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PortAventura/ Ferrari Land - August 2017

Posted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:52 pm
by ThemeCrafter264
My family has booked a holiday to Salou and we are planning to visit PortAventura/ Ferrari Land during this week sometime (we will probably have a 2 day ticket with 1 of the days at both parks and the other just at PA). There isn't really much advice online so I have a couple of questions.

1. Where is the best place to buy tickets? I've seen some websites like 'Attractions Tickets Direct' which do have cheaper tickets but are these sites safe to buy from.
2. How busy will it be if I'm going in mid August and also how long should I expect queues to be?
3. Any park tips and is there a good ride order?

Thanks a lot! :)

Re: PortAventura/ Ferrari Land - August 2017

Posted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 6:24 pm
by Liam.W
It will be very busy. Depending on how many re-rides you want in Ferrari Land you will probably need a full day. I went the other day and it was packed then (not school trips), so I'd hate to imagine how busy it will be in August! The main park will also be very busy, with very long queue times. At the park I would probably buy Express Premium at €48 which is unlimited fastrack rides all day! If you don't get express then the best thing to do would be get there early and do Furius Baco first before the queue forms. Then head up to Far West because everyone goes up to Polynesia and China first. Then head up to Mexico then China. Basically you end up doing one big loop around the park. Meditterania > Far West > Mexico > China > Polynesia > Meditterania. As a short cut from Polynesia to China or vice versa, cut through Sesamo Aventura and it takes you directly to the Shambhala mini area!  Any questions feel free to drop me a PM

Re: PortAventura/ Ferrari Land - August 2017

Posted: Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:53 am
by streetmagix
Check the opening times too, during the summer the main park is open until 0000 or even 0300! Ferrari Land is open until 2000 at the moment too. Use this to your advantage as families start leaving when the sun goes down. 

Ticketing wise: I tend to buy directly from the PA website. The current offer is €65 for 2 days at the main park and a day at Ferrari Land. This will save you queuing at the booths, personally I'd pay a few extra € for that convenience.

It'll be very busy and very hot, expect to queue and queue and queue. The queue boards are often wildly different to the actual queue length. Drink lots of water too.

Re: PortAventura/ Ferrari Land - August 2017

Posted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:10 pm
by ThemeCrafter264
Are there any single rider queues for any rides?

Re: PortAventura/ Ferrari Land - August 2017

Posted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:43 pm
by Liam.W
Shambhala, Hurakan Condor and Red Force. However for Red Force and Hurakan Condor you still have to queue in the main queue first in order to get to the single rider queue. So you just have to hope that the main queue ends after the single rider split off point so that you can get to it without waiting! On red force it isn't sign posted anywhere it has SRQ, I only found out due to asking a staff member what this other queue was! No one used it except me as no one knows of its existence :lol

Re: PortAventura/ Ferrari Land - August 2017

Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:49 pm
by ponder
Attraction Tickets Direct are fine, used them before, but I would agree with the guy above and buy direct from the PA website.

I'd recommend getting in the main park early and doing Shambhala and Khan, then heading across to Ferrari Land around lunchtime. Everyone rushes there first, so if you time it right you won't be queuing so long for Red Force. (In fact it was a walk-on back in April at lunchtime vs a 40 minute queue first thing in the morning).

I hope you like airtime as Shambhala and Red Force have tons of it :)

Re: PortAventura/ Ferrari Land - August 2017

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:37 am
by ThemeCrafter264
One final thing, is what's the best head position for Furius Baco and Dragon Khan? Thanks a lot (I don't want rough rides) :)

Re: PortAventura/ Ferrari Land - August 2017

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:56 am
by Liam.W
On Furius Baco, keep your head back for the launch (obviously) but after the launch I find placing my head forwards helps. Also, sit in the inside seats for a smoother ride. 

Dragon Khan isn't too rough. Just sit back and enjoy.

Re: PortAventura/ Ferrari Land - August 2017

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:02 pm
by ThemeCrafter264
Something that I just thought of, is if I have a 2 day PA ticket with 1 day also for FL, can I just confirm you allowed to go to and from PA and FL freely throughout the day whenever you want? I'm really sorry for asking so many questions. The ticket page has a very poorly written description of what the ticket actually offers. Thank you :)

Re: PortAventura/ Ferrari Land - August 2017

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:05 pm
by Liam.W
I'm not too sure, as I have an annual pass so don't know how normal tickets work! 

