The South China Mall in Dongguan, "The First Super-mega Theme Shopping Park In China," has been a spectacular failure pretty much from its opening in 2006. It has 6.5 million square feet of space for over 1500 retailers, but only 10 or 12 are in place. It has a 1.something-mile canal and life-sized knockoffs of Venice's Campanile and Rome's Via Condotti.
The Mall features the world's first/only Teletubbies Edutainment Centre:
Representative for Teletubbies Edutaiment Centre from South China Mall, told us that the Teletubbies brand is perfect fit for the entertainment section of South China Mall given the location and types of consumers the mall attracts.Except that even three-plus years after that press release was written, the only human contact afforded the mall's hundreds of slowly maddening employees is a monthly flag raising ceremony and the occasional PBS documentary crew.
From the South China Mall website:
There are lot of entertainment and educational elements, where you and your children will have your happiest family time. Futher more it will helps the children develop their different skills outside the classrooms and they can learn new things through edutainment unconsciously.The dream of visiting this sprawling Chinese Ghost Mall on our next trip to Dongguan is already having a curative effect on the stomach flu I just got from the kid. Thank you, Teletubbies. Even though I despise and ignore you, you have saved my life.
The Teletubbies Edutainment Center [sic] of SouthChina Mall occupied an area of 7600 square meters. The children ball pool is in the middle of center covered by glass roof filling up with one hundred thousand"happy hubble-bubbles". It seems that the children are in the amusing world of fairy tales,where they can climb,running around with each other and enjoy funs together. Around the ball pool some children are happy because they can take a ride on the seventy-meter-long cartoon train,while others are waiting near the story tree,listening to the fantastic fairy tales,Have you try our caroche there?certainly it can entertain both the old and the youny ages. With twinkle lights, Clanking music and following the high and low rotating, we found we are back to our childhood time. In addition, you and your children can also find enjoyment in other entertainment programs, such as animal band,self-control cartoon, bumper car and so on.
This is the paradise especially for the children. Regardless of that he is gentle and quiet or active, naughty or curious. Your baby will surely find his/her own happiness here.
UPDATE: Holy crap, is the bumper car ride really in the abandoned parking lot? That's edutainment!
About Teletubbies Edutainment Center of SouthChina Mall [southchinamall.com.cn]
image: Utopia, Part 3: The World's Largest Shopping Mall [pbs.org via thingsmagazine]