My daughter is 3 and there’s not a lot of places that a child that age can go to, except for the mall’s play places.
Fortunately, there’s Manila Ocean Park, which is a decent place for a day trip for kids of all ages.
Here are eight valuable tips BEFORE visiting Manila Ocean Park for a more pleasant experience.
Tip # 1: If you are going to Manila Ocean Park, look at the various deals available for the season. Metrodeal does NOT offer the best value for your money.
I bought this Manila Ocean Park deal — Ocean’s Sky Wonder: Enjoy 10-in-1 Attractions at Manila Ocean Park for P799 instead of P4100.
- Experience the ultimate Manila Ocean Park adventure as it levels up with Ocean’s Sky Wonder, which features 10-in-1 attractions for the whole family to enjoy
- Enjoy day and night fun and excitement with attractions and shows at Manila Ocean Park featuring:
- Trails to Antarctica (Penguin Exhibit and Christmas Village)
- All-Star Bird Show
- Symphony Evening Show
- Birds of Prey Kingdom
- Sharks & Rays Dry Encounter
- Penguin Talk Show
- The Oceanarium is home to 14,000 marine creatures from around 277 species, all indigenous to the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
- At the heart of the Oceanarium is a 25-meter long, 220-degree curved walkway tunnel with a spectacular underwater view of amazing sea creatures swimming overhead
- Interact with little creatures like hamsters, rabbits, and chickens. Learn how these small animals make huge contributions to the planet in The Barnyard
- Be surrounded with hundreds of colorful Budgies in the Birdhouse. Watch them fly around you and have a chance to feed them on your hands
- Sharks and Rays Dry Encounter allows you to touch stingrays in Acquatica’s outdoor pool without getting wet
- Trails to Antarctica features a walk-through exhibit of the frozen continent, live Humbolt penguins and a festive Christmas Village
- Birds of Prey Kingdom features one of the most stunning coastal raptors in the country, the Brahminy Kites (Haliastur indus) in their unique bird sanctuary
- All Star Bird Show showcases the beauty and intelligence of our fine-feathered friends in a highly entertaining show for the whole family
- Watch a display of huge water fountains as the Symphony Evening Show ignites the night sky with larger than life distinct characters from the sea
- Experience real-time digital puppetry in a theater setting at the Penguin Talk Show. Get a chance to interact with Hamboo the Penguin
I thought I was getting a greater and cheaper deal. However, when we arrived in Manila Ocean Park, we saw that you can buy the following deals on the spot:
A short analysis comparing the different packages to the Metrodeal’s Php 799 deal showed that depending on the season, sometimes, the Metrodeal is better, and other times, buying onsite is better.
Looking at the different rides, here’s the deals available for the park onsite ticket for the period of December 1, 2018 to February 28, 2019 vs. Metrodeal’s Php 799 “promo”:
Depending on the rides which you want, I would have simply just bought the park’s complete package worth Php 995.00, vs. Metrodeal’s Php 799, as I will pay only Php 200 more, but will get 4 to 5 more attractions, including entrance to the World of Creepy Crawlies, Super Toy Collection and Fish Spa.
Tip # 2: Go on a weekday, NOT on a Sunday.
I didn’t heed my own advice, and this was the crowd when we went after lunch on a Sunday.
It was FULL of people — lots of field trip groups and families last February 3. I have been to Manila Ocean Park multiple times, and it was never this crowded. Luckily, Manila Ocean Park is becoming a hit to Filipinos everywhere, and is a good day place to visit for people of all ages.
It was hot, crowded and slightly uncomfortable. In Ocean Park’s defense, the crowd thinned out when we left at around 4:30pm.
Still, why go on the peak hours if you can go on a more relaxing less crowded pace?
Tip # 3: No need to stress and pre-plan the itinerary. Just go with the flow of the park. Following the route, you will still see all attractions even if you have no map on hand.
When you arrive and buy your tickets, you just have to follow the park’s flow to see all the attractions. From the expansive park entrance,
The first attraction you will see is the Birds of Prey exhibits on your right. The attraction allows you to view and take photo with the Philippines national bird, the Philippines Eagle.
In other ocean park’s, you have to pay extra for the photo. Here at Manila Ocean Park, it’s Free, so take advantage of a photo session with our Philippines eagles:
The next attraction is the Oceanarium.
Warning: This is not the Hong Kong Ocean Park, so please manage your expectations accordingly. The Oceanarium is slightly hot (maybe it’s crowded) and requires strong AC. There are also a lot less varieties of fishes vs. other ocean parks. But for Philippines standard, it’s fine.
When you enter the Oceanarium, you are first treated to a cool Jungle Trek where you see a lot of hanging plants, large fishes and a live crocodile/alligator who at the time of our visit was getting a water jet massage by the waterfall:
It’s not a large amount of space, but the park manages to keep it interesting by allowing you to go up and down the stairs and see many different things as you go along.
Then the proper Oceanarium, where there’s a lot of tropical fishes to look into. Not as much as Hong Kong’s, but at least, enough for the regular Filipino visitor.
The Living Ocean exhibit inside the Oceanarium was a highlight of the visit, as such ability to walk through the “ocean” is something special for the Filipinos. The park brochures calls it:
At the heart of the Oceanarium is a 25-meter long, 220-degree curved walkway tunnel with a spectacular underwater view of amazing sea creatures swimming overhead
Here you can see various types of sharks:
And you can even pay extra to walk among the big fishes. If you plan to do so abroad, just do it here at the Manila Ocean Park.
