'Zootopia' Land Announced For Shanghai Disneyland

Zootopia will finally become a real-life Zootopia at Shanghai Disneyland. Disney Parks announced that the 2016 animated hit will be part of the theme park land expansion at the themed resort in Pudong, Shanghai, marking the development of the world's first Zootopia-themed land

The Shanghai Disney Resort announced that a Zootopia-themed land was coming to the Chinese theme park, according to the Disney Parks blog. The new land will be part of the second major expansion since the resort opened in 2016.

The new major attraction will blend "Disney storytelling and state-of-the-art technology to bring this fan-favorite movie and its characters to life – including Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde," the Disney Parks blog wrote. For the fully immersive experience, entertainment, merchandise, and food and beverage will all be themed in the style of the Oscar-winning film, which is set in an animal metropolis where predators and prey live side-by-side.

In a statement following the announcement, Disney said (via Variety):

"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."

The Shanghai Disneyland park opened in June 2016 with six themed sections and welcomed roughly 11 million visitors in its first year. Its first post-launch expansion was the opening of Toy Story Land, and now its second will bring the park's number of themed lands to eight total.

Construction is targeted to begin later this year, according to the blog. But concept art is already available for the planned theme park land, which you can see below.

So why Shanghai Disneyland and not say, the Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World? Well, Zootopia was a major hit in China, raking in $236 million at the country's box office, an all-comers record for an animation film in Chinese theaters. The film has developed a popular following and could even be compared to a cultural phenomenon. Plus, it's not uncommon for Disney Parks to test certain features or themed lands at international theme parks before bringing them Stateside.