Ocean Park Hong Kong

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Ocean Park Hong Kong
Main Entrance of Ocean Park.jpg
Main entrance of Ocean Park in 2013
Slogan 去玩去癲去Ocean Park!
WOW It's My Park
Location Wong Chuk Hang and Nam Long Shan
Southern District
Hong Kong
Coordinates 22°14′45.1″N 114°10′33.3″E / 22.245861°N 114.175917°E / 22.245861; 114.175917 (Ocean Park)Coordinates: 22°14′45.1″N 114°10′33.3″E / 22.245861°N 114.175917°E / 22.245861; 114.175917 (Ocean Park)
Opened 10 January 1977
Area 91.5 hectares (226 acres)
Rides
Total 44
Roller coasters 4
Water rides 2
Website Ocean Park Official Website
Ocean Park Hong Kong
Traditional Chinese 香港海洋公園
Simplified Chinese 香港海洋公园
The Culture Show
Musicians performing at the Ocean Theatre
Some of the rides of the Marine World. This part was formerly called "Headlands Rides".

Ocean Park Hong Kong, commonly known as Ocean Park, is a marine mammal park, oceanarium, animal theme park and amusement park, situated in Wong Chuk Hang and Nam Long Shan in the Southern District of Hong Kong, China. It is, together with Hong Kong Disneyland, one of the two large theme parks in Hong Kong. Opened in 1977 by the then Governor of Hong Kong Sir Murray MacLehose, Ocean Park has grown to over 80 attractions and rides after the completion of a HK$5.5 billion Master Redevelopment Plan (MRP) begun in 2005. The park has won several awards, including The World's Seventh Most Popular Amusement Park and one of the "50 Most Visited Tourist Attractions in the world" by Forbes. In November 2012, Ocean Park became the first theme park in Asia to win the Applause Award from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.[1][2][3]

Ocean Park received 7.45 million visitors in 2013, awarding it the position of the world's 12th most visited theme park, and the largest Theme Park in all of Asia followed behind by Hong Kong Disneyland.[4]

Covering an area of 91.5 hectares (226 acres), the park is separated by a large mountain into two areas, The Summit (Headland) and The Waterfront (Lowland). These areas can be reached by a 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) cable car system, or the Ocean Express funicular railway. As the Headland comprises several hills, visitors can also opt to use Hong Kong's second longest outdoor escalator.[3]

The theme park currently has a wide array of attractions and rides, including 4 roller coasters, and also animal exhibits with different themes, such as a giant panda habitat, a jelly fish and Chinese sturgeon aquarium, as well as a world-class aquarium featuring the world's largest aquarium dome which displays more than 5,000 fish. Between 1979 and 1997, Ocean Park was most famous for its signature killer whale, Miss Hoi Wai (海威小姐).

Besides being an amusement park, Ocean Park Hong Kong is also committed to merging entertainment and education, while inspiring lifelong learning and conservation advocacy. This is done by operating observatories, laboratories, an education department, and the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK), a fund which advocates, facilitates and participates in the conservation of wildlife and habitats, with an emphasis on Asia, through research and education. In 2011/2012, the Foundation funded 42 conservation projects, covering 27 species in 10 Asian countries for a total of HK$5 million—all record highs.

Ocean Park Hong Kong was the first institution in the world to have success in artificial insemination of bottlenose dolphins, and developed numerous new breeds of goldfish.

History[edit]

Opened on January 1977 by the Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Murray MacLehose, Ocean Park was constructed with HK$150 million funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club. The land was provided free by the Hong Kong Government. Between 1982 and 1984, The Hong Kong Jockey Club allocated a further HK$240 million into developing facilities at Tai Shue Wan and thrill rides at the Summit.

Ocean Park ceased to be a subsidiary of the Hong Kong Jockey Club on 1 July 1987, becoming its own statutory body, with a Government-appointed Board. The Hong Kong Jockey Club established a HK$200 million trust to ensure the Park's continued development. At present, Ocean Park is managed by the Ocean Park Corporation, a financially independent, non-profit organisation.

In March 2005, Ocean Park announced a HK$5.5 billion Master Redevelopment Plan (MRP) to build the Park into the world's best marine-based theme park, doubling the amount of animal and ride attractions, from 35 to over 80, and firmly establishing itself as a world-class, must-see landmark that will further strengthen Hong Kong as a premier tourist destination. The groundbreaking took place in November 2006 and the project was completed in six years over eight phases. Attractions opened under the MRP include: SkyFair, Amazing Asian Animals, Ocean Express, Sea Life Carousel, The Flash, Aqua City, the Rainforest, Thrill Mountain and Polar Adventure.

Attendance[edit]

With the introduction of new attraction zones and animal exhibits in recent years, visitor numbers have achieved numerous breakthroughs. In 2011 the annual attendance reached a record-breaking 6.95 million. By June 2012, the Park achieved attendance of 7.1 million guests, a 20% increase over the previous year, marking the eighth new attendance record in nine years. By the end of December 2012, Ocean Park achieved a record-breaking calendar year annual attendance of nearly 7.5 million guests, among half of whom were from Mainland China.[citation needed]

Attractions[edit]

Ocean Park is divided into two main attraction areas: the Waterfront and the Summit, which can be further divided into eight different attraction zones: Amazing Asian Animals, Aqua City, Whiskers Harbour, Marine World, Polar Adventure, Adventure Land, Thrill Mountain and the Rainforest.

