World's first Zootopia land opens at Shanghai Disney Resort

Updated: December 20, 2023 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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This photo taken on Dec. 19, 2023 shows the opening ceremony of the Zootopia land in Shanghai Disney Resort of east China's Shanghai.(Xinhua/Liu Ying)

SHANGHAI, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- Shanghai Disney Resort on Tuesday opened the world's first Zootopia land as The Walt Disney Company looks to further tap the growing Chinese travel market.

The new themed land, based on the hugely successful Walt Disney Animation Studios film "Zootopia," will officially open to the public on Wednesday, Shanghai Disney Resort announced.

"Our popular Zootopia film continues to delight fans across the globe, especially in China, and we're excited to give guests at Shanghai Disney Resort the chance to interact with the stories and characters they love in innovative new ways when they visit this spectacular new land," said Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company.

Zootopia, the eighth themed land inside Shanghai Disneyland, marks the second major expansion of Shanghai Disney Resort. Its construction started in December 2019.

Shanghai Disney Resort opened with six themed lands on June 16, 2016. Its seventh land and first major expansion, Disney Pixar Toy Story Land, opened in 2018, which made Shanghai Disneyland the fastest-expanding Disneyland worldwide.

"As long as there is imagination and stories in the world, Shanghai Disney Resort will never be complete," said Josh D'Amaro, chairman of Disney Experiences.

Shanghai Disneyland has proven to be a huge success, said D'Amaro. "We're about to close out a record here, having already welcomed more than 13 million guests in 2023," he said.

Walt Disney decided to build the Zootopia land in Shanghai after the film became hugely successful in China, according to Jill Estorino, president and managing director of Disney Parks International.

In China, the film Zootopia broke box office records to become the country's highest-grossing imported animated feature film of all time, a title that it still holds now, according to Walt Disney.

"When we saw how popular the Zootopia film was, how much heart and meaning it had to the Chinese people, we quickly changed our minds, and decided and created a very new concept for the land, which was based on the Zootopia," said Estorino, adding that the original idea was based on Mickey and Minnie.

Executives of Walt Disney said the entertainment giant has always attached importance to the Chinese market.

The opening in Shanghai follows the opening of the world's first "Frozen"-themed land at Hong Kong Disneyland in November. The new themed lands in Shanghai and Hong Kong are spurring the forthcoming New Year's travel market in East Asia.

The opening of the two new themed lands has demonstrated Disney's confidence in the whole tourism market of China as well as the local leisure market in the two cities, said Dai Bin, president of China Tourism Academy.

The new Zootopia land can help improve and enrich tourism products at Shanghai Disneyland and attract more domestic and foreign tourists, especially young ones, Dai said.

"A theme park has a lifecycle, and only through continuous innovation can its lifecycle be extended and gain renewed vitality," Dai said.

Editor: Tian Shenyoujia