Friday, March 21, 2014

Seoul Day 4: Back to Lotte World!

We visited Lotte World last year and had a great time. Needless to say, we made another trip there especially since there are more kids this time round. 
Just around the corner from our apartment, Caffe Bene is becoming THE rendezvous point for our group before moving out... and for good reason!
Aside from coffee...

Their main fare are thick toasts and...

... Gelato covered waffles!
We arrived at Lotte World (Jamsil Station (line 2) Exit 4) past mid-day. As the group was so big, we decided to have different admission passes. Those who were going for all the rides bought 1 Day Special Pass (Adult : 44000 won. Child: 34000 won. Under 36 months: 11000 won) while those who prefer to not take any opted for  the General Admission Pass (Adult: 28000 won. Child: 22000 won. Under 36 months: Free) Should you decide to take any ride after buying the General Admission Pass, you can always buy your tickets (for that particular ride) inside Lotte World itself.   
Admission rates.

Buying the tickets.

We were caught up by the Peter Pan musical at the Garden stage upon arrival.

Some special effects and action packed fight scenes.

We set up base on one of the benches littered around Lotte World where some would sit to care for the very young children and of course, the many bags. In the mean time, the children split into about three or so groups depending on the type of rides they were looking out for.
Heading out to the Magic Island. (Take the escalator near The Conquistador (the pirate ship) to the second floor and you would see the entrance to the Magic Island just in front of you) We were grateful for the good weather. It turned gloomy shortly after we went indoors.

A gentle wheel for the younger girl to have some relaxing time with Mummy.

Another ride for kiddo kicks! K loves this ride (Petit Beep Beep) so much that we sat on it 4 times! 

Go into the candy house for Fantasy Dream - an underground train ride.

No queue so needless to say, the little one took the driver seat

Sights of all colours and sizes.

Wanted to take a leisure ride on the monorail but it is closed for the winter (Dec to March)

A walk along the Lake at Lake Garden. Walk a bit more and you would find a lovely spot with love locks and a huge heart. Perfect setting for a romantic proposal.

Open air resting point while watching the heart-bumping Gyro Drop. Mummy gave a little scream each time it drops.

Gyro Drop....AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!
Some of the more challenging rides...
 The older girls began their quest hoping to conquer some thrillers outdoors like the Gyro Swing and Gyro Drop.  However to their disappointment, they did not meet the 120 cm height requirement for many of their preferences. In the end, they only managed a few outdoor rides before heading back indoors.
Thrilling flight on the sky-chair merry-go-round!

Admiring a real medieval knight's suit of armour.

Heading back indoors.

There was a 3D Trick Art Museum but having been to the 'real' one just  a day before, we didn't bother to stop here for long.

One of the parents strategically marked out a route for the girls where they could experience a little more thrill despite their height. They started from the fourth floor and worked their way down. Surprisingly, despite it being a Tuesday afternoon, there was a substantial crowd and many of the more popular rides had long queues of about 30 minutes. After two rides, we decided that we would continue with the roller-coaster after our lunch break.
The map guide provides the height limit requirement for each ride, allowing for better time management.

A small story board before the actual ride...

The 'Jungle Adventure' is a water raft ride through a dark, dimly lit tunnel with a few bumps here and there... mild enough for the five year old in our troupe.

Another simple ride: 'Dragon Wild Shooting'... 

Point and shoot interactive screen concept. At the end of the ride, each member of the team is given a score based on how many shots he or she scored. Great opportunity for fun competition.

Our headquarters for the day: Crystal Palace Restaurant offered a less crowded space to lay our bags, regroup for lunch, and rest for a while.
In the mean time, Mummy was having some dedicated time with K and checking out some of the areas more appropriate for pre-schoolers. There was a special indoor zone (near the Carousel, just behind the bumper cars) called the Adventure Kiddie Zone, with rides suitable for this age group, although these are often hi-jacked by the slightly older children as well.

BOONG BOONG Car. No one else behind Mummy and K. It worked very much like the spinning teacup rights. Just a lot gentler.

Swing PANG PANG. It bounces as it goes around. K got a bit frightened of the bouncing so one ride was enough for her.

