On Sunday, we decided to indulge in our inner child and venture out to the famous department store attraction-Lotte World. Located on the top floor of the Lotte Department store in Jamsil (잠실), Lotte World or Magic Land is an indoor AND outdoor theme park built not only for children but in my opinion people of all ages. Families, couples, and tourists crowded the entrance escalator as it transported us into an excited and fun filled atmosphere.
We honestly did not know what to expect. Because we knew the park was located on the top of a department store, we expected it to be fairly small and cramped. Our assumptions were fortunately mistaken. Lotte World is stupendously HUGE. Imagine all the attractions and rides of Coney Island plus a few of the smaller ones from Six Flags combined with Disneyland-esque scenery all stuffed in (with more than enough space to run around may I add) a giant stadium. Oh and throw in an ice rink that puts Rockefeller Center to shame and you’ve got every child’s dream come true.
Our first stop was the gift store. Not for souvenirs but for the cute headbands and animal ears almost every single person has on in the park. It might seem a bit silly at first to wear the wacky headgear around but it really gets you into the Lotte spirit. Its almost customary, no more of a rule, maybe even a right of passage to wear the headbands so remember to dig into your wallets and invest in one as soon as you get there. Everyone and their mother has one on.
For those of you who are big time thrill seekers and roller coaster junkies, Lotte World is more of an average high rather than the adrenaline surge of Six Flags. However, Lotte World definitely does not fall behind when it comes to quality fun. First of all, the scenery is absolutely phenomenal. As soon as you step in, you feel like you’ve been transported to a mystical forest with high mountains and bubbles flying in the air. This is just the inside.
Step outside and not only are you greeted by the more thrilling rides such as the Gyro Drop and Gyro Swing, but also by a beautifully constructed castle that looks like it came straight out of fairy tale. There’s also a gorgeous lake with group and individual boat rides along with enough bridges and gardens to complete your fantasy stroll through the park. If you don’t have the energy to walk after your spazztic dash through every single ride (much like my overzealous self) we suggest you take the Aeronauts Balloon Ride which gives you a birds eye view of the entire park through these lovely hot air balloons that glide on the ceiling of the park.
Despite the occasional long lines and the heat, Lotte World was the most fun we had in our stops in Seoul. Even the rides that could be seen as more of a kiddie ride such as The Adventures of Sinbad or the Pharaoh’s Fury were very very well executed with life like props and amazing story, sound and scenery. Every single attraction is worth a second ride so really make most of your trip and stay until the park closes (which is 11 PM). There is a spectacular laser light show every day at 9:20 PM that is totally worth a stop and watch.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Lotte World Magic Land and theme park. By the end of the day, we barely had enough energy to move or time to even check out the department store. Although our bodies are two decades old, we definitely felt like we traveled back a few years that day.
Next stop: Hongdae (홍대)