Enchanted Kingdom (EK), the first and only world class theme park in the Philippines, marks its 28th year of creating and providing magical experiences and memories that last a lifetime for the Filipino – today, October 19, Santa Rosa, Laguna.
The theme park opened its gate to the public in 1995 and started with seven meticulously themed zones interspersed with food, merchandise outlets, kiosks, and various skill games. Almost three decades after it opened, EK grew to nine themed zones – which houses more than 30 rides and attractions, 13 entertainment shows, 21 gift shops, 11 event venues, and the AGILA the EKsperience, the first and only flying theater in the Philippines.
More than just a themed amusement park offering thrill and excitement, the theme park also provides educational entertainment (edutainment) to guests of all ages, especially students.
With the upcoming 28th anniversary celebration, EK Chairman and President Mario O. Mamon shared the humble beginnings of the theme park during the Philippine Tourism Investment Summit 2023.
“Why invest in tourism, specifically a theme or amusement park? Because there were no honest to goodness theme parks in the country at the time that we started planning. There were none of the scale, magnitude and qualities similar to theme parks like Knott’s Berry Farm & Disneyland in California,” Mr. Mamon explained.
“Most especially, we wanted to provide Filipinos the opportunity to obtain the ‘authentic theme park’ experience without necessarily having to travel abroad to do so,” he continued.
A Roller Coaster Ride and TIEZA partnership
But as in any pioneering venture, Enchanted Kingdom faced many internal and external challenges over the years, hence EK’s “roller coaster history”.
When the construction was implemented from 1992 to 1995, theme or amusement parks were not in the Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) of the Board of Investments (BOI) and the government. Mr. Mamon said that the enactment of Republic Act No. 9593, or “The Tourism Act of 2009,” gave EK a ray of hope for their future development plans as “theme parks” were then specifically included as a tourism enterprise.
“The decade after RA 9593’s enactment were our growth years wherein we increased not only our attendance but also our land area with the end in view of transforming the standalone facility into a multi-day, multi experiential ‘integrated attractions destination,’ similar to what other parks were doing all over the world. We decided to put our plans into motion in 2019 by applying for TIEZA accreditation to become both a Tourism Enterprise Zone (TEZ) and a Registered Tourism Enterprise (RTE),” Mr. Mamon narrated.
However, after TIEZA granted EK the seal of approval in 2020, the pandemic occurred. Still, EK bravely proceeded with the delivery and installation of their latest ride attraction, working collaboratively with TIEZA, all during the early lockdown phase of the pandemic.
Magic lives forever: Future Plans
As the impact of the pandemic eased by 2022, the tourism sector slowly recovered and regained its vibrancy. In fact, EK was cited by the government of Laguna for generating the highest number of same day visitors in 2022. The recognition was conferred during the provincial government’s celebration of the National Tourism Week 2023 at the Cultural Center of Laguna.
According to Chief Operating Officer Dr. Cynthia R. Mamon, the world class theme park is steadfast in enhancing its products and services to create magical experiences for all its guests. “Enchanted Kingdom is committed to our vision to be the Philippine leader in wholesome family leisure and entertainment. The recognition will serve as an inspiration to EK to always be the best channel of magic to every Filipino. We hope that in continuing to give our best, we are able to contribute to the betterment of our immediate community here in Laguna,” said Dr. Mamon.
Beyond its 28th anniversary, Enchanted Kingdom is committed to reinforce and foster Filipino pride through its forthcoming Cultural Village, which will highlight rides and attractions focused on Filipino culture and history. EK is also working its magic in bringing their guests an enhanced and dining experience with branded dining outlets planned for the EK Portico area, located just beside the front gate of the park.
Lastly, EK announced that starting December 17, the theme park will open its gates every day of the week and continuously provide wholesome family leisure and entertainment especially during the holiday season.
For more information about this celebration and other upcoming events, visit https://www.enchantedkingdom.ph/ and EK’s official social media accounts @enchantedkingdom.ph for Facebook and Tiktok, and @ek_philippines for Twitter and Instagram.