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NEWS: Merlin announces agreement to open LEGOLAND Korea


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Merlin Entertainment has announced that they have entered into an agreement to open a new LEGOLAND Park in South Korea!

 

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https://bit.ly/2QoN5pD

 

Merlin Entertainments (“Merlin”), a global leader in location-based entertainment, today confirms that it has entered into a partnership agreement with the Gangwon Provincial Government to build a LEGOLAND Park in South Korea, scheduled to open by 2022.

 

LEGOLAND Korea will be situated upon the island of Hajungdo in Chuncheon, located approximately one hour’s journey east of Seoul and within a 2-hour drive time of nearly 24 million people. The fullscale theme park resort will also incorporate a fully themed LEGOLAND Hotel upon opening. It will employ 1,600 people and is expected to provide an economic boost to the city of Chuncheon and the surrounding region.

 

The total cost of the resort, including the on-site accommodation, is expected to be KRW 290 billion (£205 million1). Merlin will invest KRW 210 billion (£148 million) into the development of the resort, which will be fully owned and operated by Merlin.

 

The remaining funding of KRW 80 billion (£56 million) will come from LL Developments, the investment arm of Gangwon Province. Additionally the funding for necessary additional infrastructure adjacent to the resort will be provided by national, regional and local governments.

 

It will be Merlin’s tenth LEGOLAND Park, following LEGOLAND New York’s scheduled opening in 2020. Merlin is also in advanced discussions with third parties about a number of sites for LEGOLAND Parks in China and continues to see opportunity for 20 LEGOLAND Parks around the world, over time.

 

Nick Varney, Merlin’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “It’s been long in gestation, but I’m delighted that we are now in a position to move forward with opening LEGOLAND Korea Resort. We know Koreans love theme parks and love LEGO, and together with the Gangwon authorities, we have already established an attractive and well-connected site in Chuncheon. We look forward to accelerating progress with our partners who have contributed significantly with funding and infrastructural support, and to welcoming our first guests to LEGOLAND Korea Resort.

 

We remain excited about the potential of LEGOLAND Parks, the roll out of which is a strategic growth driver for

Merlin, and we continue to look at opportunities for further sites around the world.”

 

As part of the ongoing relationship, the Korean Government, Gangwon Province and Chuncheon City have already invested in the construction of a new bridge to Hajungdo island and undertaken groundworks on the site. Further retail and complementary leisure offerings are planned as part of the island’s overall development.

 

The LEGO brand was introduced to South Korea in 1984 and quickly established itself as one of the country’s best loved toy brands. The LEGO brand is a market leader and South Korea has developed to become LEGO Group’s third largest market in Asia Pacific.

 

Merlin also operates a SEA LIFE Centre in Busan, South Korea.

 

1 Based upon a KRW/GBP exchange rate of 1418 as at 03 January 2019.

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation

(EU) No 596/2014.

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Interesting location, although not much seems to have changed from the previous times it's been announced (i think even that promo picture is still the same one) There are not any parks in that area so it will have very little competition and the area is really popular in the late spring-early fall. I visited Nami Island which isn't too far from here. A lot of K-drama fans go out there for the island and it's well known for being able to zip-line to get to the island (a small bungee jump tower was there too.) Around Chuncheon there are those inflatable water playgrounds on the lakes all too or water sports on powerboats too. Lots of people do weekends and stay in the pensions so I can easily see people turning their second day in the countryside into a Legoland trip.

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  • 1 year later...

Not really news worthy since it was a minor fire but posting since you can see the construction progress in the background.

 

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At 8:32 am on the 6th, a fire inside the building inside the construction site of the Lego Land Theme Park in Jungdo-dong, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon-do, went out in 1 hour and 20 minutes.

It is known that the fire was built as a two-story, sandwich-panel structure building as an office building.

The fire department said, "A large amount of black smoke was emitted on the first floor of the theme park construction site, and the firefighting was completed by putting 17 equipment and 42 personnel, such as a special rescue team,".

