First Time to Everland
I’m not a big roller coaster fan (read: I will not ride roller coasters unless the other option is… torture or worse) but I received four free tickets for Everland Resort, the biggest theme park in South Korea. Since it was supposed to be a beautiful Saturday (and it was!), Alex and I decided to go with a few friends. It seemed like everyone in Korea had the same idea… the place was packed! Our friends Bridget and Patrick, veteran Everland fans, said they’ve never seen it so crowded! At the entrance, there was a “foreigner” only ticket booth to help us avoid the long ticket lines (another case of “reverse racism” in Korea). Apparently there are discounts for foreigners as well as for Samsung employees (Everland is owned by a subsidiary of Samsung Group).
Bridget and Patrick immediately headed for the T express roller coaster (the sixth longest wooden roller coaster in the world, and THE steepest), but the line was two hours long! Laura, Zach, Alex and I went to the “zoo” area instead. We saw polar bears, lemurs, and all sorts of monkeys. After a very healthy meal of dipping dots ice cream, corn dogs (hadn’t had one since elementary school!) and churros, we waited in line for over an hour for the safari ride. IT WAS AMAZING! We were on a bus and were amongst tigers, lions, hyenas, and even one liger (lion/tiger hybrid). But, the bears (brown and black) stole the show! They were all lined up along the road, and as we drove by, the driver would stop, and feed the bear treats in exchange for tricks. One bear stood up on its hind legs and walked alongside the bus! It seriously looked like a man in a bear suit! One bear could move its mouth like it was talking, while another one would catch the treats in its arms and eat them! The safari ride made our trip to Everland worth it!
After that, we walked through the tulips (seasonal theme), and sat down to a sausage platter and German beer in the “European” area. Zach and Laura had to leave early, but Alex, Patrick, and Bridget went on a few roller coasters (I was the bag/cellphone/jacket holder). We watched the fireworks show (apparently there’s one every night?) from the plaza. It was a pretty good show and we were so close that they were too bright to watch for longer than a few seconds. We rode the “Global Village” boat ride that was VERY similar to Disney’s “A Small World.” After a day full of waiting in lines, bears performing tricks, and roller coasters, we made our way back to Seoul. We all enjoyed a beautiful spring day outside of Seoul!
Here are some links to the videos we took of the bears, on Youtube: