Jerudong Park

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Jerudong Park is an amusement park in Brunei. It is the smallest and most expensive amusement park in South East Asia, built and funded by the Bruneian government for $1 billion.

It is notable that during its first few years of operation, Jerudong Park featured no admission fees and free rides. It is currently larger than phase 1 of Hong Kong Disneyland. The public only had to queue up for rides. However, recently the number of visitors and tourists has dropped significantly[1] and the administration has started a one time B$15 admission fee, and allride ticketing system. According to the park's website, many of its rides are for sale.

Currently, the theme park has reduced its footprint to Phase 1 and 2, the original Playground. It has introduced a revised system of ticketing called the ticket card system. The park is once again free entry to the general public, but guests have to buy ticket cards to be able to use the rides and attractions. These tickets come in $8 and $10 price range. The ticket cards have slots which can be punched using a single hole puncher - one punch equals one use of any ride or facility for one person. This system therefore gives the guest the choice to choose which ride he or she would want to use, and how many would be able to use the facility using the ticket card. An $8 ticket card has 4 slots and 1 free slot (effectively allowing one guest to use 5 rides/attractions - or 2 guests to use two rides with one extra). The $10 ticket card has 5 slots plus 3 free slots (which means a guest can use 8 rides attractions and so on). The free entry has seen a marked increase in the number of people going to the park, as shown on weekends where one can observe a large group of families having picnics in the field, or long queues on the remaining rides and attractions.

History[edit]

Jerudong Park first opened in 1994.

Michael Jackson performed a free concert at the Jerudong Park Amphitheatre on 16 July 1996, attended by 60,000 throughout the park. The concert was in celebration of the 50th birthday of Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei and was attended by the Brunei royal family, though the Sultan himself did not attend. Followed by Whitney Houston on August 24, 1996 for the wedding of Princess Rashidah, the eldest daughter of the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah. The Setlist was almost the same as The Bodyguard World Tour except encore song was "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" included. She was reportedly paid $7 million to perform for this event. Media stories on the Brunei royal family indicated that Prince Jefri gave Houston a blank check for the event and instructed her to fill it out for what she felt she was worth. Jackson returned to perform another show on New Year's Eve 1997 as part of his HIStory World Tour. Janet Jackson performed a private concert of her Velvet Rope Tour at the park for the twenty-first birthday of Princess Hamidah of the Brunei royal family. An exclusive audio recording of the show was issued to attendees of Hamidah's birthday party.[2]

In August 2006, the company began to implement a revitalization program. It started with the re-launching of the GIGGLES, their in-house entertainment team. The team is composed of 7 entertainers from the Philippines and supervised by Wilhelm Bayona (and subsequently works as the Events and Entertainment Coordinator for the Park). They revitalized a program of visiting schools as an outreach activity, then moved on to accepting bookings for private functions and mall events.

In December, management initiated the weekend special program for December featuring local artists as the main performers. The program received good feedback from the local crowd, attracting more than 6,000 people on a single evening.

In 2007, the Park became the venue for a series of activities called Kids' Day. Although the main target was children, it drew families as well because of the "family" factor - the games involved adults such as moms and dads as well. The Giggles also began appearing regularly during activities at the Mall and at shopping centers in the country.

By the end of 2007, the Giggles had made appearances in schools, public events, and party functions. Although the number of entertainment members have dropped considerably from the previous years, the Giggles show now comprises a solid magic show and a bubble show which is the first of its kind in Brunei.

JPCC also saw an increase in events and bookings for the Playground and Amphitheatre. Notable events included the METLIFE 2008 Conference Dinners in April, and the DST Broadband Roadshow in May, and several corporate functions with Blue Waters, HSBC and local organizers.

In late 2008, JPCC launched its Family Concert Nights (later renamed "Local is Best - Family Entertainment Night) featuring local artists. The program aims to provide local talents with a proper venue for their talent, and to create a niche crowd that will support and patronize these performances. The shows are reviewed by a Censorship Board to ensure that they are family friendly and abide by the cultural and religious norms. To date, the venue has hosted performances by A Band Once, L.One, Karacoma, I Mean the Snakes, Zul F and Maria, and performances from schools such as Expression Music School and Ballet Regina.

Tickets to the Playground have been reduced to B$5 for adults and B$3 for children. Single ride tickets are sold at BN$2 per ride. The Musical Fountain, still one of the best in Asia, plays regularly every Wednesdays to Sundays beginning at 7:00 PM and every hour thereafter. Entrance to the Musical Fountain is only B$2. A new schedule has been introduced for the Musical Fountain. The attraction plays at 8:30 and 9:30 PM. It has also been observed that its features, such as the famous Times Square Garden with the Crystal clock and fountain features has been revived.

