Shanghai Disney Resort Unveils Creative Highlights of the World’s First Zootopia-themed Land
Fully-activated themed land brings the highly anticipated mammalian metropolis and its beloved animal residents to life
Shanghai, September 5, 2023 – As a significant milestone before the new land officially welcomes its first guests, Shanghai Disney Resort today unveiled exciting creative highlights of the world’s first Zootopia-themed land, which will also become the eighth themed land inside the resort’s Shanghai Disneyland park. With Disney’s legendary creativity and state-of-the-art technology, the fully activated land will immerse guests in the vibrant and diverse mammalian metropolis of Zootopia, where “anyone can be anything.” The new highly anticipated land is scheduled to open by the end of this year.
Zootopia at Shanghai Disneyland was co-created by hundreds of creative minds from across the globe, including a deep collaboration with the filmmakers at Walt Disney Animation Studios. Some of the talent behind the land came to the Creative Preview stage today to share some of its highlights, including the imaginative developments using Disney’s legendary storytelling and creativity that went into this land and introducing how the guiding principle behind Shanghai Disneyland of “Authentically Disney, Distinctly Chinese” extends throughout it. Imagineers also disclosed how cutting-edge technology was used to create a fully immersive experience, such as a trackless ride system and Audio-Animatronics figures, along with the unveiling of a number of land and attraction renderings and the latest development photos. Additionally, the name of the attraction – Zootopia: Hot Pursuit – and its storyline were introduced for the first time to the public.
“The beloved Disney Animation film Zootopia has fostered a strong connection with its audience since its debut. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring that very connection to life right here in Shanghai with this one-of-a-kind themed land,” said Joe Schott, President and General Manager, Shanghai Disney Resort. “Over years of development, diverse minds and talent around the globe from more than 140 disciplines worked tirelessly to create a unique ‘mammalian’ experience for our guests, immersing them in this metropolis’ vibrant animal world. We are extremely proud of what they’ve created and confident that everyone will be amazed from their very first step into Zootopia.”
Immersing guests in a holistic experience at every touchpoint
Upon entering the land, guests will be immediately immersed in Zootopia as they stroll down Mane Street, the main street lined with “storefronts” in a variety of sizes, big and small, leading to its civic plaza – Savannah Central – where Judy Hopps herself first stepped foot into the optimistic metropolis of Zootopia.
Standing at the center of Savannah Central is a large office building boasting an oversized digital billboard and an assortment of billboards advertising Zootopia’s biggest brands. Fun, colorful and animated advertisements are played on the digital billboard, showcasing the energy and vitality of this modern city. Behind this is the stunning skyline of Zootopia, which was originally inspired by a variety of city skylines in the animated film.
In addition to all the custom-made eye-catching business signs and billboards catered to the diverse animal population of Zootopia, the land is fully activated through a wide variety of innovative new technologies that bring its citizens to life. For example, at Zootopia Central Station, a large metro train can be seen passing behind an upper-level decorative stained-glass window. The train comes and goes as it picks up and drops off animal commuters, just as it did in the film. In the second-story windows of the Tiger Dance Club, Gazelle’s famed tiger dancers can be seen celebrating Zootopia Day alongside a wide variety of animals. Powered by advanced media effects, these fun and vivid elements help showcase the diverse residents of Zootopia.
Walt Disney Imagineering’s leading Audio-Animatronics technology is another key feature that further brings the land to life. The Zootopia Transit Authority has just completed the new state-of-the-art “hyper-tube” used by Lemmings on their way to and from work at the Lemming Brothers Bank and other businesses. A series of drop-off points showcase how Zootopia’s smallest citizens deboard the system – just like in the film! On the other side of the street, a full-sized giraffe can be spotted running on a treadmill in Zootopia Fitness, a modern gym in Zootopia. The treadmill belt itself makes a gym for mice, who are running on the hamster wheel-like gears. This state-of-the-art Audio-Animatronics technology is also put to full use inside the attraction, where some of the most famous characters from Zootopia appear to have stepped right off the movie screen and into the real world.
Plenty of details can be spotted throughout the land for an authentic Zootopia experience. The architecture incorporates animal motifs such as patterns, zebra stripes, cheetah spots and sloth claw shapes; the landscape design takes inspiration from the distinctive and individual geography of the different districts, such as succulents and palms in Sahara Square. The land also features city fixtures and facilities that are scaled to accommodate animals large and small, such as the drinking fountains of different heights and benches of various sizes.
