Enchanted Kingdom lines up new attractions in 2016

Tha Good Life - by John Paul 'JP' Tanchanco

Posted at Oct 24 2015 10:26 PM | Updated as of Oct 25 2015 06:26 AM

EK hopes to break into top 30 theme parks in Asia Pacific

Enchanted Kingdom, the Philippines’ first and only world-class theme park, recently celebrated its 20 magical years with a fun-filled extravaganza!

Its festivities included a CEO High-Tea Cocktail, the 3rd International Sky Fireworks Wizardry Competition, and an awesome performance from Asia's Got Talent runner-up Gerphil Flores.

Enchanted Kingdom

Enchanted Kingdom (EK) opened in 1995. I clearly remember the good times I spent in EK during those early years. I can't believe that it's been 2 decades already.

EK's Marketing Manager Becca Rufino and JP Tanchanco

According to its marketing manager Becca Rufino, the country’s iconic theme park is marking its 20th year milestone with the opening of new attractions and events for the rest of year 2015 and the coming year 2016.

"Rialto is one of our newest renovated rides. The New Rialto Theater 4D is one of the originals and a favorite ride attraction at Enchanted Kingdom. We transformed it into the New Rialto Theater 4D. The new theater also boasts of the latest in 4D technology and is guaranteed to give guests an enhanced and unforgettable simulator theater experience. The feature film is the very popular 20th Century Fox animated film RIO, the 4D Experience," said Rufino.

I enjoyed the reboot of this ride, especially the way the new enhanced 4D effects such as snow foams and surprising action movements, were laid out into the Rio animated film feature.

Scene from Rio: 4D Experience

A new attraction that will open its doors in June 2016 is Agila.

According to EK's chairman, Mario Mamon, it is slated to open in June of 2016 in time for the busy second half of the calendar year. The big-ticket Agila attraction is seen to bump the theme park’s annual attendance by at least a million visitors.

“With our Agila attraction alone, we hope to breach the 2 million visitor mark and beyond, thus placing Enchanted Kingdom among the top 30 theme parks in Asia Pacific, and increasing our visibility and viability of being an international tourist destination,” Mamon said.

Mr. Rachmat Sutiono, Chairman of PT Funworld Indonesia and Mr. Andrew Lee, Corporate Director of Six Flags Entertainment with EK Chairman Mr. Mario Mamon

Enchanted Kingdom had been welcoming an average of almost 1.5 million guests per year, bulk of whom are families, corporate clients and students. Billed as a one-of-a-kind attraction in Southeast Asia, Agila is expected to boost attendance not only from these sectors but more importantly from the growing inbound tourist market.

Hanging Out with Disney, Universal Studios, Six Flags

The 20th celebration also played host to a number of Asia’s leading theme park executives, ride manufacturers and suppliers, who took time off from their busy schedules to join EK in celebrating its 20th anniversary.

Mr. and Mrs. Mamon together with foreign guests from the global family amusement industry

Heading the distinguished group of top theme park executives were Andrew Kam, Managing Director of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort; Johnny Chan, Director of Operations of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort; Matthias Li, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Ocean Park Hong Kong; Andrew Lee, Corporate Director for International Development of Six Flags Entertainment Corporation; Douglas Akers, Director of Food & Beverage at Universal Studios Singapore; RachmatSutiono, Chairman of P.T. Funworld Indonesia; and WutichaiLuangamornlert, Managing Director of Siam Park City in Bangkok, Thailand; among others.

Welcoming and entertaining these foreign VIPs was Enchanted Kingdom’s Chairman and President, Mr. Cesar Mario O. Mamon, who holds the distinction of being the first Asian and proudly, the first Filipino to become the Chairman of International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).

According to Dr. Cynthia R. Mamon, Ph.D., EK’s Chief Operating Officer, the gathering of this group was a very good opportunity to forge business partnerships as EK pursues its expansion plans in time for its 25th anniversary in 2020.

“They are all interested to learn more about the vision of Enchanted Kingdom, how partnerships and collaborations can be established and developed, and how each and everyone, members of IAAPA all, can help in promoting the amusement and attractions industry in its fastest growing market – Asia”, Mamon said.

It seems the event opened the doors to expanding existing partnerships between these parks and manufacturers and EK as it announced plans to embark full-steam on its “EK 2020” expansion program in time for its silver or 25th anniversary.

Going back to the Festivities

The night's highlight was the Sky Wizardry Competition which filled the sky with booming lights and sounds from different fireworks contestants around the world for about 3 hours. It was an enjoyable outdoor activity which commenced in perfect timing of a clearer weather after my CEO high tea cocktails and Rialto theatre 4D experience.

The celebration would not have been complete without the 3rd International Skywizardry Fireworks Competition in the evening with competitors from France, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, the USA and the Philippines.

The panel of judges included Mr. Andrew Kam, Managing Director of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort; Governor Ramil Hernandez of the Province of Laguna; Mayor Arlene B. Arcillas of the City of Santa Rosa, Laguna; Mr. Andrew Lee, Corporate Director for International Development of Six Flags Entertainment Corporation; Mr. Sid Maderazo, President & Partner of 88 Storey Films & Central Digital Laboratory; Mr. Gerardo Ramon Munoz-Martinez, Regional Manager of Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines; Hon. Rebecca Labit, Regional Director of the Department of Tourism for Region 4A; Mr. Robert Dennis, former creative director at Universal Studios Paramount Parks & Enchanted Kingdom’s original creative director; and Ms. Cathy Garcia-Molina, noted film and television director.

Gerphil Flores on Stage, 3rd International SkyWizardry Fireworks

The night culminated with an excellent performance by Asia's Got Talent Opera Diva Gerphil Flores. My fave song of the night was her popular rendition of "The Impossible Dream."

Congrats EK! Truly, amid all these celebration and festivities, Enchanted Kingdom remains true to its word that “the magic lives forever”.

Enchanted Kingdom is located at Santa Rosa, Laguna. Visit www.enchantedkingdom.ph or contact tel: +6325843535 for more information and tickets.