Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park, designed by Legacy Entertainment,  awarded ‘China’s Best Theme Park’ by China’s Theme Park Research Institute

By | January 17, 2023

SHANGHAI, China — As it approaches the fifth anniversary of its grand opening, Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park has been named “China’s Best Theme Park” by The Institute for Theme Park Studies in China. This designation is only the latest of the many major accolades that have been bestowed upon the 73-acre Marine Life Theme Park which was created by California-based entertainment design firm, Legacy Entertainment.

“We continue to be thrilled for the success for our friends and partners at Haichang,” says Eric Carnagey, Legacy’s Managing Director, as well as one of the firm’s owners. “Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park, which is positioned as the chief competitor to the superlative Shanghai Disneyland, was realized for less than 15% of the former’s investment. Given this, the park’s many achievements and successes are all the more remarkable.”

Some of the past awards which have been bestowed upon Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park include “Best Theme Park” by China’s largest theme park organization, CAAPA (Chinese Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions); “Outstanding Themed Land Park,” “Outstanding Family Entertainment Center,” and “Outstanding Social Media Famous Tourist Attraction” at 2020’s Golden Crown Awards; as well as “2021’s Most Popular Attraction” at The China Cultural Tourism Innovation and Development Forum.

Prior to the start of the COVD-19 era, Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park was drawing over 3,000,000 visitors per year. Despite the many challenges posed by the pandemic, the park’s performance continually defied projections, with a recent attendance surge attributed to the popular Ultraman-themed offerings which launched in July 2022. The experiences, which include a large-scale museum, boutique, and restaurant, were also recognized with awards from The Institute for Theme Park Studies in China.

“The licensing and successful roll-out of Tsuburaya Productions’ Ultraman intellectual property by Haichang is a huge milestone for the Chinese domestic theme park landscape,” adds Carnagey. “China, the world’s second largest Theme Park market, has generally been slow to adopt international IP. Given the undeniable success of Haichang’s Ultraman activations, we expect a fundamental shift to the landscape to play out over the next five years.”

Shanghai Haichang Ocean Park, which first debuted in November 2018, is a signature project in the portfolio of Legacy Entertainment, a renowned global design company which has–in recent years–seen itself become one of the world’s most in-demand aquarium design companies. April 2022 saw the opening of Vietnam’s largest aquarium at VinWonders Theme Park on Phu Quoc Island. Summer 2023 is expected to usher in the arrival of the Legacy-designed Chimelong Marine Science Park–a sprawling complex which will take the crown of “World’s Largest Indoor Theme Park” upon its debut.