Ocean Park Set To Turn Into A Free-Entry Resort and Leisure Destination
Ocean Park has proposed to transform into a free resort and leisure destination in the next two to three years, according to Ocean Park chairman, Mr. Lau Ming-wai and government officials in a press conference held on Monday, January 18. Detailed in the proposal, the park will be introducing new entertainment, wellness and adventure zones in addition to an all-weather water park, charging for amusement rides and in-park transportation including the cable car and express train, plus exhibitions.
Transitioning out of the park’s ticketed mode of operation as a one-day attraction, Ocean Park will be focusing on developing its new non-ticketed retail, dining and entertainment (RDE) zone, as well as new conservation and education schemes as part of the government’s “Invigorating Island South” initiative, “providing a leisure experience that highlights the natural beauty and local culture of Hong Kong”.
The RDE zone will be created at the lower park area with public spaces for open-air markets and events; a children-friendly playground and water play area; existing and new conservation and education facilities such as the Grand Aquarium and the Giant Panda Adventure will also be a part of the RDE zone.
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Other existing attractions will either be upgraded, re-themed or slowly phased out. Those fond of the Mine Train and Raging Rivers may want to revisit the park when it opens again as the two rides will soon be removed to make room for new adventure-themed attractions such as Xraycer and Zipline in the future. Other ageing rides will also be demolished in the coming years, making space for wellness-themed activities including glamping, trekking, meditation and yoga retreats.
The Water World, which will be opening this summer will be the city’s first year-round water park. Featuring 27 indoor and outdoor water attractions, the water park will include a man-made beach, a surf rider, and an eight-lane mat racer water slide.
On top of all the exciting plans Ocean Park has in store, Hong Kong’s iconic Jumbo Floating Restaurant, which ceased operations last year, will be donated to Ocean Park to preserve the restaurant’s history and culture. While no confirmed plans on what the restaurant will be used for yet, visitors can expect to see the floating restaurant as part of the park’s new operations.
In 2020, the park received the government’s funding support to maintain operations for a year. In hopes to attract more visitors, new millennial and family-friendly initiatives such as yoga classes and glamping packages were introduced.
To become more financially sustainable in the long run, the park will be outsourcing part of its dining and entertainment zones to service providers and considering a “pay-as-you-go” ticketing method in place of the existing model to boost visitor numbers. In the meantime, however, Ocean Park will be leaning on financial assistance from the government to maintain and move forward with operations.
Learn about Ocean Park's new plans, visit oceanpark.com.hk