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  1. #1

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    Post Frank Gehry-designed aquarium to open at HK's Ocean Park

    Disney Rival Ocean Park to Woo Visitors With Egg-Shaped Hong Kong Aquarium - Bloomberg

    Ocean Park Co., a theme park that competes with Walt Disney Co.’s Hong Kong Disneyland, expects attendance to climb by as much as 15 percent in 2011 as it opens new attractions including an egg-shaped aquarium.

    The government-owned 34-year-old theme park received a record 5.4 million paying visitors last year, Chairman Allan Zeman said in an interview in Hong Kong yesterday. A “conservative” forecast for 2011 attendance was for growth of between 10 percent and 15 percent, he said.

    The new aquarium, designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry with nightly water shows composed by Academy award-winning Peter Lehman, is one of the major new attractions as part of a HK$5.5 billion ($707 million) redevelopment plan. Ocean Park announced the facelift funded by bank and government loans in 2005, to boost competitiveness, as Disney arrived in Hong Kong that year.

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    Re: Frank Gehry-designed aquarium to open at HK's Ocean Park

    Wow, doesn't seem like smooth sailing for HKDL at all despite expansion.

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    Re: Frank Gehry-designed aquarium to open at HK's Ocean Park

    Just was at Ocean Park the last week in Dec for the first time.

    IMHO, although HKDL suffers from dearth of attractions, I'm not sure if it has much to fear from this. (It might).

    I did see the drawing on exhibit for this and although it might be pretty neat, Ocean Park has one thing that's really weak: its theming or even an attempt at story-telling.

    For example, there's some areas of both the top & bottom that is "Old China" themed. The SF area/display is interesting on its own, but the area around it doesn't even attempt to follow it or transition from it. I thought the new tram (themed to Atlantis-like) could have been interesting, but it's just a dark ride w/ water projections, no story.

    So yes, it's has more "things to do" than HKDL now, but I much prefer HKDL's theming. BTW. HKDL's food is pretty decent; it compares favorably w/ many of the street vendors in HK.

    Anyway my humble 2 cents...

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    Re: Frank Gehry-designed aquarium to open at HK's Ocean Park

    They will have to do more than installing yet another fish tank to make Ocean Park look good in my eyes. Ocean Park sucks.
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    Re: Frank Gehry-designed aquarium to open at HK's Ocean Park

    Ocean Park is such a hodge-podge of stuff. More? Yes. Better? No way. And with the experience I had trying to walk through their large aquarium, I'm not in any hurry to go back again, no matter who designs the new one. It was downright scary how many people were crammed inside (and with no sense of personal space whatsoever.)
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    Re: Frank Gehry-designed aquarium to open at HK's Ocean Park

    But you've got to hand it to Allan Zeman for getting Frank Gehry to design the aquarium.

    Frank Gehry also designed the Guggenheim Bilbao and Walt Disney Concert Hall. He is one of the best architects out there. Sadly HKDL has not been able to get him on board.

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    Re: Frank Gehry-designed aquarium to open at HK's Ocean Park

    My first reaction to this: OMG I've never realize it was design by Frank Gehry! I though Ocean Park is just mocking his design and surprised it has be so rich that can hire Frank Gehry!

    Ocean Park is moving the aquarium from the highland to its main entrance. According to local travel agent, it will open on Jan 28. May be that's part of the reason why HKDL debut the 5th Anniversary event on Jan 21, a week earlier.

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    Re: Frank Gehry-designed aquarium to open at HK's Ocean Park

    The interior design of the aquarium SUCKS, at least to me. Have a look

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    Re: Frank Gehry-designed aquarium to open at HK's Ocean Park

    Quote Originally Posted by iluvHKDL View Post
    The interior design of the aquarium SUCKS, at least to me. Have a look
    Hmmm.... that's fancy, but completely unappealling for an aquarium (what do snowflakes have to do with the ocean?); it really reflects a lot of what I saw at HK Ocean Park; very elaborate/fancy, some theme, but nothing immersive or any stories.... I guess I'll reserve final judgement till all the work is done (like lighting, decorations, fish), but that's not very encouraging.
    Last edited by nish221; 01-13-2011 at 09:58 AM.

