For Chuseok I was told everyone goes home, so everything would be empty. Which is why I figured going to Everland on Chuseok would be a great idea. We’d get an empty bus and take it all the way there, wait in practically no line for rides, eat good food and be home after dinner. I was so wrong.
We started our day off slow, I woke up feeling like I’d been hit by a truck. I’d forgotten to pack my allergy medicine so I wasn’t feeling all to great on top of the utter exhaustion. We ate the Krispy Kreme donuts we’d bought the night before (we were warned by our Korean friend that most places would be closed during Chuseok or would not be open early.) We figured we didn’t need to leave that early because it was Chuseok.
We made our way to the bus stop in the middle of the road near Gangam exit 6 and waited for the 5002 bus that goes to Everland. (Don’t worry it says on the side of it in English that it goes to Everland) At the bus stop there were actually a lot of people waiting. I assumed everyone was heading home for the holidays and just picked the day of Chuseok to do it. And I was partially right. When our bus arrived it was already full and we had to squeeze into the middle aisle of the bus for the hour and a half to almost two hour long journey, through Chuseok traffic. The traffic was really bad Sunday morning. We were stopped most of the time when we weren’t lurching forward and then suddenly stopping again. It’s no wonder one of the kids standing near me threw up on the ride there. There was no where to move, so when we finally arrived at Everland (the last stop for the bus) my legs felt like lead as I stumbled around like a newborn deer.
The evening before as our Korean friend showed us where we’d be going and helping make sure we understood how to get to Everland, we noticed that on the map the buses don’t drop you off at Everland. They drop you off about a mile away. This caused some concern. But after my friend stumbled off the bus after me we followed the people and the signs to the shuttles and got aboard. It was a much faster ride, but made my heart sink as we made our way through the parking lots, which were full of cars, to the entrance.
With Lotte World we just went to the same desk everyone else did to purchase our tickets. But at Everland all foreigners are suppose to go to a foreigner specific place to purchase the tickets. As soon as my friend saw the crowd (not in lines) she started cursing like a sailor. But luckily a worker came by and said that we could go to the group ticketing and it’d be much faster, so we followed him and got our tickets and our 50% off which is probably what drew such a huge amount of foreigners.
Once through the gates we grabbed English maps, the “what’s new this week” guide and an event list before finding a shady spot to sit and plan our day. Everland is all outside and it’s pretty big. It’s broken up into 5 different areas; Global Fair, American Adventure, Magic Land, European Adventure, and Zoo Topia.
One of the pamphlets we got included all the stuff that went with their Halloween theme and I was pretty ecstatic. Since the first thing we wanted to do was eat I poured over the Halloween themed food options to try and see what looked equally Halloween-ish and edible. I decided on the Dracula spoon pizza set that was at Alps Kuche over in European Adventure. The park opens in Global Fair which is mostly shops and a few shows (like a K-pop hologram concert and a Pororo 3D Adventure). The walk was a hike, one where I had to dart around people taking photos while somewhat falling/walking down a steep incline and leaving behind a trail of apologizes for all the accidental photo bombs.
For Halloween Alps Kuche is in the Walking Dead Square (which is promotional for the new season of the Walking Dead) which is where my friend and I spent most of our time. Unlike in Lotte World, Everland’s map doesn’t give a key to let you know which rides are most likely kids only, which totally threw off our day. But first we ordered. The Alps Kuche restaurant is set up in three parts and depending on what you order you go to one of the three windows to pick it up. I got the Dracula Spoon Pizza (not as a set) and Blue Lemon Blood Ade which I hadn’t realized would also be over there. It was enough food for two, and way too much for me, but in the picture it looks small and so my friend got her own meal. We sat outside and were constantly fighting off bees. I think it was a mixture of brightly colored clothing, table cloth and the smell of the food. It was a bit more expensive then anything I ate at Lotte World but it was much better quality then if I had ordered the same thing in Lotte World. It even came with a container of pickled ginger. I liked that the coffin ‘crouton’ in the center was actually just a tasty piece of toast, and that there were bat and crosses of bread sprinkled on top.
After lunch we went to see if the Happy Halloween Party Parade (same title as Lotte World) was going on. Everland parades were disappointing. They start in the gardens of European Adventure, make their way down the hill to the Carnival Square. At the carnival square they have seating and if you’re not sitting in this area or even on that side of the square you’re out of luck. When the parades get to the Carnival Square they face the audience and sometimes tell a ‘story’ which can only be seen from those seats. So we missed out on the major part of the parade and had to assume it was similar to Lotte World’s “Dracula’s Love Story” of evil turning good.
