MBC World (MBC 월드)
MBC World (MBC 월드) was not on my initial list of places that I want to go in South Korea. It was by a pure luck and chance that I got to go to MBC World. I received an email about this opportunity on one fine day and decided to send my details. Few days after that I received a reply saying that I was one of the lucky 20. So, off I went to MBC World on the set day.
This place should be familiar to avid Korean drama fans. It has appeared in so many dramas that I have lost count on it.
Tip: MBC World does offer tours in different languages such as English, Japanese and Chinese but at different time slots. So, make sure to check the tour time and the language offered respectively.
I think MBC World is divided into few sections and experience. I can't recall the exact names of the sections and experience since this happened ages ago. lol! Again, I might be wrong as I did not really remember much about the whole thing.
Familiar radio studio, anyone?
This radio studio was one of the first places that we got to take a glimpse on. As an avid K-popper, this studio really felt familiar as I have watched dozens radio interviews of different K-idols that took place in this studio on the YouTube. At that time, Yang Hee Eun (양희은), one of the Korean veteran singers was hosting her radio show. She said hi to all of us while she was on air. Hehe ^^
In case you're wondering how do I know her, let alone recognize her, I used to watch Immortal Songs 2 every week and Sweet Sorrow's rendition of one of her songs is really famous in South Korea. So, there's that :)
VR Experience, what an experience!
Then, we were taken to this section where we had a chance to experience few things, such as wearing digital hanbok or experiencing being a news anchor, experiencing being a K-pop star by singing and dancing along with the digital K-pop star. I think there were few more things but I can't really remember. None of that grabbed my interest, so I decided to try the VR experience. It was my first time so I really enjoyed the whole 5 minutes! Everything felt so real that I actually laughed at myself. I must look so stupid and funny to the staffs and other people in that 5 minutes.
After that, we were led to the hologram theater for a 15-minutes hologram concert. No picture on this section as camera is not allowed. It was BIGBANG's concert. Honestly, the whole thing looked and felt so real. Few of the girls were squealing hard and treated it like a real concert. I'm not a VIP but I did enjoy the concert :)
They were busy staring at King's seat :D
We then got to peek at one of the recording studios for music shows and variety shows. It was empty but the guide mentioned that Infinity Challenge often used the studio when they had indoor recordings.
After that, we were led to the historical drama experience. Nothing much to do here honestly. There was a King's seat where you can pretend to sit and act like the King. They also had few backgrounds similar to the historical dramas. Additionally, they had few life-size cutouts of the actors and actress like Changmin, Kim Soo Hyun, Han Ga In, etc.
We then moved to a different building where it got all these variety show-themed booths. On top of my head, I remember they had We Got Married booth, I Live Alone booth, and My Little Television booth. The most popular booth in my group tour was We Got Married. I lol'd, okay!
If BIGBANG is your thing :)
VIP will be overjoyed if they decided to come here as MBC World had this photo zone with life-size cutouts of the BIGBANG members. It also had this section where you can pretend that you're taking the same celebrity van with BIGBANG members and have your photo taken. Again, I lol'd!
Can you spot the outlier?
The last place of our tour was the 3D museum? Okay, it was not really a museum but you got me, I bet? All the 3D things were inspired from all MBC shows. Like the one above, this was from Infinity Challenge. If I remembered correctly, they had things from Personal Taste, I'm A Singer, The Moon Embracing The Sun, Angry Mom, Fated to Love You and few others.
Thank you! ^^
The whole tour took about 2 hours, I believe. Short and sweet, anyone? You may enjoy the tour according to your pace but I think it's up to your guide's discretion. I personally enjoyed the tour at most parts and I kinda liked the pace though we were bit rushed by the guide at some parts.
Is MBC World worth visiting?
I would say, yes if you're a big fan of K-anything like me. I think you really need to enjoy K-dramas, K-music and K-variety shows to thoroughly enjoy this place. Otherwise, you will think it's kinda meh.
Having said that, if MBC World is not really your cup of tea, maybe you can linger around the area. I think this is one of best spots for celebrity spotting. Mind you, I did not spot any idols while I was there but I did bump into a gagwoman; Song Eun Yi and few other celebrities. I also got to watch a filming of one show. I think it was a pretty famous show in South Korea as the crowd was quite large. I still do not know the show's name until now but there was this guy (he's a celebrity, not sure of his exact occupation) walking his 3 dogs - corgi breed.
Thank you Seoul Metropolitan Government for this opportunity! I enjoyed my time at MBC World and I truly appreciate the effort :)