A little over a week ago we decided to check out Everland since some people from our book club were going and also Dana and Curtis were going to be there. We figured we could enjoy the Flower Festival and check out some rides and bounce between the various people we knew. We only had a vague idea of how to find the bus to take us there and as it turned out, it's near Jamsil station but at an exit and street we hadn't explored before. Finally we managed to make it on the bus but it was jam packed and we had to stand for the entire trip. Boo! To top it off, traffic was really crazy so the bus ride lasted even longer than we thought.
We made it though! And it was a beautiful day! A bit overcast but really warm so it was nice not to have the sun blaring on us (although it made my pictures look a bit washed out).
Holy Dinah was it packed! We quickly ate some sub par amusement park food (and chatted with some giggly middle school students while waiting in line) and met up briefly with Dana, Curtis and a couple of their co-workers. Then we were off to try and find some of our book club people. We got a bit lost so by the time we arrived at the ride that we were planning to go on with them I think they were already somewhere lost in the massive line. We lined up anyway.
And what a line it was. Crazy!!! I don't think I would survive at a place like Disneyland because it's so boring and frustrating waiting in a huge line. And the line was deceiving too since you couldn't see all the segments of it once you got into the building. Bah! We were really bored and took a million pictures of each other. Also a few of the way too cute couple behind us in line. Hehe!
Finally we managed to make it on our first ride of the day, a couple hours after we arrived at Everland. It was fun (I think it was called the Eagle's Nest or something... It was a roller coaster) and we decided to jump in line at the big ships since they had only a 20 minute waiting time as opposed to 90 minutes like most of the other rides. Unfortunately, even though we sat closer to the middle of the ship Matt still ended up feeling a bit queasy afterwards.
Here are a couple of amusing things we saw at Everland. First, look closely at this menu:
You've got your usual beverage choices (at the fast food burger place we ate lunch at) but you can also get canned beer. Nice. You can just wander around anywhere here drinking beer.
Next we stalked this poor girl and finally worked up the nerve to ask to take her picture. She didn't speak any English was extremely puzzled and confused but I think you can see why we wanted her picture. I saw this shirt in the store last year and now we know that people actually bought them.
Lastly, look at the extremely Gothic Gift shop. I'm sure somewhere Marilyn Manson is crying off his eyeliner thinking about how Gothic is perceived in Korea. Hahah. Look at those bad ass teddy bears and hardcore pink presents.
After going on the big ship ride we tried to hook up with some of our friends. This is when a lot of things went not so good. Dana and her friends were waiting in line in the zoo area of the park to go on the safari ride. They said that if we went down there we could jump into line with them and save some time. We'd been carrying around our stuff in a backpack and around this point Matt decided to take his coat out of the bag. Remember this detail for later. So we pushed through the crowd and tried to find the zoo area. Everland is huge and is really hilly so this was so easy task. We wandered through some weird monkey and bird area and then finally found the general vicinity of the ride our friends were standing in line for. However, it was obvious we couldn't just push through and jump line. So that was a total bust.
We then wandered over to check out the line at the new giant wooden roller coaster, the T-Express, and to try and reserve a seat for later (they let you do that on some of the rides here). However the line was the most impressive thing I have ever seen in my entire life. It started so far away and was so winding and crazy that I thought for sure people were lining up for something totally different. The line was so long that they weren't allowing people to reserve seats and on top of that, they weren't even posting how long the wait was to get on the ride! Insanity!
We decided to try and meet up with Mitzi, from our book club since Dana and Curtis were on the safari thing and also because they don't really like rides (motion sickness) and I do. On the way to meeting Mitzi we stopped to watch part of the crazy Flower Parade. This is when I noticed my batteries were low. No problem! I always pack spare ones in my camera case! So I asked Matt to get them out of the backpack for me. The camera case (with my other 2 rechargeable batteries and a blank [thankfully] 2 GB memory card in it) was no where to be found. I was tired, hot, sick of pushing past billions of people and I'd been at Everland for hours and still only managed to get on two measly rides. Now this. It would be an understatement to say I was not a happy camper.
We tried to retrace our steps but this was also difficult because of the crowds and all the alternate ways to get around the park. I am quite positive the case fell out of the bag when Matt got his coat since I had used the case just before that and the backpack hadn't been opened up since then. I felt like going home at this point. Even though there as a slight chance we would find it (Koreans are really honest and on our way we saw numerous lost things set up on fences and garbage cans waiting for their owners to claim them). When Matt asked at the burger place we ate it if anyone returned a camera case they even had one! However, it was a massive case for one of the huge, expensive cameras that people lug around here and not ours. Matt went to the lost and found and left our contact information and I wish this could be one of those happy stories were I got back my stuff but unfortunately we still haven't heard anything and I'm not too optimistic that we ever will.
After pouting and feeling sorry for myself for a good length of time we finally hooked up with Mitzi and a couple of her friends. I really think we should have just found her in the very beginning. Even though we don't know her well, she is just a really lovely, thoughtful and positive person. She'd also been to Everland a number of times (since she works really close by) and therefore was a fantastic guide. As a result we managed to go on many more rides and had a much better time. I'm glad we didn't leave after the camera debacle because this would have been a really sour review of Everland.
We told Mitzi about the ridiculous line for the T-Express and she suggested we try to line up while the final parade was going on since people would be watching that and also a lot of people would be going home (since the sun had just set). Well I am glad we listened to her because the line was a fraction of what it had be and it moved really quickly! I was so excited. She also suggested we sit at the very back of the roller coaster. Wow, I have to say that was the best ride I've ever been on. I'd been on a wooden roller coaster before in Vancouver but this one was amazing! Just before we went down the first drop I literally thought "Oh crap, I have to get off of this ride or I will die". Some may say that's crazy but I thought it was thrilling.
So the day wasn't a complete disaster and I would return to Everland, however maybe on a slightly rainy day or something. The best part is, Mitzi loves going on rides so I think I may have finally found a ride buddy since all of my friends are either wussy or motion sick. Or motion sick wussies. And we didn't have to take the bus back because Mitzi's friend drove us to the subway in her car. Ahssa! Check out our pictures here.