First heartbreaks are always the worst. Times like when you realize that Santa’s not real, the tooth fairy is a myth and no matter how long you hang precariously from a rope tied to your windowsill, Superman will not be flying to your rescue.  But like the benevolent soul that I am, I have conceded to don the garb of a fairy godmother of sorts and tell you a pretty little secret. Those people and those tales may not be real, but the places definitely are!

Ever wondered where was it that Pocahontas really lived? It wasn’t some obscure English colony but the U.S. state of Virginia! Yes, the balmy winds and widespread forests that you explored in your imagination as you thought about the Indian princess are for real. Virginian wine, Virginian ham and Virginian architecture are just some of the things that this treasure trove of a state is famous for.


Simba (The Lion King) prancing around in the company of Timon and Pumba and singing the famous Hakuna Matata is a situation you too can place yourself in, quite literally. The site of this animal kingdom takes inspiration from popular African locales, namely Kenya and Ivory Coast. Kenya is replete with sprawling savannahs, bounteous biodiversity, smoldering deserts and the opportunity for adventure at every step. Ivory Coast is host to a rich tradition of music and art and craftsmanship, besides its wealth in terms of natural resources.


One of Disney’s most heartwarming tales, Up follows the journey of an old man named Carl to Angel Falls in memory of his beloved wife Ellie, through the exotic landscapes of southeastern Venezuela. In addition to Angel Falls, the world’s highest waterfall, the country is also famous for the Tepui Mountain formation which is a cluster of mountains with a flat top. So while the Venezuelan authorities will definitely take action against you if you try to ‘do a Carl’ and build a house on a Tepui by the falls, you can still take a trip to this country for its beauty and charm.


Merida the princess embarks upon a quest in the Scottish Highlands in the company of kilt-clad men and lively bagpipe music in the Medieval Age, in the animated masterpiece Brave. A culture well-preserved, this journey can be undertaken by us mortals too. Book your tickets to Scotland and see if you can find your personal Disney adventure.


Rio traces the escapades of a blue Macaw through the exotic locales of Brazil. The animated visuals of jungles, rainforests and mountains are in fact a replica of the wondrous landscape of Rio de Janeiro!
So pack your bags, dream on and set out to create fairytales of your own!

Meghna – who has written posts on WAH Blog.