On December 12, 2009, JPCC Management introduced a new ticket system. Entrance to the Playground was made free, and guests who wanted to use the attractions had the option to buy an $8 4 plus 1 ride ticket, and a $10 5 plus 3 ride ticket. The move has proven to be a big success as it was observed that more people have come to the Park, with family groups comprising a large number of the guests.

By the end of 2010, attendance to the park was up to 144,000 for the entire year. This figures are based on the actual park admittance and ticket sales. Considering that the country has a population of about 400,000, this figure is truly amazing. According to sources in the park, the numbers can be attributed to having more events and activities being done at the park. Efforts from its marketing team. led by Mr. Wilhelm Bayona, Sales and Business Development Manager, Shukriah Hj Jolly, supported by the then General manager, Hj Mohd Jaafar bin Hj Johari, has seen the park host a number of big events - The Telbru Let's Trek series, Francophonie Week, And Brunei Bike Week, to name a few. It has also opened the Musical Fountain Garden to weddings and functions -

In 2011, the Park bought new attractions and relaunched the park. March 19, 2011 saw the park opening seven new attractions to the public - electric bumper boats, electric road train, a new kind of bumnper car called the Spin Zone, 2 sets of Go karts, one which resembles rally karts, and a two seater go kart, electric scooters and kiddie bouncers. It also held a record breaking attendance of over 70,000 guests for that month alone. So far, attendance has tapered off a bit, but the park has enjoyed one of its better years in terms of attendance.

On 4 February 2013, Asmad Hj Abd Rahim was appointed General Manager of JPCC Management and its new Sales & Business Development Department Manager is now headed by Dayangku Rose Pg Hitam after the departure of Wilhelm Bayona.[3]

Future[edit]

There are several plans for the redevelopment of the park, but nothing official has been made public. Ongoing works to rehabilitate the Playground have been observed, and recently, a new performance venue was opened in December 2008. Referred to as a mini-Amphitheater for its open air, arena style concept, it is a covered venue with a support of good sound and lighting system. It has been referred to by local artists as a breath of fresh air for the performance groups of Brunei looking for a new place to show their artistic skills. Of late, bands have been observed making the place as a regular gig spot to showcase their talents. In addition, several birthday parties were also held at the mini-amphitheater as part of a new package aimed at promoting more events in Jerudong Park.

JPCC Management has also made public the renovation works of the Carousel Lake surrounding the carousel attraction.

It has managed to successfully reinvent itself as a Family Entertainment Center, catering more now to family groups. At its current state, it has made a major comeback in terms of public opinion on the place, as people have come back to the park and made it a regular weekend habit, as observed with the number of people who keep returning to the park. It is now a busier, fun place to be in, with the clowns observed doing street magic for guests at certain areas in the park aside from their show, and a general atmosphere of clean, safe and wholesome fun generated by its staff.

September 21, 2013. - Local newspapers - Craig Bartlett attended this event

A doa selamat ceremony was held yesterday at the Jerudong Park Country Club (JPCC) playground to mark the first in a series of projects to revitalize jerudong Park Playground.

The project includes the construction of a mini golf attraction, featuring a landscaped 21 holes designed by Craig Bartlett, a world class mini golf designer from Australia. www.craigbartlett.com.au

Other future rides and attractions will include a mini water park, ferris wheel and junior coaster. Furthermore, there will be new Double Decker Carousel, Bumper Cars and children’s playground equipments to replace the current attraction. Other existing rides will also be refurbished.

Other playground facilities will also be upgraded, including the food kiosks, a merchandise shop and other conveniences to cater for the needs of visitors.

The management of JPCC yesterday held a blessing ceremony for the project. Present were JPCC General Manager Asmad Hj Abd Rahim, JPCC directors and invited guests.

The renovation work is scheduled to take place in stages and only affected areas will be closed. Therefore, the playground will still be open to the public.

However, visitors are advised to keep safe distance from ongoing construction works. The revitalisation project is expected to be completed by mid 2014. New operating hours and admission fees will be announced at a later date.

Attractions[edit]

  • Musical Fountain show featuring hits by Ricky Martin, Michael Jackson, and several Disney Classics
  • F1 go-cart attractions - Supakarts.
  • Kiddie Rides such as:

Carousel, Pedal Boat, The Juniors - Pirate Ship, Skydiver, and Bumper Car, Junior Rollercoaster, Chocolate Swimming Pool, Family rides/attractions such as the Adult Bumper Car, The Shooting Gallery, Caterpillar.

  • The Mini Amphitheatre - where the Giggles and mini-performances by local talents are featured located near the Junior Bumper Car and Orbiter attractions.

References[edit]

Coordinates: 4°56′12″N 114°50′04″E / 4.936752°N 114.834504°E / 4.936752; 114.834504