Descendants The Rise of Red (2024): Where Was the Disney+ Movie Filmed?

The fourth installment in Disney Channel’s ‘Descendants’ franchise, ‘Descendants: The Rise of Red’ is a spin-off that picks up from the cliffhanger ending of the 2021 animated special, ‘Descendants: The Royal Wedding.’ The story follows Uma (China Anne McClain), who has risen to become the headmistress of a prestigious institution in Auradon, where she invites Princess Red (Kylie Cantrall), the rebellious daughter of the Queen of Hearts (Rita Ora). The Queen of Hearts harbors a longstanding grudge against the kingdom and its populace, including Cinderella (Brandy Norwood), and sees this as an opportunity to instigate a coup.

In a race against time, Red must team up with Chloe (Malia Baker), Cinderella’s perfectionist daughter, and use a magical pocket watch to travel back and prevent the drastic events that turned her mother into a villain. Directed by Jennifer Phang, the Disney+ musical fantasy takes audiences back to the enchanting worlds for a nostalgic ride of adventure, drama, and comedy. It brings characters from classic fairy tales, including ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and ‘Cinderella,’ uniting them with plenty of beloved Disney characters. ‘Descendants: The Rise of Red’ utilizes several locations to create vibrant visuals that takes viewers on a fantastical journey that revisits the magical realms of Auradon and Wonderland.

Descendants: The Rise of Red Filming Locations

‘Descendants: The Rise of Red’ presents a fantastical journey that revisits the magical realms of Auradon and Wonderland. The production occurred in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Atlanta, Georgia. The production was conducted under the working title ‘The Pocketwatch.’ The initial phase of filming took place in Vancouver, starting in early September 2022. The longer and more extensive Georgian schedule began at the end of January 2023, concluding fifty days later in mid-March. Notably, Mark Hofeling, the head of production design and art direction, was retained from previous installments to ensure visual continuity and a seamless transition within the franchise’s aesthetic.

Atlanta, Georgia

The production of ‘Descendants: The Rise of Red’ took a southern trip to Atlanta, Georgia, taking advantage of the city’s rising popularity as a filming destination. While all three of the previous installments were shot exclusively in Vancouver, a majority of the sequel was shot here, utilizing the city’s ability to provide expansive, cinematic vistas. The settings of the unincorporated area of Wonderland and the shadowed past of Auradon Prep — known in the story world as Merlin Academy — also gained dimension from this shift to Atlanta. Varying landscapes enhanced the portrayal of Wonderland, an agrarian society under the rule of Queen of Hearts.

Filming in Atlanta not only added a new layer of depth and scope to the franchise but also aligned with director Jennifer Phang’s vision of blending practical locations with visual effects to build an immersive world. In a pre-production interview, Phang discussed the importance of visuals and locations in creating the film’s world. She noted, “We’ll be using visual effects to enhance whatever locations we find, and we’ll be bringing back some of the established locations that everyone’s aware of from the first two ‘Descendants’ while also establishing the kind of agrarian society that Queen of Hearts has her grip on called Wonderland.”

A departure from the typical Los Angeles-based productions of Disney Channel originals, the Atlanta schedule set the cast and crew to explore various local attractions and the rich culture of Atlanta. During her time off from filming, Malia Baker, who plays Chloe, shared photos of her visit to the EXPEDITION: BIGFOOT! The Sasquatch Museum in the nearby town of Blue Ridge.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Continuing the franchise’s tradition, a significant portion of ‘Descendants: The Rise of Red’ was recorded in the familiar sites of Vancouver, British Columbia. This schedule was relatively brief, leveraging the city’s existing locations that have been integral to the previous installments. The early start in the region helped establish the foundational scenes, setting the stage for the more extensive and intricate sequences to be shot later in Atlanta.

Vancouver has been a favored filming destination for made-for-television projects. The city has hosted a plethora of TV shows and films, including the fellow Disney+ venture, ‘Percy Jackson & The Olympians,’ and The Roku Channel fantasy, ‘The Spiderwick Chronicles,’ both of which were filmed concurrently with ‘Descendants: The Rise of Red.’

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