I miss Korea. Some days, I feel absolutely homesick for my Korean chingu and the Land of the Morning Calm. I have so many great memories from my time there – from living as an ex-pat, to playing tourist in my adopted home country. I was sitting here going through pics of my final month in Korea and I came across my ‘bucket list’ trip to MBC World. This is a definite MUST visit for the Kdrama/Kpop Fangirl! Read on as I reminisce and share my day at this Broadcasting Theme Park!
If you head to the ‘Digital Media City’ neighborhood of Seoul, MBC World is actually located right inside the Munhwa Broadcasting Corp. building/campus. After a small entry fee and mandatory QR pass that allows you to interact and save pics from your visit, tour-goers are allowed 90 minutes to visit three different exhibit halls.
At each exhibit, staffers tracked my transition as I came and went, even radioing ahead to the next location to let them know the ‘waygookin’ was on her way to either the ‘M’, ‘B’ or ‘C’ Zone.
First stop – C Zone. The hall of MBC Variety shows. You guys, I was NOT prepared for this level of digital interaction with my favorite stars. Technology rocks! I was able to sit and chat and snap selfies with G-Dragon, during my mini-date in the Just Married booth. I couldn’t stop giggling. Neither could the staffers as they side-eyed this American ahjumma having the time of her life! After this exciting start, I visited booths where I could karaoke with my favorite singer, snap more selfies with a favorite star and even don a digital mask to be the next King of Mask singer.
Next up – B Zone. A little more low-tech, this hall held ‘posters’ of iconic MBC dramas. I was able to step into the poster and snap pics of with all my favorite characters from Coffee Prince, Personal Taste, Empress Ki, and W: Two Worlds. I *may* have fangirled most, when I got to pose with Lee Jong Suk. W is one of my favorite Kdramas!!
Last, but not least – M Zone. This Hall offered up a variety of different interactive activities. The most exciting was the Hologram Theater, where I had a front row seat to watch G-Dragon perform Crooked. Sadly we were sternly warned not to take any footage/pics. . . but seriously, it felt like he was right there on stage! I also enjoyed the News Experience, where I got to stand in front of a blue screen and give the weather forecast for the day. (Thankfully they had an English prompter for the foreigner!) And also, who could turn down the chance to try on a digital hanbok?!
My favorite from this section, though, was the Dance Experience! (I’m currently taking Kpop dance classes in my new town.) Stepping onto the stage, I was able to pick a dance and learn the steps directly from J-Hope and Jimin of BTS! It went by way too fast, but was SO. MUCH. FUN!!!
And no visit is complete without signing the Guest Book. This one being a digital version, where you also get an autograph, from the star of your choice, before leaving!
My final stop, was the “Walk of Stars” just outside the front entrance. I braved the bitterly cold December wind to pause and read each name, take a ton of pictures and realize, that this fangirl apparently has man-sized hands in Korea!
So glad I could visit this theme park before leaving Korea!! Thanks for taking a trip down memory-lane with me, drama fans. Have you had the chance to visit MBC World? Share your favorite part in the comments below!
Dramas With a Side of Kimchi
2 thoughts on “A Fangirl Goes To MBC World”
What a great article–enjoyed reading it and had no idea something this daebak existed. I don’t travel well or fly, but if I did, I’d make the MBC studio tour one of my first destinations when I landed in Korea.
That is sooooooo much more than what was available on offer when my friend and I made our first trip to Asia (6 days each in Seoul, Taipei, and Tokyo) back in 2009! They have clearly learned a trick or two in the past 10 years.
We went to Yeoido to see what was on offer; here is my report (via email, which I kept) to my friends:
“We also went on a chance to the production offices of MBC, one of the major networks in Korea, to see if somehow we could wangle our way onto a set or a tour or the taping of a show. Well, we got there and in my veeerrrryyyy rudimentary Korean I asked and the first guard scratched his head and passed the buck to the inside receptionist who also was “so sorry, but no we don’t do that…”, but a gentleman was coming out of the offices during our discussion and overheard parts of our questions and caught the look of desperation in the eyes of the girl at the desk (no English ) and stepped in to see what he could help us with. He listened and said that they didn’t do tours and that most of the dramas were filmed at a new studio about a 30 minute drive away, but that even if we could get there, they didn’t do tours. However, he was amazed at my intrepidness, to come all this way, because of our interest and he’d never seen the like, so he set aside what he was doing and gave us a personal tour! It turned out that he was one of the VPs of the documentary division and had worked there for 25 years so we have the best possible private tour. And, we got to see them taping a show and one of the actors was indeed someone I’ve seen many, many times (unfortunately not one of the gorgeous young men — heh heh… — but one of their veteran actors). It was very cool and he was very gracious. He said that he’d never had a chance to meet foreigners like me, nor speak so much in English! Afterwards, we headed over to our original destination — KBS, another network, where we were heading when we took a wrong turn and spotted MBC first, because we knew they had some sort of “tour” — and were very disappointed by that “tour”! Of course, after the one we’d just had, anything else would suffer in comparison.”