If I were to rank all of the experiences I had in the 8-day trip, Ocean Park would easily be on top of the list. First off, it was the only days when all 13 of us were together. Second, the 300 HKD ticket price was worth it because the place was huge and the rides were, let’s just say, adult-friendly. Third, screaming your lungs out almost every hour of the day was liberating.
From the Admiralty Station of MTR, we rode Bus 649 which was especially for Ocean Park.
First we visited the Grand aquarium where we saw lots of marine animals from fishes of every color and size to starfishes. We did the thing quite fast because as what is the norm for all theme parks, there were too many people you only see their heads instead of the aquariums at some point. And I really hate those who cannot follow simple directions like NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY PLEASE!
After that, we visited the Pandas. At first, I did not understand what all the hype was about this black and white Asian animal but when I saw one, I was swooned. It was so cute and fluffy and it stuffed way too many bamboos than what its mouth can accommodate which resulted to more cuteness.
After roaming around the Waterfront and realizing all the extreme rides were at the Summit, on top of a mountain, we rode cable cars and prepared ourselves. I was not really scared of these thingamajigs and seeing bodies of water on one side and mountains on the other perfected the view.
We were so brave the first ride we tried was The Flash. With our feet hanging, we were whirled and turned 360 degrees at the speed of 60 kilometers per hour while raised up to 22 meters high. My knees buckled while we were on queue but no one wanted to be called a wuss for quitting without even trying so I just prayed hard that it was safe. Guess what? I had the best ride of my life (so far). It was scary at first but after a couple of swirling motions, you’d learn how to trust whoever engineer made the freaking attraction. Every time we were upside down, I stiffened because I could no longer feel the seat against my butt. Seeing the world on another angle was an added bonus.
After that, we rode Hair Raiser, a floorless roller coaster that was made special by the fact that we were on top of a mountain and the South China Sea could be seen from a distance. The ride was done before we knew it. Besides, we already conquered the Flash and I swear we felt invincible, a puny little roller coaster would not scare us.
When we were sure that what we had for lunch could no longer be puked, we tried Abyss Turbo Drop, which was one of the reasons why we were at Ocean Park in the first place. I told you we felt invincible after the Flash but this ride made my knees shake again. Seated with our feet hanging, we were lifted really fast up to 20 floors above ground level. And then, without warning, we dropped in a clean, vertical free fall as the air rushed through us. It was scary, all right, but my fears were overrated. You see, we had tried a ride of the same concept at Enchanted Kingdom and concluded that in terms of being scary, EKstreme was better but in terms of feeling nice, Abyss wins. Why, you say? First, Abyss felt safer because it did not make those weird noises while lifting the passengers up. In fact, we were lifted so effortlessly and fast it felt like flying. In EKstreme, we were lifted meter by meter accompanied by sounds that made our hearts pound faster. Second, the drop in Abyss stopped a little more than midway and while I screamed “AAAHHHHHHHHHHH” in EKstreme, I shouted more like a “WWWEEEEEEEEEEEEE” out of delight in Abyss. After that, out of the sheer want to be able to try everything, I was talked into riding Eagle. It was nauseating, more than anything. The central rotation speed was 8 revolutions per minute. In addition to that, the individual compartments revolved 22 times per minute. I almost puked afterwards.
Next to the Flash, Mine Train is another favorite of mine. According to their website, this was Ocean Park’s craziest ride (yet). We enjoyed the ride too much we did it twice in a row and came back for a third time. The attraction is located literally beside the sea and there was 85 meters of nothingness between us and the ground. The ride was over half a kilometer of pure fun. What made our last few rides before closing time (which was unbelievably early at 8pm) better was the almost non-existent queues. It was as if everyone were just at the Thriller Mountain near the cable cars and they did not mind checking out all the fabulous attractions at the southernmost part of the mountain (worked wonders for us). HAHA
After we’ve tried everything else in Adventureland from the Raging River to the Space wheel, we rode the world’s second longest outdoor escalator stretched over 225 meters back to Marine land. It was so long I got dizzy just by looking at where the beginning and end were. We were not allowed to sit on the stairs but we were dead tired so we broke the rule and sat. Then, a voice came from the speakers saying something incomprehensible at first. We realized it was calling our attention. We found out there were CCTV cameras everywhere and we laughed our embarrassment away.
Before leaving the Summit and returning to the Waterfront, we rode the Flash again and the upside down view was more beautiful at night. It almost felt “high” (not that I know the feeling, only how I think it would feel if ever).
Ocean park is really huge one day is not enough to try everything from the shows to the different aquariums and attractions. Prioritize what you really want to see and do. As for the group, we had more than what we went for. Besides, I have never screamed my lungs out that many times in one day.