To celebrate its 100th anniversary, The Walt Disney Company has opened its vaults to reveal a list of 30 locations across Europe, Middle East and Africa that have inspired its movies, parks and fan’s hearts over the last century.

From Notre-Dame de Paris to the colourful Italian province of Cinque Terre, the list of landmarks covers 13 countries and showcases the spots that influenced some of Disney’s most famous stories.

The list of 30 locations that have inspired Disney storytelling over the last 100 years includes eight from UK shores including Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral and Great Fosters in Surrey, where its topiary maze was said to have inspired a memorable scene in Alice in Wonderland.

READ MORE: Proposals put forward to charge admission fee at Callanish Standing Stones

Two real-world Scottish locations also made the list in the Calanish (Calanais) Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis and St Abbs on the Berwickshire coast. 

The team behind Disney and Pixar's Brave said the stones, which were erected roughly 5,000 years ago, pre-dating Stonehenge, were a key inspiration for the movie.

The picturesque fishing village of St Abbs also inspired the fictional location where Thor and the remaining Asgardians resided after the war in 2019 American superhero film Avengers:Endgame.

As part of the centenary celebrations, Disney paid homage to Brave by recreating a famous scene from the 2012 computer-animated fantasy film at Calanish with exclusive photography. 

The Herald: Calanish (Calanais) Standing StonesCalanish (Calanais) Standing Stones

Disney also recreated famous scenes from its 100-year history with celebratory images shot at St Paul’s Cathedral, which featured several times in Mary Poppins and a One Hundred and One Dalmatians animation inspired image.

The list of real-world locations was revealed after research commissioned by The Walt Disney Company found that two in five (42%) Brits are actually completely unaware that many Disney films and park attractions are based on real world locations. 

For example, three quarters (75%) of Brits were unaware that the iconic Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany, with its fairy-tale architecture and picturesque setting, influenced the design for Sleeping Beauty Castle at the centre of Disneyland Park in California.

The Herald: St AbbsSt Abbs

Research commissioned by The Walt Disney Company also found that when Brits were asked which locations in the UK they would like to see featured in future Disney films, the Lake District topped the list (14%), followed by Loch Ness (10%) and Edinburgh Castle (10%). 

Elsewhere, the research showed the UK’s top three most memorable Disney film scenes include the iconic Lady and the Tramp moment where a plate of spaghetti is shared in a demure restaurant (16%), the magical scene in Mary Poppins as she flies out of London with her umbrella (14%), and the musical march of ‘Heigh Ho’ from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (14%).

Rebecca Cline, Director of the Walt Disney Archives, said:“Towards the end of his life,WaltDisney was honoured as the “Showman of the World”. It was a very apt honour, as he was fascinated and inspired by everything he experienced and saw, no matter where it was.As he once said himself. 

“Always, as you travel, assimilate the sounds and sights of the world.”And we have all benefited from his love of cultures the world over.”