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It’s a zoo in there
First Zootopia-themed land to open soon at Shanghai Disneyland
Newbie rabbit cop Judy Hopps, her buddy (or is their relationship more than just platonic?), reformed con artist fox Nick Wilde, and a menagerie of other anthropomorphic creatures from the “Zootopia” film and TV series will be taking up residence at Shanghai Disneyland in a new land that is scheduled to open December 20. The highlight will be a new E-Ticket attraction, Zootopia: Hot Pursuit, that will include trackless vehicles and a gaggle of Audio-Animatronics characters.
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According to a company release, passengers aboard Zootopia: Hot Pursuit will be recruited to the city’s police force and immediately sent on a wild chase to apprehend meanie Bellwether who has kidnapped Gazelle just before the famous chanteuse’s big concert. (Because, you know, things always go horribly wrong–before neatly resolving themselves–on theme park rides.) The adventure will take guests into the Rainforest District, slip-sliding on the ice at Tundra Town, and other locales from the popular franchise.
Trackless vehicles have become Disney’s conveyance of choice lately. Attractions such as Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance feature the technology in which, as the name suggests, vehicles are computer programmed to make their way through a dark ride show building rather than follow a predetermined track. That gives designers the freedom to create multiple ride paths and for the vehicles to behave in ways that more traditional ones cannot.
As guests walk down the bustling city’s Mane Street (you gotta love the name), they’ll discover shops of all sizes designed to accommodate the varied species and body types of its animal denizens. For example, visitors will be able to spy on giraffes, as well as mice, working out side-by-side at a gym. Guests will also be able to see animals using the Zootopia Transit Authority’s hyper-tube (apparently, Elon Musk’s transportation technology has somehow bored its way into Zootopia). Visitors will be able to enter one of the shops, Fashions by Fru Fru, to load up on themed merch.
The animals residing at Zootopia Park Apartments will occasionally poke their heads out of their windows to interact with each other and the guests below. The concept sounds similar to the the delightful, but regretfully short-lived, The Muppets Present Great Moments in American History at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.
Hungry visitors will be able to pop into Jumbeaux’s Cafe for a Zootopia Popsicle, which is based on the paw-shaped frozen treat from the movie. Many other Zootopia-inspired items, such as tiny and oversized donuts, a mini chocolate bar, and a carrot-shaped lollipop, will also be available at the eatery.
I was at Shanghai Disneyland for its grand opening and got to experience the unique park. Following CEO Bob Iger’s design mandate, “authentically Disney and distinctly Chinese,” the castle park charts its own course. Zootopia will be its seventh land, following Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Adventure Isle, Treasure Cove, Gardens of Imagination, and Toy Story Land. Shanghai Disneyland’s wildly reimagined take on Pirates of the Caribbean, subtitled Battle for the Sunken Treasure, is among the best attractions in the world. From the sounds of it, Zootopia: Hot Pursuit will likely join Pirates and the original TRON Lightcycle Power Run as the park’s signature attractions.
Earlier this year, Disney announced that a “Zootopia” sequel is in the works.
Have you visited, or might you consider visiting Shanghai Disneyland? Would you want to see Disney bring Zootopia to one of its other parks?