Ocean Park Hong Kong

Ocean Park Hong Kong

Main entrance of Ocean Park in 2013
Slogan 去玩去癲嚟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[1]
Area 91.5 hectares (226 acres)
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. Opened in 1977 by the then Governor of Hong Kong Sir Murray MacLehose, Ocean Park became popular but by 2005 was unprofitable and widely expected to lose out to the new Hong Kong Disneyland.[2][3][4] However, the Park responded with a bold HK$5.5 billion development plan that saw it expand to over 80 attractions and rides, and steadily grow visitor numbers to 7.6 million in 2014, making it the world's 13th most visited theme park, and the largest theme park in Asia.[5][6] Half of all visitors now come from mainland China, in growth that parallels rising mainland tourist visitor levels to Hong Kong over the same period.[7]

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. To ascend the Headland comprises several hills, visitors can use Hong Kong's second longest outdoor escalator.[8]

The theme park has various attractions and rides, including four roller coasters, and also animal exhibits with different themes, such as a giant panda habitat, rainforest and polar displays, as well as an aquarium featuring the world's largest aquarium dome. Between 1979 and 1997, Ocean Park was most famous for its signature killer whale, Miss Hoi Wai (海威小姐).

As well as being an amusement park, Ocean Park Hong Kong aims to merge entertainment and education, including conservation advocacy. However it has been criticised by wildlife advocates for practices including the wild capture of large sea animals, such as dolphins and orca, and the presentation of shows featuring such animals performing.[9][10][11]

In 2013-14, Ocean Park had a turnover of HK$2.0 billion, with earnings before tax of HK$633 million.[6]


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

Ocean Park ceased to be a Jockey Club subsidiary on 1 July 1987, becoming its own statutory body, with a Government-appointed Board. The 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 2003, Allan Zeman, known for leading the creation of the popular Lan Kwai Fong entertainment district of Hong Kong, was appointed Chairman of Ocean Park Corporation, a position he held for 11 years.[6]

In 2005, the year that rival Hong Kong Disneyland opened, Ocean Park unveiled a Master Redevelopment Plan (MRP), under which older features at the park were rejuvenated and new areas developed. The number of attractions more than doubled, from 35 to over 80. The Lowland was redeveloped as a new area called the Waterfront, while the old 'Headland' became 'The Summit', with polar and rainforest exhibits. A dedicated thrill ride area, Thrill Mountain, opened, and the children's area was refurbished as Whisker's Harbour.

The first of the new developments, the Amazing Asian Animals, showcasing some of the Asia's 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. The zone features the Grand Aquarium, designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry, displaying some 5,000 fish from over 400 species, and the world's first and only 360° water screen show Symbio.[12]

In June, the Rainforest, an integrated theme zone featuring over 70 exotic animal species, was opened.

In March 2012, new attraction zone Old Hong Kong opened, evoking the streetscapes 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. In July, the final element of the redevelopment, Polar Adventure, opened, featuring animals such as penguins, Pacific walruses, spotted seals, northern sea lions, snowy owls and Arctic foxes, aiming to highlight some of the conservation issues they face.

A 20,000 sq ft shark aquarium opened in July 2014 at the former Atoll Reef site.


Ocean Park now comprises two main attraction areas: the Waterfront and the Summit, subdivided into eight 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)

Marine World (海洋天地)

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).

Thrill Mountain (動感天地)

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

Thrill Mountain was opened in December 2011. It is a carnival-themed area of 222,800 square feet. It offers five rides, eight booth games, as well as food, beverages and merchandise.

Adventure Land (急流天地)

Polar Adventure (冰極天地)

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 the 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 attraction's carbon footprint is reduced 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, which it is claimed cut electricity consumption by a third.

The Rainforest (熱帶雨林天地)

Rainforest – The Rapids

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

The Waterfront (海濱樂園)

The Grand Aquarium in Ocean Park
Old Hong Kong

Aqua City (夢幻水都)

Aqua City was opened in January 2011 and occupies around 200.000 square feet. It features:

Amazing Asian Animals (亞洲動物天地)

Whiskers Harbour (威威天地)

Whiskers Harbour, previously called Kid's World, features attractions for younger children, over an area 14,200 square metres.

The former Bird Paradise area, in 2009.