One thing I would suggest is getting a ticket for the Waterpark. After your day in the park you can buy a discounted ticket to go in the waterpark the next day. It's a brilliant waterpark!

Re: PortAventura/ Ferrari Land - August 2017

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:01 pm
by Burniel
ThemeCrafter264 wrote:
Something that I just thought of, is if I have a 2 day PA ticket with 1 day also for FL, can I just confirm you allowed to go to and from PA and FL freely throughout the day whenever you want? I'm really sorry for asking so many questions. The ticket page has a very poorly written description of what the ticket actually offers. Thank you :)

I've not visited the park personally, so I've obviously never been through this booking system, however from a little while of research, I can see why this has confused you.

I'm assuming you have purchased the 3 Days, 2 Parks ticket, priced at 80 Euros per adult. This provides you with two day tickets for PortAventura Park, as well as a day ticket for Ferrari Land. Regarding your question about park-hopping, this comes from the booking page:

3-day ticket to PortAventura Park and Ferrari Land park.

1-day ticket to Ferrari Land. On this day, you will be able to access PortAventura Park during its opening hours. This ticket also includes 2 full days’ access to PortAventura Park within its opening hours. The 3 visits must be made within 7 days of the first visit.


My interpretation of this would be that you may only visit Ferrari Land on the day that you have the ticket for, and not the other two days. However, on the day that you use your Ferrari Land ticket, you can also access PortAventura Park. Essentially, this means that you can visit the main park on any one of your three days, but can only visit Ferrari Land on your designated day, enabling you to do 2.5 days in the main park and half a day at Ferrari Land, which is probably going to be your preferred method. Whether or not you can change parks multiple times on your FL day depends entirely on the parks' re-entry systems, which I'm afraid I can't help you with. In any case, I would thoroughly advise contacting the resort's booking centre directly to confirm all of this information.

Hope I helped :)

Re: PortAventura/ Ferrari Land - August 2017

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:53 pm
by ThemeCrafter264
PortAventura - 9th/12th August 2017

I'm just about to end my Salon holiday which has included 2 days at PortAventura World and a visit to Barcelona. It's been a fantastic trip and I wanted to share my specific thoughts about it. I stayed in the Villa Romana Hotel which is about a 15 mins walk to the resort and about 15 mins walk to the beach. My room had an amazing view of the park so I could see Red Force, Thrill Towers, Shambhala, Dragon Khan, Huraken Condor and King Khajuna. I even one night watched FiestAventura one night from my room. The picture below shows the view (you can't see the water park attraction as it was cut off by the camera).
Image 

General Thoughts
As most of you know, PortAventura is a theme park in Salou, Spain, home to 8 roller coasters. Visiting there for 2 days (including part of a day at Ferrari Land which I will have a separate post about), I've had some mixed feelings about some aspects of the resort. General points are below :
  • For instance, I've found that perhaps the opening times are maybe a bit too long (one of the days was a White Night and my family and I managed until 12:30, when we gave up because we were just too tired).
  • Personally, I've found that the park is really Shambhala and then the rest are more filler attractions, leading to me to believe the park desperately requires a major coaster (like an invert) and a large scale dark ride, not a simulator.
  • Honestly, I had no issue with staggered openings because as long as you plan your day around them, it can if anything be an advantage.
  • The day of White Nights was very quiet, with me being able to ride the big 3 coasters in the first hour.
  • Express was over-used on some rides, especially on Shambhala. Literally, at least half the train was Express which made the main queue, queue times increase dramatically. Stampida had no one regulating who came through to the coaster turnstiles meaning at times, vast amounts of people walked straight through to ride, with no member of staff regulating it.
  • Front row seating was done very weirdly. On Dragon Khan and Stampida, I wasn't allowed to wait to go onto the next train to get front row, even though I was happy enough to do this and I was a single rider.
  • This is going to be a more serious point but I feel it is rather necessary to mention. If you have noticed, I visited over the course of 4 days, which may suprise those who know a 2 day ticket has to be done in 3 days. Well the reason why this was, was because when I was walking towards the PortAventura World entrance (on the 11th), I realised that I was in the process of having a migraine. Anybody who has had migraines will know how vision goes very weird and you get a very bad headache. My mum went to guest services to ask if my family's tickets could be re-validated so that they could be used on another day, when I wouldn't have a migraine. Sadly, they told us this would not be possible there and that we would have to go to the medical centre, located in Mexico, next to Temple Del Fuego. The walk from Mediterrània to this medical center was about 15 minutes so this walk was quite hard for me with my migraine. In the end, the medical center re-validated the ticket and I was able to lie down in the hotel and fortunately, the migraine ended in the latter hours of the day. However, it took probably over an hour from entering the resort to leaving the resort which is quite bad, in my eyes. The park needs to create a better system for re-validating tickets for medical reasons as the whole situation could have been made far simpler, if only a better system had been used. Sorry if that's a bit negative but the whole situation could have been made easier for people like me, if you could have either another medical center nearer the entrance or allow guest services to re-validate tickets, based on medical reasons.

