World's Largest Aquarium Combines Animals and Roller Coasters
Hengqin Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, a brand new aquatic theme park in Guangdong Province, China, has set five Guinness World Record titles, and makes North America’s SeaWorld pale in comparison. The developer, Guangdong Chimelong Group, led by Su Zhigang slated it to be “the Orlando of China.”
As well as being recognized as the world’s largest aquarium, the unfortunate attraction has set Guiness records for its Whale Shark Exhibit, which hosts the largest underwater viewing dome, largest aquarium window and largest acrylic panel, which even includes a walk-through viewing tunnel. The shark exhibit has also set records for the world’s largest tank with a volume of 22.7 million liters (5.99 million gallons) of salt water.
In total, the park’s seven themed areas – each representing a part of the ocean, contain an astonishing 48.75 million liters (12.87 million gallons) of salt and fresh water.
Animals from around the world will be held in captivity and displayed at the theme park, for public viewing. The park’s aquatic attractions will include not only the whale shark exhibit, but also penguins, polar bears, along with exotic pantropical spotted dolphins and Chinese white dolphins. Samuel Hung Ka-yiu, chairman of the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society said, “Ocean Kingdom seems to have imported everything. They are doing everything wrong. They are doing everything you don’t want them to do.”
Apparently, developers of the theme park did not think that viewing the magnificence of polar bears to be quite enough for visitors, so they have added a roller coaster to the live polar bear exhibit. Other entertainment options include a 4D movie theater, and a chance to experience the sights and sounds of nature in Asia’s first “winged coaster,” Flying Over the Rainforest.
Hengqin Chimelong Ocean Kingdom “will be the first great Asian theme park combining animal exhibits, themed entertainment shows, and thrill rides,” PGAV Destinations, the park’s lead strategist, planner, designer, and product developer, noted in a statement.
According to the park’s developers, adding mechanical rides, to the exhibits will allow visitors to feel like they are interacting with the animals. It is actually “one of the best efforts in Asia to create viewing interactions between people and animals,” said PGAV Destinations Vice President and project lead, Al Cross.
It will be interesting to see if the film producers of Blackfish, will make Hengqin Chimelong Ocean Kingdom, the location for their next movie.