Seoul, South Korea
“One of the most surprising theme parks on Earth andthe home of an Aquatrax!”
The first stop on our 2015 Asian trip was Seoul, the capital of South Korea. This nation is especially well-known because of its crazy neighbour in the north, but this is also a must-visit destination for theme park enthusiasts. The country’s most surprising amusement park is Lotte World, which can be found right in the city centre of Seoul. Lotte is a well-known brand in South Korea and they provide almost everything a human being needs in his/her life. Locals go shopping at the Lotte Mall, you can watch movies at Lotte Cinema, book a room at the Lotte Hotel, eat fast food at Lotteria and they’re even active in real estate and banking. Long story short; Lotte is huge and so is their theme park.
Although Seoul definitely isn’t Asia’s most popular coaster destination, most fans will know Lotte World because of Atlantis Adventure. This still is the only Intamin Aquatrax on Earth and it’s quite a spectacular ride. Consider it as the most thrilling kind of water coaster, including a powerful launch, steep drops and some very tight curves. Despite the decoration being quite disappointing when you’re up-close, Atlantis Adventure is easily the best ride Lotte World has to offer. It’s smooth, it’s fun and it’s unique. And do you know what the best part is? Every single passenger is kindly asked to do some gymnastics before riding. South Koreans believe that this Aquatrax is so intense that exercises are needed to keep things healthy. I’m not kidding.
Lotte World consists of two separate parts. On the one hand, there’s Magic Island, which is mostly located outdoors. This part of the park is surrounded by a lake and its main rides are Atlantis Adventure, the Gyro Drop and Comet Express, a very unique underground spinning coaster. On the other hand, there’s Lotte World Adventure. This is the indoor area of the park and it’s simply huge. This indoor section offers a ton of attractions and entertainment. One of the main thrills is a Vekoma looping coaster called French Revolution. It’s rough and the layout isn’t extraordinary at all, but it’s integrated in a beautiful way.
One of Lotte World’s most unique attractions is the Aeronauts Balloon Ride. This ride features hot air balloons that are attached to the ceiling. Consider it as some kind of Disneyland Railroad, but with better views and a more unique mode of transport. Note that the balloon ride’s capacity is ridiculously low. So if you want to ride it (which I recommend) make it a priority in the morning.
If you know me, then you probably know that I absolutely love dark rides. Even the best coasters in the world can’t compete with a great dark ride. That’s one of the reasons why I love Disney parks. Interestingly, Lotte World is home to a Disney-style dark ride which is called Pharaoh’s Fury. The ride system and some of the scenes are very similar to Indiana Jones Adventure, the star attraction of Tokyo DisneySea and Disneyland Anaheim. Although you can clearly notice that this is a rip-off, it’s actually a pretty memorable dark ride that seems to last forever. The entrance is somewhat tucked away on the 4th floor of the park, but please don’t miss this awesome ride. Another great dark ride can be found on the ground level: Dragons Wild Shooting is a modern interactive dark ride with playful characters and beautiful scenery.
BEAT THE CROWDS
Lotte World has been in the top 20 of the world’s most visited theme parks for years and years. Therefore, you should expect decent to heavy crowds while visiting. We came here on a normal weekday and we encountered a quite busy park. Atlantis Adventure, for example, reached queues of up to 80 minutes during the afternoon. Still, we managed to ride every major attraction by arriving early. Lotte World opened at 9.30 AM and the park remained rather empty during the first hours of operation. Besides, the park’s major rides offer a service called Magic Pass, Lotte’s alternative for Disney FastPass. The service is totally free of charge and it works similar to Disney’s old FastPass: you obtain a ticket at a machine and return at the time indicated. It’s easy and time-saving. There’s also a paid Magic Pass Premium, but the free option works fine if you ask me.
WORTH A VISIT?
Absolutely! Lotte World… I loved it. This might be the most surprising theme park I’ve ever visited. It includes loads of awesome rides and the overall theming is pretty good. Even the night parade – which includes a wonderful musical score and drones – has blown my mind. This park’s quality is very high and I understand why it attracts more than 7.5 million visitors each year. I’m happy that I became one of them in 2015.
LOTTE WORLD ADVENTURE
LOTTE WORLD – MAGIC ISLAND
LET’S DREAM NIGHT PARADE
Should there be more Intamin Aquatrax coasters in the world? Is this the world’s most unique indoor theme park? How do you like the Let’s Dream Night Parade? Share your opinion in the comments section at the bottom of this page.