The Happiest Place in Korea?


During a day when I should have been studying for my final, I went to check out an amusement park instead. Amusement parks are always featured in popular kdramas, and there was one park located conveniently in Seoul, so naturally, that was the one I visited. Lotte World was just like the smaller Korean version of Disney World or Disney Land. Actually, I thought Lotte World was really, really small compared to any amusement park in the United States.

My friend had special discounted group tickets for 20,000krw for a day pass, instead of the normal 40,000krw. Unfortunately, we had to go on a weekend, which was the worst idea ever. I don’t know why I didn’t learn my lesson after going to the zoo on a weekend.   It seems like all of Seoul is in the same location wherever I go on the weekends. The park was packed. Adults with their kids, middle schoolers, and of course, couples. Here the couples were again, clearly showing off their relationship status with their matching shoes, shirts, and matching animal ears. Lotte World is probably the one place where it is acceptable to wear animal ears when it’s not Halloween. Girls, and even some boys, sported cat ears, bunny ears, and giant Minnie bows.

Despite its size, the park had both an indoor and outdoor section. Similar to Disney, guests were greeted with a majestic castle as soon as they walked into Lotte World. Inside, there was a water ride, performance stage, and even an imitation hot air balloon ride. Oh, and if the rides weren’t entertaining enough, there was also an indoor ice skating rink. Or maybe the skating rink was for guests who simply got tired of waiting in line for the rides. It is understandable for long rides lines at any amusement park, but the wait time for the rides at Lotte World were ridiculous. For the water log ride, the wait was at least three hours. For all the roller coasters, the line was endless. And unlike the amusement parks I’ve been to in the United States, most of the rides in Lotte World did not have ropes or bars that zigzag the line to conserve space. People just lined up behind each other and the line wrapped around wherever there was space. Sometimes, I just got into a line without knowing for sure what the ride the line was for. It wasn’t worth the effort to walk to the front to check.

Since the lines for the good rides were too long, my friends and I decided to skip them and only went on a few rides. We even went on the swan paddle boats, but sadly, there were three of us and only pairs could go on. They would not let a single person go by herself. Poor singles in Korea. Everything really is designed for couples! What a romantic country. Even though I did not go on any of the roller coasters, I could tell from the looks of them that they were not as intense as the rides at Six Flags or Dorney Park. Still, it was nice to experience Lotte World. At least the food in the amusement park was more affordable than the typical amusement park food back at home!


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