Ever since I first got to Korea I wanted to visit Lotte World, one of the theme parks around Seoul. I had heard it was essentially a complete ripoff of Disneyland, castle and everything. The only problem was that for nearly eleven months, nobody would go with me and the last thing I wanted to be was that person walking around alone in an amusement park that parents tell their children to stay away from. Finally, as the end of my year in Korea is in sight, I convinced people to go with me and I got to experience the copyright infringement-filled wonder that is Lotte World.
Lotte World is split up in two different parks; Magic Island, which is the outdoor park, and Adventure, which is the indoor park. We decided to do Magic Island first since it was about 70 degrees and sunny, the first time we had seen that combination since October. Magic Island is where many of the bigger rides are, such as the Atlantis (a roller coaster) and the Gyro Drop (Lotte World’s version of Tower of Terror without the haunted hotel theme). In the middle of Magic Island is a castle that bears a very striking resemblance to a certain other castle in Orlando.
After finishing up everything we wanted to do on Magic Island, we headed inside to Adventure. The indoor park was giant. It stretched out over four floors and even included and ice skating rink in the middle. The rides weren’t as big or thrilling once we got inside but they were fun in a tacky and cheesy way. My personal favorite part of Adventure was just how blatantly obvious the copying of Disney was, even more so than on Magic Island. Nearly every ride had a “cousin” in Disneyland that was easily identified. For example, the Adventures of Sinbad was essentially the Korean Pirates of the Caribbean and Pharaoh’s Fury was Lotte World’s Indiana Jones. Just as people at Disney parks walk around wearing mouse ears, people at Lotte World wear various animal ears as they manage their way from ride to ride. I opted for tiger ears.
While Lotte World probably won’t win the world record for the greatest roller coasters or the scariest rides, it did have a certain charm that made it a very enjoyable Sunday activity. If Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth, Lotte World is at least the happiest place in Korea.