As the park’s eighth theme land, the Zootopia area is set to bring the big mammal city to life, a franchise-first for any Disney park worldwide. Fans of the award-winning movie will be delightfully immersed with greetings by Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps and the city’s various iconic landmarks.
Announced on the D23 website on January 22, Disney described the proposed Zootopia land in the following statement:
The new themed land will invite guests to fully immerse themselves in the mammalian metropolis of ‘Zootopia,’ ‘where anyone can be anything,’ and come along on an adventure with Judy and Nick, the lead characters from the hit, Academy Award-winning animated movie. With a brand-new attraction, entertainment, merchandise, and food and beverage offerings, the new land will provide guests with even more to experience and enjoy at Shanghai Disneyland than ever before.
“We are thrilled to announce that Shanghai Disneyland will be home to the world’s first Zootopia-themed land,” said Bob Chapek, Disney’s Chairman of Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products. “The rapid rate of expansion at Shanghai Disney Resort demonstrates our confidence and commitment to the Company’s future development in China.”
Although locating the themed land in Shanghai may seem disappointing to fans of the West, it’s important to factor in Zootopia‘s huge significance in China. Locally titled Crazy Animal City (疯狂动物城), it earned a massive ¥1.5 billion ($235.6 million USD), making this not only the country’s second highest-grossing release of 2016 behind The Mermaid (美人鱼/美人魚) but also the most-successful animated release in China’s cinema history. Plus, considering how the titular city was partially inspired by Shanghai itself, it’s easy to see how a Zootopia-themed land placed there is a perfect fit.
Another reason why Shanghai Disneyland would be an ideal location is due to the rapidly-increasing attendance of the park itself. In the same D23 press release, Yang Jinsong, the Chairman of Shanghai Shendi Group, Shanghai Disney Resort’s Chinese joint venture partner said the following:
“Since the resort’s Grand Opening in 2016, Shanghai Disneyland has gone from strength to strength – continuing to expand and enjoying ever-rising attendance rates while also providing a safe and enjoyable experience for our guests. Shanghai Disneyland has rapidly become one of the fastest growing Disney parks and has been key to the development of the Shanghai International Resort as one of the most visited leisure destinations in the country. This new expansion will provide our guests with an even richer selection of offerings, and will further boost our market competitiveness.”
While no opening date has been announced, construction is scheduled to commence later this year. It may take a while to come into full fruition, but this sure looks to be a dream come true for major Zootopia fans, including myself. Time for me to start saving up for a trip to Shanghai!
Are you excited to see Zootopia come to life in Shanghai Disneyland? Would you be keen to visit the area? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
Edited by: Kelly Conley