The Summit (高峰樂園)[edit]

Marine World (海洋天地)[edit]

Marine World – Sea Jelly Spectacular
The Dragon roller coaster

This area was formerly known as two distinct areas: Marine Land (海洋天地) and Headlands Rides (山上機動城).

  • Pacific Pier (太平洋海岸) – Mimics the rocky habitat of seals and sea lions on the Northern Californian coast. Allows visitors to walk under the pier to view these marine mammals in the water, complete with simulated waves.
  • Chinese Sturgeon Aquarium – Yangtze River Exploration (中華鱘館- 長江足跡) – The 3,500 square-metre freshwater aquarium houses rare Chinese sturgeon along with other native species of the Yangtze River in an educational exhibit on this fragile ecosystem.
  • Ocean Park Tower (海洋摩天塔) – One of the tallest observation towers in Southeast Asia. Rises 200 metres above sea level with a rotating observation deck at the top offering 360° views of the South China Sea, as well as Aberdeen and the islands of Lantau, Lamma and Cheung Chau.
  • Sea Jelly Spectacular (水母萬花筒) – Opened in 2006. Southeast Asia's first stand-alone sea jelly exhibit. Showcases an underwater 'garden' of over 1,000 sea jellies from around the globe, set to lighting, music and multimedia special effects.
  • The Dragon (瘋狂過山車) – Hong Kong's largest roller coaster with a super high speed. Roller coaster cars turn and twist through two giant loops on the 842-metre-long track
  • The Abyss (極速之旅) – A Turbo Drop type of amusement ride, the Abyss raises passengers up 62 metres (203 ft) in 20–25 seconds before thrusting them downward at speeds of up to 65 km/h, faster than freefalling. Passengers will feel a force of minus one (−1) G.
  • Flying Swing (飛天鞦韆) – Swings passengers up 7 metres (23 ft) into the air at 11 rpm in an undulating wave motion. It has 32 one-seater gondolas.
  • Crazy Galleon (沖天搖擺船) – A suspended ship that tilts passengers back and forth through a 75° arc, 15 metres above the ground.
  • Ferris wheel (摩天巨輪) – 27 metres (89 ft) tall, with 18 gondolas.[5]
  • The Eagle (翻天飛鷹) – Hoists passengers 31 metres (102 ft) into the air and whirls them around at a maximum gyro drive speed of 22 rpm. It has 28 gondolas, each seating two persons.
  • Marine World Games Zone (海洋世界攤位遊戲)– Features 20 classic arcade games that tests players' dexterity and strength.
  • Garden of Joy (怡庭) – Landscaped with flowing streams, bridges, lush greenery and multi-coloured koi fish.

Thrill Mountain (動感天地)[edit]

Thrill Mountain and Polar Adventure areas.
Thrill Mountain – Hair Raiser

Thrill Mountain was opened in December 2011. It is a carnival-themed area spanning 222,800 square feet, with colourful flashing lights and strong musical rhythms driving the festival atmosphere. It offers five rides, eight booth games, food and beverages as well as specially designed merchandise offerings.

  • Hair Raiser (動感快車) – Hong Kong's first and only floorless roller coaster. Riders are plunged towards the South China Sea with their legs dangling in the air. The ride travels at up to 4.0G during acceleration and 88 kilometres an hour – the fastest for a roller coaster in Hong Kong.
  • Whirly Bird (超速旋風) – A chair swing ride standing 30 metres (98 ft) tall, allowing passengers to control their vintage plane, lifting and dipping it through a joystick.
  • Bumper Blaster (橫衝直撞) – Colourful bumper cars that can carry 2 in each car.
  • Rev Booster (雷霆節拍) – Strong musical rhythms drive sudden reversals in direction, generating body-twisting centrifugal force.
  • The Flash (翻天覆地) – A ride that spins riders up to 22 metres (72 ft) into to air, and rotates at a full 360°, reaching a G-force of 3.9G and a top speed of 60 km/hour.
  • Bungee Trampoline (威水笨豬跳) – A trampoline that allows visitors to jump really high while strapped in bungee harnesses, to get the idea of bungee jumping.

Adventure Land (急流天地)[edit]

  • Mine Train (越礦飛車) – A steel "mine train" roller coaster perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking Aberdeen Harbour.
  • Raging River (滑浪飛船) – A log flume-type water ride that takes passengers through tropical waterfalls, narrow ravines and finishes by shooting them down a slide at almost 60 km/h.
  • Space Wheel (太空摩天輪) – At 20 metres high, the Space Wheel offers twisting feelings to guests who will rise on a 90° elevation.

Polar Adventure (冰極天地)[edit]

South Pole Spectacular – Penguin

Polar Adventure was opened on 13 July 2012, featuring the North Pole Encounter, South Pole Spectacular and Arctic Fox Den, as well as a gift shop and the new Arctic Blast roller coaster. Animals include king penguins, southern rockhopper penguins, gentoo penguins, pacific walruses, spotted seals, Steller sea lions, snowy owls and arctic foxes. The Tuxedos Restaurant offers view over the penguins.