Former attractions

Former attractions of Ocean Park include:


Ocean Theatre
Ocean Theatre

Symbio! (雙龍奇緣)

Emperors of the Sky (天上王者)

Ocean Theatre (海洋劇場)

Whiskers' Theatre (威威劇場)


Ocean Park holds over 12,000 animals and highlights its educational and scientific research programmes, alongside the animal displays and entertainment.[19]

The Park has had success breeding rare shark species, bottlenose dolphins, sea lions, sea horses, penguins, anacondas, red-handed tamarins, Pygmy marmosets and several species of sea jellies. Endangered birds and butterflies are also 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 were given permanent homes in the 'Hong Kong Jockey Club Sichuan Treasures' area. 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.[20] A new compound was prepared at the park to house them on their arrival. In August 2015, Jia Jia became the oldest breeding panda in the world at the age of 37. Sadly, Jia Jia began to suffer the effects of advanced aging in October 2016, refusing most food and fluids and rapidly losing weight. On October 16, after having been found unable to walk, her vets decided to euthanize her. Then age 38 (114 in panda years), she was sometimes billed as the oldest panda in the world. She was definitely known to be the oldest panda in captivity. Although there is no such certain data regarding pandas in the wild, their life expectancy in the wild is 15 to 20 years, giving the claim a good likelihood of being correct. [21]


The Park's Marine Mammal Breeding and Research Centre (MMBRC) houses a total of nine 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 formed part of Ocean Park's breeding programme.[22] 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 sturgeon

The Chinese sturgeon were introduced to the park in 2008, and as of 2013, Ocean Park houses nine 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 sturgeon, 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.[23] 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.[24] 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 found to be ill in January 2009. The two sick fish, measuring 2.3m and 1.5m, were returned to the Yangtze River Fisheries Research Institute for expert care.[25]

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

Hoi Wai was a female Orca, who was captured near Iceland in 1975 and kept at Ocean Park between January 1979 and April 1997.[26][27] Hoi wai was about 5 metres (16 ft) long and weighed about 1,800 kilograms (4,000 lb).[28] In Hong Kong, Miss Hoi Wai (海威小姐) is still considered an icon and celebrity to this day.

Animal encounter programmes

Ocean Park runs a series of programmes called "Get Closer to the Animals" which offer supervised access to its resident animals, from swimming with dolphins to learning to be a panda keeper. Holders of a diving certificate can even enter the Grand Aquarium, while an overnight camp within its dome offers a drier way to view the underwater world. There are behind-the-scenes tours of many facilities, often including the chance to get close to animals such as penguins, seals and other polar animals.

Animal mascots

Ocean Park introduced a waving sea lion named Whiskers (known as Wai Wai in Chinese) as its major mascot in 2000. Subsequent 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.

Internal transport

Ocean Park cable car

Ocean Park features a 1.5-kilometre (0.93 mi) long cable car system connecting the Waterfront and the Summit with an eight-minute journey, with views of the South China Sea. It has a capacity of 4,000 passengers per hour with 252 cable cars on two pairs of ropeways. Each car can hold six passengers.[29][30][31][32]

Hong Kong's second longest outdoor escalator system, at 225 metres long provides the main link between facilities at Tai Shue Wan and the Summit.[33] (The longest system is the Central-Mid-levels Escalators).

The 'Ocean Express' funicular railway system between the Summit and the Waterfront can carry 5,000 people per hour on its three-minute journey. This themed ride utilises multimedia effects to simulate the feeling of travelling into the depths of the sea.


The as-yet unopened Ocean Park Station

At present, most people reach the park via Citybus Ocean Park Express (Route 629) from Admiralty Station, which departs every 10 minutes and has a journey time of about 25 minutes. There are no intermediate stops between Admiralty and Ocean Park, but some departures during the day actually originate at the Star Ferry Pier, stopping at Exchange Square and Admiralty Station on the way.

Ocean Park Station, a new stop on the Hong Kong MTR, will reduce travelling time from Admiralty to four minutes.[34] The station will open with the rest of the line in December 2016.[35]


Ocean Park puts much effort into education and research about animal conservation, by operating observatories, laboratories, an education department, and the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK), a fund that advocates, facilitates and participates in the conservation of wildlife and habitats, with an emphasis on Asia, through research and education. In 2013/2014, the foundation funded 44 conservation projects, covering 30 species in 12 countries with a total of HK$13 million (out of the Park's total turnover of HK$2 billion), a sharp increase over funding a few years earlier. The foundation was formed in 2005 from the merger of two earlier organisations, the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation (OPCF), founded 1993, and the Hong Kong Society for Panda Conservation (HKSPC), founded 1999.

Ocean Park Hong Kong was the first institution in the world to successfully artificially inseminate bottlenose dolphins, and has developed several new breeds of goldfish.

Since 2006, OPCFHK has collaborated with the Hong Kong 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.

Ocean Park has created education programmes, such as the Ocean Park Academy (OPA), begun in 2004, through which the Park runs educational tours for schoolchildren and workshops for teachers from the Hong Kong Institute of 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 nine 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. For five weeks in 2013, MMBRC was open for public visits.


