Everland, South Korea 4/17/08 (T-Express is worth the hype)

Associated parks:

I was visiting my family in South Korea and decided to go to Everland for a quick coaster break. My brother is a coaster fan but does not have a passion like I do. He has been to Hershey Park, SFA, KD, and BGW (Europe). He is now living in Korea. He has been telling me how he misses Grizzly and Rebel Yell. We were at Everland in 1978 before our family moved to the US. My second coaster was located here although it had been torn down. What I remember mostly about this park was that it was located in a valley. After 30 years, I did not expect to remember much and I did not.

We drove down to Everland from Seoul. Sure enough, the park was located in a valley. We could see rides from far. There was a large Ferris wheel. This looked quite similar to the one at Cedar Point. No parking fees here and the entry fee was about $35 although we were able to get discounts. We entered the park and headed straight to T-Express. The park was large and very hilly. It was much hillier than SFMM. Some parts were so steep that I had to balance myself to walk. Going up hills were challenge too. I guess we were getting some great exercises. With animal areas and jungle areas, it was quite comparable to Busch Garden parks.

T-Express (#163): The Park was touting T-Express as the first wooden coaster in Korea. They spelled out all the details about the coaster including 77 degree drop which is the steepest angle of all wooden coaster in the world. The coaster was located on a steep part of a slope on the hill with the station being higher than some of the tracks. The lift hill is slightly angle toward the hill but not toward the hill itself. The ride was almost triple out and back with about ½ of the ride contained within the wooden structure. A long stretch of the ride was under another track. It was basically parallel to the top track. The ride was two train operation although it could have easily been 3 car operation. The train had 6 cars with 3 rows of seats.

When we got to the ride, there was a long line OUTSIDE of the entrance of the ride. Once we got inside of the entrance, they showed us a 2 minute safety video for the ride. After the video, we were allowed to the ride. It was interesting how people were responding to the ride. They were asking to themselves if the ride was actually made out of wood. Another person was asking what happened if it rained. Many thought the ride structure looked awesome. It was quite obvious that just about all of them had never seen wooden coasters before.

After a short wait, we got to the station. There were two plaques of feedback letters from other US visitors who rode this coaster on the wall. The station had several TVs showing the video of the making of this ride.

We got on 6-2. The seat belts and the lap bars were identical to the ones on Millennium Force and Top Thrill Dragster except this seat belt was considerably longer. I usually have 3 to 4 inches left over on MF seat belts. On this one, I had about 1 foot to spare. The train started off and another MF comparison appeared. The lift hill was cable lift just like MF with characteristic slow down near the top. At the top there was a turn around which showed a great view of the entire park and then the first drop. Again, I was reminded of the MF with comfortable floater air time about ½ way down the ride. At the top of the second hill, there was nearly an ejector air followed by another drop. A double turn around later, the ride reminded me of Cyclone coasters. There were many head choppers which many people ducked their heads. Some people thought I was crazy to leave my arms up throughout the ride. Without a doubt, this coaster had the most air time and the smoothest out of all the wooden coasters I have ever been on. In fact, the ride may be TOO SMOOTH which may have reduced intensity of the ride. Overall, this was a great ride. I still rate Voyage and Renegade above this one but this ride topped Ghostrider, Beast and Shivering Timbers. We rode this five times and moved on. (10/10)

Eagle Fortress (#164): After a long hike, we finally got to Eagle Fortress. I really like these Arrow suspended coasters. I wish they built more of them since only handful of these coasters is now in existence. This ride was also built on a side of hill. As we entered the station, there was an information board about American Bald Eagle. Also, there was a photo shoot picture of Hines Ward on one of the walls. Hines Ward is one of the most popular athletes in Korea since he is ½ Korean.

The trains were shaped like eagles but typical Arrow suspended coaster trains. We got on the last seat. The lift hill was considerably faster than other suspended coasters I had been on. Also, this was the most intense suspended coaster out of 5 that I have ridden so far. The coaster used the train very well with heavy forest surrounding the track. There were strong air times on certain parts of the ride. One draw back was that the ride was somewhat on the short side although it was longer than Top Gun (PKI). This one had only one lift hill which might be the reason it felt short. This ride definitely became my favorite suspended coaster. After 5 rides, we moved on. (9/10)

Rolling X Train (#165): This coaster was a typical Arrow looper with two loops and two corkscrews including head banging on OTSR. This ride was plenty popular though.

Racing Coaster (#166): This coaster reminded me of Jaguar to a certain degree. This was a good little coaster with one train (?????).

Dragon Coaster (#167): We decided to ride this. This one was very much like Boa Squeeze at Wonder Park in Cincinnati Mills.

For the park itself, I will give it a high mark for staff friendliness and getting involved with the rides. It was very impressive that just about all of them looked like they were having good times. Also, food costs were quite reasonable. No obvious hike in food prices like the parks in the US. One major drawback was rampant line jumping and the staff not doing anything about it. It was a source of irritation. One minor note was lack of water fountain. They were few and far between. The highlights were T-Express and Eagle Fortress. These coasters were quite the novelties here and were outstanding in their own right. *** Edited 4/18/2008 8:13:44 AM UTC by Woodyman***

Great TR!! The park sounds really awesome and hopefully will be much better than my experience at Fuji-Q a couple of years ago! Especially in terms of prices too!! Very interesting details as well about the Hines Ward pic on Eagle Fortress (I wonder if he's been to Everland?!) and the American letters posted about riding T-Express.

I'll be going over there later this year and can't wait to ride T-Express and make my own comparisons to El Toro. However, I have a question about the lap bar, you said it was similar to MF and TTD at Cedar Point, but I thought someone posted that the lap bar is the "U-bar" like they have on El Toro? Can you please explain this!? Thanks!

The lap bars were very similar to MF and TTD as well as seat belts. I have not been on El Toro. I am trying to make it there this year.

Hines Wards picture is the on ride picture on Eagle Fortress. He goes over to Korea often since he is really treated very well. He is very popular here even though many on Korea do not know much about how the American Football is being played.

If you are coming over to Everland from Seoul, you can take a bus 5002 from place call Gangnam terminal to Everland. It is about $2 each way. It took about 45 minutes with traffic. If you have any questions about this, let me know.

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