The attraction's carbon footprint is minimised through environmental technology, including a ventilation system that recycles residual cool air to cool down the Life Support System (LSS) and plant room area before being discharged. With all the green features in place, the Polar Adventure building has savings of at least 34% in annual electricity consumption, as compared to a building without these special features.

  • Arctic Blast (極地時速) – A steel "roller coaster" located in the Polar Adventure with various dips and side turns. It is suitable for the whole family.[6]
  • North Pole Encounter (北極之旅) – Visitors can meet pacific walruses and spotted seals which made their debut in Hong Kong, and other animals from the North Pole including northern sea lions and snowy owls. The animals can also be viewed via an underwater tunnel.
  • South Pole Spectacular (南極奇觀) – Houses penguins from three species, including king penguins, southern rockhopper penguins, and gentoo penguins. The viewing chamber, glass-panelled floors, walkways and balconies overlooking the water allow visitors to see the penguins from different angles.
  • Arctic Fox Den (雪狐居) – Visitors can see Arctic foxes here to learn about their behaviour and the impact of humans on their habitat.

The Rainforest (熱帶雨林天地)[edit]

Rainforest – The Rapids

The Rainforest was opened on 14 June 2011. Dozens of avian, terrestrial and aquatic animals living inside buttress roots accompany guests on their immersive exploration of biodiversity.

  • The Rapids (熱帶激流) – A family river rapids ride along a rushing river that surrounds the themed zone.
  • Expedition Trail (熱帶雨林探險徑) – A walk-through rainforest exhibits where, guests can meet some of the world's most striking tropical species, many of which are being displayed in Hong Kong for the first time, including species such as the kinkajou, capybara, green anaconda and green aracari.
  • Rainforest Why Zone (雨林求知地帶) – Trainers will relate special information about rainforest animals to guests and how they care for them.

The Waterfront (海濱樂園)[edit]

The Grand Aquarium in Ocean Park
Old Hong Kong

Aqua City (夢幻水都)[edit]

Aqua City was opened on 27 January 2011, spanning an area of 200 thousand square feet. It features a world-class Grand Aquarium with the world's largest aquarium dome at 5.5m in diameter and a 13m wide acrylic viewing panel. It also features the world's first and only 360° water screen show Symbio!. Aqua City also offers various dining and shopping options. Neptune's Restaurant is Hong Kong's first and only fine dining destination in an aquarium setting, while the Aqua City Bakery serves Hong Kong-style pastries. The Lakeside Snacks Food Cart is located at the outdoor setting of the Lagoon. Aqua City offers more than 20,000 themed gifts and souvenir items in 15,000 square feet of retail space.

  • Grand Aquarium (海洋奇觀) – Inside the Grand Aquarium, guests have a chance to get up close with some 5,000 fish in over 400 species, such as the scalloped hammerhead and manta ray. Strolling through the Reef Tunnel and Panoramic Ocean Gallery, guests can see the world's largest viewing dome in an aquarium and a 13-metre giant viewing panel, one of the largest in the world.
  • Sea Life Carousel (環迴水世界) – Hong Kong's largest carousel in terms of diameter measuring 15.1 metres for the floor and 16 metres for the cap. The ocean-themed carousel features 61 carriers in 13 different designs inspired by endangered sea animals, hosting a maximum of 81 passengers.
  • Old Hong Kong (香港老大街) – Offers an immersive experience of culture, history, and delicacies of Hong Kong between the 1950s and the 1970s. It features a replica of Edinburgh Place Ferry Pier's clock tower and its signature toll, a manually retrofitted heritage tramcar and rows of tong lau-style apartment buildings. Guests can also try more than 70 local street foods and beverages to reminisce the flavour of old Hong Kong. The area also provides a wide array of classic booth games.
  • Waterfront Plaza (海濱樂園廣場) – Features a lively carnival setting with a rotating mix of shows, magic and other surprises performed by clowns, acrobats and jugglers. This area also sets the backdrop for many of Ocean Park's festive events.

Amazing Asian Animals (亞洲動物天地)[edit]

  • Giant Panda Adventure (大熊貓之旅) – An purpose-built habitat that houses two rare giant pandas Ying Ying and Le Le, as well as red pandas. It also houses the critically endangered Chinese Giant Salamander.
  • Panda Village (熊貓山莊) – Showcases Asian small-clawed otters and a variety of Asian birdlife in a woodland setting.
  • Gator Marsh (鱷魚潭) – A wetland setting, featuring endangered Chinese Alligators from Yangtze River, grass carps and other Asian fishes.
  • Goldfish Treasures (金魚寶殿) – A goldfish pavilion featuring the latest and rarest varieties like the Black Oranda and Blue Phoenix Eggfish. Educates visitors on the history and importance of the goldfish in Chinese culture.
  • Hong Kong Jockey Club Sichuan Treasures (香港賽馬會四川奇珍館) – Home to two of Ocean Park's giant pandas, An An and Jia Jia, and two golden monkeys, Le Le and Hu Hu, from Sichuan. The exhibit also acts as a resource centre on the care and conservation of this species.
  • Emerald Trail (自然大揭秘) – A verdant garden featuring natural settings with flowers, tall trees, stone bridges and gentle pools.

