30 Alluring Places in Walt Disney Movies Inspired from Real-Life Destinations Around the World
Updated On: March 31, 2022
Most of us have spent our childhood years fascinated by the mesmerizing stories of Disney’s animated movies. Not only the stories, but also the magical scenes left us longing for an enchanted life that looks like the ones we see on the screens.
All the creators behind Disney have a great way of keeping the spectators hooked and in love with what they produce. The best part is, not everything in these animated movies exist only in between the pages of fictional books.
Disney Lands have been there to give us an enthralling experience into this enchanting world. However, we’re not referring to this kind of places at the moment. While Disney kingdom is mostly based on fiction and fairy tales, the places we see in the movies can be found in real life.
How perfect can it get if you can visit a place that you have been hypnotized by in your childhood! If you happen to be a travel bug and a Disney fan all at once, this article is a real treasure for you. This list collects all the real places from which many Disney movies were inspired. It gathers most the popular Disney movies, varying between old classics and brand new films.
So, pack your stuff and get ready to live a unique experience!
1. Cartagena, Colombia – Encanto
Encanto is the latest Disney animated movie released in November 2021 that is, obviously, based on a Latin culture. The story is quite unconventional and different from what Disney has been introducing throughout the years. Moreover, it’s shedding the lights on the South American heritage, especially Colombia.
Unlike several Disney animated films, Encanto was not set in a fictional country inspired by a real one. In fact, it was set in the Colombian city of Cartagena, representing the unseen beauty of this country. The characters of the movie were Colombians as well, featuring the diversity of beauty found in this part of South America.
Throughout the movies, you hey to see the national tree of Colombia, the wax palms. The film also features coffee plantations, which is the most famous industry in the country. Featured animals are also native to the region, including jaguars, toucans, and tapirs. The architecture also portrays that of Colombia, and it is apparent in the exterior design of the magical Casita house.
Paying Cartagena a visit is an enthralling trip that you will never forget. Cartagena is the historic Walled City that is famous for its Caribbean climate that draws visitors from all around the globe. You can enjoy the nearby beaches that are characterized with gorgeous views. Exploring this splendid city reveals the charm of the old world.
2. Santa Fe de La Laguna and Centro Historico, Mexico – Coco
In the last few years, Disney has actively been shedding the lights on Latin cultures. We can barely say this fascinating culture has ever taken the needed attention during the classical era of Walt Disney. The European culture has always been the hero and the real inspiration behind the creation of many films.
Some movies were set in South America; however, Coco may be the very first movie to showcase the Latin culture. It extensively discusses several traditions and customs that take place in Latin America. For that, the movie has earned praise on more than a few aspects. Those aspects include the characters, the music, and the settings as well.
Apparently, the movie was set in Mexico; many details in the film have made this fact quite obvious. Thus, it’s safe to say that Mexico was the main inspiration for the creators while working on the pictures of Coco.
The town in which Miguel lived, Santa Cecilia, was inspired from the renowned Mexican town of Santa Fe de la Laguna. This little town is famous for trading pottery. You can learn so much about the history and tradition of Mexico.
Since the movie discusses the annual celebration known as The Day of the Dead (Un Dia de Los Muertos), it was important to find a proper design to fit the Land of the Dead. This celebration is a Mexican festival that takes place every year on October 31 or November 1, honoring the memory of deceased loved ones. Centro Historico (Historic Center) in Guanajuato was the inspiration behind creating this fictional land.
The Centro Historico sits near the massive plaza of Zócalo, being a prominent landmark in Mexico City. This area is popular for its colorful buildings and abundant museums. It also has cobblestone streets that pretty much resembles the layout seen in the movie. Guajanato is also home to a famous life-size bronze statue; it inspired the statue of Ernesto de la Cruz in the movie.
3. Amalfi Coast, Italy – Luca
The latest Disney movies can hardly be enough praised for the creativity and imaginativeness they feature. Luca is a 2021 animated film that’s story revolves around a little merman who is eager to leave the waters and blend with humans. It sounds pretty much like the classical movie of The Little Mermaid, but this time, it’s about a little boy who is also perceived as a sea monster.
As obvious as it is, the origin of Luca’s story is Italian. We can see this through the fascinating Italian town of Riviera. Not only that, but the characters happen to speak Italian every now and then. One of the Italian phrases that will get stuck in your head is “Silenzio Bruno” that Alberto uses to mute his inner voice.