Workers who were working inside the building were evacuated immediately after the fire, and fortunately, there was no human injury.

However, since it was a sandwich panel structure, it was difficult to evolve as heavy equipment was put in and dismantled.

At that time, paintwork was underway inside the building, the fire department said.

The police and fire departments are investigating the cause of the fire against the workers involved in the work.

 

Firefighters extinguish a fire at the construction site of Legoland in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, on Dec. 6, 2020.

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  • 9 months later...

Legoland will one May 5th 2022.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=179832737618687

 

This day is a public holiday in Korea called Children's day, where people are given the day off to treat the kids and so is typically one of the busiest days of the year for theme parks. I know there'll be a week or two of soft opening, but for the first day day of full operations to be one of the busiest days of the year is extremely brave.

 

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  • 7 months later...

Alright, show of hands.  Who else here would drive up, see that line, and immediately turn around and find something else to do?  Just me?

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  • 1 month later...

Going to post this here instead of making a new thread since it's not really a full TR since I was mostly there with my son and although we rode most things I didn't photograph a lot of the park since it was mainly a father-son day out but I'll do my best to structure it as a TR.

 

I'm not usually a first kind of person and will usually wait off opening hype, we'd heard enough stories of the park being quiet that we decided opening hype had died down and we'd go out before the hotel and factory ride opened and could potentially lead to a busier park. It's worth noting as of writing the Factory Ride had it's first operational day today (29th June) and the hotel is scheduled to open on Friday (1st July.)

We'd heard a lot of negative things but I think a lot of it is just people not knowing what to expect from Legoland or who it is owned by. One of the biggest complaints we've heard is how childish the park is and how older children are bored. Personally, I expected Legoland to be aimed at children but I kind of get the point whereas most have 1 or 2 rides you could argue are for bigger kids this Legoland does seem the most full of young children rides out of all the parks. The other complaints we heard was pricing for parking and photos. $18 was parking but even I winced when my son begged me for a $28 ride photo.

At least for my son, the only negatives for him were that despite the park advertising multiple meet and greet areas on the site, in reality, there is only one scheduled and it's park opening on main street. By time we made it through the ticked booth, they'd already cut the line off and that was the only chance for the whole park. No later meets and none in other areas such as Ninjago or Lego Movie characters etc.

The other one was the Ninjago ride seems to be up and down constantly. The doors got shut just as we reached the entrance on the first time, second time we got to station platform and had to leave (but got a skip the ride pass at least) and 3rd time as we were about to board I joked to my son if it breaks down at least we're in the air con..... and it broke down, but at least we made it on eventually.

Thankfully a 10 minute breakdown let us skip an hour since Wave Racers and Coast Guard Academy seemed to be the busiest rides of the park, never dropping lower than a 40 minute wait. We ended up using the queue pass we got for the Coast Guard Academy because loading was painfully slow for that and the line really crawled and never really died down compared to the other rides. My son knew I wanted to try out the Wave Racers and was willing to use them there but I knew he'd been eyeing up driving the boats all day and he was already tired. I figured we'll be back pretty soon to try the factory ride and at least the Wave Racer line moves compared to the Academy. Kind of bummed since it looked like a fun ride but dad points over being an enthusiast any-day.

Anyway, despite hearing negative things, we had a fantastic day and will be back soon.

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Although there is a shuttle bus from the car-park, it's really not a long walk. The only weird thing is you have to walk past signs and protesters who are angry that the park was built on an old historical ground.

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The hotel opening July 1st although at $800-$1000 rooms it can be pretty pricey.

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Lines were pretty manageable all day. The park is pretty compact and you're never more than 10 minutes walking distance from any attraction.

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The Duplo area is thankfully shaded considering even in early June it was 32C heat.

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It wouldn't be Legoland without funky figures all around the park.

