Shanghai Disney Resort to Expand With 'Zootopia' Land

Zootopia Still 7 - H 2016
Courtesy of Disney

Zootopia Still 7 - H 2016

The addition is Disney's second expansion of its sprawling Chinese theme park, meant to build on the huge local box office success of the 2016 film.

The Walt Disney Co.'s Shanghai Disney Resort is unveiling some crowd-pleasing expansion plans.

The company on Wednesday announced that it will soon add a Zootopia-themed land to the sprawling Chinese theme park. Launched in 2016 after nearly two decades of development and negotiation with the Chinese government, Shanghai Disneyland began with six themed lands and opened a seventh — Toy Story Land — last year.

“The rapid rate of expansion at Shanghai Disney Resort demonstrates our confidence and commitment to the company’s future development in China,” said Bob Chapek, Disney’s chairman of parks, experiences and consumer products.

The new Zootopia Land is clearly meant to capitalize on the phenomenal box office success of the Walt Disney Animation Studios film in the Middle Kingdom. Upon its release in 2016, Zootopia became a smash hit worldwide, but it did particularly well in China, earning $236 million, the most ever for an animated title and the second-biggest total that year (only Stephen Chow's record-breaker The Mermaid earned more with $526 million).

"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,” Disney said in a statement. “The new themed land will invite guests to fully immerse themselves in the mammalian metropolis of Zootopia, 'where anyone can be anything.'"

"Since the resort's Grand Opening in 2016, Shanghai Disneyland has gone from strength to strength — continuing to expand and enjoying ever-rising attendance rates while also providing a safe and enjoyable experience for our guests," said Yang Jinsong, chairman of Shanghai Shendi Group, Disney's Chinese joint venture partner for the park.