PortAventura

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PortAventura Resort
PortAventura Logo.svg
Location Salou, Catalonia,
Spain
Coordinates 41°05′05″N 1°09′05″E / 41.08472°N 1.15139°E / 41.08472; 1.15139Coordinates: 41°05′05″N 1°09′05″E / 41.08472°N 1.15139°E / 41.08472; 1.15139
Owner InvestIndustrial
Opened 1995
Website www.portaventura.co.uk

PortAventura (Catalan pronunciation: [ˌpɔrtəβənˈtuɾə]) is a theme park and a resort in the south of Barcelona, in Salou, Tarragona, Spain; on the Costa Dorada. It attracts around 4 million visitors per year making it the most visited theme park in Spain. PortAventura Park is also the 6th most visited theme park in Europe.[1] The resort also includes Costa Caribe Aquatic Park and four hotels. It is the biggest resort in the south of Europe. It has two airports within 30 minutes of it, including Reus Airport[citation needed]. There is a train station for PortAventura which has connections to Barcelona and Salou.

It was conceived and built as a joint effort by a Spanish Consortium and Anheuser-Busch (Busch Entertainment Corporation). When some of the Spanish Partners left the consortium the Tussauds Group replaced them as investors, finished the development and became the first operators.[2] In 1997, Universal bought up most shares in the park and the park was rebranded as 'Universal's Port Aventura'. In 2000, two hotels and a water park (Costa Caribe) were constructed, and the resort was further rebranded as 'Universal Mediterranea'. In 2004, NBC Universal (Universal Studios' parent) sold all interest in PortAventura. It is now owned and operated by La Caixa banking group's investment vehicle Criteria, but as of 2005 the Universal name has been dropped from the branding, and the resort was once again named 'PortAventura' (the space in the name is deliberately left out for trademark reasons). In December 2013 KKR [3] picks up 49,9% stake in PortAventura from Investindustrial that still owns 51,1%.

PortAventura Park[edit]

Areas[edit]

The park, located in the south of Barcelona, features five theme areas based on historic civilizations (Mediterrània, Far West, México, China and Polynesia) and one theme area based on Sesame Street which was opened for the 2011 season of the park.

Mediterrània[edit]

Mediterrània is the main entrance area of the park  it features three rides but there are several restaurants and shops reproducing a typical coastal town in Catalonia.

Mediterránea lake with Furius Baco
Attractions[edit]
  • Furius Baco':' An Intamin Accelerator coaster with winged seating, which opened in June 2007. It has a top speed of 83.9 mph (135 km/h). The ride is themed along a hay-wire grape collecting machine, launched by a professor's pet monkey.
  • Port de la Drassana: One of the boat ride station which takes visitors from the Mediterránia area to the Chinese area.
    The entrance zone of the Mediterránia section of PortAventura.
  • Estació del Nord: One of the three stations of the 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge[4] Ferrocarril Tour, PortAventura's railroad attraction.
Shows[edit]
  • Sésamo Parade
  • Welcome
  • FiestAventura: The lake becomes the site of a show featuring fireworks and floats representing PortAventura's zones of Polynesia, China, Far West and Mexico. (During July and August only).
  • Sésamo Parade Special Light (During July and August only).

Far West[edit]

Themed as an old wild west town, this area features many western buildings and sculptures. The area boasts nine attractions which makes it the biggest area in the park. Other attractions in this area includes a wild west version of Tea cups and Dodgems.

The area is also home to these thrill rides:

  • Stampida – This dueling Wooden roller coaster is the third largest roller coaster in the park.
  • Tomahawk – A junior version of Stampida and which runs parallel to it.
  • Silver River Flume – A traditional Water flume in the Far West.
  • Grand Canyon Rapids – A whitewater "tub raft" adventure along the Grand Canyon. There are also water cannons next to this ride, which allow guests to squirt people on the rides

México[edit]

This area is themed exclusively on pre-Columbian Mexico, Mayan Mexico. It features temples, statues and a Great Piramide that is the entrance to the Gran Teatro Maya, the biggest show zone of the park.

