Seoul is August is only slightly more tolerable than Washington in August, which means that for the past month, I have spent as little time as possible outdoors. On a recent day off, Mimsie and Sarah somehow convinced me to join them at Lotte World, one of the largest theme parks in the world. Spend a whole scorching summer day outside? Schvitzing through my clothes? For whatever reason, likely a lack of anything else to do, I agreed to go.
Suffice it to say I was surprised–no, shocked–to learn that Lotte World is an indoor park. A majority of the rides and attractions are in a gigantic, climate-controlled room. In retrospect, this makes a ton of sense. Koreans abhor the sun’s rays, as I’ve mentioned in the past, going so far as to wear long sleeves and pants–even when swimming!
Lotte World is gigantic–I don’t even know how to describe what I saw, so I’ll let the pictures do that for me.
A small section of the park was outdoors. After being greeted by Cinderella’s Korean castle, we found ourselves with this view (and no, we didn’t ride this one):
There are rumors swirling around about the lack of safety at Lotte World. A friend told me that someone died after being ejected from the swinging ship attraction mid-ride. My very tall friend Simon told me he’s not allowed to ride the Atlantis Adventure because of his height, and that, several years ago, a man too tall for the ride was decapitated while on it.
After some quick Googling, I learned that neither one of those stories is true. Nobody has ever been seriously injured on the swinging ship, and the only fatality in the parks history occurred when a man fell from his seat on Atlantis. No head-chopping action there.
A one-day pass to Lotte World costs around ₩30,000. A year-long pass will set you back about ₩100,000, but is definitely worth it if you plan on making multiple trips to the park. Also in the complex are a Lotte department store and a folk museum.
Lotte World kicks Six Flags’ ass when it comes to awesome amusement parks. The bathrooms were spotless, the rides innovative and fun, and the food tasty and not disgusting greasy. The queues were long, but most rides operated with the fast-pass system, similar to Disney World, and that sped things up considerably.
With only a month left here, I doubt I’ll return to Lotte World, but the park is a must-see for anyone who is here for an extended period of time.