Ocean Park Breaks Ground For Hong Kong’s First All-Weather Water World Targets 2018 Completion And Sets New Standards In Integrating With Natural Surroundings
Ocean Park today held an official ground breaking ceremony for its highly anticipated Water World project, which will create Hong Kong’s first year-round, all-weather water park. Water World will also be the first and only waterfront water park in South East Asia, setting new standards in seamlessly integrating a state-of-the-art water park with its hillside surroundings through a series of terraced platforms and wave pools facing the majestic South China Sea. The facility, which boasts 27 indoor and outdoor attractions, will feature not only extensive attractions for water fun, many available in Hong Kong for the first time, but also a variety of dining and retail outlets. The development of Water World, which is targeted for completion in the second half of 2018, is an integral part of Ocean Park’s ongoing transformation into an international resort destination offering multiple parks and hotel accommodation.
Today’s ground breaking ceremony showcased Ocean Park’s signature creativity when Mr. Leo Kung, BBS, JP, Chairman of Ocean Park, and Dr. Allan Zeman, GBM, GBS, JP, Honorary Advisor of the Tai Shue Wan Steering Group of Ocean Park, simultaneously made their appearance by descending separate water slides to converge on stage. Guests of honour on hand for the occasion included: the Honourable Mrs. Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, GBS, JP, Chief Secretary for Administration; the Honourable Mr. Gregory So Kam-leung, GBS, JP, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development; Ms. Cathy Chu Man-ling, JP, Commissioner for Tourism; Dr. Peter Lam, GBS, Chairman of Hong Kong Tourism Board; Mr. Lau Ming-wai, BBS, JP, Deputy Chairman of Ocean Park, and many others.
Mr. Leo Kung said, “Today marks the start of a momentous journey that will culminate in the return of a favourite pastime for Hong Kong people. Parents with fond childhood memories of water fun at Ocean Park can look forward to bringing their children to the brand new Water World, which will span twice the size and feature three times as many attractions as the previous facility. Once completed, Water World will further enhance our contribution to local tourism by encouraging longer lengths of stay amongst visitors both in the Park and in Hong Kong.”
Mr. Kung added, “Given the hillside location of the project, the construction process will involve various challenges, starting with foundation and site formation work, which has begun in July this year and is expected to be completed around September 2016. The construction of the main building structure and installation of rides and attractions are projected to be completed by the second quarter of 2018. We are optimistic that the new Water World will officially open in the second half of 2018.”
Mrs. Carrie Lam said, “When the MTR South Island Line (East) is commissioned in late 2016, the travel time between city centre and Hong Kong Island South will be significantly reduced. Moreover, the Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel will be completed in 2017. Together with the opening of the Tai Shue Wan Water World in 2018, the attractiveness of Ocean Park as well as Hong Kong’s overall capacity to receive tourists will be further enhanced, thereby increasing the diversity of our tourist facilities and reinforcing Hong Kong’s status as a premier destination for family travel.”
Dr. Allan Zeman said, “The Water World project represents the newest phase of Ocean Park’s continuing transformation, which began in 2006 with the Master Redevelopment Plan and have already brought to Hong Kong the APPLAUSE AWARD – the most prestigious international accolade in the theme park industry. The addition of Water World will complete Ocean Park’s evolution into an international resort destination while continuing to serve the needs of Hong Kong people.”
Fully reflecting Ocean Park’s respect for the natural environment, the design of Water World features a series of terraced platforms along a hillside facing the South China Sea, blending in perfectly with the natural terrain with extensive vegetation and green roofs. The sloping gradient of the setting makes it possible to build gigantic water slides without having to construct extensive supporting structures, thereby minimising the need for excavation and the consequent disposal of construction waste.
Mr. Walter Kerr, Executive Director of Project Development, said, “We were highly focused on limiting the impact on the natural environment when developing the overall design of Water World. For instance, we kept the development sufficiently away from the water to avoid the need to modify the existing sea wall, thereby minimising the impact on marine habitats. The operation of Water World is also designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible. Large operable pivot door design on the curtain wall system will provide natural ventilation to the indoor area while blending the exterior with the interior. Moreover, an ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene) translucent skylight system will maximise the amount of daylight reaching the interior, thus saving energy required for artificial lighting.”
Water World’s extensive rides and facilities will span indoor and outdoor areas as well as across three levels, with each decorated according to the sporting themes associated with the Reef, the Caves and the Beach respectively. A total of 18 rides of different intensity levels will be available to meet the needs of all ages, from some free-fall style speed slides for thrill-seekers to a leisurely lazy river. Among the new rides available in Hong Kong for the first time will be a “surf rider”, where guests can ride waves on a surfboard. Old favourites such as the five-lane “rainbow slide” will return in the form of an eight-lane “mat racer”, where guests will slide down the track while lying on a mat. There will also be multi-person rides and a resort-style cabana area for families and friends to dine, refresh and relax together.
Mr. Leo Kung concluded, “Besides bringing back a favourite local pastime while strengthening Hong Kong’s tourism appeal, the Water World project is expected to contribute significantly to the local economy by creating 2,900 jobs and adding HK$842 million to the GDP by 2018. Being Hong Kong People’s Park, we see the Water World project as an important opportunity to help improve quality of life for the community.”