Gyeongju World TR

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Gyeongju World TR

Postby Garet » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:26 am

So last weekend I suddenly decided to do something I never usually do. I visited a park on a Saturday in Fall, a time when my local park Everland has waits of 90 minutes even for some of the flat rides. I found out I had a free Saturday around 11 PM on Friday. After debating driving or taking the train and with tolls and gas finding the times and price around the same, I decided to head out at 4 AM to Seoul Station to catch a 5 AM train.

I honestly enjoyed Gyeongju World way more than I thought. It has a very nice ride line-up that probably matches Lotte World and Everland (although those parks do offer more to see and do when you're in the park) and the park seems to go out of its way to put a lot more theming into places than you'd expect of a park this size. 2 things really surprised me on this trip, 1: Even looking at some of TPR's old reviews, I didn't realize how compact the park is. There's a lot of rides considering how quickly you can walk from one side of the park to the other.

I apologize that this one is going to be a bit weird and a bit rambling 2: For such a park with such an impressive line-up compared to other Korean parks, it weirdly almost felt like the park is just there to nab a few tourists from the many hotels surrounding it who are already in the area and not at all interested in really advertising or competing on a bigger stage.

I took a transfer train to the old station which is only 9KM from the park as opposed to the bullet train station which is 1hour 40 mins by bus away and couldn't find any signs pointing me to the bus needed at the 3 road intersection. I know enough Korean to ask and found a bus but this continued when I got to the park. This may be the only park where I haven't seen any merchandise for the park. Not even a pencil or key chain.

Even the operations and waiting signposts made me think it's used to not too many visitors. I started queuing for Phantheon at the 60-minute marker sign. They were only running 1 train (I found out later there is only 1 train for that ride) about every 6-8 minutes and I was constantly getting queue jumped by people who were going back to the snack stands for their buddies so that I barely moved and considered leaving what I assumed would be a miserable queue. About 20 minutes in of barely moving and suddenly in the building, I already hit a 10-minute waiting point and there was the station which was a very pleasant surprise. This happened a lot that day, I'd constantly find queues that were way overstated or rides like Klake that run super long ride cycles for park rides. Draken was stacking on the brake run for every train and that 60-minute line took me maybe 35 on all my rides.

Nearly all the food in the park was quick serve and fast food. I kind of thought the main middle food court was kind of funny, it was ramyeon noodles with a markup price where you chose the brand you wanted and they just took it out the packet, sprinkled the sauce for you and then sent you off to the hot water dispensers dotted around the area.

I know that sounds negative but it just struck me as interesting that the park potentially runs slower than the amount of staff running the day I was there. I loved the park way more than I thought I would and am just surprised that, among Korean travelers, it doesn't seem to get much recognition compared to Lotte World or Everland. I think the new rides flesh out the park nicely but if you visit on a weekday you can still probably do the park and some re-rides in a half day and check out some of the surrounding temples and monuments.

Some things I did love about the park that I wasn't expecting was all the rides had photo zones and looking platforms right against the rides where you could get great photos or watch your friends ride. Such a nice little touch. I also loved the Korean trust mentality. Phantheon constantly crossed the paths but there is no netting since they just assume people won't be idiots and even though you can pay for just entry without riding, almost none of the rides checked wristbands to slow down the queue. They just trusted you were not abusing the system.