If you want to visit the magnificent town that Luca spent his time on, look no further than the Amalfi Coast region. This picturesque area has been a magnet for visitors since the beginning of time. This coastal town is surrounded by high mountains that creates an appealing landscape. It’s home to several steep cliffs that proudly rise from the deep blue ocean.
The Amalfi coast is quite vast, embracing more than a few resorts and towns that are merit visiting. They make for great vacation destinations that blend mix beauty and history all in one place. Pompeii happens to be among the embraced regions of the Amalfi Coast. It’s a town where time has utterly stopped, creating the haunted scenes that we see today.
4. Southeast Asia – Raya and the Last Dragon
Raya and the Last Dragon is another Disney animated movie that features a female warrior with Asian features after Mulan. There are many elements in the movie that show the influence of Asian culture. Yet, like many other Disney films, no specific country is specified to be based in.
Raya, the lead character, lives in the fictional land of Kumandra. We can see that the movie is based on several cultures found in Southeast Asia. These countries could be anything from the following, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, or Indonesia.
Elements that represent these cultures include the rice hat that Raya puts on. We can also see the martial arts in the movie, which is a staple embedded in the Asian cultures. The architecture and music also refer to these countries. This indicates that the creator used the region of Southeast Asia as their inspo to create this enthralling movie.
There are many countries to include in your bucket list if you are willing to fly to Southeast Asia. The region is famous for its tropical climate and rich culture. It’s also famous for its unique cuisines that offer delicious meals that aren’t found everywhere else. Besides, unspoiled beaches are the highlight of Southeast Asia, making for a perfect relaxing getaway.
5. Tahiti, Polynesia – Moana
Noticeably, the latest Disney movies have been focusing too much on creating female lead character. Not only that, but they are women of color as well, which changes the stereotype of princesses we grew up with. Moana is a significant Disney animated film, showcasing an entertaining culture that not only many are aware of.
It is quite obvious that the film is set on a refreshing island, where the locals feed on coconuts and enjoy the breathtaking views of the ocean. The fascinating islands found in Oceania was the inspiration of Moana. Tahiti is the real inspiration behind the splendid views that the movie features.
If you are looking for a relaxing getaway, look no further than the incredible islands in Polynesia, especially Tahiti. It’s deemed the largest island in the central South Pacific Ocean. Tahiti is home to spectacular scenes that were accurately depicted in the movie. This island is home to several natural wonders, including black-sand beaches, spectacular waterfalls, and tropical lagoons.
6. Mont Saint-Michel, France – Tangled
No wonder France seems to be the main inspiration for several Disney movies. You can’t really blame the creators. After all, France is home to spacious landscapes of raw beauty and embraces a wide array of archaic architectural masterpieces. Once again, France was the inspiration behind the fascinating castle featured in Tangled movie, where Rapunzel’s parents lived, Mont Saint-Michel.
Mont Saint-Michel is an ancient monastery sitting on an island in Normandy, France. It has become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, drawing more visitors each year. Consequently, it became a hot tourist destination in Normandy. The castle’s sight is quite breathtaking once it appears in the horizon. It also offers hypnotizing sights that leave you spellbound.
There are many activities that you can do around here. You can talk on a long tour to explore the castle and its surroundings, learning about its fascinating history as well. Biking around the Baie du Mont-Saint Michel is another interesting activity to take on, where you can enjoy the fresh air and observe the breathtaking views. There are also nearby restaurants to grab a bite and enjoy a hearty meal.
Many have professed that the story of Rapunzel was originally based on a true one. They believe it resembles the tragic life of Saint Barbara whose father locked away in a tower, so no men could know about her existence. This real tragic story inspired many fairytales, including the popular one written by the Grimm Brothers.
Tangled is one of the most successful Disney animated films that was based on the Grimm Brother’s famoys fairytale. However, like most of their stories, it was a rather tragic one that Disney managed to twist into a delightful children’s story.
In their famous novel, the Trendelburg Tower in Germany was their inspiration to depict Rapunzel’s tower. Consequently, Disney followed in their footsteps and portrayed the same tower in their animated film. It’s another destination in this movie that you can consider visiting.
7. Grand Central Terminal, United States – Wreck-It Ralph
Disney has introduced so many animated films with exceptional stories, but this one is pretty different. Wreck-It Ralph is a creative story where several popular arcade games are gathered in the same movie. Its plot revolves around a heavy-handed video game villain that hates being designed as such and tries to be a hero instead.
