In an unintentional twist of fate, today I get to share with you a very appropriate post in time for Halloween lol. I feel like most theme parks I’ve ever been to pull out all the stops on two occasions: Halloween and Christmas. But depending on how “adult” the theme park is, the decor will look more kid-friendly in some compared to others. In Everland, it feels like a really weird mix. (In some ways it’s like a cross between Disneyland and Universal Studios.) Regardless, there’s fun to be had!
On a scale of 1 to 10, my love for theme parks sits at a 7.5 to 8. I am not beyond tapping into my inner child when I visit Disneyland, but it’s the roller coasters that really get me excited. And so while I appreciate how the magic of Disney awakens the inner child in me, I would really prefer going on the bigger and loopier rides in places like Universal Studios or Warner Brothers Studios. (The last fun roller coaster I went on was the Mayan Adventure in Taiwan in 2018. That’s kind of sad.)
I’m not saying this to sound like a badass thrill-seeker– I honestly just find riding roller coasters incredibly fun. It gets my blood pumping and brings that pleasant flush of warmth to my cheeks that reminds me how alive I am. BUT I really hate waiting in line for more than 30 minutes just to get on. It feels like a waste of time just to ride something that lasts… What, 2 minutes? I try to visit theme parks during the off season to avoid this, but sometimes I’ll want to try a ride enough to wait 45 minutes. That’s kind of my limit, because I’m impatient ya’ll.
Unfortunately, because it was close to Halloween when we came to Everland, we did not get to ride anything. Between kids on field trips and people just out and about on a fine autumn weekday, there were a lot of people at Everland. The lines are crazy enough that we would be spending majority of the day just waiting (95 to 120 minutes per ride? NO THANKS), so we made the “tough decision” to just explore the park. It’s a fairly big park, mind you.
Everland sits over an hour outside Seoul, at Gyeonggi-do, so you will really have to wake early if you want to make the most of your day here. We actually bought our park tickets from Klook, and it included the round trip shuttle ticket as well from Seoul and back. We didn’t have to worry about commuting.
Despite the crowd, it was a really great decision to come here during Halloween season. The decors are super nice and the environment is festive as well. Spooky-cute and colorful, if I had to describe in a few words.
There were some really cool zombie-themed installations in the park back in 2019. Because it was early in the day, this attraction is closed and most people were only taking pics outside. After a little research, I found out that THIS is what it looks like when it comes alive (or should I say “undead”) in the evening. We missed the fun! That’s too bad!
Just a little trip down memory lane here: I remember one other time I was in a theme park on Halloween– Hong Kong Disneyland waaaay back when I was still in college. They had set up this large tent where they built a maze-like haunted house inside, and my brothers and I went in there prepared for the worst but came out full of laughter instead! There were people dressed up as ghosts and monsters inside who would jump out and surprise you. They weren’t scary per se, just really surprising. But those of the older generation did not stop at exclamations. They would hit the creepies with whatever they were holding in their hands, like balloons and such! It ended up being hilarious! Now I wonder how I’d react if I went into a zombie house rather than a haunted house.
Moving on, we arrived at the Zootopia portion of Everland. First stop? Cuddly pandas! Everland proudly houses a pair of pandas gifted by Chinese President Xi Jinping as a symbol of friendship between South Korea and China. (Gosh what I would give to have a single day to just lie around and relax like they do.)
Taking up 15,000 square meters of the park and with over 2,000 animals being cared for, Zootopia is a must-see portion of Everland. Kids will especially appreciate Zootopia because it’s a good chance to get acquainted with different animals and species. I obviously cannot and will not name all of them, but here’s a little sneak peek for you. The animals can be better appreciated when you watch my travel vlog since you’ll see them moving about in there.
At this point, we stopped for some lunch and a show before moving on. The food offerings are what you may expect from a theme park but with an East-meets-West thing. Korean food and Western food in one menu, and not necessarily in a way that makes sense. I suppose it doesn’t much matter. We brought in some extra gimbap just to make sure we had more than enough food lol. #BawalMagutom
As for the show, it’s fully in Korean, but pretty enjoyable.
We rode a mini train to get to the Europe-themed area of Everland, called European Adventure. In this area you get a very pleasant replica of a European town, where the plaza has seasonal flowers in abundance, highlighted by a fountain in the center.
I truly admire the ability of certain park-goers to maximize the experience of being at a theme park on Halloween. My cousins and I didn’t grow up at a time when Halloween was a big deal in Manila, so it’s not surprising we didn’t think about dressing up at all. Plenty of people were in full Halloween costume and make-up! It actually makes everything feel ten times more festive!
Speaking of festive, we had set our watches to make sure we did not miss the Halloween Parade. Parades are like the ultimate “culmination” of a festive theme park experience, and it’s almost always a spectacle that you cannot miss. We managed to squeeze in a little chairlift ride on the way to the site of the show.
The show was much better than I expected. It’s not just a group of characters in costumes parading around impressive Halloween-themes floats. There were performers alongside them that danced and did acrobatics. There was a story, a portion where the audience even got to participate. Despite not understanding what was being said because it was in Korean, I admit it was a really great show. The production value alone was impressive. We ultimately left Everland with the theme song from this show stuck in our heads for the rest of our trip: Hal-lo-hal-lo-hallo-hallo-halloween! (Again, there are some snippets in my travel vlog for you to enjoy.)
Since it was heading into late afternoon and we had some time, we wandered into this pretty little pocket of quiet nearby. Prettyyyy.
Spot the Christmas tree from the plaza at the European Adventure area? I remember thinking at the time how this seems like a confusing time for the people in charge of decorating the park. Is it Halloween? Is it Christmas? Whatever the case, it’s autumn!
We interrupted our autumn Everland sightseeing with some churros lol.
As night fell, the park’s appearance gradually changed as lights came on, offering up a very different look. In hindsight, I probably would’ve suggested staying later into the night if only we were lodging in Gyeonggi-do instead of Seoul, if only to see fireworks in the sky and zombies lumbering around the park. That might be something to consider for future trips to South Korea.
Even though we didn’t get to ride anything, I didn’t feel that this day was wasted on mere wandering around at all. If you go to Everland with the right people as I did, then you’ll have fun no matter what. Here’s to hoping for more theme park adventures in the future!
To see what else we were up to in Seoul in October 2019, check out this video:
Other posts in the SEOUL AUTUMN 2019 SERIES:
- Bukchon Hanok Village, Gyeongbokgung, & Cheonggyecheon
- The breathtaking Haneul Park
- Stunning Seoraksan (Part I)
- Stunning Seoraksan (Part II) & Hongcheon Gingko Forest
- Gwangjang Market & Mangwon Market
- 7 Places To Visit To Enjoy Fall in Seoul
- 8 Food experiences I loved during Autumn in Seoul 2019
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