Disney to open first Zootopia-themed attraction in Shanghai

By Casey Hall

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Shanghai Disney Resort will open a Zootopia-themed attraction to the public on Wednesday aiming to capitalise on a post-pandemic desire for travel and experiences in China.

Zootopia, which came out in Chinese cinemas in 2016, remains one of the highest grossing imported animated films ever released in the country.

This marks Disney’s first Zootopia-themed site and the eighth themed area at the Shanghai Disney Resort which opened in 2016 and was expanded in 2018 with a Toy Story-themed attraction.

While consumption in China has been slow to bounce back following the lifting of COVID-19 curbs a year ago, domestic travel and experiences have rebounded more strongly, with Shanghai Disney Resort one of the beneficiaries.

“I think what you saw over the last year as people emerge from the virus is them getting out and experiencing life again,” said Joe Schott, president and general manager at Shanghai Disney Resort.

In its fourth-quarter earnings last month, Walt Disney flagged higher attendance at its Shanghai and Hong Kong parks as one of the factors driving 31% growth in its Experiences division, which includes its theme parks.

Shanghai Disney Resort is a joint venture in which Chinese state-owned Shendi Group holds a 57% stake.

(Reporting by Casey Hall; editing by Jason Neely)