Everland Resort, the popular and LARGEST amusement park in South Korea located right outside of Seoul in Yongin (Gyeonggi-do province). From terrible planning and public transportation struggles to zoo’s, shows, and coasters, the day was a long 16+ hours from waking up to coming back home to the dorms.
First off, after a late start in the morning (7:45a.m. wake up for me), a group of 8 humans: the Mai twins, Alison, Saree, Stacey, Pei Hsia (Adelyn), Joanne, and I, set off on the Green Line of Sinchon Station and then transferred to the 5570 red bus at Jamsil. Due to terrible planning, we had to wait for Stacey for an hour, re-figure out an easier path to reach Everland (going on the subway without transfers and then just taking the bus vs. taking 3 different transfers on the subway), and survive public transportation in general. Let’s just say waiting for the bus took an extra 30 minutes when after waiting (originally) for 20 minutes, selfish plebians cut in front of us, keeping us from the Land of
Milk and Honey Coasters and Treats. By the time the 2nd bus came around, we learned our lesson and MADE SURE we were on it, at the cost of having to stand. Worse than sitting in a moving vehicle conducted by a crazy Asian driver is standing for over 20 minutes IN THE BACK while A LOT of jerking and quick brakes were involved. My slightly anemic body caught up to me for I had to sit down at one point, and by the end of the 40 minute journey I had braved with all my might, I pretty much was on my knees gasping for fresh air.
But the adventure continued!!! We finally reached Everland exhausted and moist (ew moist), after being delivered by a free shuttle bus). Our promises of 50% discounted tickets during this Chuseok season was met, and we even received coupons for 10% off our meals or shopping purchases (too bad that didn’t include candy expenses). Although Stacey may have been smarter and faster than Benedict Arnold in leaving us all to have her own fun, we had fun taking pictures, buying sweets and “couple headbands,” watching the Big Bang Hologram concert (which by the way my amazingly comical troll face was chosen to be part of 10 seconds of it), exploring Zootopia, and then finally deciding on some coaster fun. The best part of Zootopia (besides the aminals of course) was the sea lion show. Okay maybe the others were falling asleep, but who asked them? I LOVE ANIMAL SHOWS!!! ESPECIALLY THE WATER ONES.
My quick little feet may have resulted in me constantly wandering off from the group, getting nagged and scolded by Saree, and sweating more than I should, but it was worth it when I did get a chance to be free from the group and experience some forever alone time. I’ll be honest. I LOVED BEING ALONE IN AN AMUSEMENT PARK.
Pros of being alone: 1) going at your own pace, 2) not worrying about what others want, 3) not being held down if someone else needs to go to the restroom or is backing out of a ride, 4) contemplating life during waits in line, 5) picking ANY ride to go on, and getting to “cut in line” for being a single rider
Con(s) of being alone: 1) not having conversations during the wait in line for a ride
So try it. Lonely time in an amusement park. AMUSE YOURSELF BY YOURSELF.
Going on T-Express (the wood coaster famously in an episode of Running Man – a Korean variety show) was fun with Alison, Pei Hsia, and Joanne (less than 80min wait), but I got to enjoy the Columbus Adventures (aka “Pirate Ship Ride”) and Rolling X-train (double loop coaster). We went on only 1 rollercoaster within the first 4 hours I was with the group, but I got to go on 2 when I escaped for less than 2 hours. Now have I won anybody over with trying to wander solo in an amusement park yet? INDEPENDENCE ANYONE?!
After my fun on the Rolling X-train, I doubled back to the ride that had been catching my eye: the Hurricane. Walking back to the familiar location I had passed on multiple accounts, I suddenly realized I had given my phone to Saree and would not be able to contact or meet up with the group again. Realization sinking in, I thought out my choices of how to get back or if I would by myself at all due to the subways shutting down at midnight and only opening up again at 6a.m. I seriously contemplated finding a jimjjilbang, but the luck of the Irish was on my side and right when I was trying to figure out where the entrance to the line of the ride was I heard my name called out. SUCCESS! The group was coincidentally going to the same ride as me, so cut in line I did and we were together again. YAY ME!
The night pretty much ended in only the 5 of us (Alison, Saree, Pei Hsia, Joanne, and me) sticking together and leaving the park (yes without the twins and Stacey). I talked to someone in a 7-Eleven and was directed to take the 5002 bus to Gangnam and then transfer to the subway Green Line back home, which Joanne showed was faster to stop at Ewha vs. Sinchon since she knew a shortcut through the Women’s University back to our dorms.To any (future) students interested in going to Everland: 1) look for discounts, ESPECIALLY foreigner discounts during Chuseok week (there are smaller discounts during non-holiday times as well), 2) take Green Line at Sinchon Station to Jamsil, and then bus 5770 to Everland (unless you’re aiming for Lotte World; just stop at Jamsil exit and Lotte World should be right across), 3) take bus 5002 to Gangnam and then the Green Line at the station to Ewha’s, 4) T-Express, Rolling X-train, and Hurricane are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for coaster-lovers, and 5) try wandering in the amusement park LONE WOLF PACK style for an hour or two.Last word of advice: DON’T LOSE YOUR BUS CARD ON THE BUS FOR SOME REASON AFTER FALLING ASLEEP DUE TO LACK OF ENERGY AND FEET INFLAMMATION POST-AMUSEMENT PARK FUN!!!!!
It’s sad, confusing, and results in loss of money because the bus (like the subway) requires the scanning of when you get on AND off. So since I couldn’t scan it as I got off (due to losing the card), I lost ~$14. THAT’S A GOOD 3 MEALS AND 1 ICE CREAM SNACK!!! So please, don’t lose your card OR forget to scan the transport card when you get off. TEARS.