When the kids aren’t playing the arcade game, the characters of the game get to have their breaks in the Game Central Station. It’s such a creative idea that was never made on the big screens before. Anyhow, the Game Central Station we see resembles the Grand Central Terminal found in New York City.
The Grand Central Terminal is a famous landmark and transportation hub in Manhattan that has been around since 1913. Many tourists head to New York City to observe the Grand Central Terminal and explore its several passages.
Today, it serves as a pretty landmark for a dining destination given its iconic restaurants and other shops. Besides being a convenient option for transportation, it is also rich in history that you can learn so much about.
8. Chateau de Chambord, France – Beauty & the Beast
It’s known world-wide that the story of the Beauty & the Beast was based in France. We can even realize that through Belle’s name, which means Beautiful in French. Well, the enchanted castle in which the Beast lived was based on the Chateau de Chambord, the world’s greatest chateau ever known.
Chateau de Chambord is located in Loir-et-Cher in France. It displays the French Renaissance architecture, being one of the most renowned landmarks in the country. Moreover, you get to take a glimpse into the architectural history of the Renaissance era.
The exteriors of the complex are to die for, but your trip doesn’t just end there. Visitors are allowed to get inside the chateau and explore it. Many tours are offered to show you the historical exhibits sitting within its walls. You can also have a self-guided tour, where you wander the building on your own and observe history in its best forms.
9. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany – Sleeping Beauty
Apparently, castles were a staple in most of Disney movies, especially the classic stories that thrived on royalty. Remember the Royal Castle found in Sleeping Beauty? This one was inspired by the renowned Neuschwanstein Castle found in Bavaria in Germany.
The castle of Neuschwanstein is one of the most prominent highlights of Bavaria, being a famous historic site. It features a nice lake that we can see its resemblance in the movie. There is also a trail that many visitors can use to hiking all the way o the castle while enjoying the picturesque views.
You can take a day-trip to the castle, where you get to wander the castle throughout the day. This requires you booking a guided tour beforehand, for self-guided tours aren’t allowed in here. The tour doesn’t take too long, but we promise you’re going to enjoy this brand new experience on the fascinating German lands.
10. Taj Mahal, India – Aladdin
One of the best animated movies that Disney has ever produced was Aladdin. We doubt that someone would ever watch this movie and not fall in love with the friendly ambiance that Genie creates or the unprecedented loyalty of the little monkey, Abu. All of that, and we haven’t even begun to describe the Middle Eastern beauty of Princess Jasmine.
In fact, the origins of Aladdin has always been shrouded in mystery. There are so many elements in the movie that give off different clues regarding that matter. The opening song of Arabian Nights indicates that Aladdin is of an Arab origin. Others have a confusion of it being Indian or Turkish, since the attires of these cultures are, somehow, kindred.
When it comes to the great palace of the Sultan, we see the great resemblance it has to the renowned Indian landmark, Taj Mahal. It’s also where the design of the palace was inspired from, according to the creators.
So, if you would love to see the palace in real life, it’s time to take a trip to Taj Mahal in India. The magnificent structure is based in the city of Agra, which sounds like an abbreviation to the name of the land in the movie, Agraba. In case you don’t know, Taj Mahal is a huge tomb that carries the name of Mumtaz Mahal, the third wife of Emperor Shah Jahan.
Taj Mahal is deemed one of the world’s magnificent wonders that is worth a visit. Most, if not all, of India visitors go to the iconic landmark to explore it along with the lush gardens that surround it. Getting inside the splendid building is allowed with tickets; however, the price varies between foreigners and locals.
11. The Alcazar of Segovia, Spain – Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs
Again, most of Disney’s classic movies are inspired by real-life castles that you would, definitely, enjoy visiting. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is no different. The Queen Castle that we see in the animated movie bears a great resemblance to the famous Spanish castle, Alcazar of Segovia. There is also a rumor that it was the inspiration behind Cinderella’s castle as well.
Just like the movie, this castle stands high on a cliff, where two rivers merge at its base. It is situated in the city of Segovia, in central Spain. It’s only an hour away from Madrid, and is deemed a hot tourist attraction.
This castle was served as a protection base at some point in history. It also served as a state prison and a royal palace. However, nowadays, it serves as a museum and a building, where military archives are kept.
This destination is perfect for history buffs who would love to take a glimpse into the medieval history of Spain. It also displays the Islamic influence before the Iberians expelled the Moors from the Spanish lands. Visitors are allowed to explore the interiors of the castle which contains around twelve rooms.
