Vacation destinations

16 Vacation Destinations Inspired by Your Favorite Family Movies

Last updated 17th July 2022

1/16 The Lion King – Kenya

The new live animation of The Lion King starring Beyoncé comes out in July 2019. With the movie setting, characters and story inspired by the pride lands of Kenya’s Maasai Mara and the endless savannah plains, gorges and sunsets of Tanzania’s Serengeti, the film is sure to ignite a passion for visiting East Africa. For an unforgettable experience, stay at the Mara Serena Safari Lodge in Kenya – built where travelers can enjoy the views over the famous Mara River, with a ringside seat to all the drama of the Migration.

2/16 Aladdin – Jordan

Jordan’s Wadi Rum desert played a major part in the recent filming of the live-action remake of 1992’s Disney film, Aladdin. The new live-action version is in theaters nationwide on May 24. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the movie features Hollywood stars including Will Smith, who plays Genie, Mena Massoud as Aladdin and Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine. The Wadi Rum stood in for many of the desert scenes during filming. Smith reportedly took the film crew to see Petra, a site that had been on his bucket list for 20 years. Get a taste of true local culture by camping out under the stars at a traditional Bedouin camp in the heart of the desert. Camps such as the Seven Wonders Bedouin Camp offer comfortable goat-hair tents and traditional meals such as a zarb, sooked in an oven buried in the sand.

Have more desert vacation fun in Abu Dhabi

3/16 Penguins – Antarctica

You can visit Antarctica’s now-famous residents with your kids thanks to Abercrombie & Kent’s educational and fun voyages for families. With A&K’s top-notch Expedition Team, Antarctica makes an unforgettable impression on young travelers, who get to unplug from the online world and immerse themselves in a one-of-a-kind wilderness. Kids see for themselves how climate change affects the world and learn about the region through fun, hands-on activities designed exclusively for them. Each journey features extensive family programming that includes exciting workshops and special excursions led by engaging A&K Young Explorers Guides. Kids will love seeing natural wildlife they’ve seen on the big screen up close and personal, including, penguins, seals and whales.

4/16 The Sound of Music – Salzburg, Austria

The hills are alive with… the sound of children whining. Joking, of course, the kids will have a great time in the picturesque city of Salzburg. The Austrian setting for the Sound of Music has one of the most breathtaking landscapes. If views alone aren’t enough to appease the kids, have no fear. There’s a bevy of things to do with them. Check out the Hohensalzburg Fortress for a fairytale-like moment on your trip. Also, if you’re a true lover of the film, go on the Sound of Music Tour. It’ll be a treat for you and the family to see some of the most iconic spots from the timeless film. After, venture to the Mirabell Palace and Gardens to further soak up all the culture and architectural beauty Salzburg has to offer.

Plan your family vacation to Austria

5/16 Star Wars – Dubrovnik, Croatia

This picturesque city made famous by Game of Thrones also made a brief appearance in Disney’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Last Jedi as the casino city of Canto Bight. Parts of the Old Town were used for iconic scenes of the Resistance fighters fleeing through the streets. Your family can stroll the same streets at a more leisurely pace and take in the gorgeous architecture and coastline this seaside town has to offer. Mega fans of the movies can also go for a guided tour of the city to see all the actual filming spots.

Learn about the best way to visit Dubrovnik with kids

6/16 Frozen – Norway

So, you’ve had enough time to recover from the “Let It Go” phase your kids went through? No? Then I regret to inform you that Frozen II is making its way to the big screen this year. If you secretly loved Elsa making an appearance in your home every day, then I have great news to share with you. Frozen II is making its way to the big screen this year! In celebration, take a vacation to the place that inspired it all: Norway. Head to Oslo to visit the Norwegian Museum of Science and Technology or check out the TusenFryd Amusement Park for rides to accommodate every age group. Spend some time outside and get active at Oslo Summer Park. For a truly unforgettable experience, head to Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort where you can experience the Northern Lights (or midnight summer depending on the season) from a cozy cabin with sky views of from a glass igloo.

See more incredible places to see the Northern Lights

7/16 Enchanted – New York City, USA

Plucked from the fictitious land of Andalasia in the movie Enchanted, Giselle transports into a dark and scary place: New York City. Despite the film’s initial portrayal of the city, your family should make a trip out to the Big Apple. Although, the city’s fast pace may intimidate at first (as it did for Giselle in the movie), it’s worth it for the absolute magic that is Manhattan. Take a boat through Central Park, take a lift up to the top of the Empire State Building, take a trip to bustling Times Square. Have tea at the American Girl Doll store, have a bite to eat in Chelsea Market, and have a stroll through the High Line on a warm day. There are too many sights to see in NYC. From the museums to the sweet shops to the Broadway shows, New York City is just too much for one trip. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attempt to tackle the madness! Start chipping away at the long list of fun activities to do with the family and plan your trip in one of the greatest cities in the world.

Everything you can’t miss on a trip to New York City

8/16 The Parent Trap – California, USA

Follow the steps of the twins from The Parent Trap and venture to sunny California. While there’s no need to retrace their actual trip to Napa County, there’s so many incredible sights in California for the kids that they’ll be delighted to see. Replicate the family’s annual camping trip, and head to Lake Tahoe for an unforgettable experience in just one of the state’s natural beauties. Yosemite National Park is another lush option for some outdoor time. The park has wonderful, kid-friendly trails that thread through sparkling lakes and waterfalls. Nature not your family’s thing? No worries, kick back in southern California and plan a visit to Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. Disney’s first home consists of two parks that will definitely have enough magic to last a lifetime. While in SoCal, definitely check out the Griffith Observatory for a night among the stars (no, not the celebrity ones).

