First released in 2016, Walt Disney Animation's Zootopia is a buddy cop tale set within a contemporary, animal-populated metropolis. The film stars Ginnifer Goodwin as idealist rabbit police officer Judy Hopps next to Jason Bateman as Nick Wilde, a cynical fox con artist.
Upon its release, Zootopia enjoyed both critical and financial success, leading Disney to release a Disney+ spin-off, Zootopia+, in 2022; the studio has since announced an upcoming full-length sequel.
But before Zootopia 2 hits the big screen, Disney has another sequel story to tell, and it's one that can't be experienced in a theater.
Disney Reveals First-Ever Zootopia Ride
Opening later this year at the Shanghai Disney Resort is the first-ever Zootopia-themed land anchored by a brand-new Disney ride titled "Zootopia: Hot Pursuit."
According to a press release from Disney, "Zootopia: Hot Pursuit" is set "after the film's timeline" and Nick Wilde is now "officially a police officer in the Zootopia Police Department" alongside Judy Hopps.
The story begins when Gazelle, Zootopia's signature pop star voiced by Shakira, is kidnapped on the day of a huge celebration concert.
Chief Bogo, voiced by Idris Elba in the film, reluctantly assigns park guests as backup for Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps.
Once aboard, guests find themselves in a chase through Zootopia's various terrains, including icy Tundra Town, Mystic Springs Oasis, Sahaha Square, and the Rainforest District, all while encountering characters from the 2016 film.
Shanghai Disney guests experience "Zootopia: Hot Pursuit" via a trackless ride system allowing riders to experience sliding, turning, spinning, and drops.
However, it's the ride's next-generation audio-animatronic figures that just may be Disney's biggest achievement here.
The fact that theme parks are just another canvas for Disney animation is well on display with Zootopia's audio-animatronics which, according to Disney, are "the latest in robotic technology" and "achieve an extraordinary degree of realism" in order to feel as if "they've stepped right off the movie screen."
Check out a preview of Chief Bogo in "Zootopia: Hot Pursuit" below:
Disney's Zootopia Land & Sequel Plans
Disney went on to note the surrounding Zootopia-themed land is also a cinematic experience in that it includes "multiple stories and scenarios that allow guests to dive into memorable scenes from the film."
For instance, just like in the movie, guests can visit Jumbeaux's Cafe and sample Jumbo-pops, The Big Donut, and those paw-shaped popsicles.
Guests will also see the same familiar city skyline from Zootopia, in-universe billboards and ads, and even Zootopia Central Station where trains pick up and drop off commuters via different-sized doors for its various animal passengers.
There's also no telling if Shanghai Disney's Zootopia land - and its signature ride - contain any nods to Zootopia 2 or if the land can expand along with the franchise.
There's also speculation that the land itself may have a sequel in the works and may be headed for a state-based park in the near future.
Shanghai Disney's Zootopia is set to open in late 2023.