Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Ocean Park Halloween In October



I was lucky to visit Ocean Park during Halloween month. I wanted to know more about Halloween in Ocean Park before I got there but there was nothing much written online about it.

Before I get into the real gist about Halloween in OP, let me advice all you going there for the first time that the best discounted OP admission tickets can be bought at Admiralty MTR counter. This counter is NOT and I repeat NOT the one found outside (yellow booth) beside the 629 bus stop.


This is an MTR shop located along the corridors towards Exit B. There were selling the tickets at 315 HK. The original price is 345 HK and you may get a discounted ticket from Dragon Hostel for 325 HK. I had a 15% discount coupon from the tourist package but it was only redeemable at OP main ticket booth at the park itself. The problem was that I failed to read the fined print. My discount coupon was already expired. I ended paying the full price of 325 HK instead of only 293 HK a ticket. Well, that’s the repercussion of being too overly confident.


We got to the park very early on a Friday. Almost an hour before it opened at 10:30 am. If you are going there as early as me then it is ok to purchase your tickets from the main booth at the park itself. However if you plan to go there later then it is best to buy them prior as the queue does get long as the day progress.

There were already 5 big groups of tourists when we got there. It looked crowded at the beginning and I was worried that the rides will have long queues but in actual it did not. It was only crowded at the entrance because everyone was waiting to enter. As everyone entered and dispersed; the huge park was big enough for everyone. At least at this early in the morning.

I already did a thorough layout study of the rides and attractions at OP because from my experience doing a prior study always helps you to avoid long queues at theme park.

Coming to the park during Halloween was an interesting experience. They did up the park with Halloween decorations such as spider web, craved pumpkin and many other props that dotted all over the park. 


The extra advantaged were the haunted houses which were an added addition to the other rides and attractions already there. The Halloween attractions opened at different hours so you need to check on the schedule for the time. 

My first plan was to ride the Ocean Express up to the summit and take the cable car on our way back down. We were one of the first few that lined up and rode the 2nd train up. 


The ocean express ride was pretty interesting to me. During the ride the train windows turned into led screens which lighted up into a cinematic display of sea creatures swimming under the ocean. The display was so captivating that you barely feel the journey up. Soon it was the end and you have arrived. 


Most of the big rides are found at the summit. My first and only ride was the Artic Blast because it was the only ride that I felt did not look too scary. I would have gone for the Rapids Ride but it would mean getting wet so last minute I opt out.

Also in the vicinity is the famous YAHOO sponsored H15 haunted house which the brochure rated scare scale as the highest and a MUST visit for all those who loves haunted houses. The thing about me and haunted house is that I like going through the fear factor but I do not like doing it alone. My dearest darling already told me that he will not go near any. 


So while I hesitated outside the entrance of H15 attraction, I asked the attendant what was required inside. He told me all I needed to do was to lie down on a bed. No jumping, walking or climbing is required. It sounded easy. 

It was also a single person experience so not wanting to do alone is not longer a valid reason. I had to do this alone anyway. I decided to give this haunted house a go. My first haunted house just happened to be the one with the highest scare level. 

I also remembered reading somewhere that the Yahoo sponsored haunted house is the most sought after for fear factor fans that reservation is required. However today there was no long queue. Only a few brave souls waiting and now me.

While waiting for our turn, we were told to sit down and take off our shoes. Everything was spoken in Cantonese so that may have dampened the fear factor for me a bit because I did not understand a word of the story unfolding in front of me.

They gave me a piece of card which was my dead body tag to place on my leg. I guess I was supposed to be dead as was written behind the card. Each person took turn to go into the next chamber. Soon it was me. 
The first orderly draped in hospital gown that approached me spoke in Cantonese with much acting gusto. He was forced to change his demeanour when he realised I do not understand a word spoken. He quickly told me in english that I was to get on and lie on top of the metal gurney while removing my shoes.

That metal gurney did not look comfy. My back hurts just lying on it. The orderly pulled and locked in a plastic trap over my body just leaving my head and feet exposed. I felt really uncomfortable ride but I soon forgot about that as the fear journey experience unfolded. The orderly pushed me thru a number of chambers which I lost counted because I was too afraid to open my eyes. When I did get the guts to peek, there were skeleton, gory human parts and dead people placed in every angle that I could see. There were moments where a face would just appear above you, whisper in your ears and touch your feet. There would be loud screams and banging coming from every angle. 

