The world's biggest Disney store, and the first in mainland China, opened yesterday in Shanghai's bustling Lujiazui financial district. The 860-square-meter store features a castle at its center with an hourly music and projection show, the California-based company said in a statement. More than 2,000 products, including clothing, bags and mobile phone accessories, are available for purchase at the store, the South China Morning Post reported.
The store gives visitors a taste of what to expect for the much-anticipated opening of the $5.5 billion Shanghai Disney Resort, which is scheduled to open next spring in Pudong, according to statements from Disney. The park is one of nearly 60 theme parks currently under construction in China, according to state media reports. There has been a boom in the building of theme parks in China in recent years as the domestic tourism industry has scrambled to cater to the growing middle class.
The Shanghai Disney Resort is a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company and Shanghai Shendi Group, which hold 43 percent and 57 percent of total shares of the owner companies, respectively, according to a February statement from Disney. Disney, the world's largest entertainment company, already has parks in Japan and Hong Kong. Universal Studios is planning to open a $3.3 billion theme park in the Chinese capital Beijing in 2018, according to reports.