Shanghai, September 5, 2023 – The unique blend of Disney magic and Chinese culture, referred to as Authentically Disney, Distinctly Chinese, has been the guiding principle of Shanghai Disney Resort since the early stages of the resort’s development. This approach continues at Shanghai Disneyland’s latest expansion – the world’s first Zootopia-themed land. The creation brings the hit Walt Disney Animation Studios film to life, aiming to tell instantly recognizable stories that resonate with guests and fans in China while embodying the humorous spirit of the original film.
From the stories and concepts found in each experience to design details and offerings, the principle of Authentically Disney, Distinctly Chinese is reflected and incorporated throughout the land. The blend creates a Zootopified guest experience themed to scenes from the film but with distinct local cultural influence, including some Shanghai-inspired surprises.
Street and traffic signs immerse guests with special local touches
As a vibrant city made by mammals for mammals, Zootopia has extensive systems for housing, businesses, facilities, and of course, transportation. Guests will find numerous Zootopified city and traffic signs with local touches, creating a recognizable and uniquely Zootopian twist on everyday urban life.
Mane Street: The word “mane” in English shares the same pronunciation with “main,” reflecting a main street of a city in the real world. In Chinese, the street is named as “Ma Lu,” meaning “road,” but also incorporating the Chinese word for “horse.” The creation is perfectly in line with both Chinese and English names.
Nocturnal Alley: Designed as a street for nocturnal animals, the Chinese name “long tang” refers to a traditional Shanghainese-style alleyway, which will rekindle precious memories people have of Shanghai and is an homage to the unique heritage of the city.
Like any other metropolis in the world, Zootopia also designs and installs traffic signs for its residents. Animal-inspired signs in Zootopia give instructions and provide information in a fully Zootopified way.
- The vehicle height clearance signs feature a giraffe in Zootopia, reminding them to be aware of their long necks protruding from their sunroofs as they drive through tunnels and underpasses;
- All roads and streets in Zootopia are for use by vehicles of different sizes. To accommodate all mammals, traffic merge signs are designed featuring a large elephant and a small mouse to provide information about the rules of the road and driving etiquette;
- The “Mind Your Horns” sign features a honking elephant, reminding animals of this important traffic rule when driving in the downtown area;
- The “No Texting While Driving” sign features an animal paw holding a cell phone to remind animal drivers to follow this important road rule;
- The “Cubs at Play” sign gives drivers advance warning when approaching Zootopia Park so they can slow down and know to watch for small cubs;
- “No Grazing” reminds citizens not to graze on the greenbelts, with an image of a horse clearly conveying the message.
A dynamic city where businesses are named with special animal touches and a zany sense of humor
“Storefronts” in a variety of sizes line the streets that lead to a civic plaza. Imagineers designed these “storefronts” to bring this mammalian metropolis and its residents to life. Guests will notice that the “storefronts” cater to mammal residents of different species and sizes, reflecting the metropolitan economy and diverse population. The names of the “stores” are humorously designed, playing on puns and homophones in the Chinese language.
- Gazelle’s big concert is about to start tonight. To warm up, Zootopians cannot wait to belt out classic tunes at Howl KTV, a KTV lounge endorsed by the biggest celebrity in Zootopia, Gazelle;
- Since rodents may need to see dentists for frequent checkups, Beaver Dentist is built into the lower portion of one of the road’s busiest stores, Fashions by Fru Fru. Sounds of patients getting their incisors worked on can be heard through the window;
- Hibernation Hotel is a modern “pod” style hotel where Zootopia’s bears and other residents hibernate and can even be heard snoring from their cavernous rooms;
- Fog pours out of the Arctic Spa, a place specially designed for polar bears who are the Arctic Spa’s loyal customers. Guests who listen closely may even hear a few of Mr. Big’s henchmen humorously discussing their plans to attend tonight’s Zootopia Concert;
- “Ling,” meaning “bell” in English, is a kind of musical instrument, which shares the same pronunciation as the first character of the translation of bongo in Chinese, making it a perfect name for a music shop. Bongo’s Music Shop has a Corten steel facade with bongo (the antelope) stripes;
- Indoor climbing is a very popular sport. In the animal kingdom, pangolins are adept climbers. The Pangolin Climbing Gym is named after the pangolin, and its vertical structure features many themed elements, including concrete pangolin claws and painted palm frond motifs, which are a nod to the pangolin’s natural habitat;
- Sheep Barber and Sweater Shop are conveniently next to each other as the sheep trimmings from the barbershop get turned into wool garments sold next door.
More Zootopified experiences with Chinese surprises, and even Shanghainese features, are waiting to be discovered at the world’s first Zootopia-themed land, premiering at Shanghai Disneyland soon.