Whiskers Harbour (威威天地)[edit]

Whiskers Harbour spans over 14,200 square metres. It provides a wide array of facilities catering to the whole family and especially younger children. The area was previously called Kid's World.

  • Balloon Up-up-and-away (昇空奇遇) – A gentle, colourful hot air balloon-themed Ferris wheel for very young visitors.
  • Clown a Round (小丑旋風) – This merry-go-round has clown cars for younger kids to whirl around in.
  • Frog Hopper (蛙蛙跳)– A kid's version of a popular thrill ride. Young visitors strap into the mechanised 'frog', hop high into the air and land back on their feet.
  • Merry-go-round (幻彩旋轉馬)– A classic children's merry-go-round with gilded fairytale horses.
  • Bouncer House (彈彈屋) – An inflatable, fully padded, covered house for children to bounce around in.
  • Whiskers Harbour Playground (威威天地遊樂場) – A safe, child (and parent)-friendly haven for kids to run around and explore slides, see-saws, tunnels and jungle gyms.
  • Interactive Shadow Play (互動影子樂) – Kids get to play simple spelling and skill games on interactive multimedia screens. Correct answers are rewarded with audiovisual presentations.
  • Animal Story Corner (動物故事坊) – Children can explore interactive educational displays about different land, air and sea animals, and what makes each of them distinct.
  • Whiskers Harbour Games Zone (威威天地攤位遊戲) – The area offers over twenty classic arcade games.
  • Toto the Loco (砵砵火車頭) – A small train that takes the guests through a mini forest to meet with accordionist, cellist and violist clowns.
The former Bird Paradise area, in 2009.

Former attractions[edit]

Former attractions of Ocean Park include:

  • Atoll Reef. It was located in Marine Land, the former name of an area now part of Marine World. Closed in early 2011 after 34 years of operation, many of the animals were transferred to the new Grand Aquarium.[7]
  • Middle Kingdom. Opened in 1990, this area featured traditional Chinese culture and heritage. It closed in 2001,[8][9] however, the Middle Kingdom Restaurant is still in operation.
  • The Bird Paradise (雀鳥天堂) area, located in Tai Sue Wan near Adventure Land, closed down in 2013. It contained The Aviaries (百鳥居) and Flamingo Pond (紅鸛池). Plans are underway to redevelop this area.[10]

Shows[edit]

Ocean Theatre
Ocean Theatre

Symbio! (雙龍奇緣)[edit]

  • In front of the Grand Aquarium in Aqua City, the Lagoon hosts Symbio!, a night time show that features the world's first and only 360° water screen. The show also features lighting, fireworks and sound effects, set against a soundtrack composed by a composer. It illustrates the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature through the story of two dragons.

Emperors of the Sky (天上王者)[edit]

  • An educational bird show featuring birds of prey including steppes eagles, Lanner falcons, striated caracaras and turkey vultures, along with 70 other species of birds, at the newly refurbished Bird Theatre in Amazing Asian Animals.

Ocean Theatre (海洋劇場)[edit]

  • Located in Marine World, the Ocean Theatre currently shows "Sea Dreams!", a world-class production with sound editing provided by an Oscar winner, featuring the Park's marine animal stars in a story about the importance of marine conservation.

Whiskers' Theatre (威威劇場)[edit]

  • Located in Whiskers Harbour, Whiskers Theatre features two shows, "Sea Lion Fun Time" and "Whiskers and Friends". The former explores a day in the life of the Park's sea lions, while the latter is a variety show starring the Park's mascots.

Animals[edit]

Ocean Park first gained accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) in 2002. In 2013, Ocean Park gained accreditation for a third successive five-year term, making the Park the only animal facility outside of the Americas to earn this industry recognition and validation of superior animal care, which meets or exceeds world standards, as established by the Association.

The Park's commitment to take full advantage of its unique collection of insects, fishes, birds and marine mammals for scientific research has also been given a boost. With the increasing success of the Park's breeding programmes, births of rare shark species, bottlenose dolphins, sea lions, sea horses, penguins, anacondas, red-handed tamarins, Pygmy marmosets and different species of sea jellies have been recorded. Endangered birds and butterflies are also being hatched and reared at Ocean Park.

Giant pandas
Amazing Asian Animals – Panda Ying Ying

A pair of giant pandas, a male named An An (安安) and a female called Jia Jia (佳佳), were given to Ocean Park by China in 1999. The pair lived in the Hong Kong Jockey Club Giant Panda Habitat, which was refurbished as the Hong Kong Jockey Club Sichuan Treasures. In 2007, two more pandas were given to Hong Kong to mark the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to Chinese sovereignty. The pair of two-year-old pandas, a male called Le Le (樂樂) and a female named Ying Ying (盈盈), arrived at Ocean Park from the China Conservation and Research Centre in Wolong in Sichuan province. After quarantine, they made their first public appearance in Giant Panda Adventure on 1 July 2007.[11] A new compound was prepared at the park to house them on their arrival.

