Recently, I went to Lotte World with my two sisters-in-law, their husbands, and their kids. My husband doesn’t like heights and refuses to ride roller coasters. He also hates crowds and doesn’t like traveling long distances in the car when he’s not working.
I’m also terrified of heights, but my mom is a thrill-seeking roller coaster junkie, so growing up I learned to just get on every ride, close my eyes at the beginning, and have fun for the rest of the ride. I love the speed and exhilaration of riding theme park rides, and I thought it’d be a good way to bond with my in-laws and my nieces and nephews.
We were originally going to go to Everland, which is an outdoor theme park in Korea, but my sisters-in-law thought it’d be too hot for the kids to stand in line outside in the sun. Instead, we went to Lotte World on a cloudy Sunday and there were hardly any people there.
Lotte World is an indoor theme park in Seoul, near Lotte World Tower. They have lots of roller coasters, kid attractions, a parade, restaurants, etc. Part of the park is located outside, and we got lucky because the clouds kept the heat away. You can take a boat ride on the lake and they have a castle that resembles the castles at the Disney parks.
We got there when it opened, about 10am, and we immediately got in line for the rides. I rode most of the rides with my oldest nephew, who’s about 11 or 12. He and I got on everything we saw while his parents waited for us below. They rode with us on a few things, like the log flume and the 4-D theater ride.
The day was packed full of rides and attractions, and we saw a lot of non-Koreans in the park. The first floor also has an ice-skating rink, and when we were there, some kids were taking speed skating and figure skating lessons, both of which are popular after the winter Olympics this past February.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much fun I had at Lotte World. I’d heard that it was small and not as fun as, say, Disney World, but I had a great time. It’s not super expensive, it’s near downtown Seoul, and it’s indoors which means the weather doesn’t have to affect your enjoyment of the park. I did like how they also had rides outside, as the outdoor stuff felt more like a real amusement park.
Also, the workers aren’t as bright and bubbly as Disney staff are, but I’ve found that most Korean staff members come across as bored when they are on the job. Compared to Japanese employees, anyway, but that’s not really fair considering how enthusiastic and smiley Japanese employees are.
I’d recommend Lotte World as a great day out. It was fun to see couples wearing matching headbands and families with little kids there. If you like riding rides, definitely check it out on a Sunday when there are fewer people (weekdays are usually packed with school groups).