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Everland Christmas

November 11, 2009

After having taken a trip to Everland, one of Seoul’s many themeparks, for Halloween, we decided to go again on our Veteran’s Day holiday. The kids and husband had the Wednesday off and, as everyone knows, going to themeparks on weekdays is usually awesome.As expected, the crowds were very light and the weather wasn’t too cold.

We even got to enjoy some the beautiful fall colors of some changing trees. It was a great trip.

For the Halloween celebration, we found the decorations to be outstanding. It was the biggest and best Halloween display I’ve seen anywhere in Korea or Japan so far. Since Halloween was so impressive, we thought the Christmas scene would be equally wonderful.However, It wasn’t as good. It was still very nice, but clearly the effort of decorating for Halloween was far superior.

The kids didn’t seem to notice any lack of decorations. They were just thrilled and hyper about being there.

There were a few rides we missed from our previous visit so we hit those first. “Go! Africa” was the first stop on our list. The entrance to the exhibit was so cool. The sculpted animals had this look to them that made it hard to tell if it was 2D or 3D.

I thought Go! Africa was going to be a ride, but instead it was a walk-through exhibit with lots of insects, reptiles and animals. It was actually quite interesting and the pose-with-it displays were the biggest hit with the kids.

The funniest thing was when we got to the penguin exhibit, and I heard my 7-year-old sounding out the words on the sign, “Jack-ass-penguin.” She read it and then was like, “uh oh!” It was so funny. Apparently the Jackass Penguins are only found on the south-western coast of Africa and were given this name because they have a donkey-like braying call. However, when several species of South American penguins were found to make a similar sound, the Jackass Penguin was renamed the African Penguin since it’s the only penguin species that breeds in Africa. I think any US zoo would likely refer to them by their “reformed” name, don’t you?

On the way out of the Africa exhibit we were also greeted by the African Wild Ass and sounding out the words on the sign, again took place, followed by another “uh oh” reaction. So funny.

In the US we love to collect pressed pennies. We usually stop whenever we see a machine and make a memento. In Asia, you can find machines similar to the US variety, however, there are no copper pennies in Asia. So, the medallion machines get around this obstacle by providing a piece of copper with your purchase. It doesn’t have the cool Lincoln head on the back, but it’s still pretty neat. This particular machine made us laugh with its assertion of being an “original MADAL maker.”

Next I took my younger daughters to ride the pony and camel while C and Dad went on the “Tallest Wooden Roller Coaster in the World.” I’m not sure if it was the word “tallest” or the word “wooden,” but something about its name did not fill me with confidence so I conveniently managed to skip that ride.

We passed an interesting looking exhibit called Canine Village. It looked like perhaps dogs were the talent here, but at the time, it appeared closed. We’ll have to go check that out another time. It reminded me of the dog theme park in Japan that we visited. It was called Wan-Nyan World. “Wan” is the sound a dog makes in Japan, and “nyan” is the sound a cat makes. Cute, huh?

We made our way, next, over to the parade viewing area. We were so blown away by the extravagant Halloween parade that I was sure this was going to be just as wonderful. Again, it wasn’t nearly as elaborate, but it didn’t disappoint. The costumes at Everland are amazing. So much detail goes into each one and they’re all unique. I’m sure they would make a good study topic for a fashion school student.

The best part of the parade was when Santa and Mrs. Claus came around in their float and then stopped right in front of us to come down and greet the children. My 3-year-old was delighted beyond words. Santa actually came up and gave her a special hug and then passed out Hershey Miniature chocolate bars to all the kids in the area. It was so sweet.

“Oh my gosh! Santa just hugged me and gave me CHOCOLATE!!!”

My middle daughter was thrilled when she and Kiki were selected to go forward and dance in a circle with the parade performers.

Aesop’s Village is one of the themed sections of Everland so many of Aesop’s characters came out for the parade.

With the elaborate floats and costumes, we were still impressed with the festive parade and the Christmas tunes. Living in Asia, we sometimes miss the big hullabaloo of Christmas in the US. It’s nice to get a taste of that here in Asia, but still be able to avoid the over-commercialization of a US Christmas.

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