You should also consider climbing the Tower of Juan II that is attached to the fortress. To reach the top of the tower, it requires some stamina to climb up about 156 crooked steps. While it’s considered some great effort, you’ll be rewarded with unprecedented sceneries, overlooking the Spanish countryside.
12. Chateau De Chillon, Switzerland – The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid was a successful milestone on the timeline of Walt Disney Pictures. It earned lots of praise upon its release for almost every element, including the music, characters and animation itself. If you think that the whole movie was based under the ocean, we’ll assure you haven’t seen the ambitious and rebellious side of Ariel, who managed to make it out of the waters.
When Ariel made it out of the sea to meet Eric, we got to see where the handsome prince was living. The castle where Eric lived was inspired by a real one in Switzerland, Chateau De Chillon. This castle sits on the shores of the renowned Lake Geneva. Its beauty creates the perfect elements for being used in a perfect setting for a fairytale.
Guided tours are offered of the Chateau de Chillon, where you get to explore the lavish chambers. After all, you can’t expect anything less than luxurious when it comes to Geneva, the land of palatial watch brands and high-end chocolates. Lake Geneva is also one of the most prevalent attractions, where people love taking cruise along its waters.
13. The Forbidden City & The Great Wall of China, China – Mulan
Disney may have offered several animated movies with powerful messages, yet Mulan remains the influential classic movie in the 90s. This Disney movie has been a great portrayal of feminism during a time where patriarchal dominance was sturdier. However, the movie still represented the traditional stereotypes found, mostly, in the Eastern communities.
As everyone knows, Mulan was Chinese and the whole movie was based in China. Thus, the producers and creators took inspiration from real-life destinations in this fascinating Asian country. The Emperor’s home that we get to see by the end of the movie was inspired by the Forbidden City in Beijing.
The Forbidden City was actually the imperial palace of China during the dynasties of Ming and Qing. Its name goes back to fact of it being a sacred place, where ordinary people weren’t permitted to enter. However, the palace is now open to the public and many tourists flock from every corner of the globe to visit.
In fact, the palace gained a notoriety of being haunted. Many people have reported hearing strange footsteps. There is also a rumor regarding the sudden appearance of a weeping lady dressed in white. After all, this place has witnessed long years of mischievous acts and gruesome torture. It’s a common notion around the world that places that witness bloody executions have the victims’ spirits lingering around.
Other destinations that we easily detect in the movie is the Great Wall of China. We can clearly see the depiction of this iconic landmark in the opening scene of the movie. Needless to say, the Great Wall of China is one of the best places to learn about the ancient Chinese history. It’s home to a series of fortifications that extend along a lengthy area, serving as a protection base for Imperial China.
14. Notre Dame Cathedral, France – The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Guess what? This one is pretty easy since the movie’s name is based on a place, the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is one of the rampant animated musical drama film produced and released by studios of Walt Disney. Needless to say, it’s based on Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel of the same name.
Throughout the movie, we see the outer appearance of the cathedral multiple times. Not only that, but we also get to see the interiors, for the story revolves around the deformed bell ringer, Quasimodo. He takes the bell tower of the cathedral as his own residence and wasn’t allowed to ever leave. We’ll leave it here as we’re not willing to spoil the movie for those who haven’t seen it yet.
Moving to the famous French cathedral, Notre Dame de Paris is one of the most famous and oldest Gothic cathedrals around France. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the church goes back to 1163, where its construction began. Interestingly, it took around two centuries for this enormous cathedral to be fully constructed.
The cathedral used to be a significant tourist attraction in Paris before the fire breakout that took place in 2019. Sadly, many parts of the historic building were damaged during this heartbreaking incident. The restoration and reconstruction processes are still in progress, thus, the building is still not open to visitors until further notice.
15. Hell’s Gate National Park, Kenya – The Lion King
Many Disney animated movies have left us in great joy, but some have also managed to leave us in tears, and The Lion King stands on top of the list. If you ever watched this movie and it didn’t make you cry, we can’t really be friends.
Upon release, this Disney film earned unprecedented praise, especially its music that gives goosebumps every time, thanks to the genius Alan Menken. No matter how old you get, this movie still has its powerful influence over your emotions. It shows the creativity of Disney for creating a movie that remains as significant among many generations. Anyhow
Obviously, the movie was based in Africa. Everybody knows that as the animals featured in the kingdom are native to Africa. Not only that, but Timon & Pumbaa’s famous life motto “Hakuna Matata” is a Swahili phrase, meaning “No worries”. Yet, it was never mentioned what African country it was based on.
