You have two major theme parks to choose from in Hong Kong. The first is Ocean Park, which is Hong Kong’s own theme park boasting an aquarium, water show with dolphins, animals, and rides. The second option is Hong Kong Disneyland. We had the hardest time deciding which one to go to. Our minds were actually made up to go to Disney, (being from the states we have a ridiculous love for Disneyland in California), but after recommendations continued to come in for Ocean Park we decided to spend our one day for an amusement park, where the locals recommended.
You will definitely want to plan a full day for the park! It’s divided into an upper and lower section. The upper has most of the rides and the cold weather animal exhibits and the lower has the aquarium, more animals, and the water show.
The thing about Ocean Park is that you can’t go in comparing it to Disneyland, which I’ll admit is exactly what we did. We are use to the parades, the light show, and just that DL magic, and in that respect, Ocean Park will disappoint (I guess that should have been more obvious to us. As I type this, it’s really obvious). But Ocean Park has plenty that you couldn’t experience at DL. with tons of its own fun to be had. Seeing the Red Panda, the panda bears, the penguins and the water show were definite highlights for us. I’ll go through each section of the park and share the best of and what we could have missed.
One important thing to note is that they offer a fast pass of sorts called a FasTrack. After a very long line to get up to the upper half of the parkGondola Gondala and another long line for the first ride we waited for, we decided to splurge on the FasTrack. Our thinking was that we only had the one day and we wanted to see as much as we could. Well, we never had any long waits after that, plus the FasTrack only works 7 times and that’s the end of it, plus it’s only for certain attractions. Well, it turned out Paysen wasn’t tall enough for almost any of them. I don’t think there were even 7 options he was eligible for. So we would NOT recommend investing in the FasTrack unless it’s a really crazy day and you buy it first thing. Had we had it for those first two things, it may have felt more worth it.
Ocean Park has 7 to 8 real Thrill Rides (I’d say for the true thrill enthusiast there are 3). Our family happens to full of true thrill enthusiasts, especially our youngest, Paysen. This turned out to be problematic because he just hasn’t quite made the height for those rides yet. So if your kiddos are ride seekers and around 7 to 9 they may be stuck sitting out on a lot of the rides. As I remember Adi (11) was able to go on all of them, Ella (10) got to ride most of them but poor Paysen (8) didn’t make it on many of the rides at all, especially because a couple of the rides he was tall enough for happened to be in renovation at the time.
This is where Ocean Park really stands out! It was an amazing experience to see the red panda feeding (make sure you check your schedule so you don’t miss it!) We also loved the playful penguins and we couldn’t get over the cuteness of the arctic foxes. Getting to see some of the incredible animals of Asia was a definite treat!
Ocean Wonder Water Show (3 Showtimes Daily)
The Water Show was a highlight! Watching the dolphins and seals do their tricks was so much fun. Make sure you don’t come too late because the gates to get closed. Paysen and I went to save seats while Tay and the girls rode on another ride P wasn’t tall enough for and they almost didn’t make it in at all.
The Grand Aquarium
The Aquarium wasn’t anything spectacular but it was still beautiful and it was fun having so many different elements to the day.
Symbio! Water Show (7pm Nightly)
This is maybe where we made the biggest mistake comparing the Ocean Park Water show to Disneyland. Not a fair comparison. This is not their grand finale to the day in the same way that Disney’s nightly shows are. It was pretty and the fire component was really fun but this is just a little part of the day. The real show stopper w as The Ocean Wonder Show with the Dolphins.