Ocean Park in Hong Kong has opened its new Amazon-themed Rainforest area, marking the latest milestone in a major $720 million expansion plan.
The new area features a rapids ride through a jungle setting, along with an aviary and animal exhibits. Covering 500 square meters, it is home to a range of exotic creatures including anacondas and capybaras. It is expected to boost attendance at Ocean Park, which faces fierce competition from the expanding Hong Kong Disneyland.
The Rainforest is just one a number of significant additions that form part of Ocean Park's redevelopment plans. It has already opened the Aqua City area, featuring Southeast Asi'a largest aquarium. Due to open later in 2011 is Thrill Mountain, which will feature a new Bolliger & Mabillard-built rollercoaster. Another new land, Polar Adventure, is due to open in 2012.
Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland both received more than five million visitors last year, although Hong Kong Disneyland has consistently struggled to turn a profit. The Hong Kong government has an interest in both parks, owning Ocean Park outright and having a majority stake in Hong Kong Disneyland.
Hong Kong Disneyland is aiming to complete its own ambitious expansion plans by 2013. The park is aiming to open three new lands - one each in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The first, Toy Story Playland, will be a clone of an identically-named area at Disneyland Paris, while the others will be the western-themed Grizzly Gulch and "haunted" Mystic Point.
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