Taegu: Woobang Tower Land is great, but the coaster's not for everyone
Stars and Stripes June 19, 2003
TAEGU, South Korea — It’s a hot sunny day at South Korea’s third-largest amusement park.
The few dozen teenagers strapped into the Boomerang roller coaster are, ready or not, about to be turned upside down and every which way but loose.
Six stories up, the coaster machinery hauls their cars backward holding them in place for a brief moment before hurling them down the rails in a long goggle-eyed plunge.
A sliding, collective scream fills the air as the teens flash past on a looping, twisting circuit through a series of three high-speed 360-degree turns.
Welcome to Woobang Tower Land, site of the Woobang Tower, also known as the Taegu Tower, which can be easily spotted from the Army’s Camps Henry, Walker and George here in South Korea’s third-largest city. Opened in 1995, the park draws more than 3 million visitors annually.
Set among 130 acres of green trees and flower beds, the park features dozens of rides and attractions — bumper cars, a bungee jump, the Ghost House, shooting gallery, batting cage and a merry-go-round. There also are more than a dozen restaurants including pizza, spaghetti, Western barbecue, fusion and traditional Korean cuisines, as well as a “hof” with outdoor seating and draft beer.
It’s a modern amusement park with a distinctly Korean touch. A sign posted at the entrance to the Camel Back coaster reads — in all seriousness:
“NOTICE Children Three And A Third Feet Tall And Under This, The Old And The Weak, The Drunken And The Pregnant Women Must Not Take This Coaster.”
Just yards away at the outdoor stage of Young Town, a Filipino rock band is booming over the loudspeakers at a volume so loud you can’t hear the person next to you.
Live music and dance performances are on the schedule daily. A recent Friday featured seven different acts with 25 performances among them. The shows range from marching bands to Dixieland jazz combos to dance troupes.
A fireworks show blooms every Saturday and Sunday night during July and August. Each show starts at 8:50 p.m.
At the small zoo at one end of the park, very large rabbits dart about in the sunshine. Donkeys, goats and sheep rest themselves in a big open pen.
Elsewhere is a white cockatoo with the power of speech. That’s according to a sign at its cage, indicating it can speak some Korean, including the words “app-ah” for daddy, “an-yong-ha-seyo” a greeting that can be translated “hello” or “how do you do,” and “Dae Han Min Guk,” a formal name for the Korean nation and the avid chant of South Korean soccer fans.
No less an attraction is the park’s namesake, the 663-foot Woobang Tower, which houses a café, cocktail bar, a restaurant and two observation decks that offer a sweeping view of Taegu.