One of my favorite things to do during September-October is to visit Everland Amusement Park in Yongin (a suburb of Seoul). It is the largest amusement park in Korea and there are multiple ways to get there via Express Bus and subway lines. A few friends from my ChungDahm branch decided to take a day trip to Everland to experience what many Koreans claim is the best park in Korea. Below are my my top five reasons you should go to Everland, especially during the Fall season.
1. Halloween Nights
Towards the end of September and all the way into October, certain sections of the Everland becomes Halloween themed. As Halloween is not widely celebrated in Korea, many Koreans come during this time to experience something scary. This year, Everland turned the bottom section of the park into Blood City which is filled with zombies. Zombies walk through the park and may even surprise you while you are waiting in line for your favorite ride. However, if you do decide to go into one of their haunted houses, there is an extra charge for that.
This wooden roller coaster is Korea’s first and has many accolades to its name. It is the top ten in steepness, fastest, longest, and tallest wooden coasters in the world. I always enjoy riding this roller coaster because the first time I rode it, I remember sitting with an older Korean man and in Korean he told me ‘just enjoy the ride’. Best thing to do is to either sit way in the front or way in the back in order to experience maximum air time (when your butt is not on the seat). The ride is scary at first but you will be laughing all the way through. Don’t forget to smile because you can purchase your group photo. (The camera is almost at the end of the ride).
3. The Landscape
If you didn’t know this about Korea, Koreans take pride in their photos. Not only is Everland filled with rides, it’s also filled with gardens. This is the perfect place to take a picture and upload it to your Facebook or Instagram account. Everland is famous for their yearly tulip festival and for all of their references to romance. You will certainly find a couple in their matching outfits snapping pictures here.
4. The Zoo
With your regular entrance ticket, you can freely walk through their zoo. There are many animals and right now you can visit their Giant Panda exhibit. They also have an enclosed section where you can purchase bird seed and feed exotic birds as they fly right into your hand. There is also a seal show that is great to watch when you need rest your feet. For an additional fee, you can also go on the Everland Safari, and if you are lucky you can see Koshik - “Korea’s talking elephant”. This elephant can copy certain Korean phrases and hopefully you will get a chance to hear him.
5. The Food
No theme park could be complete without getting your snack on. Because it is Halloween time, there were some different snacks that are not normally on the menu. There was a giant hot dog with 3 eyes on it (I’m still not sure what the eyes were made of). There is also giant turkey legs for you to munch on while you walk around. Finally, you can get Dip N Dots or soft serve ice cream if that is too your liking. My friends and I made a bet and on that Mystery Mansion shooting ride that whoever loses, would have to buy churros, which were very delicious.
If amusement rides isn’t your thing, there is plenty to do there. Many people who go just went to spend time with their family, take pics at the gardens, and even walk through the zoo. If by chance the day you go to Everland Park is a hot one and you need to cool off, Caribbean Bay Water Park is located just next door. Even in the Fall when the temperature is dropping Caribbean Bay keeps their water warm so you can enjoy it during any season. Don’t forget to wear something to cover your head while you are there, they will not let you go on any rides without it.
It is no wonder why many Koreans love going to Everland Amusement Park. It is a great day escape from the city. Nestled in the mountains, you wouldn’t even think that you are right next door to Seoul. If you decide to go, make sure to check online for different deals because they do offer foreigner discounts. Make sure during your time teaching in Korea to check this place out!
Marc Gonzales has been living in Seoul working at the ChungDahm's Gangdong Branch for 5 years now. During those 5 years, he worked his way up from being a teacher and is now a faculty manager for that location. He majored in Finance and Marketing at the University of Nevada Las Vegas while working as a manager for a national bank. In his spare time, he enjoys outdoor activities like hiking the numerous mountains around Seoul and biking along the massive Han River. To know more about him and his adventures living in Korea, follow Marc on Twitter @geonmakku and on Instagram @geonmakku.