Lonely Planet review
It may have to compete with the natural crowd-pulling powers of Disneyland on Lantau, but for many Ocean Park remains the top theme park in Hong Kong. The accolade is in no small part thanks to a successful revamp of this local institution, which has seen new rides and attractions added to the constantly expanding site as well as consistently record-breaking visitor numbers. The presence of four giant pandas plus four very cute, rare red pandas – all gifts from the mainland – has also contributed to the dramatic turnaround in the park’s fortunes.
The park is divided into two main sections. The main entrance is on the Waterfront (lowland) side and is linked to the main section on the Summit (headland) via a scenic cable car ride and a marine-themed funicular train called the Ocean Express.
The major attractions at the Waterfront are Amazing Asian Animals and Aqua City, where animals and sea creatures come with some worthwhile educational content. The newest addition is the Grand Aquarium which boasts the world’s largest aquarium dome with a 5.5m diameter and is home to 5000 fish (400 species). Another brand-new zone, Old Hong Kong, is a replica of the old buildings and communities that once graced Wan Chai and older parts of Kowloon. To the north is Whiskers Harbour, which thrives on an assortment of kids-oriented rides.
On the Summit , the Thrill Mountain has plenty of white-knuckle rides, such as the celebrated roller coaster, Hair Raiser. In Marine World you’ll find sea lions and seals plus daily dolphin and killer-whale shows. Meanwhile, the Chinese Sturgeon Aquarium showcases another living gift from the mainland.