After the parade ended we made our way to some rides. We rode the Mystery Mansion which is a fun laser game where you find out your score at the end (I won) and then to the Rotating House. The Rotating House’s line can get really long because it’s a room that can only fit so many people and it’s a somewhat long ‘ride’/show. Throughout the waiting time as we slowly snaked our way to the front there are paintings with writing underneath and fun house mirrors. The paintings are of the founders of the school of magic (Kinda Discworld/Harry Potter-esq) and how they learned how to turn into gargoyles and then there was a split and a fight. And that’s where the ride starts. You’re put into a room and you get in lines along the wall. They turn off the light and there are two animatronic gargoyles that fill you in on what’s going on (In Korean) before the door opens and you take a seat. There’s a bar and you have to secure your stuff behind your feet or under them. The ride rocks back and forth but the walls move and the seats move a bit too, giving you the feeling that the gargoyles are tossing you back and forth so you’re upside down or sideways hanging on at weird angles of the wall. There are plenty of warnings for this ride in both Korean and English since it’s a huge mind trick and can be disturbing.
Afterwards my friend wanted to go on the T express which, according to the pamphlet, has some of the “steepest falling degrees in the world”. So I passed after she said she was 100% okay with riding it on her own. While she got in line I wandered around the Walking Dead Square, went and got some mini melts (like dippin’ dots) and sat in the stands since a crowd was forming and caught the Carnival Fantasy Parade Season 2. Which at first was super disappointing. It was 3 floats and a little bit of dancing in place and with children for a good 5 or more minutes. Then it seemed over and people started to leave, but then other huge floats made their way down the hill, which made it more interesting.
After the parade I went into a couple shops and then went to find my friend who was getting off her ride. She loved the T express. Not wanting to hike all the way back up the hill to American Adventure, and then make another hike to Magic Land we decided to take the Sky Way which is essentially a ski lift that takes you up the hill. It can fit about 4 people. In American Adventure we switched from the Sky Way to the Sky Cruise which is a bit fancier and can fit 8 people and is fully enclosed as it takes you from American Adventure to Magic Land. There were a lot of rides in Magic Land and we were pretty disappointed when we realized almost all of them were kid rides. Despite this we got on “Peter Pan”. The Peter Pan ride really wasn’t Peter Pan but just a generic pirate ride with the Everland animal mascots on the ship sail. The only Peter Pan-esq thing was that the workers for the ride were dressed like Peter Pan. We weren’t the only adults or people over the age of 11 on the ride, thankfully, there were a lot of other people of various ages riding it. It was a bit like a octopus ride (or the Dumbo ride at Disney) Where you go up and down and around, but unlike most of it’s counterparts you don’t leave a track. Despite this I still had fun.
Afterwards, and realizing everything else that was open in Magic Land was for kids we headed into the gardens of European Adventure. The gardens were gorgeous and I could have easily spent a ton of time just enjoying all the flowers and fountains, but the sun was setting and there was at least one more ride my friend wanted to try and I wanted to see the Zombie Show (which we had no information about). On our way through the garden the Happy Halloween Party Parade passed so we got a better view of the start, but still if you catch it as it is an actual parade you miss the story that the people in Carnival Square get to see.
The gardens ended up being a lot bigger and interesting then we expected and by the time we got back near European Adventure we decided to grab dinner. We had dinner at Magic Time Restaurant which was a bit like a food court. They had food broken up by country and I got their pineapple fried pork and soup (which I think we misunderstood each other because it doesn’t come with soup but I figured I’d ask so they just gave it to me) panna cotta and soda that tasted like the dredges in the machine. It wasn’t a lot of food, but it worked and it wasn’t bad. They had the Halloween food my friend had wanted but when we got there there was a spicy pepper on the menu next to the Halloween Kung Pao Chicken and Fried Rice so she decided against it.
After eating we made our way to the walking Dead Square to catch the Zombie event. It was really frustrating throughout the day to try and figure out what it was, where it was, and when it was because while it was on their map and their “What’s new Today” brochure, no where did it say where in the square it was or what time. There are information spots around Everland but they are just screens that tell you approximate wait time for large rides and if anything has closed. I even went online to see if I could find anything on their website about the Zombie event and there was no new information. So eventually we found an information booth in Magic Land with a person and we asked what time the zombie event was and were told it happened three times at 6 (we were making our way through the gardens) 7, and 8. So at 7 we headed to the square, shivering under the mist and waiting to hear the ‘air raid sirens’ that are suppose to announce it starts. And nothing happened. So we made our way deeper into the square and found that it happened at a tiny stage near the haunted fountain on the way to the Horror Club or Madame Zombie Boutique. It was already crowded and we weren’t going to see anything so we decide to give up and come back at 8, get a great spot and in the mean time kill time in Zoo Topia.
