December 27, 2012

Everland Adventure: Korea’s Disneyland

As I mentioned previously, I went to a theme park recently with my friends. We went to Everland, and you may also recall the name because this is the same theme park that has the elephant that can say some words in Korean. One of the things I definitely wanted to see was Koshik, the talking elephant, a huge thing on my to-do list.

Everland is the largest theme park in Korea, and: it also includes a water park and a zoo for patrons to enjoy. The theme park is owned by Samsung, and is one of the biggest non-historical sites in South Korea, drawing in over 6 million visitors a year. Now I can say I am one of those people.

With this many visitors a year, Everland ranks in as the 12th most popular theme park in the world. That is really impressive when comparing it to Disney World or other theme parks, especially since not many people know of this place outside of Asia. Disney and its products are known worldwide.

Since Everland is a theme park I was looking forward to riding some of the rides. I can’t say I was excited exactly, mostly because they still scare me pretty well. I was looking forward to being scared to death on the T-Express. The T-Express is South Korea’s first and longest wooden roller coaster. The T-Express is the 6th longest wooden coaster in the world at 5,838 feet (1,779 m) long. It is also the steepest, with the first drop inclined at 77 degrees. The drop is 187feet (57 meters) ranking in at 7th in the world. It is also the fastest coaster in Asia at 120 mph (200 kilometers per hour), making it the worlds 8th fastest.

I was disappointed when we showed up at the theme park. As a result of the temperature outside, the T-Express had been closed due to the chance of frostbite. I was disappointed, but also a little relieved. I still want to ride it someday. While there were other disappointments throughout the day, this one was the only one I felt relieved about.

I found myself unexpectedly happy going through their small zoo. It has been 10 years since I was in a zoo. It just made me really happy seeing animals playing and having fun with each other. It was especially fun watching the Japanese macaque, which is the monkey that is known for hanging out in hot springs.

The exception to the enjoyable monkey house were the chimpanzees. They were rather lethargic and pathetic looking, and were missing large patches of fur. Seeing them in this condition, I felt that this is one of the reasons why we shouldn’t have zoos. Hopefully they get their health checkups and become healthy again.

When we finally found the African area where they keep Koshik, the area was closed for repairs. I was rather disappointed at that.

Back to happier thoughts now.

The big thing at Everland is that the company really tries to cater to foreigners as well as Koreans. The company has invested a lot of money to put up what we can call elaborate Christmas lights. It was beautiful, and the lights really help put me in the Christmas mood.

They had put their large garden area to Christmas themes with decorated trees, and different stories like the nutcracker. It was a really great day even though a lot of the rides were closed and I didn’t get to see Koshik, the elephant.

The Good: Throughout a day of disappointments, I was able to find my Christmas spirit and be happy even though I am thousands of miles away from home.

Image Credit: John Van Uytven

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