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The Real Life Locations Which Inspired Your Favourite Disney Movie [Infographic]

Posted by Shane Dobbing on 07/01/2017
The Real Life Locations Which Inspired Your Favourite Disney Movie Featured Image

We’d all be lying if we said that we didn’t love at least one Disney film. Since the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Walt Disney’s creations have been captivating audiences of all ages around the world.

The success of Walt Disney Pictures comes down to its ability to create animated movies and live- action movies which offer something entertaining for children and adults.

Iconic Characters

One of the reasons for this success is the staggering back catalogue of brilliant characters that have graced our screens over the years.

From Pinocchio to Mary Poppins, Buzz lightyear to Mike Wazowski, the list could go on and on forever.

The brilliance of character creation comes down to Disney’s ability to adapt with the times and constantly create relatable, likeable central characters.

Just take the example of the most recent release Moana (2016), which this Fox 8 article rightfully describes as ‘tasteful and charming’.

Landscapes and Locations

Another thing which has massively contributed to the success of Disney movies over the years is the places in which they are set.

From the expanse of trees and fascinating creatures in Jungle Book (1967/2016) to the domestic landscape of Andy’s bedroom in Toy Story (1995), no matter where the action takes place, it’s always exciting.

However, while the above two examples are in generic locations, some other Disney movies actually chose to base their settings on real life places.


You can see a whole host of examples in an infographic created by City Base Apartments at the bottom of this post.

The infographic is called ‘The Real Life Locations Which Inspired Your Favourite Disney Movie’ and includes some of the most famous Disney movies to date.

One of the best inclusions is from the 1959 classic Sleeping Beauty. The Royal Castle in this fairytale was actually totally inspired by Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany.

This castle, set among the hills and mountains of Germany, is quite clearly the inspiration for the location where the evil Maleficent makes her home. 

Interestingly, this nineteenth-century revival palace in southwest Bavaria was also used as the location for the classic 1968 musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Another great example in this infographic is the utterly majestic Sultan’s palace from the 1992 Disney classic Aladdin.

This gigantic structure, which is home to the central female character Princess Jasmine, was actually based on one of the most famous buildings on planet Earth, the Taj Mahal.

The beautiful 17th-century structure, which can be found on the outskirts of the city of Agra in India also has an interesting tale behind it.

While many believe it to simply be a palace similar to the one in Aladdin, it was actually originally built by the heartbroken emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his wife Mumtaz Mahal.

There are also some slightly more modern examples which are a lot less grand than the likes of the Taj Mahal.

Ramones House of Body Art which features in the 2006 smash hit Cars is actually based on a real-life gas station and restaurant in Shamrock, Texas.

The beautiful Art Deco structure still exists today and the cinematic version has a striking resemblance to the original.

To see just how similar these three examples are to their inspirational structures as well as a whole host of other interesting Disney locations, take a look at the infographic below. 

Disney Locations Infographic