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News & Rumors

 

OCEAN PARK
Hong Kong

 

 

 

 

 

icon_STOPPark News - (3/24/21) BlooLoop reports that Ocean Park’s new makeover plans have now been formally approved by the Hong Kong Government who will provide the park with HK$361million ($46 million) in extra funding to keep the park running.
 
    (1/19/21) According to an update posted by TheCoasterKings, Ocean Park has now received 5.4 billion Yuan ($361 million) from the government to “revitalize” and “stabilize” the theme park and as a result will be making some big changes to how they operate. Perhaps the biggest change will be a move away from a traditional theme park business model and into a park where admission is free but the attractions will require their own fees to experience.
    In a business model like that, the popular attractions survive and the unpopular will find themselves phased out rather quickly. As such, new and more traditional upcharge style attractions like ziplining will be added, while seven older rides with high maintenance costs are already planned for removal. They are eyeballing a number of attractions for retirement in Ocean World and Rapid Stream World, and have already confirmed that the Ferris Wheel and Dragon roller coaster will be removed. The Dragon is the oldest coaster in the park, an Arrow custom looper added in 1984 that sits on a hillside that has been repainted in a number of different colors over the years. According to the article the majority of attractions in Dynamic World, Tropical Rainforest World and Ice Polar World will remain.
    The rides to be retired however may continue to operate for up to three years from now, as the new business model of the park will seek out “new vendors and operators” to lease out sites in the park to redevelop and run their own attractions instead. The concept sounds a little out there on the surface, but is not one that hasn’t been used elsewhere with success. While I’ve never been myself, I believe that the popular Wiener Prater park in Vienna, Austria runs itself in a similar fashion, with various groups installing and running their own attractions in competition with the other attractions in the park run by other groups and families. (If I misunderstood, someone please correct me…) I’m not sure what other locations may operate this way, though it sounds more like the style of operations you might find on the European fair circuit as well.
    Another article on the topic from BlooLoop also mentions that the focus of the park may also be a shift towards being a resort destination rather than a regional theme park as a way to stabilize the attraction which has been operating at a loss for the past four years. Instead the lower sections of the park that will be free to visit will be transformed more into a ‘retailtainment zone’ with more food & beverage locations run by third parties that will generate income for Ocean Park. There are also plans to build a new show venue at the park that can be used for concerts and other show performances.
    On another note, the long in development waterpark Ocean Park has been building will finally open later in late Summer 2021, and will be run as a separate gated attraction requiring a separate ticket to visit.
 
    (12/2/20) Local news reports confirm that the Hong Kong Government has closed the county’s theme parks (including Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland) as well as various game centers, karaoke lounges and more, for at least the next two weeks.
 
    (10/10/20) A fun video released by Ocean Park in Hong Kong shows a unique experience being offered at the park currently. A Yoga class is getting to relax and get their focus on in perhaps the most tranquil setting of all. Inside of the park’s massive aquariums you can see the class taking place as if they were sitting at the bottom of the ocean, with the sea life swimming all around in front of them on massive floor to ceiling viewing panels.

 
    (9/23/20) Ocean Park reports that the Hong Kong theme park reopened to guests once again on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. Online reservations are required to visit the park, which is back to operating seven days a week.
 
    (9/10/20) According to a report from Variety, the Hong Kong Government may be ready to allow Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park starting on Sept. 18, 2020. So far Disney has not confirmed this date or plans to reopen just yet, as it may take them a bit to get their staff, attractions and operations prepared to reopen. More as we find out.
 
    (7/19/20) According to the latest updates from Hong Kong, in addition to Hong Kong Disneyland shutting down once again, Ocean Park had also closed once again on July 14, 2020. News reports from Hong Kong indicate that the situation there has only gotten worse since the shutdown order was issued earlier this week. The city has recorded a new record of 100 new cases in a day, and while they thought they essentially had succeeded almost entirely stopping local infections by late June, Hong Kong has seen a spike of over 500 new cases reported over the past two weeks. Compare this with the fact that since January, Hong Kong has only had a grand total of 1,788 cases, so nearly a third of them have happened in the past two weeks which is cause for concern.
 
    (5/30/20) According to this report the HK$5.4 billion bailout deal was approved for Ocean Park this week that will ensure the park can keep functioning for at least the next 12 months.  There was a fairly strong opposition to the vote however, from those who want to see things changed at Ocean park to make it more self sustainable. While the park is still closed, they are making plans and preparations to reopen soon.

    (5/24/20) Ocean Park in Hong Kong is facing an uncertain future as the local government had failed to agree upon a proposed HK$5.4 billion bailout deal to save Ocean Park. Under the current conditions Ocean Park claims that with the park currently closed, they could be forced to cease all operations entirely as early as June if they do not get some kind of financial assistance.
    Currently the park has not set a date to reopen yet after being closed in January due to the spread of COVID-19, but it is said that the park is attempting to make preparations to reopen soon.
 
    (5/18/20) Ocean Park is Hong Kong is said to be preparing to reopen soon. According to reports the park is putting their new safety measures in place in order to reopen, but at the same time, the financially strapped park is also awaiting a bailout plan from the local government said to be worth HK$5.4 billion, which is deemed necessary if the park is to continue to operate past June.
 
    (1/27/20) As expected, following the closure of Shanghai Disneyland, both Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park in Hong Kong were both closed down until further notice as well in an attempt to slow the spread of the Chinese virus outbreak. As a result, it seems that virtually all crowded public attractions (theme parks, movie theaters, etc…) have been closed as a result of the rapidly spreading virus. Even the schools in Hong Kong will remain closed until February 17th, and I believe that virtually all travel to the Wuhan area (the epicenter of the outbreak) has been canceled for the time being.
 
