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isney-inspired travel, anyone? Many Disney movies draw inspiration from real-life places and structures. Add a little whimsy and a dash of Disney to your worldwide travel by visiting the sites that inspired locations portrayed in Disney movies.


Feeling whimsical? Tangled is set in Germany, but perhaps the most memorable scene from Tangled is the one with the floating sky lanterns. Luckily for us, the magic does not stop with the movie. There are actually several floating-lantern festivals around the world. The Yi Peng Light Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand, inspired the floating lantern scene in Tangled. And it is split into two different events. The first event is free and is held behind the Mae Jo University. The second one is more specifically for tourists and is held about a week after the first. In the United States, the Rise Festival promises to give the most memorable experience from start to finish. They also provide all the materials needed. The event is held in Mojave Desert, Nevada, and Phoenix, Arizona. For more information, visit

and real-life landmarks into a fantasy world. The elements of Scandinavian architecture in the film include stave churches, which are wooden medieval Christian church buildings. Some of the landmarks they included are the Akershus Fortress, St. Olaf’s Church, and Bryggen. The Akershus Fortress in Oslo was the model for Elsa and Anna’s castle in the movie. In addition, Olaf is not only the name of everybody’s favorite snowman, but is actually also the name of a saint and of a stave

church. St. Olaf’s Church, located in Balestrand, Norway, was the model for the church where Elsa’s coronation took place. Meanwhile, the wharf at Bryggen—a business district in Bergen, Norway—served as the inspiration for the city of Arendelle.

Beauty and the Beast

Perhaps the quaintest village in all the Disney movies is Belle’s village in Beauty and the Beast, which was

Photography by shelmac and Pierre-Arnaud


In the mood for something a bit chilly? Elsa’s mesmerizing ice castle actually has a real-life counterpart— the Hôtel de Glace, located in Quebec City, Canada. The creators used the hotel as visual inspiration, specifically for Elsa’s iconic musical number, “Let it Go.” What’s truly impressive is that the hotel is almost entirely made up of snow and ice. Because of this, it’s only open from January through March of each year. If you’re a Frozen fan, but a winter wonderland doesn’t appeal to you, you can still have your Frozen-inspired getaway by visiting Norway. For Frozen, Disney combined historic architecture

Left: The Château de Chambord is a real version of what Beast’s castle may have looked like in Beauty and the Beast. Top: Participants release a lantern and make a wish at the Yi Peng festival in Chiang Mai. Bottom: The Hôtel de Glace takes about a month and a half to build every year. ◀ 25

Stowaway Winter 2016  

Winter is here, but adventure awaits! Strike up a conversation, spark a new interest, or slip into something familiar in this issue of Stowa...

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