Star City is an amusement park right in the heart of historic Manila. It has set foot in the fields of the CCP Complex since 1991 and has been in operation since, constantly improving and adding in new rides and attractions as time goes by. Unlike its bigger and more developed sister that is the Enchanted Kingdom an hour south of Manila, Star City is much smaller (and in effect more affordable) considering that space is a premium right in Manila’s touristic district, so people who have been to Disneyland or Six Flags aren’t gonna find a huge amusement park with countless rides in here. Instead Star City is a simple amusement park that gives off that feel good nostalgia from that old local carnival from your hometown when you were young – only supersized and made much more convenient and fun.
The Star City Experience
Star City is composed of an outdoor area that is home to the bigger rides and a much larger indoor, air-conditioned area for the smaller rides and other interactive attractions, as well as a huge area dedicated to dining, shopping, and carnival/game booths. There are tons of little attractions inside Star City that’s impossible to have all the energy to try them all out – the case is the same for dining stalls where you have a lot of food choices including fast food for more or less the same price you would when buying from outside, and also there are a number of tiangges or shopping stalls for cheap clothes and souvenirs. They also have little magic stores, if doing magic tricks is something up your alley.
A lot of rides designed for kids, but there are also a great selection of rides for thrill-loving adults. Probably the best rides in Star City are the two-story Grand Carousel and little bump car ride for the kids and for adults, thrill rides such as the Super Viking (swinging ship), Wild River (log jump), Star Flyer (inverted roller coaster), the 60-metre tall Star Wheel (ferris wheel) overlooking Roxas Boulevard and Manila Bay, and the Star Frisbee (swinging frisbee) will keep adults pre- occupied.
As for the attractions, the two indoor walk-through haunted houses (“Gabi ng Lagim” and “Dungeons”) takes the cake – Star City simply wouldn’t be complete without its horror houses, which all guests, kids and adults alike, all have a love-hate relationship with since it started way back 20-plus years ago. The horror houses really do know how to give a creepy and hair-raising experience, given the fact that the Philippines has folklore and mythical tales deeply ingrained in its culture. Too bad these horror house attractions no longer have an actual person dressed as a ghoul chasing you around maybe because of safety reasons – instead automated robo-ghouls are everywhere ready to freak you out.
Star City also has this frozen wonderland called “Snow World” – a huge indoor sub-zero environment filled with tons of ice blocks and intricate ice sculptures. There is a coffee shop inside, perfect to enjoy a cup of hot coffee against the extreme cold. Unlimited entrance to Snow World costs an additional P80 – make sure to wear closed rubber shoes because if not, you would need to pay an extra P30 to rent out a pair.
MNLgo tip: Things to consider when visiting Star City
It can get hot, and you can get wet with the rides and when it rains outdoors, so make sure to bring some extra clothes and a small umbrella if there’s a change in the weather. Also know that it can get crowded on weekends, hence longer queues, so plan your visit ahead and try to squeeze your visit in on a weekday if possible (Monday, perhaps?).
You can bring in outside snacks and food, but to save you from the inconvenience of having to pack and bring stuff, know that food stalls are everywhere inside Star City and prices are cheap, too, just the same price when buying from outside the park. Bags are allowed inside Star City, but if you want to try some of the bigger rides you have to store in paid lockers (P10-20/30 minutes), just because bags and ride safety belts do not mix well.
If you are coming in with a kid below 6 years old, a word of advice: kids under a certain height typical of a 6y/o and below are not allowed to more than half of the rides, including thrill rides and walking attractions (horror houses). Best way to work around this is to not purchase a ride-all-you-can pass for your kid companion as it wouldn’t make sense; instead just get a park admission and pay as you go, or indulge the kids in carnival booths.
Tickets to Star City
Admission tickets to Star City are inexpensive and discounts are offered to senior citizens. They have changing ticket packages but in general, it costs P80 for a regular admission pass and P490 for a ride-all-you-can pass. You can get tickets at the entrance gates or online via the Star City website.
Getting to Star City
The best way to get to Star City in CCP Complex is to take the taxi or order a Grab ride. From Makati and the NAIA airport terminals, it’ll just take around 15-30 minutes to get to this place.
If you prefer to take public transport, take the LRT and get off at the LRT Vito Cruz station, and then take a 10-minute to Star City. If coming from the MRT, get off at the MRT Taft Avenue station and then take the LRT EDSA station train heading to LRT Vito Cruz station. You can also take the jeepney (orange jeeps) that pass through CCP complex – these jeepneys you can take in front of Rizal Memorial Coliseum on Vito Cruz.
Star City alternatives
One thing you can do that’s near Star City is take a walking tour of old Manila’s Intramuros, or head on to the National Museum of the Philippines complex for a free (yes, entrance is free) and educational experience. You can also take a stroll along Rizal Park while you’re going through National Museum buildings and catch a glimpse at the world-famous Manila Bay sunset either at Manila Baywalk along Roxas Boulevard or at some of the best spots to enjoy Manila Bay sunset.
If you just want something for the kids to enjoy, DreamWorks’ DreamPlay at the nearby City of Dreams Manila might just do it – adults will be bored at Dreamplay but there are tons of entertainment options inside the City of Dreams Manila. If a bigger amusement park experience is what you prefer, go to Laguna (just an hour south of Manila) to see Enchanted Kingdom (EK), or if a water park is what you prefer, Splash Island in the same area as EK is the way to go.
|Place/s Mentioned||Star City|
|Pricing info||Ticket prices vary. In general, it costs P80 for a regular admission pass and P490 for a ride-all-you-can pass. Tickets available at the entrance gates or online via the Star City website.|
|Address||Vicente Sotto St, CCP Complex, Pasay, Metro Manila|
|Contact Number||(02) 832 3249, (02) 333 3578|
|Hours||Park hours: Mondays to Thursdays, from 4PM onwards, and on Fridays to Sundays, from 2PM onwards|