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Instructions said " Stack a skyscraper and shake it! Send your bricks flying thru the skies..." So we did. And got told off for making it too high and making the bricks fly onto the ground.... lol
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Turns out toddlers aren't too cooperative when you want to wait for the ride vehicle for your picture so here's an empty tower.11.thumb.JPG.2c1dc9c322e997fe2d35f59ca564eba0.JPG
Quite a few playgrounds around the park. With the heat it's kind of a shame one like this couldn't have been a water playground though.

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My son had been quite excited about this one before we arrived at the park. I think I underestimated how much physical labor there would be with me being the only one pumping for him

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This one had digital screen for the fire as opposed to holes in the wall from my trips years ago to Legoland Windsor.

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We'd heard horror stories about multi hour waits for the Driving School because this was the only one in the world that let adults also ride meaning a lot of people riding. At least, for the day we visited, and I presume from then on, they'd changed it to match the other parks and have it be children only and as soon as whole families couldn't ride it became walk-on all day.

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Apologies to the staff. I wasn't allowed in so I never saw what the safety video said but my son took it VERY seriously and didn't bring the car back when the ride finished because, and I quote: "The traffic lights all went red and you can't go through a red light!" despite the staff telling him it was OK to go through the reds. I don't think he was too popular when the ride was in moti0n either and he would stop for the lights forcing the other kids around him to blow through the light.

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The Ninjago ride apparently can been up and down a lot on most days. My son was excited for this one so he got a little bummed that it broke down a 3rd time on him. I want to say the staff were fantastic, although he was waiting calmly on the 3rd time on the platform, disappointment was all over his face and one of the staff brought him a Lego Ninjago mini-figure which really meant a lot to him. He got his ride in the end and was extremely happy, on the one hand I'm glad he got his ride but I would have been more than happy to sit in the air-con, and get another queue pass for an outdoor ride and try for a 4th time.

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3rd time lucky, we eventually made it onto the ride. As an enthusiast being evacced to me is a cool way to see the ride, but I forget how confusing it must be for young children to have the ride stop on the track and screens turn off, even with lights on and having to wait 5-10 minutes for someone to get t you. Since this was the 3rd time and it was on his mind what would happen if he was on when "it was broken" I explained to my son what was happening in case and to prepare him but it backfired because a week later he had a bad dream where he was trapped on a ride.

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The apple fries are also located in this area of the park as Kai's Apple Fries.

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Some shots of the Korea themed Mini-Land. There were a few more exhibits but I was too busy keeping an eye on my son to snap pictures. He wasn't too interested in models he couldn't physically touch and check out.

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The Legoland Factory ride opened today but wasn't open on our visit but here it is on the backside of the hotel.

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The whole park is located on an island just outside the city.

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A look towards the back of the park and the car-park.

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The Ninjago area, and Pirate Splash Battle although strangely the Ninjago live theater is not in this area.

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Unlike other parks, adults are allowed to ride on the horses here.

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I never got this credit. Mu son kept trying to build up the courage, but I could see he was very hesitant. I'd rather ride it later when he's 100% ready than now and him have an awful experience.

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The full Korean Mini Land.

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And I'll round out this TR with some pictures from the peak of the Legoland Lookout ride. Hopefully, if somehow all my clients cancel the same day again (which can happen on a Friday when they're all from the same company) we'll be back out to the park in the next month or two to try out the Factory Ride and then hopefully I can finally try out a Wave Racers ride as well.

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  • 1 month later...

Couple of mini updates now Legoland is fully open and operational and since we popped by the park:

I took my wife with me to get her opinion why Koreans haven't taken to the park to much when Lego is so popular here. Every town has many 'Lego Cafes' where you pay a per hour price and then can pick any of the Lego sets and go to a table and make them so it isn't like the brand isn't big here.
I think weirdly being an enthusiast, especially one from the UK, has made my expectations lower. It's a Merlin park and pretty much comes with what you'd expect from that so I walk away with expectations met. Whereas as my wife pointed out, Koreans are used to places like Lotte World, Seoul Land, and Everland, where for the same price you get 10-12 hours in the park but they all come with parades, night shows, photo ops with characters  (Legoland despite having many on the app in actuality only has one brief meet and greet at opening) , gardens to take photos etc.

