These 15 Real-Life Places Inspired These Stunning Disney Settings

Most of the beautiful places in Disney films look like they are straight out of fairy-tales. However, here are 15 real-life places that inspired some of the most stunning Disney settings.

1
The Sultan's palace in Aladdin was inspired by...
Aladdin, Disney, 022916
Disney
2
The Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal, David Min, Flickr, 022916-
Davis Min/Flickr
Located in Agra, India, the Taj Mahal served as the inspiration for Aladdin's fictional Agrabah. The white marble mausoleum dates back to the 17th century. It's still a major tourist attraction because it has everything from magnificent gardens to splendid architecture. Check it out here.
3
The city of Atlantis in Atlantis: the Lost Empire was inspired by...
Atlantis The Lost Empire, Disney, 022916
Disney
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4
Angkor Wat in Angkor, Cambodia
Panorama di Angkor Wat, Stefano Gambassi, Flickr, 022916
Stefano Gambassi/Flickr
Angkor Wat is a temple inside of Angkor Archaeological Park in Cambodia. The structure is the 7th wonder of the world. It was constructed in the 12th century. It is the largest monument in the Archaeological park. You can get more information about visiting the temple here.
5
Elsa's ice palace in Frozen was inspired by...
Frozen, Disney, 022916
Disney
6
Quebec's Hotel de Glace
Hotel de Glace, Etolane, Flickr, 022916
Etolane/Flickr
Every winter, Hotel de Glace is constructed out of ice and is open for business from January until March. The stunning structure was the inspiration for Elsa's palace in the mega-hit Frozen, and in 2014, there was even a special Frozen themed suite in the hotel. You have until March 28th to check in here.
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7
Ramone’s House of Body Art in Cars was inspired by...
Cars, Disney, Pixar, 022916
Disney/Pixar
8
The U-Drop Inn in Shamrock, Texas
Art Deco Tower, Cardadz3, Flickr, 022916
Cardadz3/Flickr
The U-Drop Inn and Cafe was built in 1936, and sits along the historic Route 66. Visitors gravitated towards it because of its unusual art-deco style that included lazed ceramic tile walls and neon light accents. Unfortunately, the Inn and Cafe fell into disrepair and closed in the late '90s. However, the city of Shamrock, Texas has since restored the U-Drop to its original glory, and it is now a museum and gift shop. You can jump into your own car and get your kicks on Route 66.
9
The Queen’s castle in Snow White was inspired by...
Snow White, Disney, 030116
Disney
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10
The Alcázar of Segovia in Segovia, Spain
Segovia Castle, Northern Gateway Portrait, Flickr, 022916
Northern Gateway Portrait/Flickr
The Alcázar was originally built as a fortress, but has also served as a royal palace, a state prison, a Royal Artillery College and a military academy since then. Most importantly, the Castle which was built back in the 12th century is was Walt Disney's inspiration for the castle in Snow White.
11
DunBroch Castle in Brave was inspired by....
Brave, Disney, 022916
Disney
12
Dunnottar Castle in Stonehaven, Scotland
Eilean Donan Castle, VisitScotland, Flickr, 022916
The Dunnottar Castle is a beautiful structure that stand out of cliff-side rocks. The castle was originally constructed to be an an impregnable fortress, and it was once the home of Earls Marischal, one of the most powerful families in Scotland. Learn more about visiting Dunnottar Castle here.
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13
The royal castle in Sleeping Beauty was inspired by...
Sleeping Beauty, Disney, 022916
Disney
14
Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle, Miraculix1951, Flickr, 022916-
Miraculix1951/Flickr
King Ludwig II of Bavaria began constructing Neuschwanstein Castle in the 1860's because he wanted to withdraw from the public eye. When he died in 1886, his masterpiece opened to the public. Now called the "castle of the fairy tale King" nearly 6,000 people visit the palace during the summer to see the opulent and surprisingly modern rooms. You can look into visiting the castle here.
15
The Chapel from Frozen was inspired by...
Frozen, Chapel, Disney, 030116
Disney
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16
St. Olaf’s Church in Balestrand, Norway
St Olafs Church, Nelson Minar, Flickr, 022916
Nelson Minar/Flickr
St. Olaf's was built in 1897 in memory of Margaret Sophie Green Kviknand, a mountaineering pioneerwoman who never felt at ease in Luterian churches. The church currently belongs to the Church of England. Though St. Olaf's is now more of an attraction, Sunday services are still held during the summer months. You can look into visiting St. Olaf's here.