Kids Bumper Car. Parents need to accompany their child if the child is less than 4 years old. However, even for a 4 years old, it may be difficult to operate the bumper car on his/her own. Having to assess the traffic and manage the steering wheel and pedal may be too much for a young child. One of the solo drivers cried after failing to get herself out of a stuck corner. The staff would give instructions (e.g. which direction your steering wheel should go) and help you if you are by the sides (not when you are stuck in the middle) but as instructions are all done in Korean, it would be difficult for the non-Korean kids to understand.
Mini arcade for young kids. Fishing game at 2000 won per pax. These two young fishermen only needed to secure three fishes before the game ends in order to get a prize.

Mini version of the vertical drop! It was K's first ride on a 'thrilling ride' and it would probably be her last for a while. Still, we are proud that she was willing to even give it a try...a move away from her timid self.
Lotty's Kidstoria  - a huge indoor playground. Entrance just beside the Crystal Palace restaurant, beside the carousel.

For 1000won each game, Mummy and K had a rushing good time feeding the net with the basketballs. K was so proud of herself.

Heading out to the open square for Lotty Train ride around Lotte World. Slow and safe for all ages.

The younger one never got bored of the carousel, sitting on it many times throughout the day. It helped that the Crystal Palace restaurant where we made our headquarters was right in front of it.

Ice skating rink located at the basement of Lotte World. Separate charges apply.

Crystal Palace was a simple restaurant where they served up fried rice, pasta and meat sets. Each came with a soup and chicken chop, and we added a drink for about 14000 won a set.

Lunch time! At 3pm!
After lunch and a short rest at the kids section, we made our way to join the queue for a 30 minute wait to ride the roller-coaster. On A's special request, Daddy, who doesn't really like roller-coasters made the rare decision to accompany the girls for this very special experience. It was going to be A's first time on a looping roller-coaster.
The post lunch queue...

Finally, we're in front and raring to go!

A stamp on the hand is proof that we've met the minimum height requirements.

After this hair raising experience, A was hooked! The girls definitely enjoyed this one more than Daddy, and they were asking for the Giant Loop, another monster of a ride that does nothing but slow, painful loops! Daddy would watch by the side on this one while the girls braced themselves once again.

What a ride! The formidable Giant Loop. Not for the faint hearted. Not for me.

I took this photograph looking straight up at the roof!

The 'Drunken Basket' is a variation of the common 'Spinning Tea-Cups' with the floor tilts about 45 degrees midway during the ride. The queue for this was short but the excitement paled in comparison to the looping rides they took previously.

The 'Flume Ride' is another common concept with a canoe dropped into a splash of water. The girls enjoyed this one but had to wait in queue for almost 20 minutes.

Our final ride before regrouping with the rest: the Conquistador! The formidable Viking excited the girls, but it was the first ride they emerged slightly shaken. I was glad it was the last one!

A street band on the way back to meet the rest helped to relax the tension from the rides.

We regrouped with the rest at 6 pm to decide on dinner plans. By the time we decided to explore the food-court area, we got distracted by the 7 pm parade. What a spectacle! Enjoy the photographs.

Toward the end, the participants invited the children around them to join in, and encouraged them to move along with the music.

We split up to satisfy our dinner cravings before heading back to our apartments by train. It was a tiring day, and some of the younger kids were visibly tired and 'running low on battery'. 
It's traditional Budaejjigae (Ramen boiled in kimchi soup with sausages, spam, vegetables and traditional ddokbokki rice cakes) and Bibimbap for us.
On the way to Jamsil Station, we chanced upon a promotion for 24 Krispy Creme donuts for the price of a dozen, and despite a filling dinner, we decided to take some back to the apartments for desert.

Reflecting on the outing, it suddenly hit me how quickly my girls are growing up. We were here just a year ago (click HERE for the trip report) and the choice of rides by the girls were so different. Some of the rides we enjoyed last year were deemed no longer as thrilling by the older girl. In addition, where in the past she placed more weight on what Daddy and Mummy said, she now values the opinions of her friends as much as those of her family. I could see that if not for the presence of older, more daring family members in the group, she might not have pushed herself to try the more challenging rides. The jackets we wore last year no longer fit! It's a reminder to me to enjoy them while I still have them with me.

Look who's driving now! Yet, some things never change...

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