Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ocean Park Hong Kong Launches Spook-tastic Halloween Fest at a Trade Cum Media Luncheon

Wazzup Pilipinas!

I couldn't help but wonder if I lost track of time or was accidentally transported by a time machine when I got to the event held last September 11, 2014 at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel.

This was because I saw lots of people at the venue wearing Halloween-inspired head gears. You know, the familiar witches hat, icky spiders, scarecrow hats decorated with lizards and other crawlers, and even pumpkins with etched faces. There were also a few men and women wearing Halloween fabulous costumes. They were obviously foreigners because of their facial features even with those make-up on.

I thought I was attending a press launch of Ocean Park Hong Kong at the hotel but I got confirmation only when somebody called out my name. Yes! The ladies from the PR agency probably saw me seemingly lost and confused that they called out to me and thanked me for being always early at their events.

After asking me to register, the ladies then gave me a press kit along with the long hashtag of #OceanParkHKHalloweenFest, told me to drop a business card for the raffle, and later asked me to pick a head gear for my own. I chose the purple witch hat.

Hosting the event was comedian/host Sam YG
Later at the event, I was already anticipating for trips to Hong Kong as the grand prize during the raffle.Luckily, my name got picked but only for the minor prizes. My heart goes to the two winners of the trip. They are indeed so very lucky since they also get the other prizes aside from the trip! Wow!

The event was not only attended by members of the media but also by representatives from several travel agencies. The entire venue was filled by so many people. I think there were only around five tables for media and the rest were all from the travel agencies.

What was admirable from the event was that the executives from the Ocean Park Hong Kong establishment were present to mingle with the media. They divided themselves into seating arrangements of one Ocean Park person per table. This is so amazingly different from the usual practice here in the Philippines where most VIPs will all seat together. I hope the Philippine companies would take notice of this act.

True enough, we had a great deal of discussion with an Ocean Park Hong Kong management of which in our case was Executive Director of Hotel and Hospitality Paul Pei. He looked like Philippine actor/comedian Jun Urbano or more popularly known here as Mr. Shoo-Li.

There was a long skit that they made to appear like an awarding ceremony but was really meant to showcase the facilities and promos of Ocean Park Hong Kong starting this September and other future plans for the park.

Please read on below for their official press release.

Ocean Park Hong Kong CEO Tom Mehrmann

Ocean Park Hong Kong Executive Director Vivian Lee
Ocean Park Hong Kong Executive Director of Hotel and Hospitality Paul Pei
Executive from the Enchanted Kingdom in San Pedro, Laguna
Ross Del Rosario with Ocean Park Hong Kong Executives Tom Merhmann and Paul Pei

Ross Del Rosario with Ocean Park Hong Kong Public Affairs Director Una Lau

Ross Del Rosario with Sam YG
Offering Fun and Scary Experiences All-day-and-Night for Entire Family

Ocean Park Hong Kong today unveiled its upcoming seasonal attraction for this year’s all-day-and-night Ocean Park Halloween Fest. The management team of Ocean Park Hong Kong were in town to personally share exciting details on the Park’s much-awaited annual Halloween celebration, and express appreciation to its Filipino guests for their continued support, as shown by the 10% year-on-year increase in attendance by Filipino guests in 2013-2014. Hosted by Sam YG, Filipino trade partners and media were given the first look into the Park’s exciting line-up of Halloween festivities, including the first-ever reservation-only limited-admission attraction – H14 presented by Modern Education, an ultimate haunted attraction where guests would need to complete a series of tasks within a locked chamber, challenging the limits of the senses and their innermost fears; Asia’s first super-sized Doraemon-themed Halloween celebration at Whiskers Harbour, the mega Scaremonies show and many other unique, world-class attractions.

In addition to unveiling its wide array of spooky attractions, Ocean Park Hong Kong also revealed a special promotional offer in partnership with flag carrier, Philippine Airlines. From now until December 31, passengers presenting valid boarding passes may enjoy a 12% discount on Ocean Park admission tickets within seven days of arrival in Hong Kong. Additional discounts on the Park’s food and beverage, retail products, and animal encounter programmes valued over HKD 400 also await guests who purchase Ocean Park Halloween Fest packages from local travel agents in the Philippines. Furthermore, guests of the Park can also enjoy up to 10 to 15% discount on admission to 21 theme parks worldwide, including the Philippines’ own Enchanted Kingdom.

Present at today’s luncheon were: Mr. Tom Mehrmann, Chief Executive of Ocean Park; Mr. Paul Pei, Executive Director of Hotel and Hospitality; Ms. Vivian Lee, Executive Director of Sales & Marketing; Ms. Rosalind Siu, Sales Director; and Ms. Una Lau, Public Affairs Director. Enchanted Kingdom Chief Executive Officer Mr. Mario Mamon, together with wife and Chief Operating Officer, Mrs. Cynthia Mamon, also attended the event as the afternoon’s special guests.