Dolphins

Currently, the Park's Marine Mammal Breeding and Research Centre (MMBRC) houses a total of 9 Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins. Previously in July 2009, Domino and Domisa, two dolphins from Bayworld in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, arrived at Ocean Park. The dolphins, a father and daughter pair, were separated to ensure that they do not mate with each other. They will be introduced to other dolphins and form part of Ocean Park's breeding program.[12] In May 2001, two of Ocean Park's female dolphins, Ada and Gina delivered two healthy calves, a female and male respectively, the world's first two bottlenose dolphin calves as a result of artificial insemination. This marked an important stage in reproductive physiology and controlled breeding of marine mammals.

Chinese sturgeons

The Chinese sturgeon were introduced to the park in 2008, and as of 2013, Ocean Park houses 9 Chinese sturgeons, displayed in Chinese Sturgeon Aquarium – Yangtze Exploration. To mark China's hosting the Olympic Games, the Chinese Central Government made a gift of five rare Chinese sturgeons, symbolising the five Olympic rings, with Ocean Park as the recipient. Two were bred by the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute and three by the Beijing Aquarium. The fish made their debut on 20 June 2008.[13] However one of them died after a few days, apparently bitten by a barracuda. On 14 July 2008, it was announced that Hong Kong would receive another five sturgeons from the Chinese National Aquatic Wildlife Conservation Association in time for 8 August opening ceremony, to complement the four fish already in situ. The park's management decided to evict its sharks from their aquarium in favour of the new arrivals.[14] On 12 December 2008, a second sturgeon died from an infection. A third one died from an injury and two nine-year old sturgeon were declared ill on 2 January 2009. The two sick fish, measuring 2.3m and 1.5m, were returned to the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute for expert care.[15]

Red Pandas

Besides bamboo, red pandas also eat acorns, roots, berries, lichen, and occasionally eggs and young birds. A number of red pandas from Sichuan have been displayed in Amazing Asian Animals since 2009.

Pacific walruses

Visitors can see Pacific walruses at the Polar Adventure. The tusks of walruses are their canines, which can grow up to 1 metre long. They plunge these large teeth into ice to make breathing holes, or to pull their bulky bodies out of the water. Male walruses also use them aggressively to defend their territory and protect their harems.

Spotted seals

Spotted seals are born with a white, fluffy coat of fur. This is shed after two to four weeks for a silvery-grey coat with dark spots. Currently, spotted seals are displayed in Polar Adventure.

Southern rockhopper penguins

This penguin can be found at the Polar Adventure in Ocean Park. Southern rockhopper penguins live and breed on rocky coasts, sometimes on cliff tops or in rock gullies. To reach their homes, these birds have developed the high agility needed to hop along steep slopes. Although they are less than 2 feet tall, they can jump up to 4 to 5 feet high. They have declined rapidly by an estimated 30% over the past 3 decades, and are listed as "Vulnerable" in the IUCN Red List.

King penguins

King penguins are social birds that form colonies of tens of thousands. This provides collective defence for juveniles against predators. They also huddle together in extreme cold to conserve heat. Visitors can meet them when visiting the Polar Adventure.

Gentoo penguins

Gentoo penguins are the fastest swimmers among all birds, with a speed of up to 36 km per hour. People can identify them easily by the white mark near their eyes. They are exhibited at the Polar Adventure in Ocean Park.

Chinese giant salamanders

Chinese giant salamanders are the largest amphibians in the world. They are nocturnal, and live in muddy river bottoms and hide in rock crevices. Possessing poor eyesight, they prey on fish, insects and snails using smell and touch. They are under the protection of Chinese Wildlife Conservation Law: Category 2. Currently, Ocean Park displays three salamanders at the Amazing Asian Animals.

Kinkajous

Kinkajous can hang upside down from tree branches with their highly prehensile tail and support themselves on their hind legs. This allows them to reach their food in trees. Kinkajous currently are shown in the Rainforest at the Summit.

Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkey

In spring, they moult and grow shorter hair for summer, showing a brownish grey look that blends into dense forests. Then they moult again to give a golden orange coat with longer hair. This blends into the fallen leaves in autumn which are yellow, orange or brown, and also provides warmth in winter. Two female golden monkeys from Sichuan, Le Le and Hu Hu, have been displayed in Hong Kong Jockey Club Sichuan Treasures since April 2012.

Orca – Miss Hoi Wai (海威小姐)
Main article: Hoi Wai (orca)

Hoi Wai was a female Orca, who was transported near Iceland in 1977 and resided at Ocean Park between January 1979 and April 1997.[16][17] Hoi wai was about 5 metres (16 ft) long and weighed about 1,800 kilograms (4,000 lb).[18] In Hong Kong, Miss Hoi Wai (海威小姐) is still considered an icon and celebrity to this day.

Mascots[edit]

Ocean Park introduced a waving sea lion named Whiskers (known as Wai Wai in Chinese) as its major mascot on 9 December 2000. Other members of the Ocean Park family include James Fin (a shark), Jewel (a butterfly, now retired), Swift (a dolphin), Chief (a parrot), Professor (a turtle), Later Gator (an alligator), Redd (a red panda), Goldie (a goldfish), Tux (a penguin) and four giant pandas: An An, Jia Jia, Le Le and Ying Ying.

