Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park opens in China
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Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park opens in China

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A huge new water attraction has opened in Shanghai, China, incorporating elements of a theme park, a zoo and an aquarium.

The Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park covers a huge 297,000sq m (3,196,881sq ft) area and is set to rival Shanghai Disney Resort as a top attraction in the Chinese metropolis, as it expects to attract 5 to 6 million visitors annually.

Designed by Hollywood-based Legacy Entertainment, the park has five themed areas – Merman Bay, Polar Town, Seabed Area, Ocean Tribe and Ice and Snow Kingdom – as well as 4D cinemas, a theatre, aquariums and a host of rides, including what its developers have boasted is the world’s longest rapids ride.

A wide variety of marine and land wildlife are on show, including sharks, beluga whales and polar bears, and non-local visitors will be able to stay at its ocean-themed hotel.

Development and construction of the park took five years in total and ran to a cost of US$795m (€696.6m, £617.9m). It is owned by Haichang Ocean Park Holdings, which is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The park's designer, Legacy Entertainment, has also announced two further Asian projects it is to undertake in Indonesia. One of these will be the "world’s first social media theme park", according to the firm, while the other will focus on an "action stories" theme.

On the social media park, Legacy managing director Marcus King said: "Nowadays, everyone is viewing the world through their smartphone cameras, so we thought it could be an exciting idea to draw that parallel by creating the world’s first park specifically 'designed for cameras'."

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A huge new water attraction has opened in Shanghai, China, incorporating elements of a theme park, a zoo and an aquarium.
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