Real-life knight in shining armour 'rescues' Disney, proving fairy tales do come true

2016-02-10 20:00 - Louzel Lombard
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Cape Town - Disneyland Paris has seen visitor numbers fall by 8% since deadly attacks in the French capital last November in which 130 people died. 

Closing the park for four days of mourning was vital for revenue. The closure from November 14-17 was a first for the attraction which opened in 1992. 

But even before the terrorist attacks last year, the Euro Disney company was having trouble. 

In January 2015, after Euro Disney had been seeking to restructure the business for years, shareholders approved a re-capitalisation plan to raise one billion euros to revive the struggling theme park burdened by huge debt as well as falling visitor numbers.

The shareholders voted in favour of a series of measures including 420 million euros cash injection of fresh funds from the US parent group, The Walt Disney Company.

But on 18 November last year, five days after the Paris attacks, Riyadh-based Kingdom Holding Co, owned by a Saudi prince, announced a donation of 49.2 million euros (around R830 million at R15.86/$1) into Euro Disney, showing that modern day miracles still do happen. 

Despite the dip in numbers and revenue, Disneyland Paris remains the most visited theme park in Europe, with 14.8 million visitors in 2015, according to Euro Disney's annual report.

2015's most-visited places: tourism numbers hit new record in 2015 despite attack fears

The magical castles, enchanted forests and wonderlands found in our favourite Disney movies may we works of imagination, but some of these fairy tale locations are actually rooted in real-life.

Like the donation from a Saudi prince, many Disney fairy tales were once inspired by their own princes, princesses and real life royal locations. 

Check-out these five fairy tale places that turned out be to real: 


Fairy tale location: The Sultan’s Palace

Actual place: Taj Mahal, Agra, India


Fairy tale location:
 Paradise Falls

Actual place: Angel Falls, Venezuela

The Princess And The Frog

Fairy tale location: The bayou of New Orleans

Actual place: Louisiana bayous, USA


Fairy tale location: Kingdom of Corona

Actual place: Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy, France

A photo posted by @thesweetdreamers on


Beauty and the Beast

Fairy tale location: The Beast’s castle

A photo posted by Elisa (@aasilee_art) on

Actual place: Chateau De Chambord, Loir-Et-Cher, France

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