Ocean Park had been “the theme park” of Hong Kong since 1977 when it first opened by the then Governor of Hong Kong. In 2010 Disney decided to build Hong Kong Disney and threatened to usurp Ocean Park as the place of childhood memories for long time residents of Hong Kong. Covering an area of 87.9 hectares (217 acres) of land, the park is separated by a large mountain into two areas, The Summit (Headland) and The Waterfront (Lowland) respectively. The areas can be reached by a 1.5-kilometer cable car system, a shuttle bus, or the new Ocean Express funicular railway.

R/Hdo worked with Vertex to refine the Master Plan and prepare Concept Designs for all of the Phase 1 improvements. The Master Plan dramatically improved and expanded the offerings in The Waterfront. High use popular attractions were retained or relocated and four major new uses were introduced along with new parking structures and an entirely new park entrance. The four new areas include Aqua City, the Grand Aquarium, Amazing Asian Animals and Whisker’s Harbour. In addition the Ocean Express improved reliability and speed for getting guest to the upper park, the Outstanding Asia land and Whisker’s Harbor land.

R/Hdo worked very closely with the Vertex design team and the Ocean Park Management team on the improvements to create a “New Ocean Park” that would be the equal of or exceed the Disney Park. Ocean Park received 6.95 million visitors in 2011, awarding it the position of the world’s 12th most visited theme park by annual attendance. Regarding the goal of Ocean Park’s attendance exceeding Disney’s, it would seem that we succeeded.

Location: Hong Kong, China

Role: Landscape Architect

Architect: Aedas

Owner: Ocean Park

Budget: $2.6 million

Date of Completion: 1990