When we got to Zoo Topia there was one ride at the entrance going but that cost extra and had a wait time of over 40 minutes. As we made our way further we noticed that everything was closed. I understand that maybe that should have been common sense, seeing as most zoo’s tend to close at 5 whether it’s in Chicago or Tokyo, but I’ve been to zoo’s at night that keep their exhibits open for special events. And there’s always warnings. There were no warnings on the map or anywhere that said the zoo part of the park (a park that closes at 11) closed before 7pm. The only thing still running other than gift shops was the Horror Safari. It was really disheartening. It seemed they only kept it open because the main path (they roped off all the side paths) went straight to the exit. So we turned around and did some shopping, went back to the Walking Dead Square and settled down for the show.
Both of us agree that probably up until the show we were feeling pretty low. The long bus ride there, the unexpected crowd, (my friend wasn’t happy that foreigner ticketing weren’t with the rest of the ticketing), the heat, the exhaustion (since it was our second amusement park in a row), the long lines, people who’d been pushing us throughout the day, I lost a small souvenir I’d bought earlier in the day, they didn’t offer bags when you bought things unless you asked (it’s only 100 KRW or about 10 cents for a bag) the zoo being closed without any warning, the practically non-existent information about some of their events (specifically the zombie one), my allergies. It all combined to make us pretty done with Everland, we even decided that after the zombie show (if it wasn’t any good) we’d just bail and head home. We had loved Lotte World (despite it’s lack of warnings in English for rides) and everyone had told us that Everland was better. But while Everland is definitely bigger it just wasn’t as fun. There were more rides that we all felt comfortable riding in Lotte World and at Everland it felt like it was either thrill rides or kid rides with very few in-between.
We settled in for the small Zombie show, unsure what to expect, fog cascaded onto the stage, wedding music started to play, a bride and groom were on stage, caterers, musicians, guests came out wearing masks, the siren went off and everything was just timed perfectly. They danced, but not just normal dancing, dancing like you would expect a zombie to try and dance who’d been a dancer when they were alive. They pulled people from the crowd to dance with them who screamed. It was a lot of fun, even the way they ended it was perfect. After the show we made our way to a haunted alcohol booth and ordered a Halloween themed drink (we’d debated about splitting apple beer or blood beer but since neither of us are big fans of beer when we saw this it was better) We picked the Zombie Virus which was raspberry flavored that my friend adored. The booth also had one non-alcoholic option. It was really strong in my opinion and it took awhile because there was one person working and mixing everything on her own.
In higher spirits we made our way back to the Mystery Mansion which was almost empty for another game before catching the Moonlight Parade as it passed through Carnival Square (on the wrong side again) but this time it was more like an actual parade and didn’t really stop to do a huge performance at the square before continuing on. (At least that was the part we saw)
After the parade we joined the massive crowd that was on it’s way to the exit, my friend ran from the crowd to get into line at American Adventure for the Rolling X-Train which was suppose to do 360 rotations and corkscrews on a boomerang course. I grabbed a seat and watched the Super moon.
Afterwards we headed out and to the shuttles to the buses (which were huge lines as everyone tried to make sure they caught a bus back downtown). Overall I think I’d like to give Everland a second chance, because I hated Lotte World the first time I went, but last time, after knowing what to do it was amazing. And this trip to Everland was a pretty bad one. There was really only one ride in the entire park that I enjoyed, but I feel like that isn’t particularly fair since we didn’t get to see Zoo Topia at all. I loved their Halloween Theme, I loved that it went everywhere and that they had some really awesome souvenirs. I enjoyed most of the food I got and I loved the gardens and the zombie show. But without the discount and if you add the almost 2 hour cramped bus ride there, it wasn’t quite worth it for one ride, one show, some food, and souvenirs. My friend on the other hand enjoyed her thrill rides but was also pretty let down by the park overall. So if I go back Zoo Topia and the gardens are top on the list along with enjoying whatever the theme is and maybe checking out Thunder falls which is a water ride like the flume ride but it was closed when we were there.