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). 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 - 1Coasters
To make this easier I am going to write my favourite to least favourite attractions for the next couple of section.
- 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. 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
Conclusion / Final Thoughts
- 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.
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!