13 Real-Life Places That Inspired Your Favorite Disney Movies

The fact that these places actually exist will make you believe in magic.

image

The fact that these places actually exist will make you believe in magic.

1 of 26
image
Disney
MOVIE: The Sultan's Palace in Aladdin

Located right in the center of Agrabah near the Jordan River, the Sultan's Palace is visible no matter where you are in town.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
2 of 26
image
Getty Images
INSPIRATION: Taj Mahal in Agra, India

The Sultan's Palace was loosely based on this architectural wonder in Agra, India. Although the Taj Mahal is a tomb, not a palace, we can see the inspiration come through in the movie's storyline as well: , Aladdin has a pet monkey and Jasmine has a tiger — two animals Agra is known for.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
3 of 26
image
Disney
MOVIE: The Beast's Castle in Beauty and the Beast

After a spell is cast on this Baroque-style castle, it becomes a dark and mysterious place—until Belle breaks the curse, that is.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
4 of 26
image
Getty Images
INSPIRATION: Château de Chambord in Loir-et-Cher, France

The Beast may have been cursed, but his castle was modeled after this elegant abode. The stunning château in central France is characterized by its distinctive French Renaissance architecture.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
5 of 26
image
Disney
MOVIE: Small Village Square in Beauty and the Beast

Belle lives in a peaceful, secluded village filled with charming local vendors, such as a flower shop and a book store.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
6 of 26
image
Getty Images
INSPIRATION: Alsace, France

Belle's hometown features many architectural details reminiscent of the northeastern region of France. And while the town's inspiration is unconfirmed, the movie offers small hints of Alsace culture, like the design on the wine bottles featured in the film, .

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
7 of 26
image
Disney
MOVIE: Elsa's Ice Palace in Frozen

Created by Queen Elsa as a place she could live in isolation, the Ice Palace is quite the sight to behold.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
8 of 26
image
Pierre-Arnaud KOPP / Flickr Creative Commons
INSPIRATION: Hôtel de Glace in Quebec City, Canada

If you spend the night in , we won't blame you for belting out a verse or two of "Let it Go." Being surrounded by snow vaults and crystalline ice sculptures will truly make you feel like a snow queen.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
9 of 26
image
Disney
MOVIE: DunBroch Castle in Brave

Located in the Scottish Highlands, Princess Merida resides in this stunning fortress with her royal family during the Medieval period.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
10 of 26
image
Getty Images
INSPIRATION: Eilean Donan Castle

Brave may be a fairytale, but the places that inspired Disney are very real. This overlooks the sea on one side and rolling Scottish highlands on the other — just like DunBroch.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
11 of 26
image
Disney
MOVIE: Pacha's Village in The Emperor's New Groove

As the leader of a poor village, Pacha lives in a hut at the top of a hill — the very spot Kuzco wants to build his ginormous summer home, Kuzcotopia.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
12 of 26
image
Getty Images
INSPIRATION: Machu Picchu in Cusco, Peru

While Incan influence is evident throughout the movie, Pacha's village may just be the most obvious — the hill is actually based on a very familiar looking mountain: Machu Picchu.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
13 of 26
image
MOVIE: The Royal Castle in Sleeping Beauty

After being cursed by Maleficent, princess Aurora is placed under a sleeping spell inside this towering castle.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
14 of 26
image
Getty Images
INSPIRATION: Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany

Not only did this striking castle provide inspiration for the movie, you can see a real-life version of Sleeping Beauty's castle inspired by the German palace at Disneyland.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
15 of 26
image
Disney
MOVIE: The Kingdom in Tangled

Rapunzel was born in Corona, an island topped by a towering castle and surrounded by the sea.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
16 of 26
image
Getty Images
INSPIRATION: Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France

, the movie took literal inspiration from Mont Saint-Mitchel to create a renaissance castle on an island that emulates the "peinture galante" style.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
17 of 26
image
Disney
MOVIE: Emperor's Home in Mulan

Not only is real-life architectural influence evident in Mulan, it's also based on the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
18 of 26
image
Getty Images
INSPIRATION: Forbidden City in Beijing, China

Mulan is thought to be set during the Han Dynasty, based on the traditional clothing the characters wear. However, Disney sought inspiration from this stunning landmark that would be built over 1,000 years later.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
19 of 26
image
Disney
MOVIE: The Cathedral in The Hunchback of Notre Dame

It's safe to say that Bell ringer Quasimodo's home is a very literal reinterpretation of a real-life Parisian landmark.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
20 of 26
image
Getty Images
INSPIRATION: Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

You guessed it: Producers while they were developing The Hunchback of Notre Dame to explore every last nook and cranny of the famous cathedral.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
21 of 26
image
Disney
MOVIE: Prince Eric's Castle in The Little Mermaid

Located on the shores of a mountainous region, Prince Eric's castle overlooks Ariel's underwater home.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
22 of 26
image
Getty Images
INSPIRATION: Chateau de Chillon in Lake Geneva, Switzerland

This dates back to the twelfth century and is thought to be the inspiration for Prince Eric's Castle, given its lakeside location.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
23 of 26
image
Disney
MOVIE: Queen's Castle in Snow White

This classic fairytale castle is where the Queen plots to surpass Snow White as "the fairest in the land."

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
24 of 26
image
Getty Images
INSPIRATION: Segovia Castle in Spain

Raised high above a rocky terrain, the Alcázar of Segovia has a distinctive shape that resamples the bow of a ship.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
25 of 26
image
Disney
MOVIE: City in Atlantis : The Lost Empire

In this animated science fiction film, a young man and his crew journey to find the lost city of Atlantis.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
26 of 26
image
Getty Images
INSPIRATION: Angkor Wat in Angkor, Cambodia

If you'd like to journey to the fabled lost city of Atlantis, visiting this temple complex would be your best best. While the movie blends together architectural characteristics from around the world, the aerial view of Atlantis resemble this Cambodian destination.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Lifestyle