According to the landscapes seen in the Disney animated movie, it was suggested that the inspiration came from Hell’s Gate National Park, in Kenya. You can make sure of that by going on a trip to Kenya and seeing that for yourself. There, you will see scenes from the renowned Pridelands, where Mufasa ruled the kingdom, and Simba followed in his footsteps (or shall we say, paw-steps!) years later.
16. Machu Picchu, Peru – The Emperor’s New Groove
Unfortunately, one of the best Disney movies ever that never been a hype like many other animated films is The Emperor’s New Groove. This story is one of the most entertaining and enjoyable ones that Disney ever offered to its magical world. The plot revolves around an arrogant emperor who turns into a llama and embarks on a journey that changes his life and perspectives for ever.
But, why exactly llamas? Well, while the setting of the movie is not as apparent as other Disney films, this one was based in South America. Interestingly, South America is popular for being home to llamas; they thrive all across its countries. To be more precise, the movie is based in Peru, and we get this from the portrayal of Pacha’s village that resembles the historic Machu Picchu.
Another element that gives us a hint into which town the story was based is the emperor’s name, Kuzco. It pretty much bears a great resemblance to the Peruvian town of Cusco in Machu Picchu. Moreover, Machu Picchu happens to be the highlight of Peru, and a very prevalent landmark in the South American continent.
It’s a great tourist destination that draws visitors each year, given its historic significance. Besides, what could be more enjoyable that spending your trip unearthing secrets that are many centuries old! Reaching the Machu Picchu Citadel, sitting high on the Andes Mountains, is a journey on its own, but it’s quite easy and accessible.
17. Seoni Jungle, India – The Jungle Book
Usually, when it comes to jungles and wildlife, we immediately assume that Africa is the main setting of the story. While Africa is really home to a wide array of wildlife, India has its own share of jungles as well. And, this popular story, The Jungle Book, was based in India, specifically in Seoni, in the central state of Madhya Pradesh.
This Disney movie was based on the famous book under the same name, where a young boy was raised by wild animals. The fictional story was originally set to take place in the Indian forest of Seoni, which Disney has kept it the same. We can also recognize the Indian origins of the characters through their names, Mowgli, Bagheera, Shere Khan, and Akeela.
Going back to the jungle, Seoni is one of the smallest districts in India. Yet, it embraces a pristine beauty that makes it worth a visit. The locals, sometimes, call it Mowgli-land, hence the story. The jungle is characterized by its lush and dense trees as well as the abundance of wild animals. They are pretty much the same ones we get to see in the movie.
You can follow in the footsteps of Mowgli and go see those fascinating animals by yourself. One of the famous parks in the Seoni district is the Pench National Park. It’s home to this danger species of tiger, resembling Shere Khan, the villain in the movie. While these tigers are anything but friendly, they sadly happen to be the ones in danger, for their populations are on the decline.
18. Jamestown, United States – Pocahontas
Interestingly, Disney has been featuring many historic destinations in its classic movies. It also continues to take inspiration from wonderful places in the newly produced animated films as well. Pocahontas was a unique story in the history of Walt Disney; it discusses the conflict that took place between the English settlers and the Native Indians of America.
While the movie fosters a powerful message about peace, many have claimed that the historical details aren’t that accurate. We still promise you’ll enjoy the plot of the movie, but you don’t necessarily have to learn about history from it.
The portrayal of the characters is quite mesmerizing. You will also root for the forbidden love story that takes place between Pocahontas, the native Indian protagonist, and John Smith, one of the English settlers.
The place in which the movie was based was in Jamestown in Virginia. However, the Virginia we see in the movie is quite different from the one we know today. That’s because the movie depicted the actual landscapes and sceneries that were there during the colonial times.
Either way, Jamestown itself is still a place rich in culture and history. It is situated in the eastern side of Virginia, being home to multiple ruins. Destinations that embrace ruins show heavy layers of history that linger in its breeze, and this one is no exception. There is also the Archaearium Archaeology Museum that displays a wide range of artifacts that belong to the colonial era.
19. The Temple of Zeus, Greece – Hercules
A wonderful classic that gave us an animated story of the famous tale in Greek Mythology, Hercules. Everything and every element in this movie shows the real imaginativeness of Walt Disney to recreate history in such an entertaining manner.
Very few people can say that they never heard of Hercules. Even those who aren’t so much into mythology know a thing or two about Greek mythology. After all, it is one of the world’s most famous legends and mythical tales. Greece has always been the base and home to the legendary deities of its mythology.
