Ocean Park Hong Kong, commonly known as Ocean Park, is a marine mammal park, oceanarium, animal theme park andamusement park situated in Wong Chuk Hang and Nam Long Shan in the Southern District of Hong Kong. Opened in 1977 by the then Governor of Hong Kong Sir Murray MacLehose, Ocean Park became popular but by 2005 was unprofitable and widely expected to lose out to the new Hong Kong Disneyland.However, the Park responded with a HK$5.5 billion development plan that saw it expand to over 80 attractions and rides, and steadily grow visitor numbers to 7.6 million in 2014, making it the world’s 13th most visited theme park, and the largest theme park in Asia. Half of all visitors now come from mainland China, in growth that parallels rising mainland tourist visitor levels to Hong Kong over the same period.Since this high, visitor numbers have declined to around 6 million in 2016 under the background of declining tourist arrivals in Hong Kong.
Covering an area of 91.5 hectares (226 acres), the park is separated by a large mountain into two areas, The Summit (Headland) and The Waterfront (Lowland). These areas can be reached by a 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) cable car system, or the Ocean Expressfunicular railway. To ascend the Headland comprises several hills, visitors can use Hong Kong’s second longest outdoor escalator.
The theme park has various attractions and rides, including four roller coasters, and also animal exhibits with different themes, such as a giant panda habitat, rainforest and polar displays, as well as an aquarium featuring the world’s largest aquarium dome. Between 1979 and 1997, Ocean Park was most famous for its signature killer whale, Miss Hoi Wai (海威小姐).
As well as being an amusement park, Ocean Park Hong Kong aims to merge entertainment and education, including conservation advocacy. However it has been criticised by wildlife advocates for practices including the wild capture of large sea animals, such as dolphins and orca, and the presentation of shows featuring such animals performing.