Anyway onto the TR. Anyone who has seen my previous TR's know that on my first visit to any park, I tend to do a park index style post for most of the rides in the park that run 2-3 posts, so as always thanks for sticking through to the end.
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On arrival to the park. For anyone who worries about crowds you can probably get there just before opening and be OK. The ticket booths opened with the park and even when I got there early, there was only about 10 people per line by the time opening came around.
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The park seemed have quite a few flumes for it's water park, even though it's got a really tiny area to the side of the park.
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I wasn't expecting so much themeing for their main street. Most of these buildings were either just convenience stores or arcades. The one gift shop carried generic toys and stuffed animals you can find at any store.
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Another themed building on main street.
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Entering the main plaza. The whole park is nicely kept and looked really pretty in the fall.
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What I came all this way for. It had a big sign saying they would be block testing for 30 minutes so I went off to get some pictures of the area.
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The entrance to Draken Valley complete with a metal dragon.
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So the area went through a few changes from an Alpine Village to Norse Mythology to Draken Valley in the design phase so I'll try my best to some up the story from the pre-show videos. Peter...err.... Peter Pixie (minus Tinkerbell although no-one told this sculptor) is summoned by Ghost Odin (who died in some Norse Wars) to put on his Infinity Gauntlet and search out the elemental powers to add to his gauntlet. Ice from by the alpine slides, fire from Krake etc. The last power he needs is the one ring to rule them all guarded by a dragon.
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With block testing complete, I headed over to Draken.
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I really love this entrance way, the dragon is an amazingly detailed bit of scenery.
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Surprisingly, with all that big entranceway this was the only ride sign I could find.
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I'm not too familiar with dive machines but I think this is a Griffon clone with smaller trains and the second vertical drop changed to just a very steep drop instead.
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This splash-down was really cold at night with the wind blowing it back into the riders. Hopefully they drain it in the winter since this park runs all year round.
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You can see hints of the plans for old Norse realms themeing before they settled on Draken Valley
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This was my first time riding one of these. Not too sure I have a need to ride one again anytime soon.
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Klake is the last ride of the new area. They're quite proud of this logo. It's on the control booth, the main ride and painted under the floor so you'll see it as you ride.
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I rode this after Dragon Race and it had picked up quite a line. Next time it may be my first ride of the day by the end of the day it had the longest line of the park.
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I enjoyed it, but for reasons I'm not quite sure of, I find frisbee rides doing the pendulum swing a bit more fun than these 360 versions.
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It had a long ride cycle with 3 flips each way once it got to the top. There was a lot of hang-time to be had. The only weird thing was the ride almost shudders when it goes over the top. You can hear it when queuing and feel it vibrate a bit in the seats riding.
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This nicely themed building turned out to be housing a Dunkin Donuts. This wraps up the new area Draken Valley so now i'll move onto the older areas of the park.
Last edited by Garet on Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:08 am.

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Re: Gyeonju World TR

Postby Garet » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:26 am

Part 2
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The first ride you'll hit outside Draken Valley is probably the ferris wheel.
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I think this may have actually been my first big wheel I've ridden in Korea. Everland's is SBNO and Children's park removed theirs before I ever visited.
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You can see a few of the tourist sites just outside of the park.
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The wheel gives you a nice view of Draken from the top.
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Looking over towards the park of the park i'd be heading to next.
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This seemed quite tame after the extremely aggressive versions you see in the night life area or arcades in some of the Korean cities.
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Heading over to my next ride I was here for.
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The park wants you to notice this ride so it has 2 big entrance signs.
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Again for such a little park, they go all out on their theming of the buildings.
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Even the wheel covers got some theming
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i think this was the only piece of netting I saw. Apart from that, the ride flies over the paths with the park trusting people aren't idiots and stowed their belongings in the station.
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I've only been on 4 of these rides before this one. Nemesis, Montu, Raptor and Nemesis Inferno. It didn't really compared to those first three but it was much better than Nemesis Inferno to me (a low bar I know)
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Heading over to my next ride.
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I don't know why but apart from giant drop towers like Blue Fall. I prefer these to the Intamin towers I've been on. The drop feels more aggressive and more forceful to me.
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Last edited by Garet on Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:10 am.

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Re: Gyeonju World TR

Postby Garet » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:26 am

Final part
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I don't know how I missed the rapids ride on my first walk around considering it had not 1 entrance sign.....
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....not two....
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.... but three signs.
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On your canyon adventure, you will see dinosaurs...
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... old wooden buildings...
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...water guns...
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...rapids....
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...Indians and a drowning man.
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This ended up being the only ride I didn't ride. I had a return train and it was re-riding both roller-coasters or riding this and choosing one of them.
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This seemed to be an upcharge so I ended up carrying on walking.
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For what was only 10C weather the water rides were packed.
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The flume was quite hard to photograph. This was taken from the photo zone.
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This old roller coaster is now a backdrop to become a highly themed smoking area.
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This ride was insanely popular for the cold weather, considering how soaked you got.
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Again the park really tried to theme up what could have easily just been a generic ride.
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The park must be making a fortune selling these ponchos. Every rider was buying one and bags to cover their shoes.
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I briefly entertained riding...
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...until I saw the wave...
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... You couldn't even see Phatheon's lift hill behind it. I've seen some parks drain or lower the water to reduce the splash. I remember going to USJ and getting lightly sprinkled on Jurassic Park and Splash Mountain at TDL in weather like this. Gyeongju World doesn't seem interested in doing that.
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There's a boat in there somewhere.
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I ended my day with one last ride on Draken.
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Since the queue was longer I had a lot of time to stand under the dragon.
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With the sun starting to set, I headed out of the park for my bus, two trains and a 40 minute drive home. I will definitely be back to visit this park again.

