Last Saturday Jihyeon and I jumped on a bus and headed to Everland for the day. Everland is a theme park owned by Samsung in a mountainous region south east of Seoul. It's got a zoo, rides, gardens and various live entertainment. The main draw-card, for me, is the T-express. The T-express is 6th longest wooden roller coaster in the world (1779 meters), the steepest wooden roller coaster (77degree drop) and has a max speed of 104km/h making it the fastest in Asia. Around 6.5 million people visit Everland every year.
-The T-Express roller coaster is great
-Easy to get to - lots of travel companies sell bus packages to Everland
-Not that many good rides (imo, Dreamworld in Australia is better).
-Built on the side of steep hill
-Food is poor value (as to be expected at any theme park).
Jihyeon told me that Everland is super profitable for Samsung. They should really be plowing some of that money back into the place and adding a new awesome ride like the T-express every couple of years.
Our day started at 8am outside save mart McDonalds in Daejeon. We booked a seat of a tour bus which does daily runs from Daejeon to Everland for 48500won ($48) per person and included entry to Everland.
The bus was comfortable and quiet and was playing a Korean movie on the TV screen. I didn't understand a word, but was able to understand the general gist of the story line.
A couple of hours later, we arrived at one of the Everland bus stations (station 5 to be precise). Catching a bus to Everland seems to the the popular (and sensible) way to do it.
We then lined up and were bused the last few kilometers to the theme park.
Before we could go through the gate, we had to find our bus driver. After wandering around for a few minutes we found him hiding behind the information kiosk.
Once through the gate we were greeted by a weird miss match of architecture and themes.
The tulips were in full bloom.
We made a bee line for the T-express which is easily the most popular ride at Everland.
The T-Express was constructed in 2006 and is 6th longest (1779) wooden roller coaster in the world. It is also the steepest, with the first drop inclined at 77 degrees. As you drop 57 meters you hit a maximum speed of 104 km/h.
It's so popular that you have to book a time to stand in the queue. This is the queue to book a time to stand in another queue.
The whole has a European alpine theme and made me want to visit Germany and eat chicken schnitzel all day. :(
Finally, we can see the front of the queue.
Jihyeon studies the map to see what she wants to do while we wait for our allotted time to ride the T-express.
Wooo, our tickets. We are allowed to queue up between 11:00 and 11:50am.
We went for a bit of a walk. You can see the T-express in the background.
Dotted all around the park are small stalls selling snack foods and souvenirs manned by Everland employees who are instructed to wave both their hands and greet anyone that passes within earshot of their stall. I felt sorry for them. It looked soul crushingly boring and tedious.
We then queued up to ride the T-Express.
As we inched our way forward in the queue, we watched the roller coaster as it whizzed around the track.
Finally, the front of the queue. We are next.
After much yelling and a few naughty 4 letter words (sorry mum) we picked up our bags and continued onto the next attraction.
A musical show for the kiddies. T-express roller coaster in the background.
One of the rides.
Another ride in the "american" themed part of the park.
Lots of arcade style games scattered around the park which, naturally, you have to pay extra to pay.
We took food with us to save a few dollars. Judging by the pictures on the board and the quality of the food people were being served, the prices the value seemed pretty bad, so I think taking our own food was the right call. Around 10,000won ($10) for a basic set meal.
After lunch we rode the pirate ship.
In the afternoon after having our fill of the rides we caught the chair lift down the mountain and checked out the tulip garden.
Some more poor Everland employees in soul crushing jobs.
I wonder if the foreigners in the bumble bee band are failed English teachers.
We then spent a couple of hours wandering around the zoo.
Some friends from Australia.
Jihyeon had a good giggle at this guy. She thinks I look like this when she comes home to find me laying on the bed.....
This poor guy was in a horribly boring enclosure... pacing backwards and forwards.
Jihyeon was really excited about this. It's called a Churro, otherwise known as a Spanish doughnut.
I thought it was average. A little over cooked. Give me a normal doughnut any day.
This poor beaver just wanted to get out of this enclosure.... :(
Ahh, my old nemesis. The armored armadillo.
This fella was hilarious. A young girl put her face up close to the glass, and he responded by doing the same. She was shocked and pulled back. So did he. She then put her face in close again, and he followed suit. This game of cat and mouse continued on for a couple of minutes.
It was then time to head home. We made a bee line back to the bus and said goodbye to Everland.