Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Exploring Hong Kong Ocean Park with young toddler!

This year, unlike the other birthdays, I got to celebrate my birthday with an oversea trip! We celebrated Daddy's birthday at Gold Coast in 2014 and Emma's 2nd birthday at Bintan in 2015. Hence, it's only fair to have my birthday celebrated at another part of the world in 2016.

So, off we went to Hong Kong!

During our 4d3n stay, we checked in a lovely hotel, hunted for good food and explored Ocean Park & Disneyland. It was so fun and I just had to push myself to put them in writing no matter how backdated and time consuming it is.

Ocean Park

First up, I will share about our Ocean Park visit and some quick tips at the end of the post. 

Ocean Park is more than just a marine mammal park and oceanarium, it is also an animal theme park and amusement park. Following its redevelopment in 2014, the park now has over 80 attractions and rides across 91.5 hectares (~ size of 90 basketball courts) . It's definitely the largest theme park I have ever been.
The park is separated by a large mountain into two areas - The Summit and The Waterfront. It is connected by a Cable Car system and the Ocean Express railway.

The Waterfront

1. Aqua City: Grand Aquarium, Koala Bears!!, Sea Life Carousel, Old Hong Kong and Waterfront Plaza
 2. Amazing Asian Animals: Giant Panda, Goldfish, Monkeys and more 
3. Whiskers Harbour: Attractions for young children

The Summit

1. Polar Adventure: Polar bear, walruses, sea lions, penguins, artic foxes & roller coaster
2. Rainforest: Walk through rainforest and species
3. Marine World: Sea creatures (Dolphins), Ocean Park Tower, amusement rides
4. Adventure Land: Mine train, raging river, space wheel
5. Thrill Mountain: Exciting amusement rides like roller coasting, chair swing ride

Getting There

On Day 2, we visited the Ocean Park. To reach Ocean Park, we took MTR to Admiralty and Bus 629. Look out for Exit B for the bus to Ocean Park. You can get the ticket from this ticketing booth.

The bus fares are HK$21.20 (adults)/$10.60 (3-11 yo) for 2 ways and HK$10.60 (adults)/ HK$5.30 (4-11 yo) for 1 way ride.

It was a short walk with a long escalator walk to the Ocean Park.

Good news for future travellers, Ocean Park MTR is under construction and it is expected to ready sometime in 2016.


Upon arrival, we validated our tickets that we bought online. We didn't find any really cheap tickets but managed to buy one that includes free dining vouchers through

If you were to get it at the ticketing counter at the Citybus or Ocean Park, it costs HK$385 (adult)/ HK$193 (3-11 yo).


Knowing that it is a huge place, we decided to rent a stroller. The rental counter is on the right after the entrance.

It costs HK$100 with additional HK$100 deposit to rent a single seat stroller. We were given a name card for us to hang it on our stroller.

There are also rental for wheelchair at HK$70 and lockers at HK$100 (Jumbo) and HK$80 (Large)

Attraction Highlights

In hope to avoid some crowd after reading some travel posts, we skipped the Aqua City and head up to the Summit. And true enough, the strategy works and we beat most crowd. Even on a Monday, the late afternoon crowd was rather overwhelming with lots of them with the tour groups when we left the Summit.

During our 7 hours there, we only managed to cover part of Ocean Park. Some like the rides, we left them out deliberately as they aren't child friendly. Others like The Grand Aquarium, we didn't have time to explore.

1. Old Hong Kong Street

It was still early so the stalls aren't opened.


2. Cable Car

We took the Cable Car up to the Summit for a more scenic view.

It was really a lovely sight up there where we enjoyed a bird eyeview of the park and sea.

I recommend to take the Cable Car at least one way up or down.

However, it was quite terrifying when we got further into the journey.

I literally prayed for safety throughout the journey.

Safe and sound up the Summit!

By the way, stroller is allowed on the cable car but there wasn't any ramp at the exit so Hubby got to carry it up the stairs.

3. Ocean Park Tower

A safer way to enjoy the panoramic view of Ocean Park.

The roller coaster, Ferris wheel and more thrilling rides!

4. Ocean Theatre

We caught the first show, Ocean Wonders, at noon. Since most visitors start from the Waterfront, the Summit was pretty quiet when we were up there. Thus, we didn't have to be there to reserve seats.

While the show wasn't as fantastic as those in Sea World, they were great enough to capture Emma's total attention.