Ride/ Show Count

Shambhala - 5
Dragon Khan - 2
Angkor - 1
Balloon ride in Children's Area - 1
Waiton Port Boat Transportation - 1
Dance Revolution - 1
Los Portfolios - 1
El Diablo - 2
Huraken Condor - 1
Temple del Fuego
Furius Baco - 1
PortAventura Parade - 1
FiestAventura - 1
Tutuki Splash - 1
Kontiki - 1
Silver River Flume - 1
Tomahawk - 1
Grand Canyon Rapids - 1
Stampida - 2 (once on each side)
Tami Tami - 2
La Granja de Elmo - 1
Magic Fish - 1

Coasters
To make this easier I am going to write my favourite to least favourite attractions for the next couple of section.

1. Shambhala
- It's a very good coaster but to properly enjoy it, you need to ride either at the back or front of the train (personally I prefer back for the force) with a loose restraint. If you don't do both you will enjoy up rather disappointed like I was on my first ride. It did get better though and probably will be my no2 coaster behind Saw: The Ride.
2. Furius Baco - This is an incredibly under-rated coaster. Roughness is a very minor issue as long as you place your head back for the launch and keep it forward for the rest of the ride. I also really enjoy the theme (including the preshow) and how is looks off-ride in Mediterrània.
3. Stampida (blue) - This is a quite good wooden roller coaster and is just about not too rough enough to find the coaster unenjoyable like the blue side. However, the audio played when trains enter and also leave the station is far too loud. Dragon Khan[/b] - This was a massive disappointment, with the coaster being far too rough to be called enjoyable. I tried both rows 3 and 5 and both were just as rough. :(
5. El Diablo - My first Arrow Dynamics coaster was mostly good, with a very fast moving queue but some of the banking was a bit too strong. It's a far superior ride nearer the front of the train as the banking
6. Tami Tami - This was surprisingly quite a fun credit with some force. In fact, this was the only coaster I managed to ride after midnight on the White Night.
7. Tomahawk - I guess this was all right and fairly smooth but nothing too impressive.
8. Stampida (red) - This is a very rough and unenjoyable ride. At one point, it felt like I was being squashed to death so if you have the option of riding only 1 side of Stampida, ride blue not red.

Water Rides
1. Grand Canyon Rapids - Wow, a great attraction, with some big waves. Probably the UK rapids will feel tamer than ever when I next ride them/
2. Silver River Flume - Fairly good but 3 drops perhaps felt slightly repetitive.
3. Tutuki Splash - It's a bigger Tidal Wave, with an extra drop so what can you exactly expect. Just an alright attraction.
4. Angkor - Please just convert this attraction to a jungle cruise style attraction with some ride commentary, no water guns and more water effects. The theming is fairly good but in some areas, it has broken, showing the polystyrene. The water guns are stupid and completely ruin the attraction. Once on-ride, you cannot see what you are shooting so this ride becomes rather pointless. It also says a lot that the ride never had a queue over 10 mins and the queue moved quite slowly, despite the queue being in the station, when I rode.

