|Trip Report: |
Who: Randy and I
What: TR for Lotte World, Children's Grand Park and Seoul Land
When: 12 September 2005
Where: In and around Seoul, South Korea
Why: To share my (semi)miserable day
Yesterday I was anchored out at Pyongtaek-hang, South Korea, and I had the opportunity to get up to Seoul to hit some amusement parks. The ship couldn't decide when to let us off for the day, so we had a late start, not leaving on the first liberty boat until shortly after noon.
Boat to Bus to Taxi to Train, and two subway transfers we arrived at Lotte World at about 3 PM. I have TR'd this park before here, and I was still impressed by the level of theming inside and out at this mall-top park. (30,000 Won, about $30)
Sadly, the theme of the day would be closed rides at all three parks, and LW served up the first disappointment with Atlantis Adventure, the only Intamin Aqua Trax coaster in the world, closed for four days of maintenance! This rubbed me wrong because the last time I was here, in December 2003, the ride tested all day, but didn't open.
We opted to ride the Intamin Gyro Swing instead, as the line was only about 6 cycles long. The cycle was longer than the Huss Giant Frisbee at Nagashima Spa Land, with 6 full span swings instead of 4, but the action seemed just a little less forceful.
After, we found the entrance to the underground coaster, Comet Express near a band playing "American Rock and Roll" in Korean and English. Another Intamin ride, this one has 14 cars, but the first is themed with a large orange comet and the coaster name in fiberglass, with the rest of the train chasing the comet in pairs of free spinning riders. This ride is tire-driven with several coasting sections, but there is no lift hill anywhere. The layout was essentially three large helixes, in separate rooms. The first room wanted to be Space Mountain, the second had a crashed spaceship as its centerpiece, and a large monster gets a flyby in the third. Our car seemed to spend a lot of time facing the wrong direction, and only spun a small number of times, but the ride produced pleasant laterals and one moment of low-g, which was cool for what the ride was.
After CE we took the Intamin monorail (they have more of the Imtamin catalog including a gyro drop, etc) back inside to hit French Revolution, an indoor Vekoma custom looper. Typically rough, with a single vertical loop and a couple helixes, this is still far down my list, but it does have the cool RCT factor of having a walkway that goes through the loop.
We took the subway a few stops with one transfer to Children's Grand Park, (1,500 Won) a very nice city park with an area of rides in the back. The web site shows two coasters, a custom Meisho loop-screw named 88 Train and a mouse (unknown maker) with the all-too-common Crazy Mouse moniker. Sadly, all the rides had closed for the day, and the mouse was SBNO, as the cars' tops were lined up on the loading platform, and the bottoms were stranded around the track, including one that was valleyed out about halfway through the track. I took a few shots of the coasters, but it was getting dark and I don't know how they will look on screen yet. We took off and hopped back on the now crowded subway with all the Koreans headed home from work and headed over to Seoul Land at Seoul Grand Park, another large city park. We caught the tram to the front gate and paid the 23,000 Won for the twilight pass.
The Meisho Double loop was closed for the night three hours before the rest of the park, so I couldn't compare it with the one at Fuji-Q. It also appears that a space theme as been applied to this ride. Including a minor name change to.
We hit the Crazy Mouse, probably the weirdest mouse I have ever seen. It appears to be a Meisho from the full track length catwalk. The track is Vekoma style, with the side wheels on the inside. (Meisho does this sometimes too.) The single cars look like they came from a disassembled Arrow coaster train. Perhaps most strangely, there are zero switchbacks, the track layout simply being three large ovals with a single 360 degree helix and a whoopdee drop on each straight.
Next up was Black Hole 2000, a custom Corkscrew that also appeared to be from Meisho. With the Vekoma style track, this was pretty rough, and in the back row there was severe jackhammering on every drop, not good on a steel coaster! I can't understand why only B&M and Intamin seem to be able to make a simple corkscrew where the transition into the cork isn't painful. (Viper at 6FMM isn't too bad either, I guess.)
The last two coasters were the fastest Rudolph I've ever seen, and a Kiddy Coaster with a Speedy Gonzales train, a painful lift hill (rough chain engagement) and some crazy speed along its figure eight layout.
The last ride of the night was on the park's flume. We didn't get wet, the layout wasn't at all that exciting, and it only has one drop, but what a drop it is! A double down with ejector air on a flume, and they shoot your picture while you are flying out of your seat! How cool is that? My eyes were closed, but Randy looks like he was on his way back to our ship, the hard way.
Seoul Land was lit up pretty nice with lots of light strings, etc. The cork train even had lights on its sides. They were painting a lot of the pathways, but not so much that you couldn't get around. I think it would be nice to see the park in the daylight, but maybe the dark hid flaws. Who knows? They had a single S&S tower that appeared to be a combo version, and a healthy selection of other flats. I would have liked to have rode more, but it began to rain and we had a long way back to the ship, so we beat feet, and made it back to the ship on the last bus and the last boat.