Disney Vacations

9 Disney-Inspired Travel Destinations

Last updated 16th October 2017

Whether you’re first in line at any Disney movie release, or if you’re more of the “watch it on DVD later” crowd, you have to admit, these movies are set in beautiful locales. Sure, you could visit Disney theme parks and see the characters and movie recreations, but why not take your family to the destinations that inspired the stories in the first place?

These Disney-inspired destinations stretch from the U.S. to across the world, from small towns to big cities and countrysides. Whether there is one Disney fan in your family or a whole house-full, these destinations would impress anyone.


Moana: Samoa

Take a Polynesian adventure to where one of Disney’s latest strong female role models comes from. Samoa is a small group of islands in the South Pacific, marked by breathtaking beaches and reefs, and rainforests and waterfalls inland. Don’t expect to find theme parks or flashy resorts here, though. Go to soak up the natural beauty and be inspired by local culture.

The Princess and The Frog: New Orleans

You may think Mardi Gras when you think New Orleans, but this deep south city makes a great family vacation too. Rich in history and culture, you and the kids can take walking tours of elite neighborhoods like the Garden District, visit the zoo, watch a parade, and dine on beignets Tiana would be proud of.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Paris

Tour the famed, ornate cathedral of Notre Dame, but don’t stop there. You’re in Paris! Take the kids to the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and visit the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum. This vacation of a lifetime is one the whole family can get behind.

Mulan: China

Mulan was a legendary warrior in an ancient Chinese ballad. Disney made her an international star. You can visit the homeland of Mulan, but China is a huge country. Start with the Forbidden City in Bejing. The 980-building compound is a huge tourist destination and housed dozens of Chinese emperors beginning in the 14th century.

Lilo & Stitch: Hawaii

Hula and surf lessons abound in Hawaii, where you and the family can recreate scenes from Lilo & Stitch. The duo’s home was inspired by the village of Hanapepe on Kauai — go there for a small town, local feel. Of course, if you prefer resort living, Hawaii has no shortage of posh, tropical accommodations.

Frozen: Norway

The remote Lofoten Islands of Norway are above the north of Arctic Circle —  they are cold, but breathtakingly beautiful. Hike, visit glacier lakes, and take in the mountain vistas. Visit the village of Bergen, the reported inspiration for Anna and Elsa’s home Arendelle.

Hercules: Greece

The remnant of ancient mythology surrounds you in Athens, Greece. But you don’t have to stay in the capital to retrace the steps of Hercules and the gods. The island of Mykonos is said to be built on the bodies of giants Hercules himself killed. And if your family is up for serious adventure, visit Mount Olympus, where Zeus sat atop the highest peak and held court with other gods.

Finding Nemo: Sydney

Throughout Finding Nemo, Marlin has one objective: finding his son. And when he gets a Sydney address committed to memory, there’s no stopping his pursuit. When in Sydney, spend some time near the water — the city is known for its bays. Visit the zoo and the iconic opera house, but skip P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way. Apparently that exact address does not exist.

Up: Angel Falls, Venezuela

If you thought the animation for Paradise Falls in Up was phenomenal, imagine seeing the real thing. The rocky tepui, as they’re known, are located in Canaima National Park in Venezuela. They’ve stood for billions of years. The largest is called “House of the Devil” and is where you’ll find Angel Falls, the tallest waterfall on the planet. Visiting these landmarks are far from a walk in the park, though, and are best saved for families with older, adventurous children.


Written by Anna Schaefer