Date
19 August 2017
A real-time information system will tell visitors how long they have to wait before they can get a slot in any of the Ocean Park rides and restaurants. Photo: Ocean Park
A real-time information system will tell visitors how long they have to wait before they can get a slot in any of the Ocean Park rides and restaurants. Photo: Ocean Park

Real-time info system to ease queuing woes at Ocean Park

Ocean Park may be the victim of its own success. One major drawback of spending a day at the amusement park is not the lack of attractions and thrills, but the long queues that visitors have to endure in order to get to one of the many rides and animal shows because of the huge crowds, especially during weekends and holidays.

Banker Leo Kung Lin-cheng, the new chairman of the park, plans to do something about it with the help of digital technology.

Management is working to provide free WIFI coverage for the whole park and a real-time information system that will tell visitors how long they have to wait before they can get a slot in any of the venues, including restaurants, inside the park, Apple Daily reported on Friday.  Visitors may also book a slot in a venue so they don’t have to wait.

The WIFI service and the real-time information system are expected to be launched in nine months.

“I know it is not easy to queue up in the park,” Kung said. “When I went to one theme park overseas, I had to queue up for six hours.”

Paying homage to his predecessor, Kung said many of the improvements at the park came from the vision of former chairman Allan Zeman who expanded its offerings and turned it into a world-class tourist attraction.

When he joined Ocean Park in 2003, together with Zeman, Kung, as deputy chairman, said he thought the park would close in two years because of the anemic attendance and poor financial performance.

“I thought it would lose at least HK$50 million (US$6.43 million), but in the end it made a profit of about HK$100 million as the number of visitors surged,” he said.

Zeman was not allowed to renew his contract after being chairman for 11 years, although he is still acting as an adviser to the group overseeing work for a new Water World.

Asked whether he would follow Zeman’s tradition of wearing fancy costumes to mark events at the park, Kung, who wore his usual black suit at the press conference, gave an emphatic “no”.

Zeman is known for putting on various costumes and makeup to celebrate special occasions at the park, sometimes as a jellyfish, vampire and even as a woman.

“Allan Zeman is the one and only when it comes to wearing those costumes. I might invite him to dress up [in those fancy costumes] during some festivals here like Halloween,” Metro Daily quoted Kung as saying.

Deputy chairman Lau Ming-wai also said would not take up the role.

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