The City of Thebes is home to many Greek Gods, including Heracles. In fact, Hercules is the Roman equivalent to Heracles, but Disney has made it all Greek anyway. While the real Greek legend of Heracles was quite tragic, Disney has applied some changes to make it more enjoyable to children.
When Hercules embarked on his self-discovery journey, we see him visit the Temple of Zeus, in which he learns that he was his father. The Temple of Zeus really exists in Greece; you can find in Olympia city.
The depiction of the temple that the Disney movie features is accurate; it resembles the ancient construction of this temple. However, the temple was ruined throughout the years, and underwent massive renovations and reconstruction that resulted in a quite different building structure.
20. The Jungles of Uganda, Uganda – Tarzan
Another story of a little boy raised by wild animals and lived to tell his story, Tarzan. Disney has really outdone itself when it brought this movie to the big screens. We all fell in love with the warmhearted gorillas that took Tarzan into their pack. While Kerchak wasn’t really that welcoming, he managed to change his cold behavior towards Tarzan by the end of the movie.
Anyway, the story was based in Cameroon, where Tarzan’s parents head there to start a new life but faced a tragic ending instead. The jungles in the movie was inspired by those lush forests of Cameroon, yet it is not advised to go after the wildlife there. It is is unsafe and many areas do not permit the access of visitors.
On the other hand, Uganda is one of the best countries in Africa to visit the jungles and see real gorillas. It’s known to be the hometown of apes and other forms of wildlife. Also, it is safe to visit and many tourists flock there every year. We also promise that you will get to see scenes from Tarzan in real life while in Uganda.
21. Sydney Opera House, Australia – Finding Nemo
Finding Nemo is another movie that takes place in the deep ocean. When the animated movies of Disney are based in the marine world, it may feel insignificant to find a real-life inspiration. But, that is not particularly true because, you know what?, most of the characters make it out of the waters at some point. This is when we pitch in to point out where the settings are inspired from.
When little Nemo was brutally kidnapped from the deep oceans, his poor father, Merlin, goes on an uneasy adventure to get him back. Imagine a little clownfish getting out of the only world it ever knew to save his little one, isn’t that heroic? Well, fathers are real heroes whether they are clownfishes or any other creatures.
Anyway, upon watching this Disney movie, you will figure it out yourself. Dory, the blue fish with a short memory, will succeed in making the address “P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way Sydney” stuck in your head. This forgetful fish never remembers anything, but she memorizes this symbolic address by heart.
During Merlin and Dory’s pursuit in finding Nemo, they go through several places in Sydney, Australia. In one of the scenes, we manages to see the iconic Sydney Opera House illustrated in a very accurate and proficient manner. It one of the most prominent landmarks in Sydney, being a well-known performing art center in the city.
22. Regent’s Park, United Kingdom – 101 Dalmatians
An iconic staple in the beguiling world of Walt Disney Pictures is the film of 101 Dalmatians. This Disney movie was based on the popular 1956 novel by Dodie Smith under the same name. We admired the cute little puppies who aided in making the highest grossing film upon its release.
This film still holds a significant place in the history of Disney. We have even seen the latest spin-off, entitled Cruella, this year. It has always been Disney’s way in showing us the hidden part of its villains that we grew up dreading so much. Cruella movie was just another villain story that earned some sympathy after all of these years.
Anyway, the classical Disney movie was based in London, United Kingdom. This information was mentioned throughout the movie. Moreover, the movie features streets and famous landmarks in the beloved city of London. It also shows us the fascinating English countryside in the best illustration ever.
One of the fascinating places that inspired the setting of the movie is Regent’s Park in London. Interestingly, this area is deemed the largest grass land in Central London, offering more than a few activities. People enjoy taking their fitness activities to the park, engaging in all sorts of sports among the beautiful landscapes of nature.
Did you know that Regent’s Park is home to some wildlife? It’s true, visitors spot a unique forms of birdlife while touring the historic parkland. You can also come across little hedgehogs, squirrels, fox, and more. Also, the lakes in which the park embraces is home to different forms of fish and amphibians.
Primrose Hill is another highlight of the park that gets featured in the film. This area offers several historic monuments, including statues and memorials to learn about. Playgrounds for children are also available, so it could be a great family destination to let your children explore and discover.
23. Angkor Wat Temple, Cambodia – Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Atlantis: The Lost Empire is another Disney movie that deserved much more recognition and admiration that it ever received. It’s one of the renowned legends of ancient Greece that Plato had blessed the world with. Gratefully, Disney succeeded once again in turning a legendary tale into a mesmerizing animated film.
