Ocean Park on Tuesday kicked off the promotion for its annual Halloween Fest, the first since entrepreneur Allan Zeman stepped down as chairman.
It’s one of the amusement park’s biggest events, and organizers are touting this year’s attractions as the scariest ever.
Observers have their doubts, saying the Halloween Fest would never be the same without Zeman. The event, after all, was his brainchild, an example of the many innovations he introduced at the amusement park to pull it back from the brink.
Zeman may no longer be the Ocean Park chairman, but he continues to contribute his time and talent to the park as an honorary advisor. In fact, he makes an appearance in the ad for the Halloween Fest, and his line goes, “I am back”. Some find that line funny, others ironic.
Helena Law Lan and Lana Wong, two actresses famous for playing ghost roles, have also been invited to take part in the Halloween Fest commercial.
One of the highlights of this year’s event is H14, billed as the scariest haunted house in the 14 years that the festival has been running.
The attraction is open only for people aged 16 or above. Visitors have to sign a “waiver of liability” and get their blood pressure measured.
They will be also asked to answer a questionnaire, and their answers will be used by the staff to design a spine-tingling experience for each group of players.
For those who have insectophobia, their experience may include watching bugs crawling all over the performers up close. Or they may even need to put their hands into a box full of caterpillars, in order to reach a key, which they will need to get out of the closed chamber.
Ocean Park has invited the production team of the local movie Rigor Mortis to design one of the haunted spots for the event. The movie is a ghost story that takes place in a local public housing estate, and this is the setting of the haunted house.
The Halloween Fest is one of Ocean Park’s main income streams. So it is not hard to understand why Fright Dome from Las Vegas, which is touted as the scariest place on earth, has set up its haunted attraction on Victoria Peak to compete for the market.
James Egan, the creator of Fright Dome, has promised that his attraction would scare the hell out of Hong Kong.
What Westerners think is scary may not scare Asians at all. Acknowledging the cultural differences, the Fright Dome team said they are going to incorporate Asian elements into the haunted house in order to attract more local visitors.
Admission prices at Fright Dome range from HK$199 (US$32.3) to HK$399, while tickets for Ocean Park’s Halloween Fest would cost HK$131 to HK$628.
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