First Zootopia Audio-Animatronics Come Together for Shanghai Disney
In a first-ever move away from its U.S. facilities, Walt Disney Imagineering took to Instagram yesterday to share updates on its work at Shanghai Disneyland for the resort’s Zootopia-themed expansion.
“Audio-Animatronics figures of some of the leading characters from the story, such as the three-meter-tall Polar Bear from Tundratown, are currently being developed at the show production center at @ShanghaiDisneyResort,” according to a post by Walt Disney Imagineering on Instagram.
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The construction project offers the first chance for Imagineering to build their incredibly intricate and grand-scale Audio-Animatronics outside of the United States.
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Zooptia Signage Marks Construction
New signage went up on the construction walls surrounding the new land last month. The expansion is the second major project at Shanghai Disneyland since it opened five years ago.
According to yesterday’s post, horticulturists also planted the land’s first tree, which will add to the landscape of Savanna Central.
Concept art shows that the new land will feature unique character meet-and-greet experiences in the new immersive space, including those with the brave Judy Hopps and clever fox, Nick Wilde.
Hopps Hopes to Tell Inspiring Zootopia Story
The first land themed after the 2016 feature film from Disney Animation Studios broke ground pre-pandemic after an announcement in 2019. Construction work clearly stalled a bit due to the coronavirus. However, it began to pick up steam in June of last year.
“When Zootopia opens, guests will experience a new major attraction that seamlessly blends Disney’s storytelling and state-of-the-art technologies, as well as new entertainment, merchandise and food and beverage offerings that provide them with more to experience at Shanghai Disneyland than ever before,” according to a statement from the Walt Disney Company.
The land hopes to inspire guests to embrace the mantra of the film: “Where anyone can be anything.” Judy and Nick once often inspired guests to think this way on the streets of Magic Kingdom as well during the “Move It, Shake It, Dance & Play It Street Party.”
Though we are still waiting for an official opening date for the Zootopia-themed land, the progress promises that opening is imminent. Just this week, Shanghai Disneyland marked its fifth anniversary. To celebrate, the park kicked off a year of magical surprises. A surprise stage show performed four times a day joined the entertainment line-up. Also, a new nighttime spectacular, titled “Illuminate! A Nighttime Celebration,” filled the skies this week as well in honor of the park’s milestone.