The locations we see in Disney animated movies are works of the imagination, but they were all highly inspired from real life places, buildings, and yes, even castles. So, even artists and animators copy from beautiful, worldly locations. Here are five of them drawn from the four corners of the world.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria, Germany. This castle influenced so much of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty's castle. Yes, they're one and the same. The animators have used Neuschwanstein as their reference in making the two princes future homes. Disney's opening theme and Disneyland's iconic palace mean to have their castles based here as well.
Agra, India. Agrabah from Aladdin came from Agra of India (get the name?). Not only Disney was inspired to copy the Taj Mahal for the sultan's palace, but they even called the place almost identical to India's city. If you can look at the domes of the Agrabah's palace, it's actually similar to Taj Mahal.
Alsace, France. Belle's small provincial town was inspired from the village square in Alsace. Remember that Beauty and the Beast is also set in France during the French Revolution? Yes. Also, Alsace's exteriors are really similar to the animated film. The cobbled streets are still there too. Travel and Leisure adds that the Beast's castle is a rendition to the Château de Chambord, a 16th-century royal hunting lodge in Loir-et-Cher.
Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, France. Bored Panda wrote that Rapunzel's kingdom, Corona, was based on the island of Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy. "This unique island commune is periodically cut off from the mainland by tidal waters. This made it an easily defensible position that was ideal for a fortified cloister."
Château de Chillon, Lake Geneva, Switzerland. The old chateau was an inspiration for Prince Eric's castle when Ariel set foot on the shores. Château de Chillon was built during the Roman period as a fortress to guard routes going to the Alps. The stone walls in the water make it an ideal place for princes to look over the lake in search for mermaids.