If you’re planning your next trip for the family when things start to open up again, why not have some fun with it and take the kids on a Disney inspired adventure of their dreams?
Disney Inspired Holidays
Every little girl’s or boy’s dream is to live a day in a Disney prince or princess’s life. After the tough year we’ve had, why not treat the family to some fun by taking them on a Disney inspired holiday that will make them feel like they’re part of their favourite film?
Be their fairy godmother and take them on a trip to one of these movie locations, including places that inspired the backdrop of your favourite Disney stories. Let’s start with Norway.
Frozen has taken the world by storm with everyone knowing the lyrics to Let It Go off by heart. The movie now has a special place in every little girl’s heart. A trip to Norway can be fun for the whole family as you explore this winter wonderland together.
Walk around Bergen, the village that was the main inspiration for the fictional land of Arendelle and which is a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site. While you’re there why not take the Floibanen funicular railway up the mountain to “troll forest” and see if you can spot any of the magical creatures for yourself.
Why not visit Akershus Fortress in Oslo and learn about the real structure behind Anna and Elsa’ castle? You can even visit St. Olaf’s Church in Balestrand which is believed to be the setting of Elsa’s coronation and which gave its name to the snowman Olaf. There are numerous other locations in Norway said to have inspired Frozen so there’s plenty to make a round-trip.
If you don’t want the stress of organising the perfect route you can take an all-inclusive Disney cruise. This 11-night cruise departs from Dover and ventures to Copenhagen (where you could see the Little Mermaid statue) via Norway. The ship is possibly the best part of the trip as it includes Elsa and Anna meet-and-greets and deck parties with fairy tale ‘snow.’
Alice in Wonderland (England)
Did you know that Alice in Wonderland is based on a real person? Alice Liddell was a woman who lived in Oxford, England, and is the inspiration behind the Lewis Carroll tale Alice in Wonderland.
Take a walk around the grounds of the Oxford college Christ Church and be transported through the various scenes from the film from the secret door in the garden to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. Gaze up at the ornate stained-glass windows of the Great Hall, dedicated to Alice. Stop by the local gift shop if you want to pick up an Alice in Wonderland gift or souvenir to remind you of this special day.
Beauty and the Beast (France)
France has plenty of jaw-dropping chateaux for you to admire, but if you’re looking for the magical Beauty and the Beast experience, then the breath-taking Chateau du Chambord will not disappoint.
The Chateau is where they filmed the live-action movie. Families can tour around the beautiful estate, looking at the moat and envisioning Belle dancing around the garden and waltzing with the Beast in the magical ballroom.
Sleeping Beauty & Cinderella (Bavaria)
The late-19th century Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Germany (pictured at the top of this post) looks like something straight out of a fairy tale. This might explain why it inspired not only one but two Disney princess castles.
The first is Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland California. Before the construction of the park started, Walt Disney took his wife, Lillian on a tour of Europe, which included a stop at Neuschwanstein Castle. The castle made such an impression that Disney decided to take it home with him by recreating it in his own park. Neuschwanstein Castle is also believed to be one of the castles that inspired Herbert Dickens Ryman when he designed Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World.
As a result, Neuschwanstein Castle has not only ingrained itself into the Disney aesthetic but has also become a pop culture icon.
The Princess and the Frog (New Orleans)
Explore the vibrant city of New Orleans that inspired the Disney movie The Princess and the Frog and dance along to some of the finest jazz in the world. For kids, there’s plenty of entertainment, from riverboat swamp cruises to exploring the French Quarter and stuffing their faces with beignets! Or perhaps a spoonful of the movie’s famous gumbo would be more appropriate. Experience the Mardi Gras and participate in the parades and events just like Tiana did in the movie.
Let your fiery red hair down and gaze across the beautiful landscape of Scotland. Glen Affric forest can be found in the Scottish Highlands and is possibly one of the most beautiful Scottish forests.
Explore the forest on horseback and embark on a six-day trek across the valley. Visit Dunnottar Castle and the Calanais Standing Stones for the most authentic Brave experience. If you fancy, you can even plan your trip around participating in the fantastic Highland Games.
Remember Scotland is home to many brave characters and not all of them appeared in a Disney movie, however, Hollywood has had a fine go at interpreting the Scottish accent.
Why not follow Mulan’s footsteps and go on your own epic adventure to China. Spend six days trekking along the Great Wall and imagine yourself in the middle of the film, fighting off the Mongolians and protecting the country.
Explore Beijing’s Forbidden City and pretend your Mulan going to visit the Emperor. You can also take daily Tai Chi lessons to prep yourself for the long journey ahead. This adventure is certainly not for the faint-hearted but is sure to be an unforgettable experience for all.
So with plenty of Disney Princess fantasies to be fulfilled, you’ll have your hands full deciding which one to do first. Will it be hiking the Great Wall of China, exploring the Scottish countryside, or spending a few nights in a fairy tale castle somewhere deep in the mountains? There’s no guarantee of a prince charming, but you’re sure to not run into any evil villains along the way.