We already know where the inspiration of the story came from. Since we still haven’t known if the Atlantis story is real or not, there isn’t a real place to be inspired by. However, that was never an obstacle to the creators and producers of Walt Disney, they still managed to create a great addition to the industry.
The Atlantis city featured in the Disney film is inspired by Angkor Wat, a holy temple found in Angkor, in northwest Cambodia. The 12th-century architectural masterpiece is a great destination for adventure lovers and eager travelers. This complex became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. It also became a prominent destination for tourists.
The Angkor Wat is one of the biggest religious monuments the world has ever seen. It is situated about 5.5 kilometers away from Siem Reap, a modern town with a quite energetic ambiance. You can stay at this town, where tranquil hotels and dynamic markets fill the area. And, embark on a journey to the renowned Angkor Wat, unearthing the mysteries of the ancient world.
24. Eiffel Tower, France – Ratatouille
We bet that you would want to have a rat as a pet after watching Ratatouille. Because Remy wasn’t a regular rat, nestling in the dirty sewers of Paris. He was an ambitious little chef who failed to see himself as a source of phobia to many human beings.
As we already mentioned, Ratatouille was based in France. It’s easy to guess that since ratatouille is actually the name of a famous French dish. This movie showed the imaginative side of Disney, making something seem cute and romantic out of the extraordinary.
Paris was the real inspiration of this movie. We get to see the Eiffel Tower in many scenes, perfectly illustrated. Needless to say, if you are ever thinking of visiting Paris, it would be a shame to miss the Eiffel Tower. It has always been the symbol of magic and charm in France.
Well, the movie also takes us below the grounds of Paris, where Remy and his family lived. This is also another thing that you can explore while in Paris, and no, we don’t mean the sewers itself, we know they stink. But, in fact, Paris has the Musée des Egouts, a museum dedicated to the history of tunnels that leave Paris glimmering.
25. Manhattan, United States – Oliver & Company
Definitely, Disney has multiple international offices around the world. But, did you know that the headquarters is based in the United States? There are also around 18 offices scattered throughout the country. Since the United States is home to the creation of our beloved Disney movies, it would be weird if movies’ settings never took inspiration from the beautiful American cities.
Oliver & Company is an entertaining animated film through which Disney depicted many details from the streets of New York City. This 1988 movie is, interestingly, based on the renowned classic novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. It tells the story of an orphaned kitten who learns to get by the street of NYC by a gang of dogs. It’s a quite creative portrayal of such a tragic novel.
New York City is usually a staple in many of Hollywood movies. You may find yourself familiar with many of its landmarks without even ever being there. However, the scenes of the city you will see in the animated film will stimulate your urge to fly to the United States. The little kitten in the movie lives in Manhattan, surviving between the bustling streets and garbage-filled alleys.
Yet, Manhattan remains one of the best areas to explore, for it offers more than a few landmarks and outdoor activities that will keep you busy and entertained. It is home to several museums to discover history and culture. Also, don’t forget to add Time Square, Top of the Rock, and Central Park to your itinerary.
26. The Island of Kauai, Hawaii – Lilo & Stitch
Lilo & Stitch is another magical creation that the Walt Disney Company offered to the world. A great story that revolves about the importance of family and how to cherish every moment with them despite the hardships. Another great message that this animated film conveys is that family members are those we feel at home with even if not related by blood. How touching!
We think it’s too apparent that this settings of this movie is inspired by islands set on the Caribbean Sea. Given the lifestyle of the characters and their attires, we can recognize the impoundment of the Caribbean culture. And, we can’t help but fall in love with this tropical life on the sea and under the palm trees.
Precisely, Lilo & Stitch was set in Hanapepe in the Island of Kauai. The details and scenes in the movie can be chased in real life. Visiting Hawaii is an adventure in itself, given the serene ambiance it gives upon seeing its quiet ocean and sandy beaches.
Taking a trip to the Island of Kauai, Hawaii, is worth every penny and every second. It is a great destination to spend your vacation in a secluded place away from the buzzing cities. You will also get to experience the authentic Caribbean life. It is a trip that you will forever cherish.
27. Angel Falls, Venezuela – Up
Disney has always had a great way in introducing touching stories of love and friendship. And, away from the classical stereotypes we grew up with, Up is a romantic story that left us all in tears. It’s one of the Disney animated movies that show that realistic side of life that happy endings aren’t always real.