Follow the ultimate road trip guide through California 

9/16 Kung Fu Panda – Beijing, China

Kids love Po. Po is the lazy, lovable panda from Kung Fu Panda. Set in ancient China, this hilarious movie has kids in stitches. Travel to this spectacular country for some unique sights and experiences that the kids may recognize from the film. Of course, travel to the city of Beijing to marvel at The Great Wall of China. Take a sled down the mountain from the Great Wall with kids for added joy. If you’re part of a nature-loving family, check out Juizhaigou National Park for incredibly blue waters, waterfalls and forests. If you really want to see Po, check out the Chengdu Base of Giant Panda Research to watch the playful creatures in real life. China has a rich history and beauty that you can only fully experience via a trip.

Get advice on family vacations to China

10/16  Moana – Hawaii, USA

There’s nothing like the sight of blue waters to relax you and excite your kids. Hawaii offers a backdrop similar to the Polynesian-inspired film, Moana. It’s a recent crowd favorite that stars a beautiful, tropical background. The exquisite island is an ideal place to take the family on a beach getaway. They have sea life parks, leisure hikes (kid friendly!), luaus, abundant beaches and even a Disney resort.

Everything to know about Disney’s Aulani resort in Hawaii

11/16 The Princess and the Frog – New Orleans, USA

New Orleans is the setting of the sweet film The Princess and the Frog. The children’s film depicts some classic hallmarks of the city like beignets and the Mardi Gras Parade. This culturally rich city is a great place to explore with any of the film’s fans. Take a trip to Storyland in City Park to see over 20 grand sculptures of storybook characters. The playground has a fun dragon slide and the pirate ship from Peter Pan. Swing by the New Orleans Museum of Art to check out some of the beautiful pieces and join in on a children’s art workshop. After your day out, pick up the famous beignets from Café du Monde in the French Quarter for a sweet treat. A trip to this diverse city is well worth it.

Explore more of the South with a kid-friendly trip to Charleston

12/16 Coco – Mexico City, Mexico

The newer Pixar movie Coco is about a boy who speaks with skeletons in the land of the dead. The film draws on Mexican folklore and is set in the country’s capital: Mexico City. Mexico City is studded with fun activities for the whole family. Visit the Plaetario Luis Enrique Erro for a sky show and an informative, but fun, projection at the planetarium. Visit the botanical gardens, and head to the Papalote Museo del Niño for interactive exhibits. For more museum fun take a trip to KidZania- a science museum for kids to let their imaginations run. Between the art and the history, your kids will feel transported into the movie.

Eat your way through Mexico City like a local

13/16 Ratatouille – Paris, France

Remy’s dream is to move to Paris and become a chef in the movie Ratatouille, and yours should be too. Well, maybe omit the chef part. And maybe a permanent move is too much. But you should definitely want to explore Paris. Take a trip over to the magnificent city to explore a variety of gardens, museums and patisseries. Nosh on a croissant with the kids and stroll through the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. Take the steps up to the Sacre Coeur for an unparalleled view of Paris that will even make the kids gasp in awe. Visit the Jardin de Luxembourg to sail toy boats along the water with the family or take a cruise on an actual boat for a tour down the Seine. And if your kids are looking for Remy, take a short trip to Disneyland Paris to hop on the Ratatouille: The Adventure ride (suitable for all ages) and dine at Ratatouille: A Recipe for Adventure. Paris is a magical city, ideal for families.

Discover kid-friendly and under-the-radar activities in Paris

14/16 The Goonies – Astoria and Portland Oregon, USA

Go on an adventure to the land of The Goonies. Take a trip to Oregon for a nice family getaway. Visit the actual location of Astoria, Oregon to unwind with the kids in a mildly populated area of the state. Explore the charming town and be on the lookout for the Goon Docks house where Mikey and Brand resided. Even take a trip to Cannon beach for the classic rocky views in the film. It’s a beautiful beach with walking trails and shallow pools for the family to enjoy. Plus, Oregon has even more to offer. Visit the state’s bustling city of Portland. Explore Portland’s Children’s Museum to get hands-on with exhibits and join in for fun workshops. Head to Floating World Comics for an impressive collection of comic books that the kids will adore. And, of course, make a stop at the famous Voodoo Doughnuts for the kind of sweet treat that should only be reserved for special occasions – like a family vacation!

Visit the most unique beaches in the country

15/16 Finding Nemo – Sydney, Australia

P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney. Does this ring a bell? It should as this address is mentioned numerous times throughout the beloved movie Finding Nemo. Although this actual address does not exist, the city does. Sydney is a beautiful Australian city that offers so much for families to do together. Take a beautiful stroll along the sand and the sea with the Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk. The views are mesmerizing and the seaside stroll will be a delight as the kids look to the ocean in search of Nemo and Dory. Visit Luna Park and picnic in the Royal Botanic Gardens for a relaxed day in the city. Spend time by the beach, and if it’s too cold for that then visit the Australian Museum or the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.

Plan your trip to Australia with our family vacation guide

16/16 Tangled – Frankfurt, Germany

Take a Tangled- themed vacation in Germany. Many of the Brothers Grimm stories have their origins in Germany. Take your kids to the original setting of these beloved stories. There’s an actual German Fairytale Route that snakes through the country that will undoubtedly leave both kids and parents in absolute awe. From Schwälmer Land’s Little Red Riding Hood roots to Sleeping Beauty’s Sababurg Castle, there’s so much for the kids to enjoy and so much architectural beauty for you to appreciate. Visit Rapunzel’s town and tower with a trip to the Trendelburg Fortress for the full Tangled experience.