A longstanding rumor has a Zootopia attraction coming to the Rafiki’s Planet Watch section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. An attraction has been announced for Shanghai Disneyland, but an Animal Kingdom addition is seemingly long range at best.
January 4, 2021: On the latest episode of the Dish Dish Podcast, Jim Hill stated that the Zootopia Land at Shanghai Disneyland is set to debut in 2022. He also stated that it is still part of the long term plans for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but it wouldn’t debut before the 2025-2029 time frame.
December 29, 2019: Imagineer Joe Rohde explained on Twitter why the themes of Zootopia do not fit with Disney’s Animal Kingdom:
The animals are proxies for humans and human issues rather than animals in their own right facing animal-related issues. We try to enforce the “no pants” rule. Classic characters excepted. https://t.co/FUT2dgj2mY
— Joe Rohde (@Joe_Rohde) December 30, 2019
August 22, 2019: WDWNT.com is reporting that a yet to be determined E-ticket attraction has been approved for Disney’s Animal Kingdom with an opening date of 2024.
March 24, 2019: On Episode 212 of the Disney Dish Podcast, Jim Hill and Len Testa discuss the Zootopia rumor for Disney’s Animal Kingdom and speculated that it would be 4-5 years away.
January 22, 2019: The Disney Parks Blog announced that a Zootopia themed expansion is coming to Shanghai Disneyland.
June 17, 2018: On Episode #167 of the Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish Podcast, Jim Hill mentioned that Disney is conducting surveys for a Zootopia attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. He indicated that the survey takers are asking guests that are experiencing the Donald’s Dino-Bash Meet and Greets in Dinorama.
March 6, 2018: On Episode #149 of the Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish Podcast, Jim Hill mentions that Disney is still looking at Zootopia as a replacement for Rafiki’s Planet Watch.
June 17, 2017: On the recent episode of the Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish Podcast, Jim Hill mentions that the next planned addition for Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Zootopia replacing Rafiki’s Planet Watch.
January 10, 2017: On Episode #230 of the Unofficial Universal Orlando Podcast, guest Jim Hill indicated that after AVATAR opens Disney will look at Rafiki’s Planet Watch as a destination for a new Zootopia themed area.
July 1, 2015: On Episode #82 of the Unofficial Guide’s Disney Dish with Jim Hill, he indicated that Imagineering is hoping that the upcoming film Zootopia will be successful. If so, they can use it as an intellectual property as part of Rafiki’s Planet Watch.