Suddenly I was pushed into this enclosed space because all the sounds got muffled and there was a door that got slammed at my feet. It was totally pitched dark inside and I felt air blowing beside my ears. It smelled of smoke and the temperature felt warmer. If you are claustrophobic then this will definitely test your limit. The blowing suddenly stopped and a light appeared above me. I gave a quick peek and saw what was supposed to be a reflection of a torn bloody burned body of mine. Then I was rolled out again. My gurney went into a hard spin of at least 4 times in front of a judging devilish actor that was shouting something in Cantonese.

I was still recovering from my dizzy spin when it was time to get up and get out. As I was walking out, an old evil looking woman gave me a cup of water and a red angpow. I drank the water and look inside the angpow. It contained one sweet.

H15 I must say was a really good scare experience. I liked the fact that I did not have to walk and being jumped out at like most haunted house.

After that mind boggling scare it was time for something calm my nerves so I continued with my visit to the South Pole Spectacular, Arctic Fox Den and North Pole Encounter


I knew from reading that the artic attraction was cold. I had prepared myself with a scarf to cover myself. The penguin pen temperature was almost at freezing level so a scarf is definitely not enough. However the rest of the attraction was tolerable with just a scarf. Bringing anything else would be too heavy and bulky for a visit to the theme park. 


After all when you get out door it was quite hot most of the time even on the summit. The scarf also comes in handy to shield myself from the blazing sun during walks where there was no shade. 

The arctic fox turn out to be a false gimmick. We did not see any fox at all or any polar bear. The walrus attraction was among my favorite. I found it interesting to see them swimming upside down. 


I timed our walk just to coincide with the 12pm show at Ocean Theatre which featured the dolphins. After the show ended, we had our lunch. I wanted McD but it was at the other end of the street so I decided to try a Halloween pizza instead. The pizza was good to look at but too bland for my taste


With our stomach filled we continued our tour by visiting the Sea Jelly Spectacular, Chinese sturgeon Aquarium and the shark mystique attraction. 



Lastly before we headed back down was to ride the ferries wheel. We also wanted to ride the Ocean Park Tower but it was under maintenance that day. It is a good idea to check OP website before visiting to find out what is on and what is not. This way you will not feel like you missed out something when you come to this park.


The crowd seemed to have swelled when I got down to the bottom. As I passed thru Old Hong Kong, I noticed a few scary characters have come out to join the crowd as part of the Halloween seasons. There were ghouls, witches and walking dead in elaborate makeup and costumes. 


Next stop was the Adventures in Australia where you get to see the Koala and the Kookaburra. I have been to Australia Zoo before so this attraction did not impress me.  Give this a skip if you have been to Australia. Instead head to the Panda house. The panda was sleeping all the time when I got there. What I enjoyed the most is the cold air conditioned area of the place. Right outside the Panda house is the Gold fish exhibition. The fishes were very beautiful with its puffy head and elaborate fins.


I managed to catch a sing and dance show at the Amazing Bird Theatre. It was good for kids. For adult it was also good because you can give your feet a rest. 

As I was walking to the Grand Aquarium my last attraction of the day, I noticed Walking Dead Attraction. It has a lot less people queuing up than what it was before. I felt I must visit at least one more haunted house before I leaving OP. I cajoled my dear hubby to give this haunted house a try and surprisingly he agreed. 

Walking dead was a jump scare type. Most of the walkways were barely lighted. It was very hard to walk in the dark. The worst part was having a group of ladies in front of me that shrieks at every turn of a corner even before anyone jumped out to scare them.

The only part I remembered about Walking Dead aside from the deathifying screams in my ears were seeing jars of heads and an actor that jumped out wanting to stab me with his sword.

Overall I find Walking Dead not fun. I was unable to experience the ambience of the attraction because I was more concerned about where to put my next foot step so as not to fall down flat on my face in Walking Dead House. 

Schools of fishes surrounding a plastic pumpkin
When I got to the Grand Aquarium there was already a long queue. It was so crowded inside the Grand Aquarium. There was barely any space to take a good angle photograph of anything. 

I was glad I started my day at Hong Kong Ocean Park early. The crowd by the time I left OP was huge. 

If you are planning a holiday in Hong Kong try to make your trip in the month of October. I believe there are many more that Ocean Park can offer during Halloween season.


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