Ocean Park Hong Kong
Explore what Ocean Park is all about.

Ocean Park Launches Asia’s First themed Area Integrating Immersive Presentations of Arctic and Antarctic Animals, and a Family Coaster Ride Eco-friendly Attraction Combines Innovative Design and Dining Destination with Penguin Panorama to Raise Awareness

2012-07-12

(Hong Kong – 12 July 2012) The Honourable Mr. Leung Chun-ying, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), today officiated the launch of Ocean Park’s Polar Adventure, Hong Kong’s first polar-themed attraction with Arctic and Antarctic animal ambassadors. Mr. Leung was joined by Dr. Allan Zeman, Chairman of Ocean Park; Ms. Judy Chen, Chair of Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK); and Mr. Andy Lau, JP, Conservation Ambassador of OPCFHK.

Spanning over 150,000 square feet and home to over 100 polar animals of diverse species, Polar Adventure is Asia’s first themed area integrating immersive presentations of Arctic and Antarctic animals and a family coaster ride. Offering a total of 9 individual attractions*, Polar Adventure is also Asia’s newest attraction dedicated to raising awareness of the impact of global climate change on polar wildlife and habitats. Starting tomorrow, without having to criss-cross both ends of the world, the public can encounter at South Pole Spectacular three different species of penguins and at North Pole Encounter Pacific walruses, spotted seals, northern sea lions, snowy owls and arctic foxes – on every single visit to Ocean Park.

Both pavilions offer a uniquely open exhibit space as the animal ambassadors are not separated from the guests with floor-to-ceiling partitions. Adding to the sense of realism, the pavilions feature interior lighting specifically adjusted to mimic the seasonal conditions in the Polar Regions, with regular displays of stunning auroras during their respective winter period. The entire family can also enjoy Arctic Blast, a snow sled-inspired roller coaster, and dine at Tuxedos Restaurant for a panoramic view of the penguin pool area. Polar Adventure is the final themed area to open under Ocean Park’s 6-year HK$5.55 billion Master Redevelopment Plan (MRP), which has already transformed Hong Kong’s People’s Park into a leading world-class family travel destination. The previously launched new themed areas helped Ocean Park attract a record high of 7.1 million guests (note: this attendance figure is unaudited) for the fiscal year that ended 30 June 2012.
 
Also on hand as officiating guests to show their support for the conservation and tourism significance of Polar Adventure are: Mr. Gregory So Kam-leung, JP, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development; Mr. Philip Yung, JP, Commissioner for Tourism; Mr. Adam Koo, Chief Executive Officer of World Wide Fund; Mr. Edwin Lau, Director of Friends of the Earth; and Dr. Rebecca Lee, Founder of the Polar Museum Foundation and renowned arctic explorer.

The Honourable Mr. Leung said, “By empowering the Hong Kong public and millions of tourists with important conservation messages about the impact of global climate change, Polar Adventure will be a critical public education resource that helps support the HKSAR government’s efforts to foster a greener and more carbon-caring Hong Kong. As a father of three, I am also proud that Hong Kong can offer this and future generations of young people a fun way to connect with these remote but ecologically significant regions of the planet.”

Dr. Zeman said, “With the launch of Polar Adventure, we have fully realised the New Ocean Park experience envisioned in our 6-year Master Redevelopment Plan – on time, on budget and at the expected quality level. On every visit to Ocean Park, people of all ages can now connect with nature from the sea floor to the sea shore, through the canopy of the rainforest to both ends of the world. At Polar Adventure, guests can encounter a variety of unique polar species up-close and from different perspectives in settings that realistically simulate the unique sights and sounds of both Polar Regions. Our immersive presentation will enable the public to better appreciate how the devastating effects of global climate change, from disrupted oceanic circulation to raised sea levels, can impact Hong Kong and the entire world.”