El Diablo-Tren de la Mina in the Mexican area.
Attractions[edit]
  • Hurakan Condor':' An Intamin drop tower ride operated by a cable lift, the ride provides a large view at the top before riders are sent to free fall to the bottom of the ride. This ride is one of the tallest in the world at 330 ft and is sometimes labelled as the greatest due to the tilting seats.
  • El Diablo-Tren de la Mina: An Arrow Dynamics mine train which features various small tunnels, a large number of helices and 3 chain-lift hills. The top speed of the coaster is around 60 km/h.
  • El Secreto de los Mayas: A mirror maze with some visual effects.
  • Yucatán: Themed in a large snake. It is a spinning ride that spin around a central axis with some ups and downs at a medium speed. It always travels forward.
  • Los Armadillos: A children's version of Yucatán.
  • Los Patrillos: A child attraction with some foals guided along a guide through a scouts camp.
  • Serpiente Emplumada: A spinning ride with five cylindrical modules that spin around a central axis, rising and changing his angle respect the ground at the same time that they are spinning around a central totem.
Shows[edit]
  • Templo Del Fuego: Built in 2001, it is a walk-through attraction which runs every 30 minutes during for a certain period of the park opening hours. This is themed as a Mayan temple in which an Indiana Jones type character raids in search of treasure. The high level of pyrotechnics in this show is hinted in the name – Temple of Fire.
  • Generation Forever (This show has an entrace in the china zone)
  • Los mundos de Woody

China[edit]

China is one of the biggest theme lands of the park – The area includes a Chinese buffet called Marco Polo with a good range of dishes available. The main path through the area is themed in the same style as the Great Wall of China.

Dragon Khan and Shambhala from the Great Wall of China recreation in 2012

The rides are:

  • Dragon Khan, with 8 inversions this formerly held the record as having more inversions than any other roller coaster. It also held the world record for the tallest vertical loop on any roller-coaster. The ride built by Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) opened on 2 May 1995 and was one of the two roller coasters that Port Aventura had when it opened. It consistently ranks among one of the world's best roller coasters in polls.
  • Shambhala: Expedición al Himalaya, this B&M roller coaster beats three European records as its the fastest (134 km/h) and tallest hyper coaster in Europe. It is 76 m tall and has longest drop in Europe at 78 m (2 m underground).
  • Angkor, a large splash battle themed in the Angkor ruins that opened in 2014. It's located just behind Shambhala.
  • Cobra Imperial
  • Tea Cups
  • Driving School

Shows[edit]

  • Los misterios de Angkor (The mysteries of Angkor).
  • Generations Forever (This show has an entrace in the Mexico zone).
  • Bubblebou Show
  • Sand Animation

Polynesia[edit]

Polynesia area.

The Polynesian area is different from the other rides in the park as it is a more laid back area with less thrilling rides. Polynesia is home to two shows and a few attractions. Polynesia is one of the smallest themed areas.

The two main rides in the area are:

  • Tutuki Splash: A water ride themed along an erupting volcano, riders experience being shot out of a volcano in a flume style boat.
  • Sea Odyssey 4D: Built in 1999, four years after the opening of the park, riders are taken into a dynamic cinema themed as a submarine and taken on a journey to the bottom of the ocean. Labelled as a 4D Theater attraction because of surround sound and motion platforms. Since 2010 it is able to play several different films throughout the day.
  • Kon Tiki Wave: A pirate ship ride.
  • Canoes: A junior water ride.

SésamoAventura[edit]

View of SésamoAventura.

Themed to the Sesame Street characters, this area is aimed for the younger visitors of the park. It opened for the 2011 season, and it was built between China and Polynesia in former lands of the Polynesia area, maintaining some of its attractions. The investment was around 12 million. PortAventura joins Universal Studios Japan and Busch Gardens with an area dedicated to Sesame Street, being the only theme park in Europe.[1]

It is home to 11 rides including:

  • CocoPiloto – A monorail around the area.
  • Tami-Tami – A roller coaster for children.
  • Magic Fish – A water carousel with jet-ski cars.
  • El salto de Blas – A drop-tower for children.
  • La granja de Elmo – A ride to visit Elmo's farm.

The shows: It is also home to two shows and street animation starring Ernie, Bert, Elmo and company.

Rides & Attractions[edit]

Roller Coasters[edit]

The Hurakan Condor drop tower ride.
Name Manufacturer Speed Height Length Park Section Opened
Shambhala: Expedición al Himalaya Bolliger & Mabillard 83 miles per hour (134 km/h) 249 feet (76 m) 05,410 feet (1,650 m) China 2012
Dragon Khan Bolliger & Mabillard 65 miles per hour (105 km/h) 148 feet (45 m) 04,165 feet (1,269 m) China 1995
Furius Baco Intamin 83.9 miles per hour (135.0 km/h) 015 feet (4.6 m) 02,789 feet (850 m) Mediterranean 2007
Stampida CCI 46 miles per hour (74 km/h) 084 feet (26 m) 03,127 feet (953 m) Far West 1997
Tomahawk CCI 30 miles per hour (48 km/h) 044 feet (13 m) 01,444 feet (440 m) Far West 1997
El Diablo Arrow Dynamics 37 miles per hour (60 km/h) 54 feet (16 m) 03,306 feet (1,008 m) Mexico 1995
Tami-Tami Vekoma 21.7 miles per hour (34.9 km/h) 028 feet (8.5 m) 00,679 feet (207 m) Sesamo Aventura 1998

