Speculation: Could Disney's Animal Kingdom Get A Zootopia Land

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Judy Hopps Disney Parks Character Disney California Adventure Disneyland

Disney's Zootopia has a very dedicated fanbase, and ever since it opened there have been some fans calling for Zootopia to be added to Disney's Animal Kingdom, while other fans, and Imagineer behind the park Joe Rhode have been conflicted as to whether or not it fits in the park. We are going to discuss these rumors, where a potential Zootopia land could fit in the park, and if Zootopia really fits the theme of Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Disney's Animal Kingdom has some of the most consistent theming of any Disney Park in the world. Every ride, show, and land fits perfectly within the broader themes of Disney's Animal Kingdom of nature and conservation. Even the most recent land, Pandora fits by using an alien planet to tell a cautionary tale about interfering with ecosystems.

Zootopia City Disney Movie

Zootopia would be an uncomfortable fit in the park thematically. Not a bad fit necessarily, but the worst fit compared to anything currently in the park. Yes, it features animals, but its storyline is entirely based on the human world. The movie is really about prejudice in modern society, told using a prey and predator relationship.

This isn't to say it couldn't work though, hopefully, Disney would just have to adjust their approach to the land and its attractions. Avatar was a war movie with environmental themes woven throughout, but the theme park land almost solely focuses on the environmental aspects of the movie.

Zootopia Land Shanghai Disneyland Concept Art

Zootopia could take a similar approach by focusing on how you can live with the natural world around us. The actual city of Zootopia features various districts that are designed around their natural environments (even if they are artificial) and this could be the way to make Zootopia work in the park. Use the city as an example of how to live in harmony with nature in the same way Pandora shows how to preserve ecosystems in the wild.

There is a Zootopia land already being built in Shanghai Disneyland, and odds are if the land would come to Disney's Animal Kingdom, it would be a clone, but there are always subtle differences between every cloned Disney ride to help them fit in better.

The land in Shanghai is set to be relatively small, only featuring one attraction and a few shops. While we don't know a lot about the attraction, we do know it is an indoor dark ride, utilizing either the Test Track ride system or the Dinosaur ride system, or something in between as a next-generation ride system.

If it is more similar to Dinosaur, this land might be more difficult to bring to the park as having two of the same dark ride system in the same park would be strange. But weird things have happened before in the parks.

Tree of Life at Night Disney's Animal Kingdom Walt Disney World

So if Zootopia is coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom, where would it go? The park really has three prime spots where a new land could go.

Navi River Rapids Queue Line Pandora World Of Avatar Disney's Animal Kingdom Walt Disney World

The first is between Pandora and Africa. While I do think this area is being reserved for a Pandora expansion, if Avatar 2 falls below expectations this could easily open up once again to another attraction. The one problem could be this being the only land not directly connected to the center hub, which might cause crowd flow issues.

This is also the smallest of all the locations we are going to discuss, which could also impact where the land could go. I would say this is probably the least likely spot for a Zootopia land.

Kali River Rapids Queue Line Entrance Disney's Animal Kingdom Disney World

Next is between Asia and Africa in the area originally reserved for the much bigger original concept for Kali River Rapids. This is by far the most massive expansion pad in Disney's Animal Kingdom, and could easily hold an additional land if they just rework pathways to get guests there.

The one problem with this is Disney currently uses this area as storage, so they might not get rid of it.

Cementasaurus Statue Dinoland USA Disney's Animal Kingdom Walt Disney World

The final place this land could go is replacing some, or all, of Dinoland USA.

Chester and Hester's Dinorama Disney's Animal Kingdom Walt Disney World

Recently Disney closed one of the attractions in this land, signaling it may not have much longer. Chester and Hester's Dinorama was not built to be as permanent of a land as other parts of the park, and could easily be removed while Dinosaur and that half of the land survives. If we are still talking about a Zootopia mini-land, this may be enough space.

However, I do think there is a potential it replaces the entire land. If it uses a Dinosaur like ride system, maybe we could see Disney rework the existing ride into the Zootopia attraction. It is already of a similar scale to the under-construction ride, and it might be cheaper to alter the existing system rather than build a new one.

Aladar Iguanadon Statue Dinosaur Ride Dinoland USA Disney's Animal Kingdom Walt Disney World

I do want to acknowledge that anything we are talking about is likely far down the pipeline. The pandemic has delayed and canceled existing projects, and anything new is probably further down on the priority list, especially a new build like this. If this happens it may be almost a decade based on how Disney has responded to previous economic crises in their parks.