Transport within Ocean Park[edit]

Ocean Park cable car
Ocean Express

Escalators[edit]

At 225 metres long, Ocean Park's escalator is the second longest outdoor escalator system in Hong Kong [19] (The longest system is the Central-Mid-levels Escalators). It provides a main link between facilities at Tai Shue Wan and the Summit.

Cable car[edit]

Ocean Park features a 1.5-kilometre (0.93 mi) long cable car system connecting the Waterfront and the Summit with an 8.3-minute journey, which provides views of the South China Sea to passengers. It has a capacity of 4,000 passengers per hour with 252 cable cars on two pairs of ropeways. Each car has a capacity of six passengers.[20][21][22][23]

Ocean Express[edit]

A funicular railway system capable of transporting visitors between the Summit and the Waterfront in 3 minutes with a capacity of 5,000 people per hour. This themed ride utilises multimedia effects to simulate the feeling of travelling into the depths of the sea.

Conservation[edit]

Ocean Park has directed much effort into education and research about animal conservation. Ocean Park established the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation (OPCF) in 1993 and The Hong Kong Society for Panda Conservation (HKSPC) in 1999. In July 2005, the two merged to form the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK, 香港海洋公園保育基金), a registered charitable non-governmental organisation. With the ambition to advocate, facilitate and participate in the conservation of wildlife and habitats, OPCFHK has funded a total of HK$9 million to 90 local and overseas projects since 2005, including various research projects on dolphins, horseshoe crabs, porpoises, giant pandas, snakes and birds in various Asian countries.

Since 2006, OPCFHK has been collaborating with the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department to handle cetacean stranding cases within Hong Kong waters. After the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, OPCFHK established a Giant Panda Base Rebuilding Fund and donated equipment to the affected nature reserves. In 2011/2012, the Foundation funded 42 conservation projects, covering 27 species in 10 Asian countries for a total of HK$5 million—all record highs.

Ocean Park has also facilitated learning through education programmes throughout the years. The Park established the Ocean Park Academy (OPA) in 2004 to dedicate further efforts in education. Through OPA, the Park runs educational tours for school children and workshops for teachers from the Hong Kong Institute for Education. Every year, the Park offers over 35 core courses for around 46,000 students on six big topics: giant pandas and red pandas, dolphins and sea lions, birds, fishes, plants, and mechanical rides.

The Marine Mammal Breeding and Research Centre (MMBRC) set up by Ocean Park serves as a centre to house 9 dolphins and conduct research on the breeding of dolphins. MMBRC is divided into 6 separate activity zones, and provides behavioural training and basic husbandry to the dolphins. It also plays a part in research work on the echolocation capabilities of dolphins. From 29 March to 4 May 2013, MMBRC was open for public visits.

To promote the idea of conservation to public, the official website of Ocean Park now features a "Conservation"[24] session which introduces the importance of conservation and some current conservation issues related to daily life. It also offers funny facts about some wildlife species, as well as environmental threats and conservation.

Major annual events[edit]

Ocean Park hosts five major events throughout the year: a varying Animal in High Definition Month, the Ocean Park Summer Splash, the Halloween Bash and Christmas and Chinese New Year celebrations.

Halloween Bash

Special Halloween celebration events are held from September to 1 November. Guests can enjoy frightful fun at different haunted attractions and Halloween-themed shows, as well as decorations and terrifying ghosts throughout the park. In 2008, the theme for the Halloween Bash was, "Fear Formula". 2009's Halloween Bash, themed "Haunted Hong Kong" featured costumed 'ghosts' promoting the event throughout the city. In 2010, the park celebrated the 10th Anniversary of Halloween Bash with 25 haunted attractions and 444 ghastly ghouls. In 2011 the event with the theme "Republic of Halloween" featured different ghosts from the East and West. 2012's event adopted a Hip Halloween party concept, featuring "IN an EERIE Collection" ghosts with costumes designed by local fashion icon Wyman Wong, as well as the world's first 5D haunted house. In 2013, the event featured a brand new day-to-night Halloween experience for all ages, with colourful decorations and pumpkin sculptures all over the park.

Animal in High Definition Month

The Animal in High Definition Months enable visitors to encounter a variety of rare animals up close, with educational experts on hand to disseminate vital information about these creatures. The Animal in High Definition Month for 2010 had a reptile theme called, "Mighty Dragons". In 2012, the event let visitors undertake an exploration of Chinese national treasures, featuring the exhibition of two Sichuan golden monkeys. In 2013, it featured the theme "Connecting YOU with Chicks, Pups, Calves, and More!", showcasing amazing animal breeding processes through different educational attractions to convey the conservation message to the next generations.

Ocean Park Summer Splash

The event is held in summer every year, in which guests partake in various wet and wild thrills including water games and water slides. In 2013, the Summer Splash featured Hong Kong's first indoor fluorescent-themed water war game party for a heated water battle.

