Ocean park

Ocean Park’s new Water World to open to Hong Kong public on September 21 after years of delay

Ocean Park’s new all-weather water world will finally open to the Hong Kong public on September 21 after a four-year delay, with coronavirus vaccinations encouraged for visitors, but not required.

Online ticketing begins at 5 p.m. on Monday, with entry priced at HK$320 (US$41) for adults and HK$225 for children, subject to seasonal adjustments. Seniors and people with disabilities can enjoy a reduced price of HK$150.

All 27 water park attractions will be open for use, including “lazy rivers”, an infinity pool, wave pools and rainbow-colored slides. The new facility spans over 55,740 square meters on a hill in Tai Shue Wan in the Southern District and is almost twice the size of the old water park which closed in 1999.

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Visitors will need to purchase separate tickets to visit Ocean Park itself. General admission to the park costs HK$498 and HK$249 for adults and children, respectively.

“We are excited to enter the final countdown to the official opening of Water World and prepare to welcome adventurers of all ages and backgrounds to dive into adventure with us,” said Paulo Pong. Kin-yee, Vice President of Ocean. Park, said Monday at a press conference.

The park will open at half capacity, welcoming 4,500 visitors initially, and shuttle services will be provided from the Ocean Park MTR station. The bus ride takes about 15 minutes.

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Bryan Fish, executive director of Water World Ocean Park, said visitors would be asked to wear reusable masks when lounging in the park, but could take them off on slides and other attractions.

“Generally, what the studies show is that aquatic facilities are generally quite safe from Covid-19. However, we still want to take those extra precautions to be able to allow people to use masks and also follow government restrictions,” Fish said.

The struggling resort originally planned to open the water park in 2017, but the project has suffered years of delays and cost overruns.

Its cost was estimated at HK$2.29 billion eight years ago and has since climbed to HK$4 billion.

It is hoped the facility will breathe new life into the debt-ridden theme park, which has been dependent on government funding for two consecutive years.

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The 44-year-old park, once one of Asia’s top attractions, is undergoing a massive overhaul, including of its business model, after suffering back-to-back losses compounded by tourism shortages amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Ocean Park secured HK$6.8 billion in government funding in March to stay afloat.

The park’s costly renovation aims to make it a financially self-sufficient retail and recreation center focused on education and conservation.

The revamp includes charging fees for individual attractions and creating a new retail, dining and entertainment area that can be accessed free of charge.

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