A Spooky Halloween Experience for All Ages

According to Tom, Ocean Park continues to see strong potential in the Filipino Market. “We are delighted to introduce our Halloween attractions to Filipino travelers, especially to those already making plans to visit the vibrant city of Hong Kong in October, as we hope to give our Filipino friends a memorable theme park experience through our stellar Halloween attractions,” he added.

Guests visiting Ocean Park this Halloween season may look forward to experiencing the first ever reservation-only haunted attraction, H14, presented by Modern Education, which is a customized haunting experience based on each guest’s questionnaire on their deepest fears. During the first round of online registration which took place on 29 August and 3 & 5 September, all 1,000 time-slots available on each registration day were taken up within 5 minutes upon the start of online registration. The dates of the second round of registration will be announced in due course.

Catering to the needs of families and kids, Ocean Park is introducing the Doraemon Halloween Party, Asia’s first-ever Doraemon-themed Halloween attraction. This time, Doraemon & friends will showcase their new Halloween looks in Asia for the first time at Whiskers Harbour, the venue of an adorable Halloween party. Guests will be able to visit the Doraemon House of Gadgets, featuring his favourite gadgets such as the “Time Machine” and “Anywhere Door”, and take photos with various Doraemon decorations and meet the gang of adorable characters.

Other upcoming Halloween attractions include Rigor Mortis LIVE, which takes guests to the dilapidated public estate scenes in Hong Kong from the award-winning movie Rigor Mortis, and Phantom Studios, a transforming attraction that will offer guests different experiences depending on whether they are visiting during daytime or at night. At 5pm on each event day, the music and lighting at the Park will change, marking the start of the frightful evening. Night-time ghouls will also appear throughout the Park to intensify the terrifying atmosphere. Two transforming attractions, which offer fun-tastic experiences for the entire family until 5pm on each event day, will be transformed into the most frightful haunted areas for the evening. Guests will also be able to witness the hottest song and dance show from Ocean Park, the Scaremonies presented by Blue Girl Beer, which remains to be the all-time favourite show of Halloween Fest fans.

Raising Awareness on Animal Conservation with World-Class Attractions

Aside from these seasonal attractions, guests can also look forward to Ocean Park Hong Kong’s world-class attractions, which include the newly-launched Shark Mystique, one of Southeast Asia’s largest shark exhibits, featuring over a hundred sharks and rays. Guests may also explore Polar Adventure, Asia’s first themed area which integrates immersive presentations of Antarctic animals and a family coaster ride; Thrill Mountain, home to Hong Kong’s first and only floorless roller coaster and other exciting rides; The Rainforest, the first theme zone integrating water ride and walk-through rainforest exhibit in Southeast Asia; and the Grand Aquarium, which boats a collection of over 5,000 fish.

Tom explained, “Apart from our seasonal offerings, Ocean Park aims to entertain and educate its guests through our variety of world-class attractions, educational exhibits and interactive animal encounters. As Asia’s first ever recipient of the Applause Award, we strive to live up to the standards being upheld by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) by differentiating ourselves as an animal facility with strong wildlife conservation values. Our attractions aim to give guests more than just an enjoyable time, but to also serve as an educational platform to convey conservation messages. Every guest visiting our Park is directly supporting its conservation initiatives, as $1.0 of every paid admission is donated to the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK) which is actively involved in various wildlife conservation and scientific projects in Asia.”

Ocean Park’s New Development Plans Unveiled

Ocean Park also revealed its upcoming attractions expected to be launched between 2014 and 2017 as the Park embarks on a new phase of development. Following the opening of Shark Mystique in June this year, Adventures in Australia, which is set to open in March 2015, will showcase koalas and other iconic animals from South Australia. In 2016, a dedicated subway line will open, making it more convenient for guests to travel to-and-from the city centre of Hong Kong. In addition, the new Ocean Hotel is scheduled to open in 2017, as well as the exciting launch of Asia’s first and only year-round, indoor and outdoor, waterfront waterpark.

“According to the Global Attractions Attendance Report 2013 released by TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) and consultancy firm AECOM Economics, Ocean Park Hong Kong was ranked as the world’s 12th most visited theme park as it welcomed close to 7.5 million guests in 2013. The Park also consolidated its leadership position in Asia by ranking 4th in the continent and 1st in the China region. With theme park experiences consistently ranking as the number one reason for Filipino tourists choosing to visit Hong Kong according to recent surveys, Ocean Park is unmistakably the must-see attraction for all Filipino visitors. I would like to personally encourage our friends in the Philippines to keep Hong Kong top-of-mind when making plans for vacation this Halloween season. More than getting the scare of your life, we invite you to witness the world’s best theme park experience. Make your trip to Hong Kong a memorable one with Ocean Park,” concluded Tom.

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