Christmas Sensation

Christmas themed celebrations held from December to January every year. Visitors can enjoy park-wide Christmas decorations and a wide array of shows throughout the park.

Chinese New Year Fiesta

Chinese New Year celebration events held around January to February every year. The celebration usually features lantern displays, God of Fortune visits, lion and dragon dances. In 2013, the CNY Fiesta featured a 12-metre spinning lantern, as well as a traditional Chinese drum show.

Unique park experiences and SmartFun Annual Pass programme[edit]

Get Closer to the Animals

Ocean Park runs a series of programmes called "Get Closer to the Animals" which enable visitors to have close encounters with its resident animals. Its wildlife encounter programmes run the gamut from hands-on experiences like swimming with dolphins at the Dolphin Encounter, to learning to be a panda keeper at the Honorary Panda Keeper Programme. Visitors who wish to come face-to-face with fish join Grand Aquarium Scuba Diving for a journey in the Grand Aquarium (Diver's certificate required). Nighttime in the Ocean's Depths offers a chance to camp inside the Grand Aquarium, spending a night to view the underwater world. Visitors can also join tours like the Amazing Animals Ed-Venture, Grand Aquarium Ed-Venture, Polar Ed-venture and Rainforest Ed-venture, which take groups behind the scenes at these facilities. With the opening of the Polar Adventure, people can now join programmes like the Penguin Encounter, Seal Encounter and Honorary Polar Animal Keeper to meet with polar animals up close.

Other unique experience

The Park can also be chartered for birthday parties, wedding celebrations and evening company outings. Apart from this, the Park also offers various corporate training schemes.

SmartFun Annual Pass

The SmartFun Annual Pass programme was launched in 2009. Apart from offering its members unlimited admission to the Park throughout the year and discounted access to its special events, SmartFun members may also be invited to take part in exclusive education workshops. There are three different kinds of SmartFun Annual Passes: Gold Pass, Silver Pass and Student Pass.

Social media[edit]

To make use of the power of social media, Ocean Park has set up official pages and channels on major social platforms like Facebook and YouTube to enhance communication and promotion.

  • Facebook:[25] Ocean Park launched its official Facebook page in 2009, and the current fans number is over 500,000. Through this page, the Park offers exclusive behind-the-scenes videos and photos of animals, as well as latest news and upcoming offers.
  • YouTube:[26] Ocean Park established its official channel on YouTube, providing exclusive funny videos of animals, as well as promotional TVC for its special events. The series "Ocean Park Inside Trax" introduces the lives of animals behind-the-scenes like their training and husbandry.
  • Sina Weibo (micro blog):[27] Through its official micro blog on Sina Weibo, Ocean Park provides news on its latest activities and special promotions to almost 600,000 blog followers.
  • Instagram:[28] At its official Instagram page, Ocean Park posts a wide variety of photos and videos of the Park's latest events and activities to draw the public's attention.
  • Mobile App: Ocean Park's mobile app offers park maps, the latest updates on the Park's events and other useful information like the show times and wait times for various attractions and shows. Users can also use the app to scan QR codes inside the Park to view exclusive content like animals' fun facts.

Master Redevelopment Plan[edit]

Ocean Park unveiled a Master Redevelopment Plan (MRP) in March 2005, which aims to rejuvenate older features at the park, develop significant new areas and double the current number of attractions from 35 to over 80. The Lowland will be completely redeveloped as a new area called the Waterfront, while the Headland will be transformed into a new section called the Summit, with separate areas where visitors can experience the chill of the North and South Poles or journey through a tropical Rainforest. A dedicated thrill ride area, Thrill Mountain, will be opened for enthusiasts of fast, action-packed attractions, and Ocean Park's current children's area, Kids' World, is now refurbished as Whisker's Harbour.

The Waterfront will feature a brand new area, Aqua City, due to open in late 2010. At its heart is the Grand Aquarium, Southeast Asia's largest and newest aquarium, a massive 3-storey attraction that will house 5,000 fish from 400 species, and contain the world's biggest aquarium viewing dome. Also at the Waterfront will be Symbio!, the world's first 360° water screen augmented by water, fire and intelligent lighting effects. The new aquarium is designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry with nightly water shows composed by Academy award-winning Peter Lehman.[29]

Groundbreaking for the MRP took place in November 2006, signalling the start of this HK$5.5 billion project, which will be completed in six years over eight phases while the Park remains open throughout.

The first of these new developments, the Amazing Asian Animals, showcasing some of the Asian region's most precious endangered creatures, including giant pandas, red pandas, Chinese giant salamanders, Asian small-clawed otters and the Chinese alligators, and Ocean Express, a funicular train system capable of transporting 5,000 visitors per hour between the Summit and the Waterfront, were launched in 2009.

In January 2011, the new flagship attraction area Aqua City was opened, symbolising the birth of a new Ocean Park. The zone features the Grand Aquarium showcasing some 5,000 fish in over 400 species, and the world's first and only 360° water screen show Symbio!. In June, the Rainforest, a new integrated theme zone featuring over 70 exotic animal species, was opened. In December, Thrill Mountain, a new exciting themed zone featuring an upbeat carnival atmosphere with colourful retail shops, game booths, and 5 new exciting rides was opened.