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    Re: Frank Gehry-designed aquarium to open at HK's Ocean Park

    I will not pass judgement until it is officially opened. I am highly anticipative of its opening.

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    Re: Frank Gehry-designed aquarium to open at HK's Ocean Park

    Quote Originally Posted by nish221 View Post
    Just was at Ocean Park the last week in Dec for the first time.

    IMHO, although HKDL suffers from dearth of attractions, I'm not sure if it has much to fear from this. (It might).

    I did see the drawing on exhibit for this and although it might be pretty neat, Ocean Park has one thing that's really weak: its theming or even an attempt at story-telling.

    For example, there's some areas of both the top & bottom that is "Old China" themed. The SF area/display is interesting on its own, but the area around it doesn't even attempt to follow it or transition from it. I thought the new tram (themed to Atlantis-like) could have been interesting, but it's just a dark ride w/ water projections, no story.

    So yes, it's has more "things to do" than HKDL now, but I much prefer HKDL's theming. BTW. HKDL's food is pretty decent; it compares favorably w/ many of the street vendors in HK.

    Anyway my humble 2 cents...
    Actually Ocean Park is opened for educational and it was a amusement park. For about 6,7 years ago, even before the expansion plan, Ocean Park had a themed area filled with "Old China" theme. There were exhibits about things in old China, e.g. the food menu of a king, Terracotta Army in Qin Dynasty, also Chinese Opera shows. However, the most of the buildings there were pulled down and for seasonal events like Halloween. And a area that had Amazon Rain Forest theme and a Maya building inside the forest. Also, the location of the Aqua City now, was a waterpark before. The story-telling is not so important for Ocean Park so that you can barely find places with strong story-telling. However, their theming is quite well before, I'm looking forward for the new area that will be opened in these two years.

    These photos are from Gilbert@:

    The lake,




    The new area on The Summit, Polar Adventure(blue track), Thrill Mountain(yellow track)


    The Rainforest


    And the test of the Symbio
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    Re: Frank Gehry-designed aquarium to open at HK's Ocean Park

    All those pictures look terrible. Looks like what they are trying to prevent and rebuild over at DCA.

    My tip for anyone going to Hong Kong:
    DON`T GO TO OCEAN PARK, IT SUCKS!
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    Re: Frank Gehry-designed aquarium to open at HK's Ocean Park

    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyTimmyTimmy View Post

    My tip for anyone going to Hong Kong:
    DON`T GO TO OCEAN PARK, IT SUCKS!
    I really like Ocean Park. As long as you go to it knowing that it isn't a Disney style park but rather just an elaborate amusement park, you should have a good time. Especially for young adults and teens.
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  14. #14

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    Re: Frank Gehry-designed aquarium to open at HK's Ocean Park

    Quote Originally Posted by TimmyTimmyTimmy View Post
    All those pictures look terrible. Looks like what they are trying to prevent and rebuild over at DCA.

    My tip for anyone going to Hong Kong:
    DON`T GO TO OCEAN PARK, IT SUCKS!
    Leave OP alone. Comparing Ocean Park and Disney is like comparing Six Flags with Disney. They are not the same and they cater for people with different entertainment preference.

    OP served Hongkongers for over 40 years. It has always been there for me all this time. I am glad Allan Zemen is there to make it better and better. I am thinking of just going to see the new Aquarium in February.

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    Re: Frank Gehry-designed aquarium to open at HK's Ocean Park

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustysage View Post
    I really like Ocean Park. As long as you go to it knowing that it isn't a Disney style park but rather just an elaborate amusement park, you should have a good time. Especially for young adults and teens.
    I agree with your point. Teens like my friends would rather go to Ocean Park because of its exciting attractions and the cheaper tickets. For me, I love to go both of them because they have things in different style. In OP, we can see pandas, big aquarium, ride on some exciting rides and the cable car(in windy day, it is very horrible!), we can see penguins later too. But in HKDL, we can have Disney style rides, magic moments, etc.
    If you expect OP should looks like HKDL, filled with story-telling and have a strong theming, I will tell you, DON'T GO, or you will regret. Just like I tell my friends that think HKDL is not good as OP because there is not so many exciting rides.

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