Lotte World (롯데월드): Redeemed

Some of you may remember my misadventures at Lotte World. It was hot, crowded, I got sunburned, went on only two rides, ect. Well not this time! For Chuseok (the Korean Thanksgiving which happens on the super moon) I decided I wanted to go to amusement parks. Supposedly over Chuseok, Seoul is suppose to empty out since everyone goes home for the Holiday. (And it did, sort of) So a friend and I stayed at a hotel in Gangam and met up with one of our other friends to go to Lotte World. We got there before it opened but there was this huge crowd waiting at the gates that made us worry.

Foreigners tend to get a discount at Korean amusement parks but for Chuseok and the time around Chuseok the discount goes up to about half off. Which makes it pretty awesome if you have a foreigner with you because it creates an umbrella of a discount for about 4 people. (aka our Korean friend also got in half off and my friend paid for him, so he got in for free)

After the park opened the giant crowd dispersed. We headed straight for Magic Island. My friends wanted to ride the Gyro Swing which spins around in a circle and swings from side to side. I wasn’t really interested so I waited and watched their stuff. (I’m not a huge fan of “thrill” rides) I was utterly amazed. In that corner of the park, where last time the lines had wrapped around and suffocated the area, it was empty. It was also right after the park had just opened but still. After they got off the ride we went to the Atlantis ride (where I waited for 4 hours last time) and got a fast pass. In the US you can pay extra for fast passes that will let you on the rides, but at Lotte World you go up to a kiosk at the ride and scan your ticket that you used to get in (and have to show at every ride) and it will print out a receipt with a half hour time frame for you to come back later. It’s a reservation to ride the ride. At a certain point they shut these down. We got two while we were at Lotte World, one for Atlantis (our reservation was at 4:30-5:00) and the Flume Ride (6:30/40). So we could enjoy the rest of the park without waiting in line.

Since I had been waiting while they rode the Gyro Swing I saw the Ghost House and thought that might be a fun ride since everything was in a festive Halloween spirit.  But it wasn’t. It wasn’t a ride. You walk into a “haunted” house that’s really really dark, wear some 3D glasses and then sit down in a room to watch this really badly animated film through the eyes of a cat whose run into a Ghost House to escape for the rain. It gave all of us headaches.

So after the Ghost House we went and rode what turned out to be one of my favorite rides of the day. The Comet Express which is an indoor roller coaster. It’s another ride where you get eaten and then go spinning through the cosmos. It was fun and since our friend was by himself his seat kept spinning more than ours.

We took the World Monorail back inside to Adventure which was a lot of fun. It moved pretty fast over the park and we had a great view before it deposited us in Adventure. My friends were pretty into roller coasters so we got in line for the French Revolution which goes throughout a part of Adventure. It’s really interesting the way it goes through and around other rides and exhibits. It wasn’t the most enjoyable ride, we got jostled around a lot, and I got off with my ears ringing from all the times I hit the safety harness.  Afterwards though we went on the Jungle Adventure and that was a lot of fun. For me. It’s not an intense ride it’s an indoor boat ride. With enough seats for about 6. You get in a tube and are pushed through the “jungle” that lights up and moves and it was really refreshing after getting beaten up on the French Revolution.

We looked around at a couple restaurants for lunch, like the Crystal Palace which has a lot of options, but all of the options looked like too much food, except for the kid food which came out on a kids tray and I was 60% sure we’d be judged for ordering it if not told no. And most of the food looked like gross greasy amusement park food that’s over priced. But as we were wandering around looking for something else I noticed this restaurant sort of off to itself by the Adventure of Sinbad called Marcos Kitchen. They had omelette rice dishes that were huge and spaghetti dishes but also chicken quesadillas. My friends ordered their burger omelette rice dishes which looked to shiny for me to stomach and I got the chicken quesadilla. It wasn’t terrible and it wasn’t amazing but it was just enough and filling.

