Do pandas celebrate Christmas or New Year like humans? This winter at Everland, visitors can celebrate Yuletide with the Bao family of pandas. From Dec. 8 until March 1, 2024, Korea’s premier theme park has a variety of Christmas entertainment and snowy activities, called Bao Family in Wintertopia, centered around the family of 5 pandas at Everland Zoo.
Three-year-old panda girl Fu Bao has captured the hearts of countless Everland visitors.
The special panda family
The last few years have been a bumper period for pandas at Everland, ever since male and female pandas Le Bao and Ai Bao, respectively, arrived there in 2016. This panda couple welcomed a new baby in July 2020, later named Fu Bao. In summer this year Ai Bao gave birth to twins, now given the names Lui Bao and Hui Bao.
This is why this Christmas is a good time to make the panda family the centerpiece of Everland’s celebrations. Visitors to the park will notice a profusion of Bao Family special attractions in the Global Fair area near the theme park’s entrance, radiating the happy energy of the 5 local pandas.
True to its name, Giant Bao stands 12 meters tall.
In Global Fair’s central plaza stands a 12-meter-high inflatable panda named Giant Bao to greet visitors to Everland and introduce them to the panda theme. The exterior of the panda that resembles Fu Bao feels warm and fuzzy, not like a traditional balloon.
Over on the hall of fame podium, visitors can find not just panda family-themed figures but also other Everland characters like Lessy the lesser panda and butterfly fairies. Also nearby is a 7-meter-high tree, Santa buses, and, of course, Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer.
There are so many different ways to take fun photos in front of Giant Bao.
All month during December, visitors who make a reservation through the Everland mobile phone application will be able to see the real three-year-old panda Fu Bao when she is at her liveliest early in the morning, before the park opens.
In January, fans will be able to enjoy a “Bao House” exhibition that showcases the stories of the zookeepers who look after the pandas.
Butterflies, harbingers of spring amid winter
To remind us all even in the middle of winter that spring will come again soon, the Live Butterfly Experience Center has been open since Dec. 1, giving visitors a chance to meet butterflies and see them flutter by. There are 5,000 butterflies of 6 different types, including tiger swallowtail and Chinese peacock butterfly. In the butterfly laboratory, people can observe the butterflies’ life cycle, from eggs through pupae to adults.
Butterflies are a beautiful reminder in winter that spring is coming.
Winter fun at the end of the year
Wintertopia, Everland’s winter world incarnation, is a fun place for families to see out the old year and ring in the new. Until Jan. 1, the Bling Bling X-mas Parade, an exciting march to the tune of lively Christmas carols, and the Very Merry Santa Village dance performance, which tells the story of Santa’s Village, will be held each day.
With parades and live shows, there are many ways to enjoy Christmas with the Bao Family in Wintertopia.
For those who want to show off their own singing abilities, the live musical show Lenny’s Grand Adventure, a Christmas sing-along show gives children a chance to sing with the dancing and singing actors. Meanwhile, Santa and his elves are on hand to take photos.
Each season at Everland, the Four Seasons Garden is transformed. Now it has become the Winter Fairy Garden, where fairies dressed in winter attire adorn the garden along with decorated trees, shiny baubles, sparkling lights, panda and giraffe sculptures, and much more.
In the evening, Everland is transformed into a magical place, and a multimedia fireworks show dazzles the crowds.
On the giant LED screen in the Four Seasons Garden, winter-themed media art videos are being shown in rotation, and every night until the end of the year, there is a multi-media show featuring fireworks, laser lights, special effects, videos, and uplifting music.
Exhilaration and excitement abound on the Snow Buster sledding slope.
A blizzard of visitors
The Bao panda family of Everland is so beloved that the Giant Bao has already emerged as a popular site for end-of-year souvenir photos. Samsung C&T Resort Group, which runs Everland, said that 100,000 visitors came to see the 12-meter-high giant panda inflatable in the first week since its unveiling on Dec. 7. That is an increase of 50 percent on the number of visitors the previous week and up about 30 percent from the same period in 2022.
Giant Bao welcomes visitors to Everland with a photo op.
The 12-meter-high panda is also attracting a lot of attention online and on social media platforms, where photos and videos taken by visitors are going viral. Images of Giant Bao in Everland’s social media channels have garnered over a million views.
An Everland official said, “Fu Bao has been a big draw this year and the whole panda family is very popular, so visitors seem to want to come and take a happy souvenir photo marking the end of 2023 and celebrating the holidays.
More details of Everland’s Bao Family in Wintertopia winter festival can be found on the theme park’s website.