Ocean Park is accessible and convenient as it is just minutes away after exiting the Aberdeen Tunnel. The Park spans 870,000 square meters and has two distinct areas, the Summit (Headland) and the Waterfront (Lowland) connected by the 1.5 km long cable car ride across a mountain separating them. During an interview with Forbes, Zeman has expressed utter dismay at the idea of closing down the Park. He says the magnificent view of the surrounding waters makes Ocean Park an ideal marine theme park. The trick to keep the visitors coming back is making sure the Park always has something new to offer. The theme park has 19 rides, with two roller coasters, 11 animal exhibits, the most famous being the Giant panda habitat. Two giant pandas An An and Jia Jia arrive at the Park in 1999. They are joined by another pair Ying Ying and Le Le in 2007 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the handover. For a short time there is a Chinese sturgeon aquarium, but out of mal-adaptation, the rare fish are returned to the Mainland when they start to die off one by one.
The major attractions on the Headlands Rides include roller coaster the Dragon, a free fall ride The Abyss Turbo Drop, the Flying Swing, the Crazy Galleon, the Ferris Wheel.
The attractions at Adventure Land consist of the second roller coaster, the Mine Train, the Raging River and the Ocean Park Escalator, a weatherproof outdoor escalator at 225 meters long.
The Marine Land hosts the Pacific Pier where Californian sea lions and seals live, the Atoll Reef standing at four-story high has more than 2,000 fish swimming amongst the live coral reefs, the Ocean Theater stages dolphin and sea lion performances, the Sea Jelly Spectacular displays more than 400 jellyfish and the Ocean Park Tower serves as an observation deck with an unobstructed view of the South China Sea.
The Lowland Gardens is home to four Giant pandas, the Amazing Birds Show with macaws, cockatoos and parrots performances, the Sky Fair and the Cable Car ride.
The Whisker’s Harbor houses the Dolphin University, Whisker’s Theater, Kids Rides and Tiny Town Games.
The Bird Paradise consists of the Aviary and Flamingo Pond.
The Mascots of Ocean Park is a sea lion named Whiskers. However the real mascot marketing Ocean Park is Allan Zeman himself. Ever flamboyant, he would dress up as a Chinese doll used for offerings complete with a Chinese costume, pasty white face and two red cheeks to promote the Halloween attraction. During the launch of the Jelly Fish Spectacular, he is seen dressed as a walking Jelly Fish. He has high hopes for the Park and pledges to make Ocean Park into the world’s best marine-based theme park, a premier tourist destination with world class facilities and exhibits. The initial plan is to invest HK$5 billion into projects which includes a funicular train similar to the Peak Tram that transports visitors from the Headland to the Lowland. The park will eventually double in size with new attractions and even polar animals which hopefully would be abandoned as Hong Kong has sub tropical climate and definitely make a poor habitat for polar animals.
Bonnie Wong is a full time writer, bilingual translator and founder of Pastel b. cards. She hopes to share the uniqueness of Hong Kong with everyone through her writing. Learn more about me [+]