Located high up in the Summit area on Brick Hill, Polar Adventure is comprised of North Pole Encounter, South Pole Spectacular and the Arctic Blast roller coaster ride.  The 2-storey, 52,000 square-foot North Pole Encounter features an expansive main exhibit area with separate pools for Pacific walruses, spotted seals and northern sea lions.  The first floor of the attraction features an innovative open design with bridges that enable guests to view all three arctic marine mammals from above the water level within the same exhibit space. Guests will have an opportunity to observe these marine mammals’ underwater behaviour upon entering the ground level, which is presented as the interior of a giant glacier, with icy walls and tunnels connecting panoramic displays.

The 23,000 square-foot South Pole Spectacular, on the other hand, is home to three different species of penguins – gentoo, southern rockhopper and king – which are presented in an open exhibit with a 270° viewing chamber, balconies, walkways, and glass-panelled floors that offer an underwater view of swimming penguins. Guests can also enjoy an exclusive opportunity to dine beside dozens of adorable penguins at Tuxedos Restaurant, which offers diners a panoramic view of the penguin pool area and an opportunity to help protect the environment – as 5% of revenue from the restaurant operation will be donated to OPCFHK in support of conservation projects concerning the impact of climate change on wildlife in general and on animals living in icy habitats.

Inside both pavilions, guests will also find numerous interactive educational displays, such as touch-screen panels, animation projections and models. Among the topics presented are the migration and feeding habits of polar animals; the impact of global climate change on humans through the melting of polar ice; the concept of carbon footprint and how to reduce it in everyday life, as well as the culture of native arctic people. Sprawled out in front of the two connected pavilions is the meandering tract of Arctic Blast, Ocean Park’s latest family coaster ride featuring cars shaped like snow sleds that travel at up to 35 km per hour.


True to the message conveyed by Polar Adventure, Ocean Park has adopted a comprehensive green approach to offer a world-class, eco-friendly theme park experience by minimising the attraction’s carbon footprint through state-of-the-art innovations, including a ventilation system that recycles residual cool air to cool down the Life Support System (LSS) and plant room area before being discharged. With all the green features in place, the Park has successfully created a Polar Adventure building which will have savings of at least 34% in annual electricity consumption, as compared to a building without these special features. In terms of energy efficiency, the Polar Adventure exhibits are comparable to a Level 1 energy-labelled refrigerator. 
Ms. Judy Chen said, “We are grateful to Ocean Park for creating such a wonderful attraction to raise awareness of how global climate change affects the Polar Regions as well as people all over the world. OPCFHK has also benefited from the increasing size of Ocean Park’s donations as the overwhelming public reception of Ocean Park’s redevelopment has resulted in ever-increasing attendance. In the 2011/12 fiscal year alone, we have received a record high of HK$10 million from Ocean Park, an increase of 10% compared to the previous year. This support will enable us to fund more critically needed conservation work across Asia. For the 2012/13 fiscal year, OPCFHK has already allocated HK$6.34 million to fund 45 projects, including four specifically related to the impact of climate change on wildlife living in icy habitats. Ocean Park guests can all take pride in having indirectly contributed to the protection of wildlife and habitats affected by climate change.”

Mr. Andy Lau said, “As Conservation Ambassador of OPCFHK and a Hong Kong resident, I am proud that Ocean Park has created for our city a world-class attraction dedicated to the important issue of global climate change. With the launch of Polar Adventure, we can learn about the impact of global climate change on polar wildlife and how we can help slow climate change.”

At today’s opening ceremony, Dr. Zeman, Mr. Lau and other officiating guests pushed together two ice sculptures, themed on the penguin and the walrus respectively, symbolising the presence of animals from both poles at Polar Adventure to advocate for the conservation of polar animals and task of slowing climate change.

Dr. Zeman concluded, “Our MRP has transformed Ocean Park into a leading global theme park, taking our signature combination of education, conservation and entertainment to a new level of excellence. I encourage everyone to connect with nature at Polar Adventure this summer, helping us celebrate our 35th anniversary and the conclusion of our redevelopment.”