Featuring Sea Lions and Dolphins, the show educated about marine conservation.

Never failed to be impressed by these beautiful dolphins.

A photo at the Ocean Theatre for keepsake. A big thumb up for setting it up against the sea and we get the real sky, though a bit gloomy, as the backdrop.

 5. Bay Restaurant

Famished, we had our lunch at the Bay Restaurant.

Emma and I shared this salmon & veg rice while Daddy had spaghetti. The food was alright but the view was awesome!

Someone can't wait to continue her exploration!


6. Shark Mystique

Moving on, we checked out the Shark Mystique.

There are many different sharks and here's a cute one!

And another one with a saw mouth!

We also learnt about the body of the Shark.

Saw the shark mascot at the Mascot Meet & Greet Booth when we went down to the Amazing Asian Animals @ Waterfront.

7. McDonald's

Think McDonald's might be a better dining option up there!

There are also some games booths next to it.

8. Ferris Wheel

Ferris Wheel is a great ride for children.

We later found out that there is a children's version Ferris Wheel at the Whiskers Harbour. Since Emma was game for the big one, why not?

9. Flying Swing

I would love to try this out some day!

10. The Dragon

Super thrilling roller coaster! Over the years, I've gradually lost my courage to challenge the roller coaster. Am I the only one?

11. Rev Booster

A spinning ride at turbo speed!

12. South Pole Spectacular

We thought it was a quiet day at Ocean Park as it was still pretty peaceful when we were at Polar Adventure. However, we were shocked to see big crowd filling up the entire space after got out of the enclosure.

Hello penguins!

Such a cute penguin! Not sure if you notice, Emma loves to hold these fluffy mascots!

Do standby a cardigan as it is a bit chilly inside.

There are lots of penguins and they are pretty big!

Emma loves these tuxedo creatures!


13. North Pole Encounter

We saw the pacific walruses and spotted seals! Such a pity, there isn't any real polar bear.

We could either view the sea creatures from the top or through the underwater tunnel.

We enjoyed watching the walrus but it quite sad to see them swimming in the same direction continuously.

14. Arctic Fox Den

We almost missed this beautiful snowy Arctic Fox as the entrance is at a corner of the souvenir store.

We spotted both active and sleepy Artic foxes.

 15. Ocean Express

It was getting late so we took the faster route using the Ocean Express.

The train turned dark after setting off and had some screening on the ceiling.

16. Panda Village

Pandas are Emma's other favourite. She keeps calling them Kungfu Panda. Haha

Red pandas are cute too!

Happy Emma with her favourite Panda!

17. Souvenir Shops

There were quite a number of souvenir shops at the exit of the conservatories. We always had hard time to get Emma out of the souvenir shops.

Spotted more cuties!

Time to feed them some milk! Haha.


18. Choo Choo Train

Our last stop was at the Whiskers Harbour. Emma loves it!

The train wasn't scheduled to set off at a later time so Emma insisted to wait for it.

It was a simple ride but so fun for Emma!

19. Whiskers Harbour Playround

While waiting, she used up every bits of her energy and climbed around the playground.

They have quite a steep and high slide by the side.

20. Merry-Go-Round

She fell in love with the magical carousel since her first ride at Sea World.

There wasn't any crowd so we got to ride a few more rounds!


Getting around

Emma switched among walking, carrying, babywearing and stroller for the entire time.

We find it useful to rent a stroller as it's seriously a very big place. When Emma wasn't using it, we offloaded our bag for a while.

Summing up

We had a super fun but tiring time at Ocean Park! I find it very child-friendly and enriching for children. Adults who are game for some thrill can also have their fair share of play. Totally worth every cents!

Quick Tips

1. Get tickets online for some savings.
2. Be there early. We left around 5pm but I read that their closing time varies.
3. Shortlist the attractions and shows you like to visit and watch. It's impossible to conquer the entire theme park in 1 day.
4. Explore The Summit first to avoid some crowd.
5. Bring water bottles and snacks to recharge, there are water dispensers for top up.
6. Bring a cardigan for Polar Adventure

Emma was super tired by the end of the day as she was too excited to take any nap at all. She knocked off almost immediately after we left the Ocean Park - never even wait for the bus to set off.

The returning traffic was heavy with many tour coaches around.

All these while, Emma was sleeping soundly in the carrier to recharge for our dinner at Ming Court!

 Stay tune for Disneyland!

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