Each year, the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) publishes a list with the most visited theme parks on the planet. In 2014, I noticed that I had been to 16 parks which are represented in the top 20. Of course, my main goal was to visit every theme park in that list. That’s why we planned a trip that would lead us to the 4 remaining parks. The first stop on our tour 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 fastfood at Lotteria and they’re even 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 this Aquatrax is so intense that these exercises are needed to keep things healthy. I’m not kidding.
Lotte World consists of two seperate 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. It’s actually the world’s largest indoor theme park and it offers tons of attractions and entertainment. There is a (rather rough) Vekoma looping coaster called French Revolution, a jungle-themed rapid river, a classic log flume and quite a few flat rides. One of the most unusual attractions is the Aeronauts Balloon Ride. This ride features hot air balloons which are attached to the ceiling. Consider it as some kind of Disneyland Railroad, but with better views and a more unique mode of transport.
If you know me, then you probably know that I absolutely love dark rides. Even the best coaster in the world can’t compete with a great dark ride and that’s 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.
Lotte World… I loved it. This might be the most surprising theme park I 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 is very high quality 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.