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D23 Expo 2017 Rumors – Zootopia Themed-Land Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Since we are only a few weeks removed from the opening of Pandora: The World of AVATAR at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the imminent announcement of another large project for that park seems unlikely, but nonetheless, the rumor is making the rounds.

The city of Zootopia is big and immersive, perfect for a theme park

If the rumors are to be believed, plans are already in place for another massive themed-land in the park, utilizing the space that is Rafiki’s Planet Watch, as well as the unused plot of land meant for the larger Tiger River Rapids attraction (before it was budget cut and made Kali River Rapids, opening in 1999). The land would reportedly be the city of Zootopia from the hit 2016 film of the same name.

While details are vague, the main idea seems to be to reutilize the track from the Wildlife Express train for the commuter train seen in the film, transporting guests aboard a screen-based experience into Zootopia the same way Judy Hopps arrives. Otherwise, the land would likely have an E-Ticket experience and some secondary attractions, as well as shopping and dining straight out of the movie. Pawpsicles anyone?

Again, we aren’t putting any money on this one being announced next week as we aren’t too far from the $500 million expansion of the park that just took place, but it sounds like Disney may at least be planning for the future of Animal Kingdom beyond Pandora. But hey, Disney darling Ginnifer Goodwin wants it to happen, so maybe that helps?

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.

36 Comments

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    • Pandora land was years in the making before there was an even a Zootopia script. The project wasn’t going stop to fast track a new land for a potential one-hit wonder. This wouldn’t even be an issue if Pandora remained on schedule and launched when it was supposed to last year. Disney promised to deliver a Pandora land.

  • Something about this site has changed. I’m not quite sure what it is, but I do not particularly like it.

    • Probably the fact that they publish every single rumor possible hoping one will stick. Then they can come back and reference the fact that they broke the story. Jim Hill Jr. here.

      • Just posting the rumors that are out there for Expo. Also, if you read above, I state that this is unlikely. You don’t have to read our site if you don’t want to :)

  • Could be a decent idea, but no way this happens until after everything at Hollywood Studios is finished.

    • Yes because Indiana Jones is one the best movies that focuses on animals, perfect idea for Animal Kingdom.

  • Here’s an idea…the earth is 71% covered by water. You know what lives in those waters? Animals. Crazy exotic animals that are almost alien-like in some instances. How about a land devoted to undersea life? I’m sure they could create something amazing with an E-ticket undersea thrill ride. And it would ACTUALLY fit in the theme of ANIMAL KINGDOM.

    • Yeah! They could call it “The Seas with Nemo and Friends!” Or “Sea World”!

      This is truly a new concept that you should patent before someone steals your idea.

      • In Tokyo Disneyland, they have Disney Sea. It’s absolutely GORGEOUS, one of their rides is 1000 Leagues Under the Sea. They also have a section called King Triton’s Kingdom. This is one of the best Disney parks I’ve experienced out of all 6 parks.

    • I love this idea I was just thinking the same thing. They could bring back the submarines from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride. Maybe something too that would be like the Lost Continent of Atlantis or something to do with Finding Nemo and or Dory.

  • I know I’m just spitting in the wind, but I really wish Disney would show us something we’ve never seen before. Something new. NOT something already tied to their existing IP.

  • This doesn’t really fit the theme of nature or conservation (which is the straw Disney grasped for with Pandora). If you need a train to separate the theming between animal kingdom and a movie that happens to have talking animals… it’s probably not the greatest fit.

    • Dinoland isn’t really about conservation, the whole park doesn’t have to be. Why can’t there be a land about our fascination with animals in entertainment?

      • I honestly think Dinoland was a mistake. I wish they would have pulled off the dinosaur area in a “natural wonder” type way like Pandora… but anyway, I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t enjoy visiting zootopia but it just doesn’t fit… that is until Joe Rhode releases a video on the parks blog about how it does.

        • Zootopia was a fantastic movie with incredible adult subplots that really worked well in the movie’s conflict… I think it would be a great fit in AK! Better than Pandora (Avatar), which I liked but also thought was an overrated movie and not worthy of it’s own land, but the movie and the new land did and does offer great ambiance… And I do agree with DW that Dinoland should have been a lot more Jurassic Park and less Barney if you know what I mean… They missed a great opportunity there…

          • “with incredible adult subplots” And that’s why I didn’t go see it. I just want to be entertained. I don’t want to be hit over the head with Disney’s political nonsense.

  • This would be a great addition. this is the latest movie from Disney that is my favorite. I’d love to visit Zootopia at animal kingdom. Lets build it.

  • Ugh. This makes me sad. Between the Epcot rumors and this, will there be anything left in WDW without an IP tie in?

  • I guess it’s all bout the IP now, which to me, feels like Imagineering phoning it in. Do we really think anyone will even remember Zootopia in 10 years? Maybe not even 5. Of course I guess you could say the same thing about Avatar, and it sounds like they did a nice job with the theming of the land.

  • If this is true I think it’s an awesome idea! It fits in well with Animal Kingdom and I’ve always said that Disney has done a shoddy job of utilizing their own movies until recently. I’m happy to see them using more movies for more than just, well, the movies.