The allure of Disney films is undeniable. Their tales of heroes and heroines, villains and monsters, castles and fairy godmothers, sometimes paired with epic musical numbers, are enchanting, depicting lives and worlds at times intimately familiar and other times as if from a dream. But while live-action films have picture-perfect cities, storied hotels, and otherworldly landscapes at their visual disposal, Disney has had to depend upon the imaginations of their trusted animators to transform plots and folktales into cinematic realms of fantasy.
But all ideas come from somewhere, and even Disney’s most obscure settings take inspiration from locations, sometimes even specific buildings, that can be found—through a bit of research—on the world map. Read on for 12 real-life places that stood in for some of the most iconic settings in Disney films.
This piece originally appeared on Travel + Leisure.