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Re: Gyeonju World TR

Postby Canobie Coaster » Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:12 am

Great report!

Someday I'll make it to Korea and Gyeongju World looks like a really nice park. I haven't heard too much about Phaethon. Sounds like it isn't crazy forceful considering it's a newer invert, but that helix leading into the corkscrew does look unique.

As for the drop tower, I rode one that looked really similar at a local carnival and it probably had the most intense drop of any I've ridden.
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Re: Gyeonju World TR

Postby coasterBro » Tue Nov 06, 2018 11:17 am

Garet wrote: I took a transfer train to the old station which is only 9KM from the park as opposed to the bullet train station which is 1hour 40 mins by bus away and couldn't find any signs pointing me to the bus needed at the 3 road intersection. I know enough Korean to ask and found a bus but this continued when I got to the park. This may be the only park where I haven't seen any merchandise for the park. Not even a pencil or key chain.


It only took me about 45mins on a bus from the bullet train station to the park, and it was easy to find right out in front of the train station (there wasn't any Gyeongju World signage for it, but I knew what bus number I needed). The bus stop was maybe a block or so from the park. I took a taxi back from Bulguksa Temple to the bullet train station, and that only took around 25mins and maybe $40.

I'm not sure where you were looking for park merchandise, but I know they have tons of Gyeongju World branded stuff (everything from notepads & pens to towels and umbrellas and ponchos to eclectic stuff like clocks and manicure sets and USB flash drives). Not sure about shirts/hats/magnets/keychains though. I actually found Everland and Lotte World to be much more lacking in park-branded merch.
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Re: Gyeonju World TR

Postby jedimaster1227 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:21 pm

The theming in this park is really great and the ride lineup looks pretty nice too! Thanks for sharing this great report!
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Re: Gyeonju World TR

Postby PKI Jizzman » Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:59 pm

Ahhh Phaethon! I love the layout, I'd really love to check it out some day. Thanks for the review and so many lovely photos.

go go Phaethon!
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Re: Gyeonju World TR

Postby larrygator » Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:09 pm

Thanks for filling some gaps in the Park Index
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Re: Gyeonju World TR

Postby Garet » Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:52 am

coasterBro wrote:It only took me about 45mins on a bus from the bullet train station to the park, and it was easy to find right out in front of the train station (there wasn't any Gyeongju World signage for it, but I knew what bus number I needed). The bus stop was maybe a block or so from the park. I took a taxi back from Bulguksa Temple to the bullet train station, and that only took around 25mins and maybe $40.

I'm not sure where you were looking for park merchandise, but I know they have tons of Gyeongju World branded stuff (everything from notepads & pens to towels and umbrellas and ponchos to eclectic stuff like clocks and manicure sets and USB flash drives). Not sure about shirts/hats/magnets/keychains though. I actually found Everland and Lotte World to be much more lacking in park-branded merch.


Good to know, both the official site and Naver (Korean Google) told me to allow about 90 minutes travel time and with plenty of trains to the old station, I figured being only 9KM away was a safer bet to rush back for a train. I ended up taking the bus and I know it sounds silly but until my son goes to pre-school and my wife works again, the difference between a $40 taxi and a $10 taxi is enough for me to take my son out somewhere on my next free day, which is all the difference to me.

The site only lists a single souvenir shop and that's all that I could find in the park: https://www.gjw.co.kr/Contents/contents.php?cmsNo=DB0400/view/57 Even the site talks more about how it has hello kitty teddies than merchandise. The store was mostly generic toys at the back, themed headbands at the front and a bunch of Gyeongju temple/city souvenirs that are at all the tourist sites here.

larrygator wrote:Thanks for filling some gaps in the Park Index

Your welcome. Just FYI Space Tour and Space 2000 have closed down, Draken is open and the Octopus ride has also been removed.

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Re: Gyeonju World TR

Postby thedlr » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:03 am

So... not sure how comparable this is, but when we did a day trip to Gyeongju, I spent a little too much time taking photos at Anapji. So to make sure we caught our train, we took a taxi from there to Singyeongju and we negotiated 10,000 KRW with the driver. Then again, the meter still only showed maybe 11-12,000, so I just gave him full fare.

Anyway, great photos! Thanks for the TR.

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