Despite being smaller than the state of Michigan, South Korea manages to pack a whole heck of a lot into an area that generates the world’s 15th highest gross domestic product (About $1 trillion.) How? Nobody can be sure, but whether it’s the Miracle on the Han River or the people’s sheer determination to be better, South Korea is a place of superlatives. One of those superlatives is Lotte World, the world’s largest indoor theme park.
I finally managed to visit the park on a blustery winter day last year. That's what the park's large glass dome is designed to encourage: visit the park during the long, sometimes very harsh Korean winter. I was skeptical about how much fun could be had indoors. I'd heard very mixed reviews on the place. Some hated the place and told me not to bother. Others said it's a bargain if you go on a Korean holiday for the discounted rate of $18 a ticket, which is what some friends and I did. (Koreans usually spend many holidays with relatives at home.) I side with the bargain bunch. Lotte World was a pleasant surprise and a great day trip.
Although it's maybe 1/3 the size of Disneyland, the company cuts down on the atmosphere a bit to squeeze in plenty to do. That's not to say the atmosphere is lacking. It really is a beautiful park, if you can ignore the old and dirty dome dozens of feet over your head.
One place we spent a lot of time was the hall of illusions. Wall paintings you can interact with! There were quite a few memorable ones here.
You could be Aladdin! ... or not.
This illusion was my favorite. We were blown away. So above, what does it look like? A flat painting, right? Scroll down.
Actually no. They are 3 cement cones jutting straight out from the wall. When viewed from the right angle, it looks completely and perfectly flat. Mind trip.
In addition to having a couple pretty good if not short roller coasters, Lotte World offered a few themed areas with plenty of quaint shopping boutiques.
Hey, what do ya know. San Jose! I was near home without even realizing it!
It looks like a real Spanish mission I visit regularly in California!
For 20 bucks, Lotte world is a great place to spend a day with a great bunch of people. Ride a couple roller coasters, see a haunted 3D movie, go on a couple fun thrill rides, eat some junk food, wait in line and have strange and amusing conversations, and just enjoy the day. I think the key thing was to not expect too much. I had a blast when I thought there was a chance I’d be wasting some money. So naturally, I was not disappointed at the end of the day. Actually, we ended the adventure at Taco Bell! The food court was impressive, too.
Currently residing an hour outside of Seoul, South Korea, Sergio Cabaruvias is doing his utmost not to appear lost or confused. So far, he’s managed. After graduating with degrees in English and journalism and after working with underprivileged youth, Serg embarked from Southern California for Pyeongtaek, South Korea to gain experience as an amateur adventurer. Since arriving he has swung on vines in the jungles of Taiwan, scaled mountains in the rocky city of Busan, driven a scooter along the edge of a massive, marble gorge, and explored some of Tokyo’s seedier areas. Moving to South Korea has been the best decision of his life.