After an early start we took the Busan metro to the Busan express bus terminal in order to catch a coach to Tongdo Fantasia.
While on the coach it stormed heavily, when we arrived it was raining hard but by the time we completed the mile or so walk to the park the skies were perfectly clear and it appeared as though they were going to stay this way.
As we entered the entrance plaza it was quite clear that we were in for disappointment. Although the theme music was playing and the fountains were jumping away on their own, the area was completely deserted and the turnstiles were unmanned.
The information centre was open though…
We walked in and were informed “the park is open until 9pm today, only 3 rides (haunted house, carousel and something pointless) will be open and it’s still the same price as normal”. When we questioned them if they plan to open the other attractions later they replied “no it RAINED that’s your lot for the whole day”, right…
We walked back to the bus terminal and caught a coach back to Busan, while on board we decided we now had time to attempt to knock off one of the +1’s in Busan.
After another lengthy metro stint, followed by an even longer walk than Pago Land (this time featuring steep hills) we arrived at Geumgang Park, a tiny amusement park located in a massive park area.
After reading terrifying warning signs that stated all manner of evil looking bugs were present at the park and all of them were going to try to kill us, we powered up yet another massive hill to get spited by yet another powered twin helix coaster.
At least this time the disappointment came clear and concise, “it rained 4 hours ago and so we can’t operate it today”, Korea you’re better than this…
We decided to just spend the rest of day looking for Kpop albums at this point, oh and finally getting to eat Quiznos.
Day 3 began very much like day 2 with us taking the metro to the bus terminal, but this time the destination was Gyeongju.
After this it was a short bus ride from the city to Gyeongju World.
Again, much like day 2 it was raining when we arrived at the front door of Gyeongju World, but this time things were looking a little more promising.
Firstly Gyeongju World is one of Korea’s top theme parks, so in theory their drive to open in the wet should be increased. Secondly, there was a large rabble hanging around outside.
We walked to the ticket window expecting everything to be fine and were then informed that “limited rides will be open due to the weather”.
“Do you think the roller coasters will open later?”, “Maybe…”
While I laughed off our spites with the twin helixs and shrugged off our loss of Tongdo Fantasia, it was going to seriously sting if things didn’t reopen at Gyeongju World. Not least because the park’s new dive coaster was the reason we came to this part of Korea but also their B&M Invert had intrigued me for years.
We decided to camp out the situation from a Starbucks over the road from the park’s entrance and for nearly 5 hours we sat and watched.
At about 2pm we spotted 3 engineers climbing Draken, then half an hour later flat rides began testing and another 15 minutes after this Phaethon started to test.
So we left Starbucks and made our way once again to the park entrance.
We asked the same woman we spoke to earlier for 3 tickets please but remembering us from earlier she replied “coasters closed, I’m sorry”. “We’ve just been watching them testing”, she stares at us not understanding what we mean and scrambles to find someone to help us. We didn’t want to hassle her anymore than we had to so we decided we’d just wait until we see people on the coasters before we worry her again.
For another 40 minutes, in which Draken began testing, we stood in the car park staring at both Draken and Phaethon, just waiting and wishing to see either crest the lift with people on and then it happened.
I literally ran to the ticket window to be greeted with the woman beaming ear to ear and informing me “coaster’s OK!”, that’s all I need to hear!
Draken – We ran straight to Draken, as this was the first coaster we saw with people on.
Draken is the park’s brand new for 2018 B&M Dive Coaster and is a clone of Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s Griffon.
After passing through the amazingly themed queue building, we got to the air gates, only for the ride to break down as we were about to board…
Luckily the shut down only lasted about 5 minutes and before I knew it I was about to experience my first ever large dive coaster.
At the time it was probably the best dive coaster I’d ridden, due to the fact it wasn’t over in 20 seconds but it certainly isn’t anything too special.
The drop isn’t as intense as Oblivion, in both that Draken doesn’t drop you into a hole and the drop itself is noticeably weaker in the ejection department. Also the large floaty inversions are nice but don’t really do anything for me. Finally the midcourse brakes stopping the coaster dead halfway through kills the pacing.
Draken is an impressive looking machine with an amazingly themed queue and station but as a coaster it really doesn’t do all that much for me.
Dragon 2 Loop Coaster – A twin helix that we are able to ride, madness.
Phaethon – As mentioned earlier I’d been desperate to ride this coaster for years but sadly was rather let down by it.
Much like Draken the queueline for Phaethon is stunning but unfortunately again like Draken the ride experience is lacking somewhat.
Phaethon as you’d expect from a B&M invert is very good but sadly that’s about as far as it gets.
At the time this was my second ever large B&M invert, with my only reference being Monster at Walygator. Monster to me is a coaster that can’t make up it’s mind on what it wants to do, which leads to random moments of the coaster doing nothing at all and the infamous straight. However when Monster works out what it wants to do, it does it in style, with snappy intense inversions and a helix that’s so intense it hurts.
Phaethon on the other hand suffers from the exact same moments of not knowing what it wants to do but then delivers the moments it stumbles upon in a FAR less impressive manner.
Sadly after one lap Phaethon was closed for the rest of the day due to the bad weather setting back in and maybe, just maybe with more rides my opinion would of been swayed slightly but as of right now, I like Phaethon, I just don’t love it.
With Phaethon closed for the day and the weather getting bad again, we had 2 more laps of Draken, until that too closed because of the weather. Then we rode the rapids and Ferris Wheel before making our leave.
Gyeongju World from our short time there gave me the impression of a park worth easily half a day of your time, with fantastic theming in places, friendly staff and 2 great B&Ms. It was a shame we couldn’t have had longer to enjoy the park but I’m just happy I got to experience it at all.
We accidentally booked the sexy coach back to Busan, which meant wide boy seats, mood lighting and beautiful women on the on board tvs.
After arriving back in Busan we decided we’d have a Quiznos but clearly that was pushing our luck and once again the door was closed in our faces.
Thanks for reading, click here for day 4 where we travel to Japan and ride the outstanding Pyrenees!