Some of your favorite locations from Disney films are actually based on real world places. After all, the filmmakers and animators have to get their inspiration from somewhere, right? These places range from castles (yes, they’re real) to famous landmarks. Here are 7 places that inspired Disney films!
1. Castle from Brave / Eileen Donan Castle
The Pixar movie, Brave, is set in the Scottish Highlands, but one of the primary sources of inspiration was the Eilean Donan Castle. The castle is perched on a small island where three sea lochs meet and it dates back all the way from the mid-13th century.
2. Prince Eric’s Castle from The Little Mermaid / Chateau de Chillon
Prince Eric’s seaside castle in The Little Mermaid is noted to be based off of the Chateau de Chillon, which sits on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland. This castle is one of the most visited places in Switzerland and Europe. If you ever have the chance to go, don’t forget to bring your dinglehopper!
3. Chapel in Frozen / St. Olaf’s Church
Unfortunately, this is not the same Olaf as the happy little snowman from the movie. This Anglican church took three years to build and was completed in 1897. If you enjoyed the coronation scene in Frozen, you’ll appreciate the St. Olaf’s Church in Norway.
4. Forest in Into the Woods / Windsor Great Park
The magical forest from the movie Into the Woods was based on the pine forest of Windsor Great Park in London. Although the movie was filmed in London’s Shepperton Studios for a majority of the time, it still needed inspiration from somewhere.
5. The Grand Fusel Lodge in Planes: Fire and Rescue / Old Faithful Inn
The lodge in Piston Peak National Park from Planes: Fire and Rescue was inspired by the historical landmark, Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park. The famous inn was built in 1903–1904 with local logs and stone and is considered the largest log structure in the world.
6. The Darling’s neighborhood in Peter Pan / Bloomsbury neighborhood in London
Yes, you can visit the lovely little neighborhood where the Darling’s lived. Bloomsbury itself is often associated with learning, literature, and the arts, but we can’t forget about it being home to the Darling family. Who knows, if you ever visit, maybe you’ll see the second star to the right and head straight on till morning.
7. Mountain background in Cars / Cadillac Ranch
Get your kicks on Route 66! Both in design and plot, Cars is heavily influenced by the classic road, Route 66. The mountains in the background that surrounds Radiator Springs got its inspiration from the famous Cadillac Ranch sculpture in Amarillo, Texas.
Disney is famous for creating the most perfect, fantastic, fairy tale settings for its movies. The animators who create these other worlds sometimes rely on real–world locations for their ideas and designs. Maybe one of these or the many other real–life locations could be your next vacation spot, especially if you’re a Disney fan and enjoy traveling. Go out and experience these fairy tale settings from its movies!
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