminal, NYC, New York – New York City’s Grand Central Terminal serves as inspiration for Game Central station we got to see in Wreck-It Ralph. The terminal was built all the way back in 1913.
Beauty and the Beast – Alsace, France – The small village square we saw in Beauty and the Beast was inspired by Alsace, France, a beautiful region in northwest France.
The Emperor’s New Groove – Machu Picchu, Peru – This may not be obvious at first, but Pacha’s village in the Emperor’s New Groove was definitely inspired by the mysterious Incan site in Peru.
Atlantis: The Lost Empire – Angkor Wat, Cambodia – The city of Atlantis in this interesting Disney movie was undoubtedly inspired by the beautiful Angkor Wat, which started out as a Hindu temple, only to be repurposed as a Buddhist temple complex in the 12th century.
Snow White – Segovia Castle, Spain – The Queen’s castle in Snow White took inspiration from Segovia Castle, also known as Alcazar of Segovia. Numerous Spanish monarchs used it for hundreds of years, until it was damaged by a fire in 1862.
The Princess and the Frog – Louisiana bayous, Louisiana – Not only did this movie perfectly capture the spirit of New Orleans, like we previously mentioned, but it also has several scenes inspired by the swampy lakes, marshes and slow-moving rivers found in the state of Louisiana.