PortAventura World is the number 1 theme park resort in Spain and one of the best in Europe (ranked 6th in overall attendance in 2015 with 3,366,000 visitors). Since 2017 resort includes includes 5 Hotels, the Caribbean, a themed Costa Caribe water park and Ferrari Land.
The Park is located close to the popular Spanish summer resort of Salou and is less than an hour from Barcelona by car and is divided in five distinct areas (Mediterranean, Polynesia, China, Mexico, and the American West) plus an children’s playground inspared on Sesema Street.
Mediterranean is coastal fishing village themed area, and includes many shops, and two transportation rides. Also is home for the first world class rollercoaster Furious Bacos. Polynesia is based on a tropical paradise, and includes several water rides (Tutuki Splash and CAnoes) and shows, and some beautiful landscaping. Then there is China, which is home to Dragon Khan and Shambhala and Angkor, 2015’s Mack rides water fighting boat ride. Next door is Mexico themed after the ancient Mayan culture and home for one my our favourite rides El Diablo – Tren de la Mina, a family roller coaster. Finally, there is the Far West, one of the most impressively themed Wild West towns we have ever seen. Stampida, a world class woden roller coaster is the one to look for. But there’s also an impressive Silver River Flume ride. Refreshingly you can even find food native to each area.
As mentioned the park has a good selection of rides, including 4 world class coasters Dragon Khan, Furious Baco, Stampida and Shambhala.
Shambhala, the new inverted roller coaster in PortAventura World opened on the 12th of May 2012 and was the highest roller coaster in Europe (76 meters) – until de park opened Red Power at Ferrari land next door-, the roller coaster with the longest fall in Europe (78 meters) and the fastest European hyper coaster, it will reach 134 km / h on the first descent. Impressive. This is not an easy roller coaster to begin with. The retention sisteam feels unsafe. But once you ride it for the first time you want to repeat again and again. And the G forces keep you close to the chair. Don’t worry.
Dragon Khan eight inversions also put this steel sit-down roller coaster on the map. The ride built by Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) opened on May 2, 1995 and is based on Chinese mythology: the Dragon Khan was the reincarnated spirit of the evil Prince Hu of Beijing. His fury was unleashed each time a human dared to climb atop his back.
The park also has four themed water rides (Angkor opened in 2015), a state of the art simulator (Dino Escape 4D, former Ice Age Experience and Sea Odyssey) and a special effects attraction (Templo del Fuego). Besides all that you have a spectacular parade every night and several shows each day (during summertime the park is opened until midnight in seleted days and in some weekends until 4 am). There are also Halloween and Christmas events.
We already visit the park 5 times and in all occasions had a fantastic time.
Hotels stays, park tickets and the car park are a bit pricey but if you stay in Salou you could go by foot, as we learned the second time we visited.
Also, there are several online discounts if you buy your tickets in advance. When we visit for the last time in 2016 there were also an offer for the second day free on the low season. On the downside during summertime the lines are huge so be prepared for a 40 -50 minute wait in most rides and Fast Pass Tickets cost more 25 to 30€ and only allows 1 fast ride per attraction. In 2013 the park launched an App for phones and tablets that alerts the visitor when a show is about to begin.
PortAventura World is the most complete theme park resort in Europe with world class coasters for thrill seekers, water rides, fantastic shows and toons of activities for young kids and families.
By Ana Alegria, Carlos Canaes and Ana Rita Mendes. Updated 01/05/2017
Location: Avinguda de l’Alcalde Pere Molas, km 2, 43840 Vila-seca, Tarragona, Spain
Tickets Adults 47€ Children 40€
Opens from March to JanuaryTop Rides