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PortAventura (Catalan pronunciation: [ˌpɔrtəβənˈtuɾə]) is a theme park and a resort in Salou, Tarragona, Spain; on the Costa Daurada, approximately an hour drive south-west of Barcelona. 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. 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. 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. 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).
- 1 PortAventura Park
- 2 Seasonal events
- 3 Costa Caribe Aquatic Park
- 4 Resort hotels
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The park features five theme areas based on historic civilizations (Mediterrània, Far West, México, China and Polinesia) and one theme area based on Sesame Street which was opened for the 2011 season of the park.
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.
- 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) and is the fastest roller coaster in Europe. 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.
- Estació del Nord: One of the three stations of the PortAventura Ferrocarril tour.
- Sésamo Parade
- FiestAventura: Only during the months of July and August, the lake is the site of a show featuring fireworks and floats representing PortAventura's zones of Polynesia, China, Far West and Mexico".
- Sésamo Parade Special Light (Only during July and August)
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:
- 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
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- El Diablo-Tren de la Mina: An Arrow Dynamics mine train which features various small tunnels, a large number of helixs 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.
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.
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).
- Other rides in China include the Cobra Imperial, Tea Cups, Driving School and Fumanchu.
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 – 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.
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.
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.
|Shambhala: Expedición al Himalaya||Bolliger & Mabillard||83 miles per hour (134 km/h)||249 feet (76 m)||5,410 feet (1,650 m)||2012|
|Dragon Khan||Bolliger & Mabillard||65 miles per hour (105 km/h)||148 feet (45 m)||04,165 feet (1,269 m)||1995|
|Furius Baco||Intamin||83.9 miles per hour (135.0 km/h)||015 feet (4.6 m)||02,789 feet (850 m)||2007|
|Stampida||CCI||46 miles per hour (74 km/h)||084 feet (26 m)||03,127 feet (953 m)||1997|
|Hurakan Condor||Intamin||71.4 miles per hour (114.9 km/h)||376 feet (115 m)||00,370 feet (110 m)||2005|
|Tomahawk||CCI||30 miles per hour (48 km/h)||044 feet (13 m)||01,444 feet (440 m)||1997|
|Tami-Tami||Vekoma||21.7 miles per hour (34.9 km/h)||028 feet (8.5 m)||00,679 feet (207 m)||1998|
|El Diablo||Arrow Dynamics||37 miles per hour (60 km/h)||54 feet (16 m)||03,306 feet (1,008 m)||1995|
|Tutuki splash||Intamin||35 miles per hour (56 km/h)||045 feet (14 m)||01.438 feet (0.438 m)||1995|
|Silver River Flume||Mack Rides||35 miles per hour (56 km/h)||050 feet (15 m)||02.260 feet (0.689 m)||1995|
|Grand Canyon Rapids||Intamin||10 miles per hour (16 km/h)||–||02.800 feet (0.853 m)||1995|
|Ferrocarril Tour||*||07 miles per hour (11 km/h)||–||32.810 feet (10.000 m)||1995|
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.
- 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
Costa Caribe Aquatic Park is a water park which is adyacent 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.
- King Khajuna – Europe's tallest free fall slide of 31 metres and 55 degree descent.
- The Mambo and Limbo – Corkscrew water slide.
- El Tifón – Typhoon Water Slide.
- El Río Loco – Lazy River.
- El Torrente – A 4 passenger tube.
- Barracudas – A 2 Passenger tube sails through tunnels and spins at full speed.
- Junior Slides – Small indoor rides.
- Zona Indoor – Indoor play area including pool.
- La Laguna de Woody – Woody Woodpecker play area.
The resort features four thematic hotels:
- Hotel PortAventura: A Mediterranean themed hotel with direct access to the theme park.
- Hotel Caribe: Caribbean theme.
- Hotel El Paso: Mexican theme.
- Hotel Gold River: Far West theme.
- Themed Entertainment Association; Economics Research Associates (2009). Attraction Attendance Report (PDF). Park World. Retrieved 2009.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Port Aventura.|
- (English) – Official English site