Disney Architecture Inspired by Real Life

Posted at 8:17 AM, Dec 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-23 08:17:58-05

Christmas lights in your neighborhood can make you feel like you’re living in a dream, but the place where reality and fantasy really mix is Disney. The List's Teresa Strasser has got the real-life architectural inspirations.


1: Hotel de Glace - Quebec City, Canada

                The hotel, built every year from ice and snow, inspired the artistry of Elsa’s ice palace. “The power of ice and snow is right there and the place is just gorgeous,” said Frozen’s co-director Jennifer Lee. “I really now know and appreciate how powerful Elsa is to have raised a roof because that stuff weighs a ton,” she added, talking about the amount of snow and ice it took to build the Hotel de Glace.

                The hotel is open every year from January through March.


2: Mont Saint-Michel – Normandy, France

                This castle inspired the castle in “Tangled” and Eric’s castle in “The Little Mermaid.”

                It floats like a mirage in the horizon. The tiny island community features an abbey, monastery, and a surrounding village.


3: The ruins of Machu Picchu, Peru

                Pacha’s village in “The Emperor’s New Groove” was inspired by the rocky formation. Emperor Kuzco was also named after the city of Cusco.


4: The Taj Mahal – Agra, India

                The fictional town of Agrabah in “Aladdin” is a loose interpretation of the Taj Mahal in India.

                It’s estimated that it took more than 22-thousand people to build the structure that’s one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. That includes laborers, painter, stonecutters, embroiderers, and many others.

                The Taj Mahal also takes on different colors during the day. It goes from a pinkish hue in the morning, to a milky white in the evening, and golden at night when it’s lit by the moon.

Disney, it’s where imagination meets architecture on the Lowdown.