Amusement Abounds! – Lotte World Seoul
Seoul has everything, even an underground (partially) amusement park!
About a month after we arrived in Korea, I (Matt) was pleasantly surprised by a random day off school! The middle and high school students were all taking one of the many nationwide standardized tests…SO I had a Thursday to play around with a friend in Seoul. I had heard rumors of a couple of amusement parks in the area, so I decided to hit up LotteWorld.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I did know a few things going in. LotteWorld is owned, like everything else in Korea it seems, by Lotte (pronounced “low-tay”), a huge company with grocery stores, low to very high-end shopping malls, gum and candy, insurance, apartments, hotels, and even has their own kind of burger fast food joint called “Lotteria.” (More on information on this HUGE conglomerate is available on the official Lotte site: http://www.lotte.co.jp/english/group/index.htm).
I won’t deny I was a little overwhelmed when we entered the park. I had to take a few minutes of staring to really take it in before I could start walking around! I came up from a lower entrance, so it was like rising out of the ground into a different world. The best way I can describe the theme is “It’s a Smallworld” meets knock-off Mickey Mouse characters. The park is half inside, half outside. The inside consists of a 8-10 story mall; the lower levels are shops, including an ice rink, that don’t have access to the park which is on the top 3 floors. The entertainment inside was everything you would see in a normal amusement park, with a pretty legit Korean history museum thrown in. Outside had the larger rides, and not as many small carnival-type games.
It was a fun experience. I would definitely recommend an early start, hitting up the bigger rollercoasters/rides as soon as you can because the park will inevitably get packed with what seems like the entire population of Seoul. Patrons can get fast passes for some rides, limited to 1 or 2 within some time period (sorry, can’t remember).
Jamsil Station, lines 2 & 8, exit 4. You will exit into a shopping center, follow the signs to the underground entrance to Lotte World!