The Samsung Theme Park You Probably Didn't Know Exists

The Samsung Group is best known in the United States for making TV and audio gear, home appliances, and cellphones, but the conglomerate owns several subsidiary companies, including Samsung C&T Corporation, which owns and operates Korea's largest amusement park called Everland Resort. According to the 2019 Global Attractions Attendance Report from the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and AECOM, Everland ranked as the 16th-most attended park in the world. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing decline in attendance, statistics from 2019 were carried over. In 2020 a total of 2,760,000 people attended (Disneyland saw 3.7 million), which is a substantial drop from the 2019 attendance of 6,606,000 (Disneyland saw 18.6 million). At approximately 248 acres, it's roughly half the size of Disneyland.

Located in the province of Gyeonggi-do in the city of Yongin, Everland first opened in 1976 as a single theme park. Over time, it has evolved into a world-class resort featuring a water park, lodging, Korea's largest race track, a public golf course, and an art museum.

Pandas and roller coasters and virtual reality collide at Everland

Like many other amusement parks, Everland consists of different themed zones. Each of the five zones has dozens of rides, attractions, gardens, and restaurants. Global Fair is "a place where East meets West" and showcases music and architecture from all over the world. The American Adventure zone focuses on the time from when America was settled to the 1960s when the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, reigned supreme. Magic Land is based on Aesop's fables and includes rides and attractions for children. The European Adventure zone imitates a European town, complete with the "Four Seasons Garden," where flowers bloom year-round. Zootopia is a miniature zoo featuring animals from around the world and even includes a safari ride.

According to Everland's "History" page, the resort boasts several world and nation firsts, including the first Panda born in Korea:

  • In 1996 they opened Caribbean Bay, the world's first indoor/outdoor water park
  • In 2006 Everland was ranked by Forbes as one of the top four major theme parks in the world
  • In 2008 the park began the operation of T-Express, Korea's first wooden rollercoaster
  • In 2009 they opened the world's first White Tiger safari
  • In 2011 the first capsule-type body slide in Korea called Aqualoop opened at Caribbean Bay

Expanding on its offerings to visitors, Everland launched a multimedia experience featuring K-pop group BTS in March 2022.