17
Belle's village in Beauty and the Beast was inspired by....
Disney
18
The Grand Fountain in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France
La Place de la Fontaine, Rich2012, Flickr,022916
Rich2012/Flickr
The Grand Fountain in Saint-Paul was last redesigned in the late 19th century and continues to be the busiest spot in the village. Back in the day, washerwomen would use to fountain for laundry and in the17th century there was even a weekly market hosted around the fountain. Though the fountain is just an attraction now, you can still see what Saint Paul has to offer here.
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19
The Beast's castle in Beauty and the Beast was inspired by...
Beauty and the Beast, Castle, Disney, 022916
Disney
20
Chateau De Chambord in Loir-Et-Cher, France
Chateau de Chambord, Ravi shankara au, Flickr, 022916-
ravi_shankara_au/Flickr
Known for its French Renaissance architecture, the Chateau De Chambord is one of the most recognizable estates across the globe. Built in the 16th century by Francis I, the chateau was originally supposed to be a hunting lodge but was never completed. During the wake of the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century, the chateau was abounded and not restored until after the Second World War. Now a major tourist attraction, the chateau served as inspiration for the Beast's lair in one of Disney's most timeless films.
21
The Kingdom of Corona in Tangled was inspired by....
Tangled, Disney, 022916
Disney
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22
The Island of Mont-Saint Michel in Normandy, France
Island Of Mont Saint Michael, 1982Chris911, Flickr, 022916
1982Chris911/Flickr
This community island is one of the most recognizable landmarks in France, and has served as the inspiration for several settings in various Disney films. The island now belongs to the families that live and work there, with tourism being their main source of income. We certainly wouldn't mind ruling over such a stunning kingdom.  You can look into visiting here.
23
The waterfall in Up was inspired by...
Up, Disney, 022916
Disney
24
Angel Falls in Venezuela
Angel Falls, Casper Senibal, Flickr, 022916
Casper Senibal/Flickr
Angel Falls or "waterfall of the deepest place", is the world's highest uninterrupted waterfall. The structure stands at 3,212 feet with a plunge of 2,648 ft. The waterfall is a main  attraction but, because the falls are located in an isolated jungle, an airplane ride is required to get to the starting point for river trips. The waterfall drops over the edge of the Auyantepui Mountain in the Canaima National Park.
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25
Prince Eric's castle in The Little Mermaid was inspired by...
The Little Mermaid, Disney, 022916
Disney
26
Chateau De Chillon in Lake Geneva, Switzerland
Chateau de Chillon, Eric Hill, Flickr, 022916
Eric Hill/Flickr
The Swiz castle was built sometime in the 11th century and became popular in the 19th century by Lord Byron, who wrote the poem The Prisoner of Chillon. The chateau is located on the eastern side of Lake Geneva right at the foot of the Alps, and is Switzerland's most visited historic monument. If you're looking for something romantical, you can book a tour here.
27
Pacha's village in The Emperor's New Groove was inspired by ...
The Emporers New Groove, Disney, 022916
Disney
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28
Machu Picchu in Cusco, Peru
Macu Picchua, lukedakin, Flickr, 022916
Lukedakin/Flickr
Do you remember in The Emperor's New Groove when Emperor Kuzco wanted to destroy Pacha's village in order to build his retreat Kuzcotopia, which also included a water slide? That little hillside village was inspired by the ruins of Machu Picchu in Cusco, Peru. Luckily, Kuzco never got his grubby paws on it, and you can take a virtual tour of the lost Ican city here.
29
The Emperor's Palace in Mulan was inspired by...
Mulan, Disney, 022916
Disney
30
The Forbidden City in Beijing, China
The Forbidden City, Ben, Flickr, 022916
Ben/Flickr
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from 1420 to 1912. It served as the home of the Emperors and their families, and was the political center of China for almost 500 years.  The palace is located in the center of Beijing and now houses the Palace Museum. The museum has a massive collection of artwork and artifacts, and currently has 14 million visitors every year.

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