Best Ocean Park rides ranked
A blink-and-you'll-miss-it drop at the end does not constitute rage in our eyes. This is more a semi-pleasant saunter through an elongated plastic half-pipe. Inexplicably, there's always a big queue for this one – maybe people are hoping to be cooled down, maybe they're hoping for thrills (misled by the 'raging' part). Unfortunately, neither is likely to come true. Also, on our visit, four of us couldn’t go two to a log as we were 'too large', which was definitely a blow to our self-esteem. Raging River of self-doubt more like.
If you've got a group of friends – or just want to inflict some minor, bump-induced surprise on unwitting strangers – then any bumper car ride is fun. However, here the track’s quite small and there are too many cars, so full-blown carmageddon is tough to achieve. Gridlock is the more likely occurrence.
This is a good one for that pal you’ve brought along that doesn’t much care for rollercoasters but doesn’t want to be left on the sidelines holding the bags. Plenty fun, sure, but it’s certainly not the most high-octane experience. Which is fine – not every rollercoaster has to have you reach crack-like levels of adrenaline.
No theme park is really complete without some kind of take on a swinging pirate ship and Ocean Park's version is a good ’un. There’s a sense of recklessness with these kinds of rides as it can often feel like you’re not held in place entirely securely. Grab seats at either end and you’ll get the giddy butterflies whenever the boat descends.
The old girl’s still got some life in her. The Dragon has been around for years – with good reason – and is something of an Ocean Park icon. It still gets the heart racing with its three loops, corkscrew and (oddly) serene views of the South China Sea.
Maybe we’re going crazy – or we’re just a little bit older and a little bit bigger – but it feels as if this ride is shorter than it used to be. The initial ascent and drop are still amazing but after that The Abyss just lazily bobs up and down for about 30 seconds, replacing the initial glee with sad disappointment. Abyss-like, one could say. Still, that initial butt-clenching burst of euphoria makes it worth a punt.
Walking around Ocean Park can take its toll – especially during Hong Kong’s hotter months. Mercifully, The Rapids offers the perfect solution – a guaranteed soaking. They’ve even mounted water guns on the walkways overlooking the ride so random punters can obnoxiously blast you in the face. The ride itself is fairly low-intensity – but its temperature-lowering qualities make this a must.
Take it from us, don’t bother with the new VR headsets. What’s the point of recreating an experience while you're having the experience? Besides, the headsets smell funny. On the plus side, there are two separate queues now – one for VR and one sans –and bafflingly, no one seems to want to ride the mine cart without the headsets, meaning the queue is practically non-existent for traditionalists. And considering the sweeping views of Hong Kong the ride offers, as well as being one of best rides in the park in terms of thrills, we can't imagine why you'd want anything strapped to your face.
In our opinion, this is probably the ‘scariest’ of the rides, mainly because it holds you upside-down for an uncomfortably long time with only the restraints standing between you and the long drop to the pavement. If that sounds like a criticism, it's not. The Flash is absolutely brilliant. Not for the faint-hearted though. Also, unlike a lot of the other rides, you feel like you’re getting your money’s worth (the currency being wait time) in terms of how long it lasts.
Pure, unfiltered joy. The best ride in the park by a mile. Not to put down the others, it's just that the Hair Raiser is that much fun. It’s impossible to not exit this ride smiling ear-to-ear. Being the only ‘bottomless’ ride in the park (basically, your feet are left dangling) and reaching speeds of up to 88kph, it’s a perfectly measured thrill-ride of peaks and troughs that never gets old, no matter how many times you ride it.