The first thing I wanted to do with the kids in Korea was take them to Lotte World. It’s a nostalgic place for me as I always went there during my childhood trips to Korea. My favorite ride has always been the Adventures of Sinbad ride, a Lotte version of the Pirates of the Caribbean. My kids, however, are very young–both are under 3 years old–so I was wondering if they could even ride anything. I didn’t have to worry too much about that because Lotte World has a Kidzone area with rides and activities targeted to the younger set, so we had a lot of fun with the kiddie rides there. They also have other kid-friendly rides and experiences, some of which you have to pay extra for, that are scattered throughout the park. If you’re thinking about bringing your young toddlers to Lotte World Adventure, here are my picks for the best toddler / young kids rides and experiences at Lotte.
One thing to note is that we went to Lotte World during the pandemic. The park had actually closed a few days before because someone with a confirmed case of covid had been on the grounds. Strategically we thought the re-open day would be the best time to go because the park would have just been cleaned, and probably very few people would want to go to the park after the incident.
And we were absolutely right. Walking into the park was very surreal. It was probably operating at about 5% capacity. Just a few young couples and small groups with children were there. I probably could have gone on every open ride at least twice in an hour, because there was no line to speak of. I remember reading these books when I was younger about people who would sneak into an amusement park and ride whatever they wanted because they had the park to themselves…it sort of felt like that. The dream came true, but it was a little bittersweet knowing why it did.
This also meant that a lot of things were closed. The park was operating on a skeleton crew so the majority of restaurants and rides were closed. They also did not turn on the AC so it was extremely warm inside. Not a complaint, just an observation. If you were here wanting to go on the extreme, thrill seeking rides, then you would be very disappointed as those were closed. If you were here with kids wanting to go on very tame rides, then you would be in heaven. They are also pretty strict with the mask requirements, so make sure your kids are willing and able to keep their masks on.
We first went on the Camelot Carousel, which was perfect for my toddler son of 2.5. He seemed to enjoy the very slow and leisurely pace of the ride. If you’re able to ride with your child and hold onto him or her, then you can take any of your kids regardless of height or age restrictions. It was crazy how we were the only ones riding a horse.
We then went to the Kidzone area, which is the section of the park specifically geared towards young children, and saw The Bumping Jester bumper cars were open. Again, we were the only ones driving, so there wasn’t much crashing or bumping going on, but he loved it. You have to be a certain height level to ride the bumper car, so babies unfortunately can’t get in with you. Unless your baby is super tall and can sit up independently by him or herself.
The best part was when we went to Fantasy Forest. You have to pay extra for this attraction, but it’s totally worth it. For just 2,000 KRW (our kids were free because they were both under 3 years old), you can enter a mini zoo and play area. The zoo is a little random–there are a few insect exhibits, and then a hodge podge of land animals like prairie dogs, guinea pigs and raccoons. There’s also a small little pond with not very impressive fish, but the kids loved that too. The best animal exhibit was the raccoon one. One raccoon got really interactive with my son and threw its body against the glass display. He was mesmerized by that. The space is big and open so the kids can just wander around and explore. And it also had AC. Definitely the highlight of the trip.
Our last ride was the World Monorail, which was very family friendly. Everyone got on board, including my tiny daughter. It basically takes you around the top of the park and gives you a nice aerial view of everything. Normally it even takes you outside with views of the outdoor portion of the park, but that part was closed.
Afterwards, it was lunchtime so we decided to eat at Lotteria, a Korean fast food chain. I don’t really love the food here, but it was close by and when you have two hungry, picky kids you just have to move fast and go for something that resembles fries and chicken nuggets. The french fries here are actually not bad, but the burger was pretty mediocre.
My son passed out at this point, and my daughter needed to get changed, so we decided to wrap it up. Before we left, we went to a designated Baby Care changing station, and I was so pleased by how wonderful it was. There was AC and plenty of comfy looking changing tables. There was even a crib there although I wonder what the point of that was–do some guests just put their baby in there and let them sleep for several hours at Lotte World? But the fact that a crib option is there is pretty great.
Overall it was a successful trip. There are probably enough kid-friendly rides and attractions to keep you occupied for 3 hours. If your kid are older and don’t take naps, then there are even more options. But if your kids are on the younger end like mine, then going first thing in the morning and planning for a half day is probably a good bet.
Lotte World Adventure
240 Olympic-ro, Jamsil-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul
Tickets for adults are 56,000 KRW for adults and 46,000 KRW for children (3-12 years). Children under 3 are free, but you need to show proof. Buy your tickets ahead of time at Klook or Indiway at a 40% discount, which is available to foreigners. Again, you need to show your passport for proof.