In March 2012, new attraction zone Old Hong Kong opened, showcasing the streetscape and spirit of Hong Kong between the 1950s and the 1970s from various perspectives. In April, the newly refurbished Hong Kong Jockey Club Sichuan Treasures opened. Two female golden monkeys, Le Le and Hu Hu became Ocean Park's animal ambassadors to convey important messages of conservation to the public. In July, Polar Adventure was opened, which marked the finale of Ocean Park's MRP. By meeting many polar animal ambassadors such as penguins, Pacific Walruses, Spotted Seals, Northern Sea Lions, Snowy Owls and Arctic Fox, guests can learn about the animals' natural habitat and the conservation issues they currently face.

Future expansion[edit]

Ocean Park is planning to design a four-star, 495-room Ocean Hotel. Construction will start by the middle of 2014 at the earliest, with the hotel slated to open in 2017. Ocean Park will spend HK$2.5 billion on the hotel project and another HK$1.6 billion on land. Ocean Park's second hotel is expected to be completed by the end of 2018 or by early 2019.

Ocean Park will add 30 attractions in its latest round of development projects starting 2014: A 20,000 sq ft shark aquarium will be open in July 2014 and a 7,000 sq ft koala museum in December 2014. Among the new attractions will be a 400,000 sq ft Water World featuring an indoor surfing simulator, 13 slides, wave pools and a Lazy River. The park is also planning to provide free Wifi to visitors in the near future along with a smart phone application to check queue times at different attractions later in the year.

Awards and achievements[edit]

Incidents[edit]

  • On 5 December 2010, seven tourists were injured when a train driver triggered the emergency braking system by mistake on the Ocean Express tunnel railway at the park. Ocean Park was required to install caps over the emergency brake button for their trains before reopening.

See also[edit]

  • House of Fury, a 2005 Hong Kong film. One of the main protagonists works as a dolphin trainer at Ocean Park
  • Allan Zeman, Chairman of Ocean Park from July 2003 to June 2014

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ocean Park, Hong Kong – World's Seventh Most Popular Amusement Park – Meet Pandas Here!". China Travel Golden Route. Retrieved 25 August 2009. 
  2. ^ "The 50 Most Visited Places in The World". Itv News. Retrieved 25 August 2009. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Corporate Information – General Facts". Ocean Park Corporation. Retrieved 25 August 2009. 
  4. ^ "TEA/AECOM 2013 Global Attractions Report". Themed Entertainment Association. 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2014. 
  5. ^ Ferris Wheel | Ocean Park Hong Kong
  6. ^ "Arctic Blast (Ocean park)". rcdb.com. Rollercoaster Database. Retrieved 3 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Ocean Park press release 02-01-2011
  8. ^ Cheung Chi-fai, "Middle Kingdom to shut door on history", South China Morning Post, 2 March 2001
  9. ^ Ocean Park press release, 02-03-2001
  10. ^ "Tai Shue Wan Development at Ocean Park". Project Profile. May 2013
  11. ^ Diana Lee, Baby hopes for new HK celebrities, The Standard, 27 April 2007
  12. ^ Ottermann, Birgit (1 July 2009). "PE dolphins ready for HK trip". News24. Retrieved 3 August 2009. 
  13. ^ ""Living fossil of fish" Chinese sturgeons debut in HK". Xinhua. 20 June 2008. 
  14. ^ Wu, Elaine (15 July 2008). "Ocean Park nets five more sturgeon". South China Morning Post. 
  15. ^ "HK returns sick sturgeon to China". BBC. 8 January 2009. 
  16. ^ "About Hoi Wai / Suzie (OO7901)". cetacousin.bplaced.net. Cetacean Cousins. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  17. ^ "They did not survive the show". orcahome.de. Stephan Jacobs. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  18. ^ Reeves, Randall R.; DeMaster, Douglass P.; Hill, Cynthia L.; Leatherwood, Stephen. "Survivorship of Odontocete Cetaceans at Ocean Park, Hong kong, 1974–1994". Asian Marine Biology (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press). 11–12. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  19. ^ http://www.oceanpark.com.hk/html/en/park-experience/attraction-show/op-escalator.html
  20. ^ "Ocean Park: a wonderland in Hong Kong | gbtimes". Radio86.com. 22 February 1999. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  21. ^ "樂園1.5公里纜車 盡覽港半島景色". Tvbs.com.tw. Retrieved 17 March 2013. 
  22. ^ Bradsher, Keith (25 March 2007). "Taking to the Sky Above the City Crowds". The New York Times. 
  23. ^ "Hong Kong Attractions". The New York Times. 
  24. ^ http://www.oceanpark.com.hk/html/en/conservation/why-conservation
  25. ^ https://www.facebook.com/hkoceanpark
  26. ^ http://www.youtube.com/user/HKOceanPark
  27. ^ http://e.weibo.com/hkoceanpark
  28. ^ http://instagram.com/hkoceanpark
  29. ^ Disney Rival Ocean Park to Woo Visitors With Egg-Shaped Hong Kong Aquarium Bloomberg.com Wendy Leung – 11 January, 2011 12:01 PM GMT+0800

External links[edit]