It seems Legoland seems to get targeted a lot in the news from accusations of unfair contracts in getting the park builtrides being evacced, and expensive costs. The park was dead on our trip which does make for a great visit but with all the negativity Merlin gets compared to the other parks which are owned by big Korean companies, I see it making future companies more hesitant to build here in a country that has been pretty stagnant for new parks and additions.

I touched on this when Shinwha World opened on Jeju island but it also kind of applies to Legoland. Despite the park being in an area that sees a lot of tourists, I think the park suffers from having a high cost that warrants a full day experience in a are that is known and full of cheap drop in for a couple of hours tourist places everywhere. Shinhwa World suffered a lot from this and changed from day tickets to allow people to drop in and pay per ride. Legoland seems to have noticed because they've started running on summer weekends $30 tickets to enter the park from 3pm-7pm and changed the parking lot to a per hour charge.

 

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Final update, the park has now launched it's fastrack tiers priced at $40/$80/$120.

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Protesters are still here despite the park being fully open a while now. You have to walk past them and a lot of signs between the car park and the park.

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Like I mentioned in my previous TR, one of the big complaints about the park was expensive parking. Legoland has now lowered the price and switched to a per hour cost for people who don't want to spend the full day.

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Opening hype and experiences have truly worn off now. Just to give you an idea of how quiet the park was, that was the car park on the day of our visit. Even with only one side of the Wave Racers running, it was walk-on and the Coast Guard Academy was having to pull most of the boats off by 3PM to make room in the station for returning boats because nobody was around to fill the empty ones.

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One of the reasons we visited was to check out the signature dark ride that finally opened. My son loved it which was the main thing, but a lot of the effects were out of sync on the ride. The mini-figure scanner failed to detect people maybe 2 out of 3 rides for my son and wife and refused to recognize my existence at all. The mirror at the end would show our car but show the previous riders which means it was either out of sync also or a weird design choice and some of the videos would start too early. Our first two rides we went into a pitch black room before on the final ride it synced up and we could see we're supposed to be getting shut into a truck for transportation.

My son is very young and I think this ride serves as a perfect introduction to dark-rides/motion based rides and it'll be easier for him to transition to bigger rides like Mystic Manor or Spider-Man/Transformers having been on this and it was a fun ride but I think out of all the motion base dark rides I've done it's my least favorite so far.

The ride also has a huge queue line and is advertised as the parks signature attraction but seemed to be pretty ignored on our visit. We rode throughout the day and not only walked on but the cars that went with us were always devoid of riders as well.


Once again, despite this post being doom and gloom, my son and I had a blast. Corona took from me being  there on his first ever cinema trip but we did the 4D Lego City Police movie and seeing him experience 3D that comes out of the screen for the first time or his delight at the bubbles or getting splashed by a movie as well is a memory I'll treasure. He still loves here and spent maybe 2 hours marathoning the Driving School since there were no crowds so I really hope the park does gain more success as Merlin adjusts to the Korean market/media/expecations.

Yes, we popped by the park on a weekday but friends who went on the weekend also experienced light crowds. Funnily enough the route home always takes us 2KM from Everland, and since we have year passes and it's open until 10PM, we always stop in to eat, catch a few night rides, and the parade and fireworks and that park still pulls in the huge crowds.

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  • 2 months later...

Legoland Korea's First Brick or Treat TR:

 

Short disclaimer: I know lots of other sites have posted about the 'Legoland Shock' as the media have dubbed it and while I usually post the Korean news on TPR, I haven't here and won't be referencing it in this TR after this paragraph. The Korean company that helped in the development of Legoland and went bankrupt was backed by the government and I believe TPR tries to keep politics out of the site. Since the president has commented recently, and the opposition leader has commented today throwing blame I'm erring on the side of caution and won't mention it again unless it starts to actually impact the park. For now I will follow Legoland's official statement which is:

Quote

Legoland Korea Resort, itself separate from the developer, says it is unaffected by the bankruptcy of GJC and remains open.

