Official opening day for Zootopia zone in Shanghai Disneyland announced

Zootopia zone Shanghai Disneyland skyline opening day announcement
Announcement of the opening date with the skyline of the Zootopia zone (© Disney)

After a few months of previews, the official opening date of the new Zootopia zone in Shanghai Disneyland was announced by Disney yesterday. The zone will officially open on 20 December 2023. Guests of the themed land will be immersed in the metropolis from the film, with the major attraction being the dark ride Zootopia: Hot Pursuit.

The new themed area marks the 8th within Shanghai Disneyland. It is officially called Zootopia, after the city in which the 2016 film by the same name takes place, making it the world’s first zone to be themed after the franchise. The city in the film is a ‘mammal metropolis’, inhabited by all kinds of mammals one could imagine, living in different parts of the city that express their natural habitat, such as Tundratown or Sahara Square.

Guests will be able to walk the streets of the metropolis and get immersed in the world they’ve seen in the film. Animatronics and projections make the city come to life, allowing visitors to meet its many inhabitants while strolling the streets.

The Zootopia film features main protagonist Judy Hopps, a rabbit from the countryside with a big childhood dream to become police officer in the city of Zootopia. She leaves for the metropolis to fulfill her dream, but despite her hard work, she is only assigned to parking duty by Chief Bongo. Hopps start to work together with the fox Nick Wilde, and they start to chase some mysterious crime network that Bongo does not want to pay attention to.

20231025 Zootopia2
Chief Bongo animatronic in the pre-show of Zootopia: Hot Pursuit (© Disney)
20231025 Zootopia1
Ride vehicle in a scene of the dark ride (© Disney)

The flagship ride is Zootopia: Hot Pursuit, in which guests get to meet all the well-known characters from the film. They are invited to enter the police office, where they are welcomed by Officer Clawhauser and Chief Bongo, both appearing as animatronics. Riders are instructed by Bongo to join Hopps and Wilde on their current mission: finding Bellwether, a bad guy who kidnapped Zootopia pop star Gazelle. The mission should be accomplished quickly, as Gazelle is set to give a large concert that same night. Riders board ten-seater trackless vehicles shaped like police cars, and join Hopps and Wilde on a wild pursuit through the districts of the city.

Construction of the theme zone started in 2019. At that moment, Joe Schott, president and general manager of Shanghai Disney Resort, said that “this is an immensely exciting time for Shanghai Disney Resort and Zootopia fans alike. Since we announced the development of our new Zootopia-themed land earlier this year we have been overwhelmed by the excitement and anticipation expressed by fans from across China and around the world.” Previews of the zone started in September 2023.

Announcement video (© Disney)