An action-filled “Hot Pursuit” with Officer Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde on Zootopia Day
Zootopia has grown into a city designed by animals, for animals – large and small. Predator and prey have long set aside their differences and now live together in harmony. At Shanghai Disneyland’s Zootopia, not only will guests be able to step foot into the world from the film, but they will do so on the biggest day of the year; it’s Zootopia Day, the day where predator and prey unite to celebrate the harmony of their beloved city. And in even more exciting news, headlining tonight’s big Zootopia Concert is Zootopia Day Celebration’s very own ambassador and the metropolis’ biggest star, Gazelle, known for her hit song “Try Everything!” Guests will find themselves in a city alive with optimism and celebration.
The major attraction in this new themed land, Zootopia: Hot Pursuit, will invite guests to become rookie police officers alongside Officer Judy Hopps and her partner Nick Wilde, who is now officially a police officer in the Zootopia Police Department. Set after the film’s timeline, guests enter the lobby of the Zootopia Police Department for their first-day orientation, greeted by Officer Clawhauser, who cannot stop gushing about Gazelle’s big Zootopia Concert tonight. The alarm sounds, sending guests to an emergency briefing with Chief Bogo about a jailbreak. The briefing is quickly interrupted by a video message from Bellwether that she and her gang have escaped from jail and kidnapped Gazelle in order to destroy the concert of the year, which is supposed to open tonight!
Reluctantly, Chief Bogo assigns guests as rookies to join Judy and Nick in an action-filled police chase. They will slide across the ice of Tundra Town, prowl for fugitives through the streets of Sahara Square, have a too-close-for-comfort encounter at Mystic Springs Oasis, and plummet from the canopies of the Rainforest District. Along the way, guests will encounter their favorite Zootopia characters. While leading the “rookies” on the chase, Judy and Nick will also encourage them to keep trying and never give up their dreams, embodying the spirit of Zootopia.
A combination of faithful recreations from the animated film and newly inspired creations
In addition to a major new attraction, Zootopia will also feature unique entertainment, dining and shopping experiences inspired by the hit film, evoking guest memories of the beloved stories and characters and inviting them to immerse themselves in the cityscape as if they were one of its residents.
The “shops” and “businesses” in Zootopia are run by residents of all different species, and Imagineers designed these “storefronts” to bring this mammalian metropolis and its residents to life. Some of the characters in the film also have a presence on this street, including Zootopia’s famous fashionista, Fru Fru, the daughter of Mr. Big. She is the owner of Fashions by Fru Fru, a fashion boutique nestled at the entrance of Mane Street. The store will offer a comprehensive collection of over 200 different themed products, with many designed exclusively for this land.
Just as the film Zootopia immerses moviegoers in storylines that keep them on the edge of their seats, this land features multiple stories and scenarios that allow guests to dive into memorable scenes from the film. Upon opening, guests can find a variety of deliciously Zootopified food and beverage offerings at Jumbeaux’s Cafe – an ice cream kiosk directly inspired by the film, from its design concept to its food menu. A visit to Zootopia would not be complete without a Jumbo-pop, which takes the form of a Chocolate Marshmallow, and a fox paw-shaped Disney Zootopia Popsicle refreshingly flavored with sweet-and-tart hawthorn berry, a childhood favorite! What’s more, the beloved cheetah officer, Clawhauser, will see his favorite – The Big Donut – also come to life, which is sure to become a must-eat treat in this new land! Guests can also find many other unique Zootopia-themed drinks, sweet treats, snacks and much more, merging storytelling with fun and delicious dining experiences at Jumbeaux’s Cafe.
The land will also see innovative live offerings that will bring Zootopia and its residents to life. Guests will be able to snap a fun photo with two of their favorite police officers, Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde, at the Zootopia Recruitment Station, where the beloved characters from the film will help the Zootopia Police Department recruit new officers. In some of the windows of the Zootopia Park Apartments, many of the film’s well-known characters will appear throughout the day to interact with each other and with guests from time to time, including Fru Fru and her father, Mr. Big, along with Koslov the polar bear, Flash the sloth, Yax the yak, Duke Weaselton the weasel, and even the Hopps family. Jointly developed in partnership with Walt Disney Imagineering, Disney Live Entertainment and the Entertainment team at Shanghai Disney Resort, this unique atmosphere show will further bring the beloved characters to life while centering compelling storylines from the film and the amazing attention to detail in this land. At the Creative Preview today, Fru Fru even made a surprise appearance on stage, as she just cannot wait to welcome guests to Zootopia, where she hopes they will try everything.