 

So my son had a great day, bar one serious incident (hopefully someone can answer my question on the Driving School photo below). Despite the fact Everland is 40 minutes from our house and Seoul Land is 55 minutes, we now have yearly passes to Legoland mostly because,he's the perfect age for the park and the only one where he can ride anything, it's now cemented as his favorite and he doesn't mind the 3 hour trip each way to go there (lucky me who does the driving.)

I've talked about this in other TR's but nearly all Korean parks are better to visit on weekends than weekdays and Legoland seems to be falling into that category. Seoul Land alternates certain rides and alternates which big roller-coaster is open each weekday, and Everland can sometimes run half-day shifts on rides in each area, one ride runs mornings and one evenings. Since these parks run until 10PM we sometimes go after school so he's familiar with the phrase 'on the weekend' when asking why a ride he wants is closed.

We've made all our trips on Fridays so far. The first trip near opening, everything was open. The second the park was so dead it made sense to run rides at less capacity. This time however, lines were 40-50 mins across the board but the Wave Racers only ran one side, as did the horse track ride and a bunch of cars for the Driving School were roped off. This is also our first trip since paid fast-passes were introduced, but looking online lines seem to be the only sightly longer and in some cases shorter on Sundays when everything is running.

 


I realize a lot of people skim the text but if anyone can chime in on the Driving School picture I'd appreciate it. It's near the bottom and will probably be the one with a word vomit underneath it.



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Welcome to Legoland Korea's first Brick or Treat. Children friendly Halloween means a lot of pumpkins.

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For all the negativity Legoland Korea gets about the cost, no one seems to mention it's one of the only parks with perks. One thing I'd forgotten after 10 years of Asian passes, is pass-holder benefits! In Asia, when you buy a year pass that's it, the perk is that you're getting in the park for a year cheaper than buying day tickets. There's no pass-holder previews or ERT or benefits. It almost felt weird to be let into a park 30 minutes early before the crowds.

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My son, being a Lego enthusiast, despite most of the headliner rides being open opted to have Miniland to himself and walk around there.

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And take advantage of having the interactive elements to himself.

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Kimchi flavored cola is not something I would buy.

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As the park opened, so did the monster houses. 5 of them around the park.

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3 gave out candy, one a paper mask,

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and the final house gave a surprisingly nice bag. I was expecting paper but this bag has gained a lot of use since we've left the park.

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It was nice to see the park had alternate films and wasn't just running the Halloween film. I'd wanted to see it since it's new and a limited run but my son is a huge fan of the 4D effects of the car-wash scene in the Lego City movie.

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The Legoland lookout also had a Halloween overlay.

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My son loves Lego and trains currently, and still has a Lego Duplo train set he controls from an app set up in his room, so this was his first stop since it's a combination of his loves.

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A boy taking his toy train on a train made to look like a toy.

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Despite the weather not being too cold, a lot of people seemed to be opting out on riding the Splash Battle.

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As per all our trips the dark rides had some up and down time. Ninjago and the Factory ride  both closed at points. The Factory Ride mirror was just a static image now, and the turning riders into figurines failed again to acknowledge there were riders. We're 0/4 on getting on Ninjago without some break-down, this time the car scoring system wasn't acknowledging any inputs.

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This is the Korean alphabet. I don't think there's a more Lego friendly alphabet out there. Most Korean names are only 3 syllable blocks as well so don't take up much space so most building areas were covered in children putting their names up.

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Fun fact: It's a requirement that on the side of every ancient medieval castle, there needs to be a tunnel constructed for a Japanese shinkansen train to pass through.

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I haven't included any roller-coaster pictures yet so here's the only one I took.

