After years of speculation and an officially announced "potential" Zootopia/Moana mashup land (that was never actually green-lit for anything beyond initial conceptualization), Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde are finally, for real, coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom. But these characters aren't getting part of a land or a ride, but are instead replacing one of the opening day attractions at Disney's Animal Kingdom...
A new movie is coming to the Tree of Life Theater for the first time since Disney's Animal Kingdom first opened
After 25 years, It's Tough to Be a Bug is finally closing at the Tree of Life theater at Disney's Animal Kingdom to make way for the first new film to be shown in this venue since the park first opened in 1998. As you might have guessed, this new film will be themed to Zootopia, and the original bug-themed animatronics and decorations will be swapped out while this space is rethemed for this upcoming, unnamed attraction.
Production on the new film is not very far along, and early concepts are still being explored
The current idea for the new movie that will be shown in this space revolves around guests taking a tour of the city of Zootopia, visiting the different environments populated with the city's diverse residents, some of which were seen in the film's train sequence. Guests will travel along on this ride with familiar characters like Judy Hopps, Nick Wilde, Flash, Gazelle, Officer Clawhauser, and more Zootopia friends.
According to Disney, this is just a working concept, and changes could come down the line, with final details about what the film will be about still seemingly being decided. However, we'd expect more information to come soon as this attraction comes together in the next few months.
No closure date has been announced yet for It's Tough to Be a Bug
Because concepts and ideas for the film are still being worked out, Disney has yet to announce any kind of development timeline for this upcoming attraction, which means we don't know when It's Tough To Be a Bug will play its last show. Right now, the A Bug's Life attraction is continuing to operate as normal, and we'd suspect that it will remain up for quite some time while Disney fleshes out their plan for the upcoming Zootopia replacement.
Unfortunately, specific details on this project are relatively scarce, which means that it may be a year or more before this new film actually makes its way to the Tree of Life theater at Disney's Animal Kingdom, especially because extensive refurbishments to the actual theater itself will be necessary for the new Zootopia theme.
Though it will likely be a bit of a wait for this new attraction, Zootopia fans who felt a little let down by the cancelation of the Zootopia/Moana land that was originally pitched for this park will still at least see their favorite characters represented here, albeit in a somewhat unexpected form. And though there is currently no timeframe for when this attraction will open, hopefully we'll learn more as development continues and this concept is refined.