Places around the world that inspired Disney landmarks and attractions

  • Walt Disney’s travels took him all over the US, Europe, and South America.
  • Walt’s European travels, most notably to Tivoli Gardens in Denmark and Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, had a direct influence on the design aesthetic of Disneyland.
  • Many famous Disney attractions, including the Matterhorn Bobsleds and the Monorail, would not be what they are today if it weren’t for Walt’s love of travel.
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A visit to Disneyland (or any Disney park) is almost like taking a one-day trip around the world.

If you go through the turnstiles and head towards the fairy-tale castle in front of you, it’s as though you’ve traveled to 19th-century Europe. A different route could take you to New Orleans, the American frontier, or the Matterhorn mountain in Switzerland.

Like many other Disney landmarks and attractions, these were inspired by Walt Disney’s love of travel.

Insider spoke with Becky Cline, director at the Walt Disney Archives, via email to learn more about the destinations Walt visited over the years and how they impacted the Disney parks we know today.

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