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One of the pass-holder benefits was a free kids meal at the buffet (on weekdays). This was one of the pizzas on the buffet line.

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To be fair I've had stranger pizzas in Korea.

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2023 addition.

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I mentioned in my previous TRs despite the website mentioning meet and greets, apart from park opening we've never seen any at all on all our trips or been able to line up for the opening one. The park map listed 9 spots for Halloween and we hovered but never saw any. However near the end of the day we finally came across one. This was the highlight of my sons day. He was hugging, shaking hands and wanted as many pictures as he could before being made to move-on. Hopefully they become more common around the park. More of them please!

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Stop here!

 

OK, onto the big downer of the day. We have only ever been to Legoland Korea so some more well traveled TPR people can comment. What is the line policy for the Driving School in other parks?
 

Here it's been wildly inconsistent. First time, we could line up but not go into the pre-show. Second time we could go into the pre-show with our children. And this time, we were told the queue was very busy. so we had to let our children line up by themselves. The park even originally allowed adults to drive the cars when it first opened too but it was a capacity nightmare.

 

The line was posted at 40 minutes and as mentioned a bunch of the cars were roped off so only a few children could go into the movie room at a time. I was a bit hesitant about leaving a kindergartner in the line alone, potentially out of eye-sight, in case something happened. A lot of parents were hovering but that was bottle-necking the fast-pass/hero access area. My son said he could do it so he lined up and I kept an eye from the entrance-way. Kids will be kids however and expecting that many young children to behave that long is a big ask.

Within 5 minutes, something had happened in the queue and a couple and another dad were screaming obscenities in front of all the children, raising fists and the dad was yelling for the other man to fight him with the only thing stopping the fight was the mom getting in between (but still yelling). Security was called but by the time they came, the worst was over, and neither was removed.

 

What was frustrating however was all the policies instantly changed. Despite the line being the same length, now parents could suddenly queue. So all the parents suddenly rushing through the line to get to their kids while others wonder where their parents were.

And although I should be grateful, that it made the line shorter, with those 2 dads from the incident both in the line and close together, all those cars that had been roped off all day magically became available despite it only being 50 minutes until closing. I want to give the benefit of the doubt that the cars were added then because there was a corporate late night event that day but either way, it wasn't a good look and I hope they standardize the policies in the future because that was horrible for all those children to witness.

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I think my son was a little shook up being trapped in a line and very close to screaming fighting adults although when it kicked off, I made sure he could see me and I got very close to the incident to grab him over the fence if it got worse but he told me he was done with rides after that and just wanted to walk around and check out the subway trains they have around Miniland. It was close to closing anyway...maybe... the park hasn't updated the Korean or English announcements, because despite the 6pm closing, the announcements in the driving school kept saying 7PM...

He had a lot of questions after what happened and I tried to answer as best I could. Why did I tell him he had to line up alone but then join him? Why did the line go quicker after parents lined up etc. He'd noticed the closed half's of rides/cars not running and said he wanted to go on a weekend from now on because 'It's slower now' [meaning Friday]. 

 

I learn with each trip with my son, and it was interesting to see his reasons for wanting the weekend. Maybe other parents can chime in but I've learnt that for him, time isn't judged on the wait-time of the ride but on progress. He would rather wait in a 40 minute line which constantly moves than a 25 minute line that doesn't move at all if that makes sense. Although the incident might also have something to do with reinforcing that belief.

 

At the end of the day, I'm just grateful it didn't put him off the park. He's only 6 so it's easy to put him off something, and once calmed down, his biggest takeaway is that he wants to go on a weekend when lines will move faster (I think he felt trapped by the argument). He's already making plans that the weekend trip will be when the Christmas event starts so there doesn't seem any lasting damage. Te Driving School is/was his very favorite ride in the park so the big test will be if he lines up there again which is why some-one can tell me the other parks policies so I can talk him through it on the next car journey if he is hesitant.

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The next trip will probably be when there is a Christmas overlay here.

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I shouldn't be surprised but the protesters are still camped here.

