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First Disney store in Gunma draws huge crowds

GUNMAApril 22nd (News about Japan) – After 30 years of waiting, Disney enthusiasts in Gunma Prefecture finally celebrated the opening of the region’s first Disney Store, which drew a large crowd despite strong winds.

The line, which grew considerably longer, was filled with fans dressed in Mickey-themed clothing and holding stuffed animals, underscoring their anticipation.

Residents of Gunma, some of whom had been queuing since 4:30 am, expressed their long-held excitement about the day. “I’ve been waiting here since 4:30 a.m.,” said one resident, “and actually I’ve been waiting for this for thirty years.”

Due to the unexpected length of the line, staff had to quickly manage the crowd, with more than 500 people gathering at 8 a.m. in search of tickets. The store, part of a larger reopening of 99 stores at Aeon Mall Ota on April 19, marks a major addition to the prefecture and is the latest Kanto region to get its own Disney Store.

When it opened at 10 a.m., people crowded for commemorative photos in front of the store. There was exclusive merchandise for sale, including Mickey and Donald plushies themed around Gunma’s famous hot springs and unique tote bags.

In addition, the first 1,000 customers who spent more than 5,000 yen received a special commemorative opening day bag. The first customer in line, who had been waiting since early morning, successfully purchased the desired items and spent a total of 13,194 yen. “It was worth getting up early,” she noted.

Even three hours after opening, the line persisted, with some reporting waiting five hours to receive a ticket since queuing at 8am. “The wait is still long…” a later arrival noted.

At the Disney Store, limited edition items were limited to one per person. However, just five hours after opening, these exclusive Gunma-themed products were spotted on online marketplaces, with a pair of plushies initially priced at 3,600 yen being resold for nearly 9,900 yen, causing disappointment among fans.

“It’s shocking,” said a customer in line. “It’s a shame that not everyone who wants them can buy them,” adding, “It would be best if those really interested would line up and buy them themselves.”

Source: FNN

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