The real existing places that inspired the Disney films

Medieval castles, mausoleums, national parks, churches and more: often Disney animators have drawn inspiration from real places to make the locations in which animated films are set.

In some cases, real places have been reproduced in the films, such as Big Ben in Peter Pan or the Beijing's Forbidden City in Mulan.

Other times, however, animators were inspired by real locations to recreate new, albeit extremely similar locations to reality: and each of these locations can, of course, be visited. Here are some of the most famous examples.

Movie Frame, Freepik, Wikimedia Commons
The real existing places that inspired the Disney films
Medieval castles, national parks, churches and much more: Disney animators often drew inspiration from real places to create the locations in which films are set. Each of these places can, of course, be visited: here are the locations of the real existing places that inspired the Disney films.
Movie Frame, Freepik
The Sultan's Palace (Aladdin) - Taj Mahal, Agra, India
The huge mausoleum built in 1632 by the moghul emperor Shāh Jahān in memory of his beloved wife Arjumand Banu Begum, known as Mumtāz Maḥal, inspired the sultan's palace in the film "Aladdin". In 2007, Taj Mahal was included in the new seven wonders of the modern world.
Movie Frame, Freepik
Aurora Castle (Sleeping Beauty) - Castle of Neuschwanstein, Schwangau, Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle was built in the late 19th century by the will of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, who used this splendid fortress as a personal retreat to isolate himself from the rest of the world. This castle has inspired the world of Disney on several occasions and today is also reproduced in the Disneyland theme parks.
Movie Frame, Freepik
Belle's Village (Beauty and the Beast), Riquewhir, Alsace, France
The distinctive colorful architecture of Riquewhir became the set of the village where Belle, the protagonist of "Beauty and the Beast," was born. The town of Colmar, in the Upper Rhine department, also inspired the animators of this Disney classic .
Movie Frame, Freepik
Prince Eric's Castle (The Little Mermaid) - Château de Chillon, Veytaux, Switzerland
Located on the shores of Lake Geneva near Montreux, Château de Chillon dates back to about 1150 and was owned by the Counts of Savoy. Overlooking the water, this structure was perfect for recreating the castle of Prince Eric, with whom the mermaid Ariels madly falls in love .
Movie Frame, Rostee2 - Wkimedia Commons
The Lion King - Hell's Gate National Park, Kenya
TheHell's Gate National Park is a protected natural area located in the central region of Kenya, northwest of Nairobi. Unlike the setting of The Lion King, there are no animals inHell's Gate that are considered dangerous, so many tourists come here for trekking or biking. The cliff present in this park was recreated in several scenes of the film starring the lion Simba.
Movie Frame, Freepik
Kingdom of Corona (Tangled) - Le Mont-Saint-Michel, France
There are so many similarities here: the kingdom that serves as the setting for the film "Tangled" is reminiscent in every way to Mont-Saint-Michel, of the famous islet with the abbey, which is influenced in a massive way by the tidal phenomenon.
Movie Frame, Bjørn Christian Tørrissen - Wikimedia Commons
Arendelle Chapel (Frozen) - St Olaf's Church, Balestrand, Norway
The film "Frozen" punctually recreates typical Scandinavian scenery, icy but at the same time spectacular. These scenery includes St Olaf's Church, a very distinctive Anglican church typical of the architectural style known as stavkirke, characterized by the presence of wooden structures.
Movie Frame, Freepik
Kuzco's Village (The Emperor's new Groove) - Machu Picchu, Peru
The remains of the ancient and fascinating Peruvian Inca city have been "reconstructed" as the set of the village in which the adventures of Kuzco, Pacha and Yzma, protagonists of the fortieth classic Disney film, partly take place.
Movie Frame, Freepik
Merida's Castle (The Brave) - Eilean Donan Castle, Highlands, Scotland
Eilean Donan is a small island in the Western Highlands: on this islet stands the castle of the same name, built in 1220 by Alexander II of Scotland as a stronghold against Viking raids. It is currently one of the most famous and photographed monuments in all of Scotland, so much so that it has appeared in several films besides "The Brave."
Movie Frame, Freepik
Snow White's Castle (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) - Alcázar of Segovia, Segovia, Spain
The Alcázar of Segovia is a fortress dating back to the period of Arab rule (c. 11th century), used over the centuries as a royal residence, military academy and state prison. Its first "animated" appearance was in the first Disney classic, namely Snow White, but later it was used as a model for other castles created for animated films.
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