Korea + Japan 09/18 – Seoul
I’ll lump the last few days in together, as there’s only one more brief jaunt in a park to keep things on topic.
The 2am flight was to get us back into Seoul and meet the strict criteria to be able to attend the filming of K-Pop chart TV show Music Bank as part of an airport ‘transit’ experience.
We landed at 5am and proceeded to camp out the desk that would later open to distribute the tickets. The grumpiest man in Korea showed up for the morning shift and very reluctantly handed over the goods after some aggressive questions, without ever looking us in the eye.
Got to the hotel some time mid-morning and went to sleep then woke up mid-afternoon and headed to the TV studio.
Getting inside went a lot more smoothly than last year now we knew how things worked, but it had become even more complicated within, as they’ve started to semi-enforce a seating plan. We learnt before that the locals like to sit in groups of their own fandom to show a stronger presence of support, but in theory anyone that was automatically designated a good viewing spot could kick someone else out or ask security to do it for them.
Didn’t realise this was happening at all until someone approached us and sent us on our way, and then our actual seats (which were in a terrible place) had already been taken by a huge group, so ended up in a very prime spot nervously waiting to be moved again.
Show itself was suitably spectacular, but not quite up to the standard what we had the previous year. There’s a lot of luck involved in who is going to be promoting at the time and we just happened to catch a disproportionate amount of groups that we knew and liked last time, this year slightly less so…
The quality ranged from this magnificence.
To this madness. Performed not once, but twice.
Luck was irrelavant though, considering who we found and met in Japan, along with what was going to happen to us the next day.
Not being as destroyed as we expected from that experience, we managed an extortionate amount of shopping that evening, which then led me to having one of my genius ideas in the middle of the night – Let’s go back to Lotte World tomorrow. And we did.
Day 15 – Lotte World
Basic premise of the visit was that we didn’t get Pharoah’s Fury last time and it would be rude not to pop in and ride Atlantis again, considering how close we were going to be to the place later that day anyway.
Ended up at the South Entrance somehow, which I didn’t know existed. I remember running through a mall last time and being spited by how quickly the fastpasses dried up due to how insanely busy some of the rides get here. This entrance was on an unassuming street with only a small gathering of people waiting for them to open the doors.
It was also directly under the bridge to the outdoor section of the park, so great for running to said fastpasses.
Despite being specifically told not to run today, everyone did and we joined in, managing to bag a morning slot for Atlantis as well as jump in the main queue for a brief 30 minute wait.
The ride experience was mostly as I remember. An amazing station with the clapping and singing and pushing of big canvas bag trolleys for loose belongings on the offload platform.
A layout with some fantastic moments, but full of deeply questionable pacing issues.
The main difference was that last visit I thought the first indoor hill after the launch was the standout airtime moment, but this time it was the one into the archway that nearly cuts your head off.
This one. Also more mist!
And a new sponsor.
Comet Express was broken sadly. Would have liked to give it another go after how ridiculously good it was. Pharoah’s Fury then.
Had a great queueline that was mostly empty, then some very efficient batching going on in the station. Cars had netted pouchies for bags but we were specifically told not to use them. On the lap bar it goes. Hope it ain’t too intense.
Riding Indy on the same trip may have hurt this slightly, it was probably all very impressive, but more of a return to the out of place jerky movements I was used to from the hardware and there’s a little ‘outside’ section here that breaks the magic somewhat. Don’t remember a particularly spectacular ending either, seem to recall asking where was the fury?
Forgot French Revolution did that, even without wearing the VR.
Don’t remember them having an ice rink before.
Went back outside to use the fastpass we picked up earlier. By this time the machine had already sold out and been covered up for the day with the standby queue, as seems to be the norm, stretching way beyond what it can physically hold and out into the various pathways around the area.
Comet Express still broken. Tried to find something else to do.
Ended up with Fly Venture, not being sure what it was. Diagrams outside would have you believe it’s a Forbidden Journey ride system, but it turned out to be a flying theatre.
It had this elaborate Steampunk theming and queueline with a preshow featuring some inventor bloke talking about a fantastic journey travelling through time and space (with poorly translated subs). Could be interesting then. Nah, the ride had absolutely nothing to do with the theme and the preshow, just your generic flying over scenery (Korean in this case) in the present day. Ugh… deception.
Without wanting to commit to any large queues for something that wasn’t new to us, our visit came to an end.
I talked about luck earlier. Some time after this trip was fully booked and planned to the nth degree, another of our absolute favourite K-Pop groups announced some concert dates. Full blown concerts in this industry aren’t common to start with, it’s just not the way they make money/gain popularity. It was happening in Seoul. We were in Seoul for 72 hours at best on this trip. It was on the only full day we had there. The only day we had free. This was fate.
The tale of what was involved in acquiring the tickets alone would probably be longer than this trip report, involving serious levels of unprofessionalism on my part, copious amounts of spending, learning that consumer laws are irrelevant, becoming best friends with Paypal, becoming mortal enemies with my bank and hopefully ruining a Korean man’s life.
So it meant quite a lot.
I won’t describe the evening beyond ‘lifechanging’, as you probably got bored long ago.
Here’s some token culture to finish things off with a semblance of sanity.
Worryingly far from the first time I’ve seen Koreans playing with their old timey torture devices.
New creds – 56
Total parks – 19
Jet coasters – 7
Shooting dark rides – 8
Best coaster – Eejanaika
Spites – 8/64 (12.5%)
Always a pleasure.