The park, ranked 7th in 'The World’s Most Popular Amusement Parks’ by Forbes in June 2006, had 4.38 million visitors in the fiscal year 2005/2006. Ocean Park also ranked 16th in the TEA/ERA Theme Park Attendance Report 2007 with approximately 4.9 million visitors, higher than Hong Kong Disneyland at 21st place with 4.1 million visitors. It covers an area of 870,000 square metres. The different parts of the park are connected by a gondola lift system , as well as the world's second longest outdoor escalator.
The theme park currently has over 14 rides and other attractions such as aquariums.
The park was built with donations from the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club and opened on 10 January,1977. The park is operated by Ocean Park Corporation, which is a statutory board. It offers affordable marine animal education and entertainment and is a private organisation for commercial purposes.
In the early operation of the park, the main sources of income for the park were the ticket revenues and the fundings from the Jockey Club. Since the ticket price was low, most of the time Ocean Park was operating under deficit. On 1 July, 1987, the government established a 200 million trust from the fundings of Jockey Club, under the Ocean Park Corporation Ordinance . This separated Ocean Park from Jockey Club and became a non-profit organisation; it needs to be responsible for its own income and was allowed to use commercial means to operate the park.
It gradually raised its ticket price and the deficit turned into profit. In 1992, 3 million visitors visited the park. Since 1998, the East Asian financial crisis, aging attractions, and the passing away of the killer whale; the park recorded a deficit for a couple of years. Although it was allowed to host 2 pandas in 1999 , the visitor count did not go up and Ocean Park was forced to close its water attractions and the "Old Village" attraction and switched to bring in more rides in an attempt to capture the youth demand. Together with the opening up of mainland visitors under the Individual Visit Scheme, Ocean Park recorded an increase to 4 million visitors in the fiscal year 2004-2005, the highest since the park opened.
In March 2005, Ocean Park revealed its redevelopment plan.
On 23 November, 2006, Ocean Park held a groundbreaking ceremony for its redevelopment. The public believes that the redevelopment is a measure to counter another major theme park Hong Kong Disneyland.
2 more pandas named Le Le and Ying Ying were added to the Ocean Park on May 1, 2007. After quarantine, they made their first public appearance in Ocean Park on July 1, 2007.
Ocean Park introduced a sea lion named Whiskers as the major mascot on December 9, 2000. Whiskers is cute, and has a smile on his face and is always waving a warm welcome with its flippers. There are 5 more members of the Ocean Park family: James Fin H2O ; Jewel ; Swift ; Chief ; Professor .
*'''' - A steel roller coaster with a maximum speed of 77 km/h with 842 metres of track. The ride lasts approximately 2.5 minutes.
*''The Abyss Turbo Drop'' - raises the visitors up and drops them straight down in free fall in 5 seconds.
* ''Mine Train'' - A steel "mine train" roller coaster with 678 metres of track. Open in 2000.
*''Ocean Park Escalator'' - At 224 m , it is the second longest outdoor escalator in the world. It is outdoors, but weatherproof.
*''Pacific Pier'' - California sea lions and different species of seals are displayed
*''Atoll Reef'' - A four-stories aquarium storing more than 2000 fishes in 250 different species
*''Shark Aquarium'' - Another aquarium exclusively for 70 sharks in 35 species
*''Ocean Theatre'' - Performances by dolphins and sea lions can be watched.
*''Ocean Park Tower'' - A sort of observation deck that rises high enough for park-goers to survey the South China Sea.
*''Sea Jelly Spectacular'' - Opened in 2006. An aquarium built to display more than 400 jelly fishes.
*''Hong Kong Jockey Club Giant Panda Habitat'' - Home to four giant pandas, Jia Jia and An An as well as Le Le and Ying Ying
*''The Amazing Birds Show''
*''Caverns of Darkness 3D''
*''Cable Car'' - a gondola lift system that connects the park together.
*''Grand Prix'' - a ride
*''Rides for Kids''
*''Tiny Town Games''
Chinese Sturgeon fatal accident
In June 2008, Ocean Park came under fire when a Chinese Sturgeon in its possession was found dead. Chinese Sturgeon is critically endangered and five of them were recently bestowed upon Ocean Park. However the smallest of the five was found dead on 21 June 2008, with wounds inflicted by a great barracuda. Ocean Park has been criticized as careless in putting the Chinese Sturgeons in the same aquarium as the aggressive barracudas, but according to a spokesperson from Ocean Park, the decision to put the 2 species in the same aquarium was made by Beijing experts.
Ocean Park announced a redevelopment master plan to redevelop the park into the world's best marine-based theme park, doubling the amount of attractions and firmly establishing itself as a world-class, must-see destination that will further strengthen Hong Kong as a premier tourist destination. In the next few years 5.55 billion will be spent on refurbishing Ocean Park with new rides being installed so that it can compete with .
The new Ocean Park's main two areas shall be renamed as The Waterfront and The Summit . The park will be expanded to almost twice its current size and new attractions will be added including a for transport from The Waterfront to The Summit, 1 new live animal show and an area featuring polar animals.
Ocean Park also announced that there will also be an MTR station, Ocean Park Station, on the South Island Line that will link the current subway system with Ocean Park and the south of Hong Kong Island. This project will therefore attract more visitors.
The first attraction to be opened is the Sky Fair with a large balloon for tourists to fly in.