7 Real-World Places That Appeared in Disney Movies

The enchanting worlds our favorite Disney characters breathe in may seem all but a pipe dream, but did you know that these dreamy settings are often adapted from real-world locations? If you’re a diehard Disney fan looking for your next adventure, here are the 7 real-world Disney places you can actually visit. Genie lamps and poisoned apples don’t seem that far-fetched anymore.

1. Peter Pan (Big Ben, London)

The Big Ben is one of the most iconic landmarks in London
Peter Pan with the Darling Children featuring Big Ben (Disney)


The Big Ben is a popular tourist attraction in London
The actual Big Ben in Westminster, London (Lloyd Morgan)

Remember when Peter Pan took the trio of Darling children on their first flight around London before landing on Big Ben to locate their way to Neverland? Iconic not only to the 1953 Walt Disney Peter Pan film, Big Ben is also widely recognised as the national timepiece of London. Take a bus tour around Big Ben at nightfall and who knows, you might catch a glimpse of a Lost Boy.

>> London Night Sightseeing Tour

2. Mulan (The Forbidden City, Beijing)

The Forbidden Palace in Beijing used to house emperors from the Ming to Qing dynasty
The Emperor’s Palace in Mulan (Disney Wikia)


The Forbidden Palace is a popular tourist attraction in Beijing
The Forbidden City in Beijing, China (T Chu)

The emperor’s palace in Disney’s Mulan was inspired by the Forbidden City in Beijing, ChinaForbidden City was an imperial palace home to the emperors from the Ming to Qing dynasty. Now a museum popular with tourists worldwide, Forbidden City was set as the site of victory for Mulan against the Huns. relive the moment by stepping foot into the palace yourself.

>> Forbidden City Palace Musuem Ticket

3. Beauty And The Beast (Colmar, France)

Cobblestone pathways and half-timbered buildings are prominent in the design of Belle's hometown in Beauty and the Beast
Belle’s Hometown in Beauty and The Beast (Disney)


Cobblestone walkways and half-timbered houses in Colmar town
Colmar Town in Alsace, France (Fronzie D)

Seemingly taken straight out of a fairytale, Colmar is perhaps the prettiest town you’ll ever find in the Alsace region of northeastern France. With its charming cobblestone walkways and half-timbered houses, any child would be able to tell that Belle’s hometown in Beauty and Beast was largely inspired by Colmar. Time to put Alsace on your travel bucket list.

>> Baden-Baden/Strasbourg and Alsace Tour

4. Finding Nemo (Sydney Harbour, Australia)

Marlin and Dory in view of the Sydney Harbour's skyline in Finding Nemo
Sydney Harbour featured in Finding Nemo (Fairfax Digital)


Climbing to the top of Sydney Harbour's bridge is a popular travel activity in Australia
The actual Sydney Harbour in Australia (Adrian Gigante)

As seen in the movie Finding Nemo, Marlin and Dory surfaced from the waters of Port Jackson — in full view of Sydney Harbour’s majestic skyline. How can we possibly miss out Sydney Opera House’s distinctive sail-like architecture?

Looking to get a better scenery than the pair did? Join KKday on a climb to the top of Sydney Harbour’s bridge for a bird’s eye view of the city. Yes, you heard us right — there’s finally a part of reality better than Disney.

>> Syndey Harbour Bridge Climb

5. Aladdin (Taj Mahal, India)

The palace is largely inspired by the Taj Mahal in India
The Sultan’s Palace of Agrabah in Aladdin (Disney Wikia)


Aladdin's storyline was said to have been inspired by the fact that the Taj Mahal is a tomb, not a palace
The Taj Mahal in India (vil.sandi)

The creatives behind the Sultan’s palace in Aladdin had obviously drawn their inspiration from Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Bearing more than just architectural similarities, Aladdin’s storyline was rumored to have been influenced by the fact that Taj Mahal is not a palace, but a mausoleum for the the Mughal emperor’s wife. In Aladdin, the Sultan is portrayed to be a widow whilst Princess Jasmine sees the palace as a prison.

Uncover the truth for yourself with a day tour to Taj Mahal in India. What better place to immerse yourself in the wizardry of genie lamps and magic carpets than Taj Mahal itself?

>> Taj Mahal Full-Day Sunrise Tour 

6. Tangled (Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival, Taiwan)

The lantern scene in Tangled is believed to have been inspired by the Pingxi lantern festival in Taiwan
The iconic lantern scene in Tangled (Disney)


The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival attracts thousands of tourists to Taiwan annually
The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in Taiwan (Jirka Matousek)

The iconic sky lantern scene in Tangled got us wondering if Rapunzel and Flynn had shared their endearing moment at Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival. A sight too beautiful for words, Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival is an annual event in Taiwan where participants release a paper lantern carrying their written wishes and blessings into the sky. Disney always has a good eye for the most alluring sights in this world, don’t they?

>> 1 Day Tour Around Yehliu Geopark, Pingxi and Jiufen

7. Up (Angel Falls, Venezuela)

The Paradise Falls in 'Up' was hugely inspired by the Angel Falls in Venezuela
The Paradise Falls in Up (Disney)
The Angels Falls in Venezuela was the inspiration to the 'Paradise Falls' in Disney movie, 'Up'
The Angel Falls in Venezuela (ollie harridge)

Established as the Paradise Falls in adventure film, ‘Up’, the magnificent waterfall is better known as Angel Falls in real-world Venezuela. Distinguished as the world’s highest waterfall with an impressive plunge of 979 meters, we’re not surprised the legendary Angel Falls made it to the big screen with Disney.

For more exciting travel guides:
>> 5 Insta-Worthy Places in Yilan
>> Top 4 Countries For The Best New Year Countdown
>> Here’s How To Maximise Your Time at Disneyland