At the 2023 D23 Fan Expo, it was announced that not only would a new show based on Zootopia be replacing It’s Tough To Be A Bug in the Tree of Life theater at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but that the top idea being discussed for a redesign of the Dinoland USA area of the park has been narrowed down to the “tropical Americas."

Chief Creative Officer of Imagineering, Bruce Vaughn, stated that the plans still have a long way to go, but that the Imagineering team is up to the challenge of creating this beautiful land. It was also announced that there is IP (Intellectual Property) that they are considering adding to this land. This includes Encanto and Indiana Jones.

A Step In The Right Direction

Zootopia Moana Land Concept Art
Image: Disney Parks

These new plans and ideas are miles above the “Blue Sky” concepts that were announced last year and included Zootopia and Moana as the main focuses of the new land. This would have been a total misstep on Disney’s part, and we addressed that in Where Dinoland Fails and What Should ACTUALLY Replace It.

We noted that Moana is already going to have an attraction featured at EPCOT (which is opening October 16th!) and Zootopia isn’t a good fit for a land in Animal Kingdom. When it comes to Zootopia, Joe Rohde, one of the leading Imagineers who brought Animal Kingdom to life, explained that the animals in Zootopia are just human proxies dealing with human issues rather than animals facing animal-related issues. Just because the IP features animals doesn’t mean that it fits into Animal Kingdom and its overarching goal of promoting conservation and celebrating the natural world.

Of course, it was announced that Zootopia is coming to Animal Kingdom. However, not as its own land; which is good. If Zootopia can fit in anywhere it would be as a new 4D show within the theater in the Tree of Life. Talking animals are not much more unrealistic than talking bugs. Not to mention, the Zootopia show which is set to focus on different biomes is much less likely to make small children cry during each showing.

Additionally, there are not a lot of attractions at Animal Kingdom for small children, so adding in a new, non-scary, recognizable IP for children will be extremely beneficial for families. We can just hope that the show is well-written and follows along with Animal Kingdom’s overarching ideals.

Zootopia Show
Image: Disney Parks

In the previous article, we also went over a couple of ideas for what would be a better replacement for Dinoland USA than Zootopia or Moana. One of those ideas was South America. The Africa and Asia areas of the park are beautiful and immersive and make guests feel as if they have been transported to that part of the world...


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