Shows
1. Dance Revolution - A very well produced production with some great singing, dancing and skills shown by some of the performers. The soundtrack is also fantastic. One small issue I had before the show started was when the park was showing a variety of clips and adverts. One advert was for Horror in Texas (a year-round horror maze) which showed blood and gore, and could be considered frightening for younger members of the audience. This production had a large variety of people, young and old, so I was slightly surprised to see this advert being shown. It certainly wouldn't be allowed in UK shows, oh wait we don't have any large scale theatrical productions. :lol
2. FiestAventura - Mostly another great show but it lacked a major finale (felt a bit random if anything) and although the effects were very good, they didn't always work (I thought the lotus effect was the show going wrong). I watched the show on a bridge between a restaurant and a ship and I could see most things that were happening. However, if you are going to see this show, arrive early (even at 11:10, it was very busy).
3. PortAventura Parade - To sum it up quickly, it's a Disney parade with a good soundtrack (needs to last longer because it became incredibly repetitive) but it has lots of very basic floats.
4. Temple Del Fuego -This is a really random attraction without any English and the main show happens too quickly. If anything, once again it's far too scary for the designed family audience. I have no issues personally with what was there but if I was younger, I would have definitely found it too much.

Other Attractions

  • Huraken Condor - Drop towers never seem to really intimidate me so I was interested to see what I thought of a taller drop tower, compared to Detonator: Bombs Away. Detonator is probably more forceful and doesn't become sort of rough at the end (for some reason on Huraken Condor, I had a bit of head-banging near the end of the drop). For any of you wondering which tower I had, I had a sitdown with the floor but this ride is rather meh.
  • Magic Fish - Another slightly disappointing flat ride which although had a bit of force at certain points, it was not worth the 10 minute queue.

Conclusion / Final Thoughts
So what do I think of the whole park generally? Well, I rate it between Legoland Windsor and THORPE PARK, but the park really does need more major attractions. Most of the rides in the park are good, with a few being fantastic. I will say though the atmosphere at White Nights was electric in Mediterrània with the live dancing, music and of course the fountains. I do apologise for the time it's taken for this trip report to be written but I hope it is worth it. Hopefully, I should be able to write 2 more trip reports for Ferrari Land and Barcelona soon so until then, thank you for reading all 1,848 words of this report! :)

Re: PortAventura/ Ferrari Land - August 2017

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:28 pm
by ThemeCrafter264
Ferrari Land - 9th August 2017

General Thoughts
I know I've been a very harsh critic of this park, saying some negative stuff about it but I feel like what I have said is true. This park desperately needs another major coaster as the park cannot handle crowds whatsoever. Also, this park should not be counted as another park but instead be apart of PortAventura because the park is tiny and has only 7 rides. As it currently stands this Summer, the park closes 4 hours earlier compared to PortAventura so I would personally like the park to be open until at least 10 pm. Sadly, I was unable to ride Maranello Grand Race.

Red Force
This is not a bad attraction but at the end of the day, it felt like a bit quicker, bit higher Stealth, meaning I wasn't left speechless like some Youtuber. However, operations were absolutely awful. As it is, the attraction has tiny trains, fitting only 12 people but having a 1 train operation on a peak Summer day with very slow loading is seriously disappointing for a resort as big as PortAventura World. I calculated, on average (when everything was going well) trains were dispatched every 2.25 minutes leading to a capacity around 250 people per hour. This meant the advertised time of 50 mins was more like 125 minutes. I knew I was going to have to do single rider but the queue for this was right at the very end meaning I had to queue for 2 hours in the main queue. When Red Force, was not operating well, some interesting stuff happened. Firstly, I saw from my hotel room the train roll back and from what it looked like, it only went halfway up the structure. Secondly, when queuing the train somehow slowed down to a halt at the end of the launch track meaning the train stopped. It was bizarrely then manually brought back into the station afterwards, which was rather odd.

Thrill Towers
I got the shot version and it's really forceless, so much so I spent my time on the ride finding my hotel (which I did). :D

Flying Dreams
Let's be honest, the actual preshow videos are rather poor and are rather boring. At least, the queue had some nice projection mapping, which did look rather impressive but the ride itself was fantastic. I absolutely adore the soundtrack (soarin quality) and most of the places I knew what they were and were shown quite well. The finale and the ride system itself are a wonder to behold too.

Racing Legends

From a fantastic themed attraction, we get a very poor dis-organised video 'ride'. Such a disappointment with the most random effects going off in the actual ride and another awful preshow. The staff wasted our time by making us wait for a sequence so we could watch another preshow, even though the doors to the actual ride room were open!

Junior Championship
This is an alright attraction but is nothing really to shout about. It has a bit of force but if anything it feels a bit boring as the ride sequence is quite long.

Summary
Really, Ferrari Land is something you need to do if you are in the resort but expect a crowded, awfully organised park.