7 Real Places from Fairy Tales Adapted by Disney

Okay fairy tale lovers, it’s time to start trip planning to these places from fairy tales that won’t require a fairy godmother to reach. From Cinderella’s Castle to a mirror, mirror on the wall, this is a list of places you can really explore tied to the most famous fairy tales of all time. Check out all the places from fairy tales you can visit!

Places from Fairy Tales

1. Beauty and the Beast – Rouen, France

Places from fairy tales

Rouen and Colmar looks just like Belle’s Village. The Chateau de Chambord roof looks much like Beast’s Castle.

The setting for Beauty and the Beast is very much idealized. When we look at the Disney adaptation we see a half-timbered village, an extravagant castle and a dark forest. While the story of Beauty and the Beast is entirely fictional, we can draw from its original story written in 1756 by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont who was born in Rouen, France.

The Village

Rouen, now the historic capital of Normandy, is one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe. The Rouen Seine Valley is a diverse region in the heart of Normandy with quaint historic towns of Rouen and Elbeuf in its center. This area is home to one of the world’s most beautiful rivers, the Seine. Storybook villages wrapped in green pastures make this area one of the most picturesque in France.

I can also assume other towns like: Colmar, Alsace in the North East of France, Riquewhir, Ribeauvillé, Obernai, “petite France” in the heart of Strasbourg and similar villages in the Jura region in the East surely inspired Disney’s adapted version.  

The Castle and Black Forest

The dark forest used in both the original and the Disney adaptation could very well be the Black Forest of Germany which backs up to the eastern side of France. Beast’s Castle as depicted in the Disney film is easily recognized as inspired by the Chateau de Chambord.

2. Cinderella – Poland, Germany, Spain and France

Places from fairy tales

Neuschwanstein and the Chateau de Chambord are just 2 of the 8 castles that inspired Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom.

Get ready to hop in your enchanted carriage for a storybook magical experience that takes you to Poland, Germany, Spain and France where you’ll find all the castles that inspired Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom. Anyone and everyone will tell you, Cinderella’s Castle at Walt Disney Resort is one of the most spectacular castles among the Disney franchise, but it was actually inspired by 8 real castles that you can visit.

Cinderella in theaters March 13th

Cinderella event banner

See the all new just released Cinderella Trailer!

 Explore the breathtaking film locations of the all new Cinderella

#CinderellaEvent

3. Tinkerbell and Strange Magic – Ireland

Places from fairy tales

Sacred megalithic sites in Ireland thought of as entrances to the “Other World” where fae live.

Ireland is one of my favorite places from fairy tales. It has forever been known as the land of luck and lore. For many years the Irish lived in very harsh conditions, especially along Ireland’s western coast. The earth was a crucial element to Irish Mythology with an irregular landscape that spawned curiosities. Many Irish legends and myths of fairies served to rationalize things people could not explain, and often still can’t. With the western coast and islands of Ireland being isolated for many years, these mystical, magical and enchanting stories were well-preserved and made a natural transition into modern times. From Irish myth to Yeats and even Disney, we see and echo of these tales every day.

In the most distant parts of Ireland like Achill Island, the Connemara region, the Burren and the Dingle Peninsula, you can find more sacred fairy sites than you can count. Here are 5 trips along what is called Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way that will leave you enchanted.

4. Peter Pan – London

Places from fairy tales

You can almost see Peter Pan flying.

London is the birthplace of many fairy tales, but Peter Pan is one of the most beloved. Watching Wendy, John and Michael fly across the sky, zipping past the clock tower of Parliament is an image that many adults grew up with, and a new generation is learning about as Disney released Peter Pan from the vault not too long ago.

Inspired by intrepid boys playing in Kensington Gardens, J.M. Barrie was able invent a world of fantasy and flight in the center of a thriving and busy metropolis.  Find out why Kensington Gardens plays a key role in the creation of Peter Pan.

5. Snow White – Germany

places from fairy tales

You can find the famed “mirror mirror on the wall” in the Lohr Castle.

The famed tale of Snow White stretches back to its original creators, the Brothers Grimm in the mid-nineteenth century, and perhaps even further. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? Is it Maria Sophia Margaretha Catherina von Erthal (that was a mouthful), or the Countess Margarethe Von Waldek? Both of whom stand to be thought as real-life inspirations to the fairy tale, or at least they are the subject of a friendly competition between German Visitors Bureaus. Find out more about what two places in Germany will have you saying “mirror, mirror on the wall”.

6. Pinocchio – Collodi, Italy

Places from fairy tales

The village of Collodi which was the inspiration for Pinocchio’s village in the animated film.

We all remember the picturesque village in the Disney adaptation of Pinocchio. Its quaint narrow cobbled streets and higgledy-piggledy houses are almost exact to the village of Collodi in Italy. The Adventures of Pinocchio, written by Carlo Collodi in 1883 was inspired by Collodi’s highest point. At its base, the entrance of Pinocchio Park where a marble plaque is engraved with the opening lines of the book. Get all the details of Collodi and Pinocchio Park here.

7. Frozen – Norway

places from fairy tales

Arendelle in Disney’s Frozen and the West Fjords of Norway, Bergen.

Last but definately not least of our places from fairy tales we arrive in Norway. The movie Frozen is set in the fictional town of Arendelle (which is quite a different place than the Norwegian town of Arendal), and is based on the scenery and traditions of Norway. The architecture, nature, attire and animals all look like what we find in The Land of the North. But perhaps mostly one place in Norway in particular – the Western fjords. The historic town of Bergen, a UNESCO World Heritage City, is called the gateway to the fjords – and was supposedly the inspiration for Arendelle. Find out more about Arendelle here.

Proudly partnered with:

Tourism IrelandDisney norway logo visit britain logo


About Christa Thompson

view all posts

Christa Thompson is the Founder and Senior Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. Christa has been traveling the world since 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

15 Comments on this post

  1. What about Merida and Scotland? Poor Merida never shows up on any of the Disney princess merchandise and she’s always been my favorite. By the way, love your name! 🙂

    Christa / Reply
  2. I visited Chambord during my childhood travels. Remember it very well. We also went to Chennanceau. Gorgeous and magical!

    Caroline Murphy / Reply
  3. this is such a neat article. I so love Europe.

    Leigh Powell Hines / Reply
  4. Mulan, Pocahontas and Jasmine are waiting for their turn! 😉

    Hanna / Reply
  5. Loved this post! Although I have to admit I’m yet to see Frozen :/

    Amar - Gap Year Escape / Reply
    • Thank you! You know, it’s a movie that just absorbs you. It’s so well written and so funny at times, but it’s still very dramatic. The Frozen Fever short film which opens Cinderella (on home edition too), is even funnier. Really, they just nailed it with Frozen.

  6. Ok, now I’m getting more and more excited to get to Norway even though I hate the cold. Those towns look adorable and I’ll just have to tell myself that freezing my butt off might be worth the chance of running into a hilarious snowman. 😉

    Jessica / Reply
  7. Where was Cinderella’s house shot? Her parents house, not any of the castles?

    Dan Halprin / Reply
  8. bring me here

    lanida / Reply

We love hearing your thoughts, stories and adventures. Share them here: