October is coming, and with it: Halloween. Ocean Park Chairman Allan Zeman says: “there’s nothing in the world that compares to Ocean Park’s Halloween Fest.” Let’s see if our junior reporters agree …
The Legendary Palace (before 5pm) 2.5/5
The first haunted house we were shown was the “Legendary Palace”. In this haunted house, different costumed people guide you around, and help you find different monsters using the Ocean Park Ghost Hunter App. Just point your phone camera at the symbols on the wall and monsters will appear on your screen! Each room has different monster themes, such as one room based on the Monkey King.
For a Halloween event, this was not scary at all. Additionally, using the app to scan the symbols on the wall is sometimes tedious, and takes you out of the fun. But if you time it right, you can snap a photo of yourself and your friends with the virtual monsters that appear on your screen – plus there are always costumed real life monsters in real life for more photo opportunities.
This was not particularly fun for us, but it might make a good event for families, or for people who aren’t interested in scary, but love to take Halloween pics.
Palace of Death (after 5pm) 4.5/5
After 5pm, the Legendary Palace transforms into the Palace of Death. This is a pretty drastic transformation, since this haunted house was actually quite terrifying. If you like walking through pitch black corridors and pathways, lots of jump scares and an ominous atmosphere, you’ll love this – we did.
While you won’t be getting any good photos here, this one is a lot of fun with your friends. The transformation from the morning was so big that we pretty much had no idea when the haunted house would end. Our advice: grab a friend and don’t let go – have fun and enjoy the experience.
Project Deathway 5/5!!!
If you forgive their terrible pun, “Project Deathway” is actually an incredible show, although we only got to see a bit of it. It’s sort of a haunted Victoria’s Secret fashion show, mixed with acrobats, dancing, and a story. We didn’t know if Ocean Park would be able to pull this off, but they did!
It’s a great performance, with great lighting, sound, dance and a cute storyline. There were people flying from the ceiling, and dancers swinging around on long, bendy poles that sprouted from the ground. There was also a great atmosphere that felt like a fun, comfortable concert.
Sugary Spook Village 3.5/5
The Sugary Spook Village is basically a cute candy village with a short, interactive story that you can decribe in four words: “Free candy, short games!” Ocean Park calls it the longest walk-through trick-or-treat trail in Hong Kong, and it is great. We got to play games and get candy, walk to the end of the trail, meet the village chieftain, and guess what? Get more candy!
Our advice: You’ve got to be enthusiastic and happy to have fun here. This attraction is mainly geared towards young kids, but anyone can have fun – we sure had a blast!
Halloween Ghost Hunt App 2/5
The least fun we had that day was trying to use the Halloween Ghost Hunt App. It’s a new app from Ocean Park that has lots of features, including seeing the monsters in the Legendary Palace, capturing monsters in real life, and mini-games.
By catching monsters in real life, we mean that Ocean Park has created a feature on the app that theoretically allows you to ‘capture’ costumed monsters that have been outfitted with electronic trackers. Capturing the monsters would not only be fun, but also have perks, like receiving coupons. Sounds great? Well we stood around in Hong Kong’s hot, humid weather poking our phones at monsters, and captured a grand total of zero monsters.
There were lots of glitches with the app. This may change as the official launch of Halloween Fest gets closer, but right now, there are lots of problems, such as Android phones not being able to catch the monsters, the monsters’ trackers running out of battery, or the app just plain old refusing to cooperate. If you are easily frustrated by technology, don’t bother with this.
From what we experienced, it’s pretty boring and not very fun. But, on the other hand, it’s free! So give it a shot, and maybe you can get some coupons that will cut through some of the crazy prices in Ocean Park. (Andrea spent $30HKD on a 500ml bottle of water. No lie.)
Spooky Animal Guide 4/5
Ocean Park has also made a quirky animal encyclopaedia in stamp stations across Ocean Park, where they put fun facts about different animals. It sounds boring on paper, but it’s actually quite fun to geek out over the properties of random animals. We learned that sea cucumbers spill their guts out to escape from predators, then grow them back in a few weeks. Any geeks here really like transition metals? Well sea cucumbers “also have yellow blood due to the high concentration of vanadium-based pigment!” Cool, huh!
This is another one for younger kids to learn and have fun, but it’s also pretty interesting for everyone else, too. (Check out Andrea and Kelly's adventures at Ocean Park's Halloween Fest on our Young Post on the Go Instagram account!)
Halloween Fest at Ocean Park runs on select days from October 2 to 31.