Lotte World, Seoul's Amazing Amusement Park
You get one point if you recognize that this is a theme park. You get two points if you happen to notice that this a different Korean theme park than Everland, which I wrote about previously. You get three points if you understand that I do indeed have a Monday to Friday job in this country, and don't just gleefully skip from one adventure to the next. Rather, I make every moment away from work count to ensure continual merriment, and don't spend too much time counting my money to avoid melancholy. Now, if you can go ahead and forget about this imagined point system I've just created, then we can go ahead get focused on the blog at hand. You'll get five points if you can successfully do that.
There's Lots at Lotte World
Today I'll be chatting about a little place called "Lotte World." I've colloquially referred to it as "little", but it is in fact a rather monstrous complex. The above picture should suggest that by the very notion that it was taken indoors. In fact, Lotte World's adventure themed interior is deemed the biggest of its kind by the fine folks at Guinness World Records.
It was actually quite astounding to take a moment and realize just how much they managed to fit inside this place. I am thoroughly convinced that only Korea, the masters of effortless spacial efficiency, could have pulled off this feat. This would be enough to give you pleasant dreams for a few nights, but there also happens to be an equally impressive outdoor area known as "Magic Island." This was of course built to ensure that you have pleasant dreams and fond, jovial memories for upwards of a month afterwards. I can only speak for myself when I speak of their dashing success in these efforts, and I'm sure Bri, Grant, and Neil would concur. We arrived around noon on that specific Saturday, which gave us just enough time to effectively let go of our perceived maturity, and frolic around the confines like children who'd had too much sugar. There's nothing like elevation to provide elation, so we headed for the large artificial hot-air balloon ride first to get a better idea of what we were dealing with.
What is strikingly evident here, and not necessarily in the first photo, is the enormous ice skating rink in the middle. Against my Canadian instincts, I didn't end up skating on that particular afternoon. Instead, we chose to make use of the abundance of rides in our immediate vicinity. The first ride we selected was called "French Revolution," which I guess on some distant level is also somewhat Canadian. It would be Korean blasphemy not to buy an over-sized bow or colourful animal ears at a theme park, so we went ahead and did that as well. They showed up beautifully in pictures outside, which is evidenced in the pictures posted below. I've spoiled the surprise, but we moved our operations outdoors in an attempt to get some sun. Of course Neil arrived from Australia looking as tanned as leather, so we were all looking to darken our complexions. Needless to say, my Irish ancestry ensured that I obtained a nice pinkish hue before anything resembling a tan could occur.
Exhibit A: The aforementioned frolicking and vibrant bows.
Exhibit B: "Manpanionship" at its finest.
The exterior is what I imagine Disney World would have looked like had they been forced to fit everything onto a small island. On that note, I'm actually going to go ahead and say that Lotte World's castle suspiciously resembles the famed Disney World castle. Not surprisingly, they did an excellent job with the knock off, as they do with knock off items and clothes in general (ie. Seoul's Itaewon District). Let's have a little fun and do a quick comparison:
Lotte World's Castle
If you can't recognize that resemblance, then this blog must really have gotten you in the fairy tale mood, as you clearly belong in the company of the three blind mice. To be fair, almost every major theme park has Disney World as their competitive standard, so it's not as if other theme parks haven't done the same. However, it would be interesting to see if they'd done it this ruthlessly. On the other hand, one striking difference between the two theme parks is the stunning presence of Cherry Blossoms around "Magic Island." We chose to arrive at the perfect time to capture the majesty of some of Seoul's most sought after blossoms. I truly believe the ephemeral, fleeting nature of these blossoms is part of what makes them so magical. Ultimately quite fitting for "Magic Island."
There's a reason that Lotte World manages to attract some six to eight million tourists a year. Actually, there are plenty of reasons why. Not only is the outdoor portion gorgeous, but it all boasts an excellent selection of rides. My favourite ride has to go hands down to a coaster known as the "Atlantis Adventure." It incorporated speed and water in a unique and extraordinarily exciting manner. There's actually a great video of the whole coaster ride on YouTube if you're interested in finding out what I'm referring to. Although I was most impressed by this coaster, it was the "Gyro Drop" that stole my heart away. The over 70m drop beckoned Neil and to ride it around six times on that glorious day. I can't imagine the whole experience was very favourable on my heart, but it was utterly worth it. Let's just say that I certainly wouldn't need coffee in the morning if I had one those in my backyard. On one special occasion, Bri even snapped a photo of Neil and I suspended in a glorious moment of terror with her impressive zoom lens.
If you're having trouble spotting us, we're the tall white guys in the middle; feet splayed and wearing bright colours.
You will have noticed by this point that the blog has been relatively picture heavy. Firstly, I can say that it's due to the fact that we're discussing a theme park. If you haven't noticed, theme parks tend to be quite a sensory experience, so I felt that was important to share with you. Moreover, I've slowly developed a passion for photography as well. I've always been interested in taking photos, but now I have a better camera, which seems more adequately equipped to capture great moments. The truth is that words nor photos can ever truly capture the moment. You can see me on the "Gyro Drop", but you won't feel the bottom of your stomach turn in anticipation as you gaze past your dangling legs to the ground below. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to experience so much, and write about it along the way with welcomed support. I keep wondering when someone is going to come along and pinch me and tell me to "wake up," but until then I'll keep trying to appreciate my dreams.