Seoul Land Amusement Park, Korea's First Theme Park

It seems like American theme parks have existed forever. Disneyland came to be in 1955, and parks like Coney Island have been around over 100 years. But other countries don't have such a rich heritage.

Seoul Land opened in 1988, just in time for the Olympics. It's located a bit outside of town, in Gwacheon, but it's easily accessed via the city's subway network. 
 For a park that's 25 years old, it looks pretty good. I visited over the New Year's holidays so they had the winter decorations out.
 I don't recall a horse-drawn pumpkin being a part of Christmas traditions, but what do I know?
 The main entry promenade has some nicely themed buildings that look like they're kept up pretty well.
 Traditional pagodas, Christmas trees, and geodesic domes. Interesting combination.
 The park tries to take a bit from several different cultures; as Korea's first park it could have themes from everywhere. I think they visited Six Flags and Epcot.
 Or maybe they visited a Paramount Park. I remember the Smurf Village at Great America in Santa Clara, California as a child.
 There are rides here, and they were almost all open by about 11:00 despite the cold. Flying carpet, anyone?
 Should this remind me of Holland or Golden Gate Park in San Francisco?
 I didn't go in the Tilt House.
 Most of the rides are pretty tame. This is an old park and is mostly designed for younger visitors, in a country which doesn't have very many big rides to begin with.
 UFO! There were arcade games and I think a restaurant inside. Or perhaps an attraction.
 This one was okay; none of the coasters were painful. The Double Loop Coaster here was the first ride I got on.
 Across the way was a coaster called Crazy Mouse. It seems like it runs on old track from a coaster that goes upside down, and the seats are similar too, but it uses individual cars and has been rethemed with animals on each car.
 Zeppelin is another tame ride, and X-Flyer in the background was fun but a bit uncomfortable due to the restraints.
 Hi Roller was closed, possibly for the winter, but it requires two riders per car anyway and I would have been flying solo. I've been on one before and it's a pretty crazy ride!
 Rudolph 2 Loop Coaster is a simple kids coaster, but that didn't stop me from riding to get the credit.
 Another view of the Wild Mouse in action. Note how low the car sits on the track.
 This looked like fun. So many awesome things are at theme parks that I never had the opportunity to try as a kid! Of course, with the snow, it wouldn't have been so fun.
 The park has about 40 attractions but with light crowds I was able to go on everything I wanted fairly quickly.
 This photo has it all: a castle on a mountain, tanks, a mountain, and It. The Dragon Tank is an upcharge attraction.
 I don't think the seats on this ride are as uncomfortable as It, though.
 This is Kiddy Coaster. It, too, has a mouse head on the front, and it, too, was pretty tame. But you have to get your money's worth, right?
 Especially when the log flume is frozen over.
There's also Pirata, a giant swinging ship, and Top Spin, which claims to put you head over heels seven times during the ride.

In the summer, the park opens its pool, and in the winter they have snow sledding.

I'd really like to find time to get back here on a future visit when it's warmer, if crowds remain pretty light at least.

Seoul Land is found at Seoul Grand Park, a large public area that also includes Seoul Zoo, an art museum, and a large lake. Take Line 4 to Seoul Grand Park Station, and use Exit 2. Head straight along the wide walkway in the parking lot. When you reach the large building, you can walk left around the loop road to get to the park (it's a bit of a walk) or take the Elephant train (for a fee) - the train goes counter-clockwise so you'll stop at the zoo first.

The park usually opens at 9:30, closing sometime between 17:30 and 22:00 depending on the season and day of the week. Admission only is 20,000 won (about $20) and an all-day ride pass with admission is 36,000 won ($36).

There's a small discount for those arriving after 5 PM; if you're planning on staying only a few hours and don't need daylight for photos that could be a good idea. But it's been my experience that crowds pick up when discount admission begins.

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