Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Will Hong Kong Ocean Park "Polar Adventure" be a serious competitor for HKDL Grizzly Trail ?

After yesterday's announcement by Honk Kong Ocean Park that Polar Adventure opening date would be July 13th, the same date envisioned by HKDL for Grizzly Mountain grand opening, i thought it might be interesting to see if this Polar Adventure might be a serious competitor or not for HKDL. Good news, i succeed to find great artwork of it as well as more details on this Ocean Park new addition.

As you may know Ocean Park is the oldest theme park in Hong Kong - actually it is celebrating this year its 35th anniversary and it is currently undergoing a $750 million renovation. With $750 million you can do a lot of great things if it's well done and apparently this Polar Adventure looks to have a strong theming. I found the artwork above and below on the site of the Bezark Company "which has been involved from the outset, helping the park to determine its mission and stories. In addition to developing over a dozen attraction, show and exhibit concepts, they also delivered "a spectacular new concept for the park’s most dramatic eco-themed area".

So, Polar Adventure "will take Ocean Park visitors to the frozen worlds of the ice caps and in addition to live encounters with penguins, polar bears and walruses, visitors will also be able to have a snowball fight, take a thrilling “bobsled” run and explore a research submarine".

As you can see on the renderings above and below - click on them to have a look in larger size - the theming looks pretty good, my only concern is about how "cold" will be the area. I'm sure it will be fun for Hong Kong inhabitants to discover ice and snow when outside normal temperatures are over 30 degrees (celsius) but personally i don't really like to enter a zero degree area just when i'm sweating thanks to tropical heat. Not to mention that it's also the best way to catch a serious cold and be sick when you get back home!

But there is something else interesting, and it's about the Bezark company who, as i told you, is involved in the design of this Polar Adventure. On their web site a pdf page brings more infos about that and you can learn more about Adam J. Bezark who is "an award-winning writer and director who combines a wide variety of
media and technologies to produce startling new entertainment". His clients include Cirque du Soleil, DreamWorks SKG, LEGOLAND Development, MGM Studios, Mirage Resorts, Paramount Parks, Universal Studios and..... Walt Disney Imagineering.

"From 1990–1995, Adam J. Bezark was Senior Show Designer at Landmark Entertainment Group. There he wrote, designed and/or directed over sixty projects, including several “mega-attractions” for Universal Studios. These include the JAWS ride at Universal Studios Florida, Jurassic Park: The Ride, and the award-winning Terminator 2: 3-D virtual adventure. He is named as an inventor on two patents for creative technologies developed for these attractions". You'll find below a rare rendering from Landmark for T23D which is coming from this pdf presentation.

But what exactly did he did for Walt Disney Imagineering, you ask? Well, according to the Project List page Adam J. Bezark worked on "concept development" between 1988 and 1996 and was "Creative Consultant and worked with Disney’s theme park design group to develop concepts for new areas and attractions, including Disneyland California, Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland’s New Tomorrowland. He also participated in brainstorming sessions and wrote concepts, treatments and presentation documents".

But even more interesting is what he did next, in 1994–1995, as Adam J. Bezark worked on Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and more precisely the “Spider-Man” ride on which he was show designer/writer and co-created the original concept, storyline and storyboards for this acclaimed ride which won a 2000 THEA Award Honoree. And if we include the others famous Universal rides on which he also participated you'll understand that Adam J. Bezark is obviously someone who knows where the quality is and why this Polar Adventure on which he is creative director/storyteller might finally be a competitor for HKDL new land. At the end of the day it will mean that Hong Kong guests will have the choice to refresh themselves from hot summer heat between the frozen worlds of Polar Adventure and the fresh geysers of Grizzly Mountain with, in addition and in both cases, a roller coaster.

So, as i said in the title, will Ocean Park Polar Adventure be a serious competitor for HKDL Grizzly Trail, even if it is two different themings with two different story lines ? Well, i cant speak for others guests, but to be perfectly honest, yes, this Polar Adventure concept has excited my curiosity and on my next trip to Hong Kong, after a day to discover Grizzly Trail i will probably go to Ocean Park to have a closer look at Polar Adventure. And chances are that others HKDL or foreigners guests will do the same. Which, finally, is probably exactly what Ocean Park is hoping and the reason why they've spent so much money on this new addition.

Pictures: copyright Ocean Park, Bezark Company, Landmark

If you haven't downloaded yet on iTunes my great TDS Wallpapers application for iPhone or iPad with hundred of HD stunning pictures of the park, it's still time to do it! Click HERE for direct access to the TDS Wallpapers HD iTunes page or READ my article first HERE.


Brian said...

Alain - I have some pictures that I took a few weeks ago when I went to Ocean Park. I think there are some serious changes from the artwork and what is actually being built. I can send you them if you'd like but not sure where to do that.

Alain Littaye said...

Brian, yes, please do and send them at:

Just 2 or 3 pictures on each email if the files are heavy. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Just an FYI temperature changes do not induce the common cold or flu. They are a virus and spread by contact, not weather.

SengkangBabies said...

I have been to both Disney and Ocean Park and I believe both are strong in their own ways.

We love Polar Adventure at OP !
Kids could not stop running after The penguins :)


cheers, Andy