I think this was the first time I’ve ever been in awe of an amusement park. Everything was just so perfectly in-sync that there was nothing that it didn’t belong. The entrance of the park features a large LED screen that doubles as the ceiling, as well as shops built into the walls on either side of the main walkway.
The park is broken up into 9 areas (one is still under construction):
- Ocean Avenue: the main entrance of the park
- Henquin Ocean: the centre of the park where fireworks take place over the body of water at night, Musical fountain
- Mt. Walrus: Sealion theater – where the sealion show takes place, Walrus Island, Spirit of Adventure (a ride like pirate ship basically), Sealion Bay, Walrus Splash
- Fun Zone: Beaver Exhibit, Game Arcade, Stingray Encounter, Tide Pool, Bumper Cars Happy Bump Bump Bump, Octopus Carousel, Family Fun Food (food court)
- Polar Horizon: Polar Bear Exhibit, Penguin Exhibit, Beluga Theatre, Beluga Exhibit, Polar Explorer
- Ocean Beauty: Whale Shark Aquarium, Deep Sea Odyssey , Ocean Beauty Restaurant
- Amazing Amazon: Manatee Exhibit, Parrot Coaster which ran through Rainforest Restaurant
- Dolphin Cove: Dolphin Theatre, Battle of the Pirates (Ride that had water shooting boats), Dolphin Round Ride, Dolphin Conservation Centre, Dolphin Island
- 5D Theatre: currently under construction
I didn’t manage to take a photo of the ‘Parrot Coaster’, since we only made our way there in the last half an hour or so, but there were 3 differently themed roller coasters in the park: Walrus Splash, Polar Explorer, and Parrot Coaster. The first two were water rides, so they sold raincoats for 10RMB – I refused to buy one and was asked a few times if I was sure I didn’t want one, and I’m glad I didn’t because you didn’t even get that wet…
The ‘Polar Explorer’ roller coaster went under the walkways to give a closer view of the various bears in the area.
Made especially for those that don’t like walking around in wet clothes are these ‘Body Dryer’s, which for 20RMB can blast air and dry up to 4 people at a time.
I think this was the only feeding station, but for 20RMB, you were able to buy a cup of pre-cut vegetables to throw to the bears that were outside the polar exhibit.
Entrance/Exit of the Beluga Exhibit:
There are 3 animal shows on at multiple times during the day: sealion, dolphin and beluga. All three shows were interactive and required audience participation which was nice – once again, all the shows are conducted in Mandarin, so I probably only understood 5% of what was going on.
Sealion Show at the Sealion Theatre, Mr. Walrus:
During the Dolphin Show:
Manatee Exhibit, Amazing Amazon:
Ocean Beauty Restaurant and entrance to the Wale Shark Aquarium:
Feeding time at one of the aquariums at the Whale Shark Aquarium:
Lunch at one of the restaurants (that doesn’t have an English name..)
It probably wasn’t the wisest choice, but since we were short on time I went straight on the Parrot Coaster after lunch (twice, at that..).We had to leave at 5:15 in order to take the 5:30 shuttle bus from the hotel back to the pier, so unfortunately I only had time to fit in two goes on the Parrot Coaster :c
- Design of the park: Each area of the park is themed and decorated accordingly – with Amazing Amazon featuring more trees and vines whilst Polar Horizon is painted white and covered in (fake) snow.
- No lines at rides: Maybe it’s because the general target audience of the park is for families with young children, but I had no problems with lining up for the rides at all. The park had obviously designed a large, almost maze-like queuing system to fit large crowds, but I was able to get straight on the Parrot Coaster both times – no waiting at all.
- Spacious: This was the case for both Chimelong parks we visited, but I was definitely more appreciative of the the fact the exhibits weren’t crowded at Ocean Kingdom since I could take take my time at each of the glass-framed exhibits.
- Educational/Informative: Like the Dolphin Conservation Centre, the park offers an insight into how the park looks after the dolphins and actually gives you a behind-the-scenes view of how they monitor water conditions, the dolphins health etc.
- Spectacular Animal Shows: It’s really dependent on whether animal shows are your cup of tea. At first I was a bit hesitant, but a couple of minutes into the show, I found myself enjoying them. The trainers/keepers looked like they genuinely cared about the welfare of the animals they were training – and the bond between trainer/animals was really obvious. There were also some foreign (non-Chinese) trainers, which to me says that they didn’t just hire anyone, but looked for people who were skilled/fit for the job.
- Various Food options: like the Safari Park, Ocean Kingdom also has a range of food options with various themed restaurants that offer snacks to full course meals (with varying prices of course).
- Lack of shading: Whilst most of the animal exhibits are indoors, a good number of the exhibits are outdoors (not to mention all walking between areas), and despite us going in Winter, the sun was quite strong that day, so I can only imagine how hot/sweaty it can get during Summer…
- Mandarin only narrations during animal shows: not too big of a deal if you’re just there to enjoy the animal shows, but since the sealion show followed a story format (a competition between two teams), it was difficult to follow along. And I would assume that it would be hard to communicate with the trainers if you were picked to be one of the participating audience members too…
- 10RMB raincoats: that really aren’t necessary – a cute souvenir if you do buy it though, it has the logo of the park on the back
The time we spent there was definitely not enough – we didn’t get to catch the evening fireworks show since we had to make it back to catch the bus. I think this is the case for both Ocean Kingdom and Safari Park, but if I were to go again, I’d probably go for 3 days and 2 nights (especially at Ocean Kingdom if it means that I get to enjoy the buffet for two nights in a row..)
now playing: candy jelly love – 러블리즈