Throughout the movie, we get too attached to the eager character of Ellie. She has always dreamed of heading to Paradise Falls in South America. It was smart to choose South America when it comes to great waterfalls. After all, most of the world’s mesmerizing waterfalls can be found in this fascinating continent.
The Paradise Falls that Carl manage to fly his house to is an accurate depiction of the Venezuelan iconic landmark, the Angel Falls. It’s where Disney has gotten its inspiration from, the world’s highest waterfalls. Angel Falls is situated in the heart of Venezuela, leaving its beholders spellbound and in awe.
Besides, the movie takes us on that little journey in the lush South American rainforests. It’s just another prominent highlight in Venezuela that you should consider visiting. Hiking through the trails of these rainforests is an experience you will never forget. You will get to observe mesmerizing landscapes all the way to the falls. Also, you may spot unique wildlife native to the region.
28. New Orleans, United States – Princess and the Frog
If you look closer, you will realize that the fairytales of the Brothers Grimm has been a constant inspiration for many Disney movies. Princess and the Frog is no exception, it’s based on the old fairytale, The Frog Prince. However, Disney’s adaptations always have their own twists and storylines, so we can’t say it’s the exact same story at all. This time, the princess isn’t the one to kiss the frog.
In this musical movie, we get to see a lively ambiance with jazz music filling the air. Tiana is also a very captivated character. Her ambition to turn her father’s dream into reality is something we can learn from. All the characters of the movie along with the story. deserve a real praise Moving to the settings, it makes you want to fly to the United States to see this dynamic life for yourself.
New Orleans was mentioned in the movie, being home to the main characters. It’s a prominent part of the state of Louisiana. This area is famous for its exceptional music and voodoo practice, which was also apparent in the movie. It’s also popular for the celebration of Mardi Gras, an annual holiday that lasts for two weeks, with parades every day.
Even this famous celebration was successfully depicted in the movie. Thus, the inspiration was not only based on certain places from New Orleans, but also on the culture of the region. The lush trees and swampy lakes you see in different scenes throughout the movie can be seen in Louisiana Bayou in real life.
29. U-Drop Inn, Texas – Cars
If you are a cars junkie, you should actually watch the delightful Disney animated film called Cars. This movie was first released in 2006, being a sports comedy film in the history of Disney animation. After its significant success, several sequels were taken into consideration and were brought to life.
Lightning McQueen was a unique racing car that adores being on the road. However, he had to undo the damages he caused before he was permitted to race again. Thus, he had to fix the damaged properties of the town of Radiator Springs. Meanwhile, he meets other cars that teach him the real meaning of family.
It’s such a great story that takes place on the roads, literally. But, have you ever wondered where Disney took inspiration from to design these roads? Well, Radiators Spring is a fictional town, yet it has a replica in real life. Shamrock in Texas were the inspiration behind the road creations in Cars.
We recognize this fact upon seeing Ramone’s House of Body Art in the movie. It’s a precise depiction of U-Drop Inn that is situated in Shamrock, Texas. Today, this place serves as a national architectural monument that gets many visitors every year. It’s also deemed a huge supercharger, for it’s used as the electric vehicle charging station of Tesla cars.
30. Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland – Brave
Disney Pixar’s Brave is a modern animated film that shows the bravery of a young woman, Merida, breaking the ancient gender stereotypes. She was an independent archer who embarks on an adventure of self-discovery and succeeds in redefining the meaning of bravery.
It’s quite obvious that the movie was set in medieval Scotland. The attires, landscapes, culture, and even the accent, show the Scottish influence. The movie also successfully depicted landscapes from real Scotland, resulting in an eye-pleasing animated film. Disney also managed to display the rich heritage and raw beauty of the lands of Scotland.
Definitely, Scotland is rich in history, culture, and heritage. It embraces more than a few castles that have been sturdily standing for centuries. The landscapes and castle in the Disney movie was inspired by Eilean Donan Castle. Even the lush forest, vast greenery, and coursing waters were accurate elements that Disney used in the movie.
If you would like to live in one of the fascinating scene of Brave, head to Eilean Donan Castle and see for yourself. This historic castle sits on top of a tidal island in the western Highlands of Scotland. It also happens to be the largest medieval castle in Scotland, with walls and towers covering the entire island. We promise that this archaic castle is worth exploring.
So, here is a long list of real-life destinations that inspired many of our beloved Disney animated movies. No matter where you are heading next, make sure you pass by any of these familiar layouts and see your favorite Disney movies come to life.