Everland: Korea’s Largest Theme Park

My loyalty to “the group” is not very strong, but I will touch on that subject later. Yesterday I went to Everland with seven friends. Everland, Korea’s largest theme park, is located in the city of Yongin. I have not been to a theme park since Universal Studios in 2010. I also haven’t been to one since getting motion sickness medication. I was finally ready to make all of my dreams come true.

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Autumn is the best.

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The plan was to meet up at 9:15AM at Sinnonhyeon Station (line 9), but “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” might have shown up thirty minutes past that time. Seeing this person’s look of panic and abandonment from a coffee shop was almost delicious. I am an extremely punctual person (my friends from Hungary can attest to this statement), so I loathe when people are late. Anyway, we took bus 5002 from Sinnonhyeon to Everland, but there are other ways to get to the park (buses from Gangnam or the Yongin Ever Line). This 45-minute leg of our journey was not the best smelling one, as a baby defecated while on the bus. The smell of poop would end up haunting us all day. When we exited the bus, animal fecal particles floated majestically in the air. I am going to list the names of my friends here now because who doesn’t like a shout-out? They are: Nicole, Megan, Mike, Danni, Kevin, Danielle, and Jenee.

Fortunately for the rest of group, I am an overly prepared traveler and printed out several copies of a discount coupon. Everyone, with the exception of Nicole (she is Korean), ended up paying ₩24,000 ($21.21) instead of ₩48,000 ($42.43) because foreigners can get special discounts (check the website to see what is available). We made our way to the Zoo Topia section of the park and got in a lovely two-hour line for the Lost Valley ride. Nicole taught me “Come here!” in Korean, so I yelled that at every animal. My favorite part of the safari experience was when a giraffe came to the bus to be fed by the [super cute] guide. As I was trying to convince the animal to come my way (“안녕! 이리와!”), the guide brought some leaves to the window and motioned for me to take a selfie with the giraffe. My look of excitement in the pictures is too frightening to share with you all. One of the things I wanted to do most in Everland was to get headbands and I succeeded. I got a fennec fox headband for me, and a giraffe one for Nicole as a birthday gift (her birthday is today).

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Owner of this hand, feel free to date me.

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Animals.

The plan was to take the T Express, the world’s steepest wooden roller coaster, next. Due to a line so long we could not wrap our minds around it, we grabbed food instead. Nicole treated me to lunch as my birthday gift from her (my birthday was last week). We then walked around the gardens in the European Adventure section of the park. As I lived in Europe for three years, it was cool seeing replicas of buildings I have seen in person. My friends and I moved over to the American side of the park and rode a Viking ride which was unfortunately called the “Columbus Adventure.” Afterward, five people got in line for some vomit-inducing spinning rides, but two other girls and I opted out. My medication had worn off by that time and the headache that was building up all day had finally surfaced from the depths of hell. Instead, Jenee, Danielle, and I searched for cotton candy.

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Since it is Halloween season, the theme park had a “Walking Dead Square” where zombies would lumber around. Whenever I tell people I am from Georgia, most immediately bring up “The Walking Dead” (it is either that or the Confederacy). Although I just laughed when zombies walked by, a small child near us started crying and ran away. Maybe reconsider taking your children to this section of the park if you are planning a trip to Everland in the near future.

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The rest of the group ended up riding the T Express, while Jenee and I sat in a restaurant. I rarely get headaches, but this one was quite arguably the worst I have ever had. The huge plate of food I devoured temporarily soothed my pain. We met back up with the rest of the group at the “Horror Club,” which had a real, live DJ blasting some sweet tunes. Megan’s dance moves were so awe-inspiring, I almost peed in my pants. Much to our chagrin, the DJ did not play “What Do You Mean?” by Justin Bieber.

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We decided to call it a night and head back, but three extra rides promising short wait times were too tempting for most to pass up (I gave in and rode the Rolling X-Train). The concern for making it back into the city before public transport closed was thrown out the window. On the shuttle bus back to the bus stop, the smell of poop was suffocating. Megan and Mike discovered why – there was a poop-laden tissue on Megan’s seat. As my friends and I were waiting in line, we looked over at the board and saw that the last bus from Everland had already left. It was past 11PM and the last bus reportedly left at 10:55PM. Fortunately for us, staying in a jimjilbang was not in the cards for us. A bus came to our rescue and it was not tainted by baby poop! We then began to try to figure out how to get back home from Sinnonhyeon – we all live fifty or so minutes away from that station. This is where my lack of loyalty for the group revealed itself.

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After the Seoul International Fireworks Festival, this show was lackluster.

Nicole saw that the last train leaving from that station was in three minutes. Without any ounce of hesitation, I began to run. After realizing we wouldn’t make it in time, we stopped. Nicole then checked an app and discovered that a bus that would bring us to our area was coming in three minutes. I TOOK OFF WITHOUT LOOKING BACK. I was not interested in taking a taxi for an hour – do you know how pricey that would be?! I am trying desperately to save face, but someone out there has to see my case. I figured that everyone would catch up eventually, right? During university, a bunch of friends and I were on a school playground at night. One of my best friends, Brittany, saw three creepy guys standing under a dim light watching us. We tried to warn people, but no one listened. I am not willing to die on the account of someone not believing me, so Brittany and I sprinted away. Luckily, the guys were just some friends playing a joke on us. We discovered they were friends when one girl stopped running to fight them (I was long gone at this time). That is just one instance – I might have a history of leaving people in the dust. I am not as in shape as I once was, but when necessary, I am Usain Bolt.

Due to a light, we missed the bus that we were running for. THE GOOD NEWS is that we did not miss the last available bus. By chance, there was one more coming our way. Thank you, Nicole, for saving the day (and our wallets). Without her, the rest of us would not have known that there was a bus for us to take from Sinnonhyeon. As we waited for our chariot to arrive, several expensive sports cars drove by. We were in the Gangnam area, which has money written all over it.

Finally, the bus came and took us away from the land of the wealthy. Overall, I had a blast at Everland. It does not have as many rides as the other parks I have been to (Universal Studios, Disney World, Wild Adventures, and Silver Dollar City), but was still wonderful. Go if you have the chance!

Edit: Mike lied.

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