Zootopia Hot Pursuit starts trial operation at Disneyland Shanghai

Zootopia Shanghai Concept
Concept art for the Zootopia themed area (© The Walt Disney Company)

Yesterday marked the first day of trial operation of Disneyland Shanghai’s new themed land, City of Zootopia. The eight themed area of the Chinese themepark has been under construction since fall 2019 and is themed after the 2016 Disney animation movie Zootopia. The official opening of the area and its trackless dark ride Zootopia: Hot Pursuit is on December 20th.

Information about the new themed land and dark ride has been coming out for about two years now, with the ride vehicles and some animatronics being showed at the 2022 D23 Expo. Last September the area was already open for a short preview of the City of Zootropolis, although back then the ride wasn’t open yet.

Zootopia zootropolis Shanghai ride vehicle
Zootropolis ride vehicle model – © Carylewisel

Zootopia: Hot Pursuit, takes rides for a spin through the city of Zootopia. 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, the sheepish assistant mayor of Zootopia, who kidnapped 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.

Guests start by sliding around in the Tundratown districs, followed by a quick visit to Sahara Square and its hilarious Mystic Springs Oasis with its almost naked visitors. Right after guests are taken through Sahara Square again before entering the canopies of the Rainforest District and reaching the center of the city after a thrilling chase through the cities tunnels. The ride finishes with a front seat to the Gazelle concert, which features Shakira’s ‘Try Everything‘. During the almost 6 minutes long ride guests will meet well know characters such as Hopps, Wilde, Yax, and Officier Benjamin

The ride is a switches between media centered and media supported set elements, best described as a faster paced combination between Ratatouie and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. The ride does not make use of 3D media. Zootopia: Hot Pursuit also makes excellent use of the trackless ride system by sending riders through the Sahara Square section of the ride twice, therefor making more efficient use of the ride’s footprint.

It is unknown whether the ride is open daily now that it is in trial operation. The opening of the ride on December 20th will mark the last new Disney ride opening this year, after the earlier openings of Frozen ever After in Hong Kong Disneyland and TRON Lightcycle Run in Magic Kingdom.