A trend has been spreading through South Korea that is both new and retro. The Newtro mood, as it is called, has made an impact on everything from fashion, to food, to leisure. What’s interesting is that the movement is led by young people in their teens and twenties who see things from the past as something new rather than by a nostalgic older generation.
With this in mind, the country’s biggest theme park has embraced the trend. Everland, operated by Samsung C&T Resort Group, is hosting a Newtro festival until December 1. This is the second event of its kind, with last year’s festival resulting in an attendance increase of about 25 percent compared to the same period the previous year.
If the 60s had selfies…
Everland’s Rocksville area has turned into a Newtro-themed zone, with plenty of Instagrammable spots alongside vintage American items from the 1960s and ‘70s.
During the festival, Rocksville’s streets are lined with classic cars, human-sized roller skates, billboards and mirror balls, while Newtro Photo House recreates an old-fashioned American home. Visitors may also want to check out Coke Newtro House, which has been set up in collaboration with Coca Cola – the iconic brand that spans several generations.
Aside from vintage items, actors dressed up in retro outfits are happy to pose for photos.
"Ttabeul" the fun with the Newtro mood
Eleven of Everland’s popular rides have had a makeover for the festival. As well as a Newtro design, the vintage spelling continues – Double Rock Spin is now written in Korean as Ttabeul Rock Spin, Bumper Car is Bampa Car, and so on.
There’s also a chance to enjoy various experiences for longer. Three thrill rides – Double Rock Spin, Rolling X-Train and Let’s Twist – offer boarding twice in a row from 2 pm to 5 pm on weekdays. Meanwhile, the boarding time of 10 family-friendly attractions has been extended by 1.5 times.
And a stamp rally event offers the chance to win retro prizes, including the polka dot scarves worn by Everland staff during the Newtro festival. To enter a lucky draw, visitors just have to collect five stamps at designated rides and photo spots.
Everland is already famous for its parades, but there are some shows and performances especially for the Newtro festival.
In celebration of BMW MINI’s 60th anniversary, the Hello Mini Parade will wind its way through to the theme park’s landmark Carnival Square twice a day, demonstrating both classic and popular models, while dozens of actors dressed in a Newtro style dance to ‘60s swing music.
There’s nothing like some music to conjure up a vintage atmosphere, and live performances will bring to life legendary songs from Queen, Elvis Presley and yesteryear.
The Newtro generation can get in the spirit of things by renting retro school uniforms from a special pop-up store, which has more than 100 uniforms to choose from – including some of those stylish school looks K-pop idols often like to wear.
After a thrilling day bouncing between eras, visitors might want to make sure they go home with a perfect Newtro souvenir – a limited-edition retro Yong-In Farmland ticket, referring to Everland’s old name and available to special ticket package buyers.