Quesadilla at Marco's Kitchen in Lotte World
It came with a little salsa cup

After lunch and a quick run through the Fantasy Forest we grabbed some ice cream and settled in for the parade. The Parades happen on the first floor of Adventure and go around the skating rink. They rope it off so as long as you’ve got a spot close to the rope you have a great view. Event programs can be found near the entrance next to the Lotte World maps.

melon ice cream
melon ice cream from fine day, they had a decent selection of flavors. The most interesting one we didn’t try which was blueberry and herb

For the first parade we stood in front of Don Quixote’s Cart because in-between that gift shop and the Garden Stage is where the parade both ends and begins which gave us the perfect spot to take photos. The first parade we watched was their Halloween Party parade. First wizards and witches came out to teach the crowd how to do a Ghost dance and then the parade started. It was a lot of fun. Out of both amusement parks that I went to over Chuseok and all of the parades I watched over those two days it was by far my favorite. The costumes and characters for the actors were really cool. Some of the mascot costumes were a little weird and weren’t quite on the same level but the energy of everyone was great.

After the parade we went up to the 4th floor of Adventure which is where the Aeronaut’s Balloon ride takes off from. Not to be confused with Lotty’s Air Balloon which is a 360 theater ride that mimics the feeling of flying and while looking pretty cool, doesn’t actually go around the park. The Aeronaut’s Balloon ride is a great spot to get a view of the park. You’re standing the entire time which can be a pain if you’re exhausted and if the line is long. The entire park is layered and certain rides/attractions spill into one another, like how the French Revolution goes through all the floors of Adventure except Underland. Aeronaut’s Balloon goes around the edge of the glass ceiling and even goes a bit through the Pharaoh’s Fury which makes for an interesting part to the Balloon Ride.

After our Balloon Ride we made our way back to Magic Island, watched a Halloween band go past before using our reservation for Atlantis. Instead of a 4 hour wait like last time it took us maybe ten minutes at most, and it was much more enjoyable this time. Though the Comet Express is still my favorite roller coaster at Lotte World. On our way back into Adventure we stopped on the bridge and got Turkish ice cream. There were only three flavors: chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry but we had fun ordering it since it’s the kind of ice cream that’s thick enough they can do tricks with it/play with the person buying it.

Vanilla Turkish ice cream

We went on about 3 more rides before the end of the night. We went on the Adventure of Sinbad which is a boat ride that goes through the story of Sinbad, and it’s kinda fun, a bit like the Pirates of the Caribbean at Disney World. We also went on the Pharaoh’s Fury which was also enjoyable. It’s a big ride, you get in something like a jeep and it fits about 8 people. There were some fathers and daughters in line in front of us who spoke to us in English, first really shy and then super talkative once we got closer to the ride. It made time move faster. The last ride for the night was the flume ride which was this weird cross between Aladdin and dinosaurs. All of the ‘logs’ say Aladdin but then you go around a bunch of dinosaurs. The logs fit about 4 people, with two seats. So you sit on each others lap which is kinda awkward. You’re a bit doomed to get wet, especially if you’re sitting up front but on the walk out before you get back out to the main area of the park there’s a drying building.

While at Lotte World we also caught 1 1/4 more shows and one more parade. 1/4 because we caught the last act of Dracula’s Love Story on the Garden Stage which seemed more or less about evil turning good which seemed to be an amusement park theme (Everland). It looked like fun though. One of my friends just couldn’t make it any more after Atlantis and sat out a couple of the rides we went on due to exhaustion and found out that after our trip on the flume ride we might be able to catch a musical gala featuring Choi Jung-won. They did songs from Mama Mia, Chicago, Grease and probably a few I didn’t recognize. It was a lot of fun to watch.

The last thing we did was catch the night parade before going home. We didn’t get quite as good of a spot, instead I stood behind the families sitting near the Garden Stage. It was a really pretty but very melancholy parade, set up in that quiet end of the day saying goodbye and hello to dream time type of way.

This trip to Lotte World was a lot better. I had a lot of fun with my friends, I enjoyed the rides I went on and was never in line more than an hour. It helped that it was less crowded. (obvious lesson learned: anytime around Children’s day is a terrible time to go to Lotte World) I got to try so much more this time and I loved it. It helps that I love Halloween so the Halloween theme just amplified everything else. Since it was close to Chuseok there were also traditional events going on, dances, clothes, ect but we missed most of those and only caught a glimpse of them on our way in/from a distance. We also went past different bands, some of which sang the “Ghostbusters” theme. I didn’t particularly see anything I wanted to buy so I didn’t get any souvenirs and as a heads up a lot of rides didn’t give any warnings in English about things like flashing strobe lights. Lotte World is geared towards foreigners about as much as it is for Korean people so there’s plenty to do and enjoy for everyone. Just make sure you get fast passes for the things you want to do in the morning.

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