Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Adventures in Magical Lotte World: Part 1

I've always been a great lover of theme parks. Just looking at a map of one makes me long for charming, artificial villages, whiplash-inducing roller coasters and the smell of hotdogs and candy-floss. The sense of wonder and excitement that these places inspire in me hasn't diminished a bit since I was a kid. So naturally, I was always going to try visit at least one or two of them during my time in Korea.
I thought I'd start with the country's most famous and most visited theme park: Lotte World. It's the largest indoor amusement park in the world, and a perfect place to visit in the winter while it's cold outside:

A view of the park from just above its ice rink.
I was lucky enough to have Angela along with me for the ride (we've become pretty regular travel buddies recently, as you may have noticed). We went on a Saturday, which may have been a mistake on our part as the queues were ridiculously long and we only went on a few rides in the end. But we still had an awesome time exploring its many different areas and revelling in the irresistibly tacky theme park atmosphere.

We left in the morning from Angela's apartment in a quaint, quiet area of Gangnam.
From Jamsil Metro Station, we followed several tunnels towards the theme park. As we got closer to it, the tunnels became more and more fanciful, with pretty fountains and cartoonish architecture.

The theme park is owned by the Lotte Group, which is actually a Japanese food and shopping conglomerate. It is, however, also very active in Korea, running supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, and many other services across the country.
Entering the busy theme park.

Though famous as an indoor theme park, Lotte World also has an outdoor section called Magic Island, which mimics many aspects of the Magic Kingdom in Disney World, such as the castle in this photo.

I thought this under-construction building looked kinda cool.

The first attraction we went to was the bumper cars. It was fun!
My first candyfloss, or cotton candy as Angela calls it, in many years.

Back inside the main park.
We spent some time in the darkness of the Tomb of Horror.
The glass dome on top of the theme park allows for some great natural lighting during the day.
We watched a few shows on the big stage.
Me, trying out the Strongman game.
The Flume Ride and the Drunken Baskets.
A three hour wait for a ride that lasts a couple of minutes. No thanks!
Screw the roller coasters, let's explore a mirror maze!

I should probably join Ocean's 11 with laser-dodging skills like these.
Angela entering the psychedelic monster mouth tunnel.

Continue the adventure by clicking here for Part 2!

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