    (1/20/20) While we just mentioned the big plans Ocean Park has in store to expand the park last week, it seems Hong Kong’s lawmakers were not quite sure they want to invest that much in the failing park. According to this article Ocean Park management has revealed that they have just HK$400 million in their bank accounts, while already owing billions it can’t repay for previous park upgrade plans, thus putting the HD$10.64 billion they are asking for in jeopardy. Another part of the problem has been the long delayed waterpark project that was originally to open in 2017, and will only now finally open sometime later in 2020, having gone over a billion beyond their original budget of HK$2.29 billion.
    At a meeting with government officials the park stated that without being given fresh capital, the park would run out of operating funds, to which HK legislator Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee stated that the park currently owes billions and “If you were an actual business, you would have gone bankrupt. This is a failed business.”
    They say that Ocean Park has been operating at a loss since 2015, and much like Hong Kong Disneyland, has suffered greatly over 2019 as a result of the anti-government protesting that has been taking place. Unlike Hong Kong Disneyland however, which is run in a co-ownership deal between the government and Disney, Ocean Park is run as a non-profit with board members in control that were appointed to run the park by city officials. After much discussion, apparently the plans to move ahead with the park’s funding were approved by a 7 to 5 vote.

 

2021 - Water World - Delayed again from Late 2019 to 2021
    (5/15/18) More delays for Ocean Park it seems, as BlooLoop reports that work on the park's new waterpark project is now not slated to finish until November 2019 at this point. On top of that, their new Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel is also looking at a three-month long delay and will not open on June 13th as planned.
    (12/24/17) The new Water World waterpark wont be ready to open at Ocean Park until Summer 2018. A video showing off some features of what the park will look like can be seen below. The waterpark looks to have both indoor and outdoor sections and is said to offer 27 attractions.

    (1/27/14) New details about what we can expect to see from Ocean Park’s new waterpark set to open in Summer 2017 can be found here. The new, yet to be named waterpark, will be built on a hillside and include a matt racer, stationary surf wave, two wave pools and more.
    (6/3/13) Water World, set to open in 2017, will be the first and only waterfront water park in Asia. It will feature the world’s longest lazy river as just one of 25 attractions which will include 13 water slides, two wave pools and much more in a facility with both indoor and outdoor attractions allowing it to remain open year-round.
    (3/4/13) The local news reports that Ocean Kingdom will be given a HK$2.3 billion loan to build Water World, an “all-weather attraction”.  No more details were given, but previously this was mentioned to be an indoor / outdoor water park attraction, along with new dining and retail options.
    (1/10/13) No timeline was given, but the park is still also planning on redeveloping the now-closed Tai Shue Wan area into a new indoor/outdoor water park area, possibly with retail and dining areas as well.
    (10/14/11) According to The Standard, a spokesperson for Ocean Park mentioned that they were looking into building yet another themed zone in the park… an indoor “water world with an ice-skating rink”.

 

2019/2020 - New Animal Exhibit - (5/16/18) According to a job posting at BlooLoop, Ocean Park is seeking contractors interested in converting an existing building and area of the park (Whiskers Harbour) into a new animal exhibit area that will feature both indoor and outdoor animal exhibits areas. No timeline was posted as to when the job was to be completed by., so I'm guessing 2019/2020.

 

icon_STOP2023 to 2027 - Parkwide Renovation Plans - (1/14/20) Ocean Park has announced another set of huge expansion plans for the theme park to take place between 2023 and 2027. As part of a 10.6 billion yuan investment in the park, it will add seven new “scenic spots” loaded with new attractions.
    Spots 1 and 2 will be: Ocean Plaza and Azure Bay, where the current waterfront park will be divided into these two new themed areas. Ocean Plaza will actually be open to the public for free and include restaurants and retail stores and the park’s new entrance. From here guests will entire Azure Bay, themed all about water and include a new deep water pier as well as new adventure rides and a monorail to move guests around.
    Spot 3 will be Jungle Adventure - One of five new areas that the current “peak park” on the mountain will be divided into. Jungle themed, it will offer an assortment of new exciting rides as well as a new indoor coaster that will use multimedia to allow guests to experience an underwater world.
    Spot 4 will be themed to the Pacific Ocean, with special restaurants along the cliffs overlooking the sea.
    Spot 5 will be Cape Paradise, adding new new coasters experiences. Based on the concept art one will be an Alpine Coaster while the other appears to be pair of Maurer Spike powered racing coaster tracks.
    Spot 6 - Adventure Valley that will feature some kind of gravity powered car ride with different tracks suitable for different age groups.
    Spot 7 - Explorer Coast, the new home for marine mammals, with new environments created to allow for multiple species to live together. The Ocean Theater will be turned into a new multi-purpose venue.
    Lots of concept art was released, which includes views of a ton of new coaster rides for the different zones of the park. This also includes what appears to be a B&M Dive Machine, some kind of inverted coaster in a jungle, a cool looking sit-down coaster that slides back and forth half-pipe style over a rocky waterfall landscape and more.
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Newest Attractions:
2014 - Shark Mystique / Adventures in Australia

2012 - Polar Adventure w/
Arctic Blast coaster and
Old Hong Kong

2011 - Aqua City, Rainforest
Thrill Mountain w/ Hair Raiser
 

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