Wherever you go in the world there will always be people who have at least heard of “Disney”. Whether it be the man himself, Walt Disney, the various Films released over the past 80+ Years or the theme parks, you’ll meet someone who knows that name.
Whenever there’s a big fish, there’s almost always a leach on the belly. Various clones or knock-offs of Disney products appear, be it merchandise, movies, and yes, even theme parks.
All across the world you see theme parks and at least half of them try to emulate that Disney Style.
But not all of them are bad. When you hear the word “copy” you think “low quality,” but here today I’ll share with you a park that is actually pretty darn close to being a Disney Park.
Located in Seoul, South Korea, I welcome you to “Lotte World”.
Originally started construction in August of 1984, the park owned and operated by the Lotte Corporation, opened in July of 1989.
The Lotte Corporation is a Korean based conglomerate that manages various businesses such as: shopping, housing, finance, trade, entertainment and of course, amusement parks.
Footage Courtesy of “John and Male” on YouTube
The park is technically an indoor park with a glass roof to let the sun in, but it also has an outdoor section with bigger rides and a castle that was clearly inspired by Cinderella’s Castle in Walt Disney World.
The building has four floors, each with different attractions from a log ride, multiple roller coaster, boat rides, a 3D adventure ride in IMAX and even a ride inspired by the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland called “Pharaoh’s Fury”.
The outside section of the park, known as “Magic Island”, includes a large drop tower, a rotating swing and a couple more roller coasters.
The park sees about 7.3 million guests each year, most are native to Asia with a number of international visitors as well, many drawing comparisons to Disney as not only does it have a large Disney-esque castle, but some even compare the multi-story indoor park to the now defunct “Disney Quest“. Plans for a new park called “Osiria Theme Park” is planned for a late 2021 opening in the Gijang District in Northeastern South Korea.
In all honestly I think this park is a fun little experience. South Korea is a big market for theme parks, even Universal Studios had planned to have a park in Seoul, but plans for that were sadly abandoned. I think that if Disney were to try and establish themselves in South Korea they should work with Lotte, similar to how they worked with the Oriental Land Company in Japan, and possibly re-theme Lotte World into a smaller Disney Park for South Korea in the middle of the city, attracting more international guests and perhaps even a nearby resort/hotel.
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.