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I guess they're protected and Legoland can't do anything because you still have to walk through all the signs. Most parks the last thing you see is 'See you next time' or 'Thank you for coming'. This sign told me I'm a fool for coming twice and not to come again. This was our 3rd time so not sure what that makes me.

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Well I chose a bad day to do a TR. Especially considering I said I wouldn't discuss the 'Crisis' unless it affects operations and then one day later a slew of announcements were made about last-minute operation changes and an official notice:

Official announcement from the park:

Quote

Greetings from LEGOLAND® Korea Resort.

We have recently had a number of questions from our guests expressing their concerns with regards to misleading media stories and news about a third party organization.

We can reassure that LEGOLAND® Korea Resort remains open and is operating as normal.

LEGOLAND® Korea Resort is a wholly-owned Korean subsidiary of Merlin Entertainment, one of the largest operators of attractions and theme parks in the world. The news mentioning debt issues have no direct impact on LEGOLAND® Korea Resort, its finances or any operational running of our resort.

Here at LEGOLAND® Korea Resort we will continue to deliver guest experiences and magical memorable moments to customers with a range of diverse events and new promotions in the coming year of 2023.

Our planned activities and calendar of events continues as planned (which includes some pre-scheduled winter and maintenance closures) in line with our global LEGOLAND® events calendars in Europe, the UK and some parts of the US, and will be shared on our website.

We look forward to your continued support for LEGOLAND® Korea Resort.

Regards.
LEGOLAND® Korea Resort

Source

The park have also announced during November/December that the park will close 3 days a week for ride inspections and only run around 5-6 rides during the open days with the rest being some build areas or shows. It'll be interesting to see the reactions people have considering typically parks here run 365 days a year, with parks fully open except for a water ride or 2.

Despite the announcement saying it was pre-scheduled, it's kind of annoying how late the notice is. All these rides and Mini-Land are closing November 1st and won't reopen for 5 months yet this only became public knowledge October 27.  Kind of regretting buying that annual pass last week now but just means I will have to cram in a lot more trips in Summer 2023.


As far as I am aware, they are the only park in Korea to do this and while the announcement compares it to Europe, some have already noticed they avoid mentioning Legoland Japan which is open year round. Again due to it not being the norm for Korea, it seems a lot of people who bought year passes were blind-sided by this announcement and had assumed they were getting 365 days worth of entry,

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Edit: Update 28th October.

Another day, another update. The news has already been reporting on the closure and the park has now responded with another update and promising compensation for yearly ticket holders despite still asserting that this closure was always planned.

Quote

LEGOLAND® Resorts in the UK, Germany, Denmark
and New York also have many rides
and attractions like LEGOLAND® Korea Resort
that cannot be operated under cold weather in winter.
LEGOLAND® Korea Resort will open on March 24, 2023
after completing maintenance of rides and attractions
from January 1st 2023 to March. 23 2023.

LEGOLAND® Korea Resort will do our best
to deliver the best unique, memorable experience.

Thank you very much for your understanding.

Quote

2. Compensation for Annual Pass Holders during winter closure in 2023

Due to the winter closure in 2023,
ALL Annual Pass Holders(First to Play, Standard, Gold, Platinum Pass) will get compensation.

90-day extension on valid date of annual passes in 2023
(*Only valid to those who purchase AP before Oct 31st,2022;
Purchase made after Nov 1st,2022 is invalid)

Offer 50% OFF ticket for COEX Aquarium
(Limit of 1 ticket per person, Effective from Nov 1st,2022 to March 31st, 2023)

Source

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  • 4 weeks later...

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Hadn't planned on being at the park so soon again, and certainly not on the first day of the first ever Legoland Korea Christmas event. However, my schedule was emptied on the same day so we ended up heading out. Not really being interested in bragging rights or being 'first', the original plan was just to pop-in in the morning for annual-pass benefits: Use the 30 minutes free fast-pass in the morning, grab the free hot-cocoa and cookie as well as the free lunch for kids then skip out before the ceremonies and do some of the other tourist sites in the area since there a lot nearby.

