The world's most beautiful castles are better than any Disney fairy tale

If you've ever dreamt about losing a shoe while running down castle steps, leaping from roof top to roof top battling Huns at the emperor's palace or whirling around an empty dance hall like FOX's (yes, FOX's) 'Antastasia,' then there is hope for you.

Fairy tale castles and palaces captured our imagination early on — but little did you know, many of them are based on reality.

The mountaintop Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany was built in the nineteenth century by the shy King Ludwig II as a hideaway. The stunning Bavarian castle, as well as several other castles in Poland, France and Spain, served as inspiration for the 1950 Disney film 'Cinderella' and the Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland.

Click below to the see real-life castles that would make Maleficent jealous:

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And while the Little Mermaid might come from under the sea, Prince Eric's seaside castle is inspired by Switzerland's Château de Chillon, a Medieval island fortress along the shores of Lake Geneva.

Even modern day Disney imagineers and artists need a bit of inspiration. For Disney-Pixar's 'Brave,' heroine Merida lives in a Medieval castle that looks just like the Dunnottar Castle perched precariously on the cliffs of north-east Scotland.

So, all hope is not lost if you have fantasized about becoming Sleeping Beauty for a couple of hours. You'll just have to BYOP (bring your own prince).

By: Morgan Giordano,