Walt Disney was here! Shortly after the Second World War the mastermind toured Europe seeking inspiration for his envisioned Disneyland park in Southern California.
Neuschwanstein Castle, the dream castle built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria celebrating Richard Wagner's operas, opened as late as 1886 (many people think it's much older). Disney and his architects fell in love with the castle and emulated its turrets and many other features in their magic copy 10,000 kilometers away in Los Angeles.
Observing the gargoyles on the walls, one might get the idea that the Pirates of the Caribbean had their origins here and the dripstone grotto room within the castle looks like the fetus of Big Thunder Mountain. A closer inspection of the castles in Disneyland Anaheim and Hong Kong Disneyland reveals a lot of further similarities.
What fascinates me is that at the time when Disney visited Neuschwanstein, the ‘classic’ German castle wasn’t any older than Disneyland is today!
Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany
It's an imaginative place!
Neuschwanstein Castle, with the Alps in the background
Tourists, in peace with the world
The camera and I
Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
King Ludwig II of Bavaria, the builder of this castle
Inside the castle
More castle views. It's an amazing place to visit!
Artificial stalactite cave inside the castle - the ancestor of Big Thunder Mountain?
Bavaria in the background
A model of the castle in the castle
Neuschwanstein Castle, undergoing renovation in 2009
Unreal natural beauty surrounding the castle
Sad place: a woman fell from a cliff here decades ago
Neuschwanstein Castle from above
The Alps, with another castle on the right
Entering the courtyard
Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate's Life For Me? Walt Disney was here in the 1930s
Anaheim and the heart of Europe have something in common