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We are always looking for new, unusual, and exciting things to try on our travels around the world. As adrenaline junkies anything that gets our hearts pounding takes first priority. We thought we had hit the jackpot when we heard about Lotte World Adventure while in Seoul, South Korea.
Lotte World is the world’s largest indoor theme park. We love visiting theme parks around the world, so we had to check out this one with such a unique world record.
Before arriving we had a ton of questions: How many rides would they have inside? Would they have roller coasters? How tall could they be? Would we feel claustrophobic? Would it feel the same as an outdoor theme park?
What to expect from Lotte World Adventure, the world’s largest indoor theme park
Outside at Magic Island
The first thing to understand is that Lotte World is the world’s largest indoor theme park, but that’s only half of it. It also has an outdoor theme park called Magic Island.
Across the bridge from Lotte World Adventure is Magic Island. Magic Island is a small island in the middle of a man-made lake visible to shoppers at the connected Lotte World shopping center. The Island holds a handful of rides for children and adults, snack and gift vendors, and photo locations.
Magic Island definitely feels Disney-esque to those familiar with Disney World. It features a giant castle as you first approach, cartoon characters to greet you at rides, and attractions which are similar to the style of those in Magic Kingdom.
While poaching and re-imagining famous American concepts and characters can be commonplace in Asia, the similarities between Magic Island and Magic Kingdom are hard to overlook. Disney is one thing that just can not be replicated. So many people have come to recognize and expect the high level of artistry associated with Disney that when characters or settings don’t match exactly the result ends up looking cheap.
Once you feel able to look past the poor Disney imitation you will realize that, though very small, Magic Island does have a few good things.
The first thing we liked about Magic Island was that it is outside! Because it’s the more special place to be Lotte World Adventure can get really crowded, so heading out to Magic Island feels like an escape from the crowds.
We also liked that Magic Island features some of the classic theme park rides you’ve come to expect. We found a drop tower, swings, small roller coasters, and more. The height requirement for these rides is lower than at other amusement parks because the island isn’t large enough for each individual ride to be very big, so we happily planned to take our 6-year-old on them all.
Inside Lotte World Adventure
Back across the bridge of food and gift vendors is the indoor theme park, Lotte World Adventure.
Lotte World Adventure is a huge building broken up into four main floors: three above ground level and one below ground.
Let’s break down exactly what you’ll find on each massive floor:
First Floor: 1F
The main level is shaped like an “O” and has the most rides. Looking to your left and right you’ll find a rocking boat ride, a flume ride, carousel, roller coaster, and more typical of classic theme parks. It’s also home to a stage on one end with live theater shows throughout the day.
The sides are brightly decorated with trees and plants and well-lit so visitors can be comfortable at all times of the day.
Looking up while on the first floor shows you the upper three floors which have been cleverly hidden inside fake mountains. These mountain staircases open up to views of the rides on each floor and, eventually, to the monorail and hot air balloon ride on the highest level. Adventure has been expertly designed to make you feel as if you could actually be outside. Between the trees on the ground floor, mountains along the sides, and balloons on the top it mimicks real life (though in an unrealistic and miniature scale) perfectly.
Looking down into center of the floor shows you a year-long ice rink on the basement level. That’s pretty cool. Pun intended.
Second and Third Floors: 2F and 3F
There are a few entrances to the second and third floors from the main level. Staircases and elevators lead to these floors which have been disguised inside the brown mountains from the main floor. Follow signs to 2F and 3F to find the stairs and elevator.
Once up, these floors get pretty confusing! The hallways leading from one attraction to another feel like a dark maze, as you are still inside the first floor’s mountain feature. Signs pointing the way to attractions are scarce, and you’re left to wander the halls of the floors until you find what you’re looking for.
The highlight of the second floor is the indoor roller coaster French Revolution. This was our favorite ride of the day. It’s fast, smooth, longer than expected, and pretty fun. It also had additional padding on the safety restraint which kept our small son safe and comfortable.
The highlight on the third floor is the World Monorail. This monorail circles Lotte World Adventure and also exits to tour Magic Island. The ride was closed for a few hours when we were finally able to find it’s entrance, but we’ve heard it’s one of the best things to do at Lotte World.
This is also where you’ll find the hot air balloon ride. Passenger groups of up to 6 people sit in the basket of one of eight plastic hot air balloons. The balloons are attached to a track on the ceiling which slowly carries the balloon around the oval of the building.
This ride was also closed when we visited, but I honestly can’t imagine it being very good. The balloons track slowly, which would make you feel like you’ve wasted 1-2 hours of your day waiting in line for nothing. You would get a cool top-down view of the indoor theme park and basement ice rink, but you can get decent views by walking the upper floors, anyway.
Underland and B1:
A sign on the main floor will advertise Underland and stairs to lead you there.
This basement level of Lotte World Adventure takes you to the central ice rink and many rides along the edges intended for small kids. You’ll find a small train, 3D shooting games, a kid’s flume ride (like It’s A Small World) , and more.
The downside to the basement level is that you have to walk down a semi-dark staircase to get there, which could scare the kids it’s intended to please. Because it’s below ground the rides also feel a bit darker.
Using the Lotte World App
The biggest issue we had at the indoor theme park was trying to use it’s park app.
Most theme parks around the world have apps which give a map of the park, a list of rides with descriptions and requirements, wait times, and reservations. Usually these apps work well to ensure visitors can maximize their day and have as much fun as possible.
The Lotte World Adventure app hardly worked for us, unfortunately. We spent the first half of our day trying to make ride reservations and check for wait times only to have the app crash or never update. We wasted hours by wandering around looking for rides with low wait times or which ended up being closed. We even successfully made a reservation only to have the system lose it once we arrived at the attraction.
What really stumped us about the app is that Seoul is one on the forefront of technology. It’s headquarters to both LG and Samsung, as well as other tech companies which are making huge strides in mobile technology with great user experiences.
What a waste.
Food and Gift Vendors
What the app lacked was made up for by food. Honestly, we had great food at the Lotte World indoor theme park!
We saw many food vendors who took the time to turn their creations into works of cartoon art, as well as some who focused on unusual but delicious international foods.
Our favorite item was a milk ice cream cone from a European desert stand. We expected vanilla ice cream, but ended up being a cup of soft serve with a slightly sour taste instead of an overly sweet taste, just like the difference between milk and vanilla. It came with a layer of fruit loops on the bottom and top to really seal the deal! Unexpectedly delicious, we ended up going back for a second round.
The indoor theme park also has sit down restaurants and foods familiar to visitors like hot dogs and pizzas. I’m confident you’ll find something you want to eat at the park, and the prices were much cheaper than is typical for theme parks in North America!
The Good and Bad of Lotte World Adventure
Let me break it down into the absolute best and worst of Lotte World so you can really decide if you want to make the trip.
- It’s a unique park you’ll have bragging rights to having visited
- Some fun rides
- Good, unique food
- Great spots for Instagram photos
- Low height requirements for families
- Really, really crowded. This unique place attracts a ton of visitors and waiting 2+ hours for a low-key attraction may not be worth the bragging rights.
- Terrible app
- Mostly small rides, since it’s a small space
- 2nd and 3rd floors are very confusing
Planning your own trip to Lotte World Adventure while in Seoul, Korea? Pin this article for later!