Cheaper price, better service, and the team at Manila Ocean Park does its best to accommodate special requests.
For example, a friend of mine pulled off a surprise proposal at the Manila Ocean Park. The girl was there with family, and the guy was there in the water wearing scuba diving gear to propose to her.
It was very romantic, and done at a reasonable price.
Extra wonderful: She said YES! 🙂
At the end of the exhibit, you can place your hand in this open aquarium to have fishes clean your hand. Something worth a try.
Perfectly safe, just a nice sensation overall.
You can also have very nice photos taken on a less crowded area of the aquarium.
Following the Oceanarium, you have to go up the stairs to go to the Fish Spa.
When we went, it was CROWDED with people.
However, if you were lucky enough to not go on a weekend and there weren’t anyone around, the Fish Spa is a great place to relax and clean your dirty feet.
Right beside the Fish Spa are some token cars that the little kiddos loved.
We spent a good half hour trying the few rides and relaxing. At this point, you are now mid-way finished with the park.
The next attraction is the Trails of Antartica, where you can view and take photos with the handsome penguins:
Our friends from Hong Kong were surprised that the park charged only Php 500 for a printed photo of visitors (Max: 4 people) feeding and taking photo with the penguins.
It was a complete steal especially since Hong Kong Ocean park charged a LOT MORE for such souvenir.
So Tip # 4: When you are at Manila Ocean Park, pay the Php500 and take the photo with the penguins with your family as a souvenir.
It’s worth it. Quality was terrific for the price.
The Festive village at the end of the penguin attraction was a downer. There was no real snow compared to when it first opened, and its snow making machine was reduced to a single workable machine which churned out small tufts of snow:
Oh well, you didn’t go to Manila Ocean Park for the snow, right? So can’t complain since this isn’t the right venue for snow watching anyway.
Tip #5: Buy from the Park Souvenir Shop.
At the end of the exhibit was the park’s Souvenir shop.
I kid you not — the selection was quite extensive, and the prices uber reasonable!
A large seahorse pillow cost only Php 800.
A blue toddler shark backpack put us back only Php 300.
The T-Shirts I think was less than php 300 each!
Almost everything in the Manila Ocean Park souvenir shop was of decent quality sold at a reasonable price. I would strongly suggest you buy souvenirs at the Manila Ocean Park gift shops as they’re really a great bang for buck.
Here we are, very much delighted with our purchases.
We then moved on to the next exhibit, which is the Jellyfish exhibit.
This exhibit was significantly smaller than when the park first opened. What’s more, there was a limited variety of jellyfishes exhibited.
However, I love jellyfishes and can stare at them for a long time. Hence, it doesn’t really matter to me that it’s smaller, but that it was part of our ticket.
Tip # 6: Rest and buy food and drinks inside the park.
Compared to other parks, the Manila Ocean Park offered an extensive number of food and drinks available at a reasonable price.
It’s not like Disneyland where all you had to eat where turkey legs and fries, and you had to pay for an exorbitant amount of money just to get your grub.
At the Manila Ocean Park, you can buy food and drinks at mall prices, and they won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Hence, you don’t need to bring your own food at the park. All you have to do is bring a small bottle of water, and buy the rest of your snacks at the park to rejuvenate.
Tip # 7: Go and see all the live shows.
We didn’t follow our own advice since our companions were already super tired after the jellyfish exhibit. For your information, here are the attraction’s showtimes so as to plan a better trip.
However, if you’re not tired, I strongly suggest that you not miss out the live shows prepared by the park:
They are delightful and interesting. Just too bad we had to give it a miss, because our visitors were poofed.
Tip # 8: Visit the Manila Ocean Park with your family.
It ain’t the best park in Asia, but for the price you have to pay for the enjoyment, it’s pretty good for the buck.
There is parking available —- we paid Php 40 tip to the guys outside the park — the tickets are reasonable, and everything inside the park is not expensively priced.
The park is still in the Philippines so you have to manage your expectations but when all is said and done, it’s still an afternoon of fun at a huge price cut from other parks around the world.
EXTRA: Additional itinerary suggestions if you’re going to Manila Ocean Park in the afternoon:
Option 1: Tour the Old City Intramuros or do a Binondo Walking Tour in the morning, and then Manila Ocean Park in the afternoon. Here are some tour options we’ve tried and like:
- Manila for a Day with Dustin: We highly recommend their 3G: God, Gold, & Glory Tour
- Carlos Cedran Intramuros Walking Tour: Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Binondo Food Walking Tour
- Slum Tour: Smokey Tours: We visited Baseco and it was an eye opener for us.
For dinner, I would take our foreign guests to any of the nearby Filipino restaurants:
- Barbara Heritage Restaurant: With Dinner and dancing. Highly recommended. Please make a reservation.
- Aristocrat: An institution. Please make sure to order their BBQ Chicken with Java Rice, and Pancit Canton. Also order their halo halo, sago and gulaman, and their buco juice.
- The Singing Cooks atbp: Where the cooks and waiters seranade you as you eat
- You can also do a Manila Dinner Cruise if you wish.
Hope you can make time to visit Manila Ocean Park. I’m glad we did. For more details, please do not hesitate to call the park at:
Manila Ocean Park
Pasay Boulevard Manila
Phone: (632) 567-7777 loc 118, 119, 123