Flat Rides[edit]

Name Manufacturer Height Speed Length Park Section Opened
Hurakan Condor Intamin 376 feet (115 m) 71.4 miles per hour (114.9 km/h) 00,370 feet (110 m) Mexico 2005

Water Rides[edit]

Name Manufacturer Speed Height Length Park Section Opened
Tutuki Splash Intamin 35 miles per hour (56 km/h) 045 feet (14 m) 01,438 feet (438 m) Polyneisa 1995
Silver River Flume Mack Rides 35 miles per hour (56 km/h) 050 feet (15 m) 02,260 feet (690 m) Far West 1995
Grand Canyon Rapids Intamin 10 miles per hour (16 km/h) 02,800 feet (850 m) Far West 1995

Future Rides[edit]

Name Manufacturer Height Speed Length Status Park Section Type Year
The Formula Intamin 465 feet (142 m) 160 miles per hour (260 km/h) 03,118 feet (950 m) Under Construction Ferrari Land Roller Coaster 2016
Formula 1: Drop of Doom Intamin 460 feet (140 m) 90 miles per hour (140 km/h) N/A Under Construction Ferrari Land Drop Ride 2016
Ferrari Go Karts Intamin N/A 10 miles per hour (16 km/h) 01,500 feet (460 m) Under Construction Ferrari Land Go Karts 2016
Ferrari Simulator Intamin N/A N/A N/A Under Construction Ferrari Land Simulator 2016

Seasonal events[edit]

FiestAventura

During seasonal events like summer nights, Halloween (September–November) and Christmas (November–January), PortAventura Park opens seasonal walkaround rides or shows, including the mazes: Psycho Circus, Horror in Penitence, La Mina del Diablo and La Selva del Miedo.

Summer Nights[edit]

  • Sesamo Parade – A parade with music and choreography, leading up to the start of the FiestAventura show.
  • FiestAventura – The fireworks show including water effects and floats.
  • ¡Hola PortAventura! Summer Night – At the Gran Teatro Imperial Theatre with a night time version of ¡Hola PortAventura!.

Costa Caribe Aquatic Park[edit]

Costa Caribe Aquatic Park Entrance.
Costa Caribe Aquatic Park – La Laguna de Woody.

Costa Caribe Aquatic Park is a water park which is adjacent to PortAventura Park. It has an area of 50,000 m2, which includes 16 attractions and slides, as well as over 8,500 m2 of water-covered surface area. It is themed to the Caribbean, with beaches, palm trees, and Latin and reggae music, and it also includes shops and restaurants.

Rides[edit]

  • King Khajuna – Europe's tallest free fall slide of 31 metres and 55 degree descent. Opened in 2013.
  • Ciclón Tropical - MultiBUMP slide. Opened in 2013.
  • Rapid Race - Pro racer opened in 2013.
  • The Mambo and Limbo – Two corkscrew water slide.
  • El Tifón – Two typhoon Water Slide.
  • El Río Loco – Lazy River.
  • El Torrente – A 4 passenger tube.
  • Barracudas – A pair of 2 Passenger tube sails through tunnels and spins at full speed.

Kids rides[edit]

  • Junior Slides – Small indoor rides.
  • Zona Indoor – Indoor play area including pool.
  • La Laguna de Woody – Woody Woodpecker play area.

Resort hotels[edit]

The resort features four thematic hotels:

  • Hotel PortAventura: Mediterranen Theme
  • Hotel Caribe: Caribbean theme.
  • Hotel El Paso: Mexican theme.
  • Hotel Gold River: Far West theme.

Coming Soon:

  • Hotel Ferrari: Ferarri theme

Future[edit]

Ferrari Land[edit]

InvestIndustrial and Ferrari signed a deal to build a new area themed to the sports car brand in the PortAventura resort covering 75,000 m2, including new rides, a 250-room hotel, design by Creative Kingdom Inc. with restaurants, shops and car racing simulators. It is yet undecided if the new area will be part of the main PortAventura Park or if it will be an additional park with its own entrance, like the Costa Caribe Aquatic Park. It is expected to open in 2016, after an investment of around 100 million. Ferrari Land will be the second amusement centre themed to Ferrari in the world, after Ferrari World theme park in Abu Dhabi.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]