January 13, 2011

stay-cation 2o10

an evening of adrenaline...

I was pretty much clueless about the limitations of my recently ruptured eardrum. My doctor didn't offer me much in terms of what I could, and could not do. His English was somewhat limited, though I didn't ask too many questions. Sometimes the communication barrier is a barrier that is best left uncrossed. So without a clue, although with some reservations, I strapped myself into the last car. I'd find out within a minute or so if it was a good idea to go on a rollercoaster. As the cars rolled up the first hill the uncertainty caused my heart to beat a tad faster.

The French revolution sped through Lotte World, an amusement park in Seoul. The first corner came and went, as did the single vertical loop and corkscrew turns. My head slammed from side to side, my body mildly ached, and my eardrum remained intact. Once I exited the ride I was confident I could attempt any ride in the park, the rollercoaster was my first ride of the evening, and it had the shortest line.

I'm not used to long line ups at theme parks, and it took me a while before I got used to the sheer volume of people inside the park. Cues for several rides were past an hour, and steadily growing. In an attempt to wait out the masses I ducked into a theatre to check out a 'show'. Not having any clue what was about to take place, I sat back and relaxed. The show started with a splash as a fountain erupted from center stage. Water was streaming from several jets in a miniature version of a Vegas fountain show. It was laughable, corny, and then a giant angel was lowered from the ceiling. Fire exploded, and streamed across the stage in direct contrast to the water thrashing about. I think the performance was an interpretation of the creation of earth, I think...

 As I mentioned before Lotte World is an amusement park in Seoul. It is open year round thanks to giant indoor portion of the park. I spent most of my time and wandering around inside avoiding lines (check out the map). Surprisingly not only was the outdoor portion of the park open, it was fully functional. Several rides were operating in the sub zero temperatures, and the line ups were considerably, and understandably shorter. Corwin wanted to go on the drop of fear, I elected to go for the carousel swing. It was as enjoyable as swinging around in super chilled air could be, and I spent the later part of the ride terrified my lanky legs were going to hit the perimeter fence.

Lotte World itself is a Disney rip-off, complete with a castle eerily similar to Cinderella's. The mascots are not mice, they are racoons and look like burglar cousins to Mickey and Minnie. Copyright infringement or not the similarities don't stop there, but I'll let you check out the site for yourself (click here). The park's logo is just as uninspired as the name. Lotte is a giant conglomerate in Korea, they dabble in pretty much every industry, and always keep the Lotte namesake.

The best ride of the day was by far the first, long line ups didn't guarantee great rides. Pharaoh's Fury had the longest line, seemed the newest, but was forgettable. In the ride you sit in an oversized jeep and gallivant through a tomb. You are occasionally thrown astray when the jeep hits rocky terrain, and the ride emulates a 4x4. Understandably the ride came equipped with a Korean soundtrack. I'm sure I could have enjoyed the ride more if I understood what was being said.

To avoid any true displeasure with the park I ended the evening the same way I started it. Testing my freshly healed eardrum, blasting through a rollercoaster that had little to do with the French.

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