The Jakarta Post
Visitors marvel at different species of sharks at SeaWorld in Ancol, North Jakarta, on December 22. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
Taman Impian Jaya Ancol (Ancol Dreamland Park) in North Jakarta is one of the most popular locations to celebrate New Year’s Eve. This year, it expects to welcome around 280,000 revelers.
Below are things to know if you want to celebrate the year-end with your family in Ancol:
How to get there
Ancol can be reached by private car or motorcycle. It has sufficient parking space, including for buses.
It also has a Transjakarta bus stop, located near the park's west gate, for buses coming from eastern parts of Jakarta, such as Kampung Melayu, Pusat Grosir Cililitan (PGC) wholesale center and Kampung Rambutan.
Ancol has several entrance gates, one of which is the west gate, which is open for both cars and motorcycles and it directly takes you to the front area of Dunia Fantasi (Fantasy World, or Dufan) amusement park. The admission price is Rp 25,000 (US$1.75) per car and Rp 25,000 per adult.
Getting around Ancol
Those who do not bring a private vehicle can get on Ancol’s Wara-Wiri bus, available every five minutes at bus stops scattered around the area, including near the Gondola Station C and Carnaval Beach.
Ancol's Wara-Wiri bus. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
It is possible to explore the area from above by hopping on the Gondola. It has three stations: A (behind Dufan), B (near to Putri Duyung hotel) and C (near to SeaWorld), but visitors should wait for the train at A and C stations. The ticket price is Rp 60,000 per person.
One of the Gondolas that moves above Ancol beach on December 22. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
What to wear
Opt for comfortable outfits as the weather can be humid and sunny. Do not forget to bring a hat, sandals, umbrella and spare clothes, especially if you want to enjoy the water attractions at Dufan.
What to do
SeaWorld is the place to find out about the underwater world. It consists of several sections, including Misteri Kehidupan Laut Dalam (Mystery of Deep Sea Living) a room filled with preserved deep sea fish as well as the giant Pacific octopus Gudel, Touch Pool and a large Main Aquarium, which is connected to a tunnel surrounded by different types of fish. There are also feeding show sessions where visitors can watch SeaWorld staff feeding the fish. At the Main Aquarium, for instance, the feeding shows are scheduled for 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. every weekend and holiday.
Inside a tunnel that is connected to the Main Aquarium at SeaWorld, Ancol, in North Jakarta. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
For New Year’s Eve, SeaWorld presents Empire of the Sea, which focuses on the tale of an underwater kingdom and its inhabitants, such as the giant Pacific octopus, grouper fish, hammerhead shark and Japanese spider crabs. Visitors can also take in an ocean kingdom cosplay event on Jan. 1, 6 and 7 where they can meet a mermaid, lady pirates and Octopus Girl.
Dufan is the most popular amusement park in Jakarta. Many of its attractions have become legendary, such as Istana Boneka (Doll Kingdom), the thrilling Halilintar (Thunder), Kora-Kora and the challenging Hysteria. It also has water attractions, such as Niagara-Gara and Arung Jeram. But before enjoying the attraction, it is advised to ask the staff whether it is suitable for kids or not. Open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., the park’s admission price is Rp 325,000 until Jan. 7. Annual passes are available but have to be redeemed on the same day.
People enjoy a ride at Fantasy World (Dufan) amusement park in Ancol Dreamland Park, North Jakarta. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
Celebrating the end of 2017, Dufan has prepared four new attractions for its visitors, namely Dream Playground, Galactica, Color of Kingdom and Time Adventure. According to kompas.com, Galactica will transform visitors into saviors of Mars, while Time Adventures will allow people to time-travel. Those who have kids below 145 centimeters can go to Dream Playground as it has a trampoline, sand pool and puzzle blocks.
Ancol also has a Pasar Seni (Art Market) located not too far from Gondola Station C. It is divided into several smaller areas depending on the type of the arts that are being sold, namely paintings, sculpture and handcraft zones. There are also small food stalls that offer Indonesian food in front of the market.
Visitors stroll into Pasar Seni art market in Ancol, North Jakarta, on December 22. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
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Previously used for Padang Golf Ancol, Allianz Ecopark is an area that offers both edutainment and adventure for families. Some of activities provided here are outbound, there is also the Eco-Market where visitors can buy organic fruit as well as vegetables and a paintball range. There is a flying fox, which costs Rp 20,000.
Atlantis Water Adventure
Water theme park Atlantis Water Adventure is the result of the revitalization of Gelanggang Renang, which had been in Ancol since 1974. The theme park has eight main pools, namely Poseidon, Antila, Plaza Atlas, Aquarius, Octopus, Atlantean and Kiddy Pool. As part of the New Year's Eve celebration, it is presenting two new challenging slides: Dragon Race and Sky Box.
Pantai Carnaval and Pantai Lagoon
Ancol has also prepared some events to celebrate the end of 2017. At Carnaval Beach, there will be music event “Gempita 2017”, which will feature local bands and musicians, among them are Wali, Armada, Kotak and dangdut singer Siti Badriah. The show starts at 7 p.m. and visitors will be able to watch fireworks afterward.
Meanwhile, at the floating stage of Lagoon Beach, there will be a LED dance and percussion performance. Papuan singer Edo Kondologit will also perform there. Similar to Carnaval Beach, there will be a 15-minute musical firework display that can be seen from throughout Ancol Beach.
Where to stay
Hotels in Ancol will also hold events on Dec. 31. Mercure Convention Center, for instance, will present the “LOL NYE Party 2018” that promises to provide a lot of laughs for the whole family. The party will be opened by emcee Ronal Surapradja and Melissa Karim, continue with performances from Jingle Entertainment, glitter painter Van Gabriel, DJ Audrey and renowned pop-rock band NAIF. Those who want to have fun at the party can contact +6221 640-6000.
Meanwhile, pop singer Vidi Aldiano and legendary singer Betharia Sonata will perform at “The Symphony of Olympus” event at Putri Duyung Ancol. The venue will also host fireworks, a Greek parade and a dinner party. Those who want to go to the event should call +6221 260 1680.
Where to eat
A plethora of restaurants and food stalls can be found within Ancol, among them is Bandar Djakarta, there is also Jimbaran for lovers of Balinese cuisine accompanied by a unique atmosphere, or Le Bridge for those who want to have a romantic lunch or dinner by the sea.
Some of the underwater collections at SeaWorld in Ancol, North Jakarta. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)