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However, despite there only being 6 rides open, my son wanted to try and see Santa, so we stuck around for the Christmas show. However, the theater was running the Ninjago puppet show in the mornings.  Since the show was in the afternoon and by the time the show ended, there was only 3 hours until closing we decided to just make a full day of the park.

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Since my last update, it was nice to see all the Meet and Greet times with the times and locations listed on the app, we managed so many more interactions thanks to this. My son really wanted to meet Santa and although we showed up to every scheduled Meet and Greet, it was always a random character. He was a little disappointed he never got a photo with Santa to take to school but he was happy enough at all the other characters he got to meet.

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Here was the final ride line-up for the event. Even the night before the list hadn't been finalized since the Duplo Train was originally part of the line-up on the map we downloaded from the site but ended up removed and maps in the park weren't available yet. The Factory Ride was up and down all day. We got a ride on it but a lot of the effects like the mini-figure camera didn't work as usual. For the parks signature attraction, it always is a walk-on and gets overlooked.

However, on park closure days but with the hotel still open, they actually open the ride for 5 hours to give the guests something to do. Maybe being the only ride open will finally give it a line longer than 5 minutes. Also since it's the only ride open on the weekdays, that's also the only times the hotel guests don't also have to pay for park admission.

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What was nice was despite the limited line-up, I never saw anyone complaining or running to guest services, everyone seemed to accept it and enjoy themselves. The only negative I did see was instead of 30 minutes early entry for hotel guests and pass-holders, we were let in at opening instead but given stamps to go to the front of the line for the first 30 minutes after opening.

This resulted in most people heading to the Driving School and the fast-lane quickly spilt out of the building. Like you can see above capacity could be as low as 10 people per cycle and although more cars were added you could see the frustration in the standby line that meant people were basically stuck without moving for almost 40 minutes since the priority line was cut at 10:30 and then had to be cleared out. Perhaps giving out 2 free fast-pass tickets for anytime in the day to hotel guests/passholders instead would avoid the bottleneck.

Also on that note, despite only 6 rides being open, I was surprised to see fast-passes still sold at full price and people still buying them.

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There wasn't really much in the way of Christmas decorations to any of the rides except the train.

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We'd originally planned to skip the ceremony expecting big crowds and grab rides with empty lines while others watched it but we were surprised leaving the Factory Ride area just 10 minutes before the performance that there still being spaces at the front as long as you didn't mind being to the side. My son didn't want to pass up an opportunity to see Santa since we'd sat pretty far back in the stage show so we grabbed a place to the side.

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The ceremony started and all the characters came out to dance and perform.

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Since it was the first ever Christmas Lighting for Legoland Korea, the park president said a few words.

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The countdown begins...

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Fireworks lit up...

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And snow came down as the tree was lit up for the first time.

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The family who switched on the lights with the president are the same ones used on the website and promotional material for the hotel and Factory ride.

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A final performance...

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And then the media photos were taken.

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With the sun setting we did one last lap around the open parts of the park.

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It was nice to see Mini-Land models all lit up for night-time, too often the park is closed earlier than the sunset to really appreciate all the work the Lego Builders put into for nighttime viewing.

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This was the only shot I got of the Christmas tree on the way out since a lot of families were taking pictures in the middle and over to the side were the family from the website doing official photos for the website/promotions so I had to crop it to cut out all the faces.

 

Once again, my son had a great day meeting characters and killing time in the build areas between rides and eating.

This should be my last TR for a while, although the hotel is open, the park is closing end of December until mid-March (the only theme park in Korea to do this) and since the school year here in Korea actually starts in March (they break up in December here and combine winter vacation with the end of the school year) my son will be in elementary school which will make it harder to do weekday trips since unlike kindergarten, there is an attendance limit but we'll definitely be heading back on a spring/early summer weekend.

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