We are a Disney family, and on any given weekend, you can find us curled up on the sofa, snacks in hand, watching a Disney movie. I have yet to outgrow any of the Disney movies, and my sons are growing up to love them as much as I do. Sometimes when I’m watching one of them, especially one I’ve seen hundreds (no exaggeration!) of times, I find myself distracted by the movie location, and start wondering what it would be like to go there. Even with animated movies, Disney does a great job of painting a picture, and I’ve often researched family travel destinations based on places I’ve seen in those movies. So here are my top 10 destinations for travel inspired by Disney movies.
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Inspired by Beauty and the Beast
The original animated version of Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite Disney movie of all time, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the live action version released this past year. I love how the depiction of the small French village in the beginning (not sure what Belle’s problem is, I would love to live there!) and although I’ve visited Paris, I’ve never spent time in the French countryside. This movie makes me want to pack my bags (and my baguette) and head out to find small French towns to explore!
Book your trip to France HERE.
Inspired by Brave
Brave is one of my favorite movies of all time for a number of different reasons. Firstly, I love Merida’s spirit, and the fact that she chooses to change the path she’s been set upon, regardless of what the people around her think. I love that there is no male love interest in the movie, and that it focuses more on family. Also, I love Scotland. I grew up in England, literally the next country over, and yet I never visited Scotland; just one of those times where you assume you’ll visit one day because it’s so close, but never do. Now of course it’s nearly 5,000 miles away, and a bit more effort is required! The scenery depicted in Brave always makes me want to plan a trip across the Atlantic to explore the country.
Book your trip to Scotland HERE.
Inspired by Frozen
Set in the fictional Norweigian town of Arendelle, Frozen is the most successful Disney movie of all time. Not surprisingly, this has led to a whole host of Disney fans heading to the Scandinavian country. Tourism in Norway has gone through the roof thanks to the “Frozen effect”, to the point where some of the country’s tourism boards have stopped advertising in an attempt to curb the huge increase of new visitors that are somewhat overwhelming the county’s biggest tourist attractions. It’s still worth taking a trip over to Norway, however, and seeing some of the country’s incredible natural wonders.
Book your trip to Norway HERE.
4. New Orleans
Inspired by The Princess and the Frog
The Princess and the Frog is one of the first movies I remember watching and thinking “wow, I’ve got to visit that place!” Set in New Orleans, I don’t know whether it’s the music, the dancing, or just the whole laid back Southern charm feel the movie has, but it makes New Orleans seem like an incredible place to go!
Book your trip to New Orleans HERE.
Inspired by Moana
We are die-hard Hawaii fans, and watching Moana made me desperate to get back on a plane and head back out to the islands! The story of Moana is a fantastic one about a young girl heading out on an adventure to save her people and find out who she really is, and the setting for the movie is quite incredible. If Moana has inspired you to travel to Hawaii, you can read more on our travels to Aulani, a Disney Resort and Spa and our trip to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park with kids.
Book your trip to Hawaii HERE.
Inspired by Peter Pan
Of all of the classic Disney movies, Peter Pan is a pretty incredible one. Growing up in England, London has always been one of my favorite cities, and I love the scenes at the beginning of the movie, particularly where Peter Pan lands on the Big Ben clock hand! I love the depiction of the grand townhouses, and watching them fly over the city! It’s a spectacular place to visit, and this movie always makes me want to go back!
Book your trip to London HERE.
7. The Middle East
Inspired by Aladdin
Aladdin is set in the fictional city of Agrabah, but the actual setting of the original story is a little different. The original story of Aladdin had him living on the streets of China, and the Disney movie was inspired by the 1940s version of The Thief of Bagdad which was set in Iraq. The Disney script changed the story to the fictional city of Agrabah, and moved Aladdin from the Far East to the Middle East. Regardless of how the story and its setting evolved, the movie has always inspired me to visit such Middle Eastern countries as Israel, Egypt, and Turkey.
Book your trip to The Middle East HERE.
8. South Africa
Inspired by The Lion King
If you watched The Lion King as a child, you probably a) wanted a pet lion cub, and b) wanted to immediately pack your bags and head out on an African safari to see those animals in the wild! Within the top 10 of most peoples travel bucket lists are safaris to see animals like zebra, wildebeest, elephants, and lions in the wild, and I can’t imagine how incredible it would be to see a true African savanna teaming with wildlife.
Book your trip to South Africa HERE.
Inspired by Mulan
The character of Mulan is not actually based on a real person, but the story is based on an ancient Chinese ballad. I’ve always loved the story of Mulan, with its emphasis on female empowerment, and I love the setting of the movie. Climbing the Great Wall of China is yet another travel bucket list item (read our full family travel bucket list here) and exploring China as a whole is something I’ve longed to do since seeing this movie as a child.
Book your trip to China HERE.
Inspired by Snow White
Snow White was a 19th century German fairy tale, and is generally seen as the movie that ‘saved’ the Disney Studios from financial collapse. It is a classic Disney princess movie, and beloved by every Disney fan. The tale depicts a small German woodland cottage that I think would be truly incredible to live in, and I have always wanted to visit a small German village because of this movie. On another Disney-related note, Germany is the home of the Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, which is said to be the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle at the original Disneyland park in California – how amazing would it be to visit that?!
Book your trip to Germany HERE.
Have you ever embarked on travel inspired by Disney movies? Where has your favorite Disney movie made you want to visit? Let me know in the comments!