Ocean Park has been criticised by wildlife advocates for certain practices including the wild capture of large sea animals, such as dolphins and orca, and the presentation of shows featuring such animals performing. Opponents have highlighted their views on international "Empty the Tanks" day – a non-violent multinational demonstration that aims to end the capture and sale of wild dolphins to marine parks, where the creatures are said to die younger and breed much less. There is concern for the psychological state of the mammals alongside their physiological needs. And the advocates say it sends the wrong message, not only to visitors but also to marine parks in mainland China, which, if they copied the Park's practices, could have a significant impact on wild populations.[9][10][11]

Major annual events

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

Halloween Bash

Since 2008, the Park's annual Halloween events, held from September to 1 November, have become very popular, including among non-regular visitors. Themes such as "Fear Formula" and "Haunted Hong Kong" provide modern twists on the traditional haunted house along with various attractions and activities.

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 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 explore Chinese national treasures, featuring the display of two Sichuan golden monkeys.

Ocean Park Summer Splash

The event is held in summer every year, in which visitors partake in various wet and wild thrills including water games and water slides.

Christmas Sensation

Christmas themed celebrations held from December to January every year.

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.

Future expansion

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. 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.


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.[8][36][37]


See also


  1. http://www.oceanpark.com.hk/html/en/footer/corporate-information/facts.html
  2. Allan Zeman: Hong Kong's Mouse Killer, Forbes, 13 Feb 2007
  3. Catching the Wave at Ocean Park, Citi International Case Competition 2008
  4. Varsity survey shows Ocean Park Challenged, Periscope, Joyce Lam, Chinese University of Hong Kong
  5. "TEA/AECOM 2014 Global Attractions Attendance Report Report" (PDF). Themed Entertainment Association. 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  6. 1 2 3 Ocean Park press release, 3 December 2014
  7. Ocean Park press release, 18 Feb 2011
  8. 1 2 "Corporate Information – General Facts". Ocean Park Corporation. Retrieved 25 August 2009.
  9. 1 2 'Empty the tanks': Hong Kong's Ocean Park at centre of activists' battle to stop dolphin captivity, SCMP, 27 June 2015
  10. 1 2 Wild or captivity?, HK Dolphin Watch
  11. 1 2 Murky waters, China Daily, by Simon Parry, 16 March 2011
  12. 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
  13. Ferris Wheel | Ocean Park Hong Kong
  14. "Arctic Blast (Ocean park)". rcdb.com. Rollercoaster Database. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  15. Ocean Park press release 02-01-2011
  16. Cheung Chi-fai, "Middle Kingdom to shut door on history", South China Morning Post, 2 March 2001
  17. Ocean Park press release, 02-03-2001
  18. "Tai Shue Wan Development at Ocean Park". Project Profile. May 2013
  19. Ocean Park visitor numbers slip on wet weather, new rules for mainland tourists, SCMP, 4 December 2014
  20. Diana Lee, Baby hopes for new HK celebrities, The Standard, 27 April 2007
  21. Matthew Young , The Mirror, 16 October 2016
  22. Ottermann, Birgit (1 July 2009). "PE dolphins ready for HK trip". News24. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  23. ""Living fossil of fish" Chinese sturgeons debut in HK". Xinhua. 20 June 2008.
  24. Wu, Elaine (15 July 2008). "Ocean Park nets five more sturgeon". South China Morning Post.
  25. "HK returns sick sturgeon to China". BBC. 8 January 2009.
  26. "About Hoi Wai / Suzie (OO7901)". cetacousin.bplaced.net. Cetacean Cousins. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  27. "They did not survive the show". orcahome.de. Stephan Jacobs. Retrieved 3 July 2012.
  28. 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.
  29. "Ocean Park: a wonderland in Hong Kong | gbtimes". Radio86.com. 22 February 1999. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  30. "樂園1.5公里纜車 盡覽港半島景色". Tvbs.com.tw. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  31. Bradsher, Keith (25 March 2007). "Taking to the Sky Above the City Crowds". The New York Times.
  32. "Hong Kong Attractions". The New York Times.
  33. Escalator, Ocean Park information
  34. "Journey Time". South Island Line (East). MTR Corporation.
  35. Hon, Isabelle (28 October 2015). "Ocean Park MTR Station Opens... Sort Of". HK Magazine.
  36. "Ocean Park, Hong Kong – World's Seventh Most Popular Amusement Park – Meet Pandas Here!". China Travel Golden Route. Retrieved 25 August 2009.
  37. "The 50 Most Visited Places in The World". Itv News. Archived from the original on 20 August 2009. Retrieved 25 August 2009.
  38. Clifford, LO. "Mainland Chinese tourist plunges 11 metres to his death in Ocean Park accident". South China Morning Post. South China Morning Post. Retrieved 22 February 2015.

External links

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