Ferrari Land

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My Review of PortAventura World

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PortAventura, Caribe Aquatic Park and Ferrari Land, read my review of PortAventura World for tips, tricks and recommendations for visiting all three parks.

The first thing that struck me was – it’s huge! With the addition of Ferrari Land, PortAventura World now has the largest number of theme parks in Europe. If you want to visit the main PortAventura park, Caribe Aquatic Park and Ferrari Land, I would suggest taking three full days to see them properly.

review of portaventura

PortAventura Park

Home to 41 attractions and 40 daily shows, I was really impressed with this park and the variety on offer. There are plenty of rides for all ages and my 6 and 9 year old had a ball. There are six different lands, each with their own unique feel. When you walk into Mediterrania, ‘O Sole Mio’ bellows from the sound system, while ‘The Good, The Bad And The Ugly’ plays in the Far West land, it is extremely well thought out and the attention to detail is superb. We loved the water rides. Grand Canyon Rapids is perfect for kids of all ages while Silver River Plume is more like a coaster with one big drop, and you will need to factor in that you will get quite wet!

review of portaventura

The wooden coaster Stampida is a good choice for those who like rollercoasters but don’t like going upside down (my type of coaster!) It is still intense though and I would say suited to 8 years and above. There are plenty of rides for adrenaline junkies, Shambhala, Dragon Khan and Tutuki Splash, being the most popular.  The one attraction that we all disliked was El Secreto de los Mayas, a maze of mirrors which was extremely hard to get out of. Luckily we met a staff member inside who helped us out – definitely not for anyone with claustrophobia! Little ones are well catered for too with the Sesamo Aventura land offering 11 rides as well as sesame street characters wandering around.

family holiday in Salou

The park itself is spotless and the restaurant choices are excellent. Thankfully not all burger joints like some other parks I have visited. We ate in Raco de Mar in Mediterrania and it was great. There are pretty views across the lake and flowers everywhere, you would never think you were in a theme park! Prices were very reasonable too and they had a good mix of pizzas, chicken Caesar salad as well as a kids menu. Beers and ice creams didn’t break the bank either, dearer than in the resort centre but not extortionate. We found the park overall very reasonably priced compared to others we had visited.

review of portaventura

We went during a weekend in July, which I was told was quieter than going midweek strangely enough. I guess holiday makers tend to arrive over the weekend and go to the park during the middle of their visit. We didn’t have express passes and the longest we queued was 30 minutes. We didn’t opt for the express passes for two reasons. They were very expensive and most of the rides they covered (the high speed rollercoasters) we weren’t going on anyway. If you want to go on the fast coasters, then possibly you should consider them, but it really depends on how busy the park is and the time of year you visit. There are many options to choose from. The Express Max (€33pp), only allows one fast access per attraction (and not front row seats). The Express Premium Gold (€58pp), allows unlimited express access to the main attractions rides, with one single ride in the front row on the three main coasters, Shambhala, Furios Baco and Dragon Khan. See more details here.

review of portaventura

Another highlight was the parade and fireworks display at midnight. Not only is night time a great time to visit the park as there are virtually no queues, but the fireworks are in my opinion a ‘must see’. We arrived 15 minutes before the start time and got a perfect viewing point, in Disneyland you would need to arrive an hour before hand and even then you may not have a clear view.


Caribe Aquatic Park

This is right beside PortAventura park, in fact you can walk from one to the other in minutes. This was another big hit, we all loved it. There is a huge Caribbean style wave pool with sun loungers if you just want to chill out, a splash park for younger kids and a pirate ship pool with slides for older kids. I loved that there were plenty of family rides and queues were minimal. The longest we queued was 30 minutes but on average it was about 10 – 15 minutes for most rides. All of us were able to go down on one ring in El Torrente and we were able to go on double rings in lots of other rides. We also raced each other on Rapid Race and relaxed on the lazy river.

review of portaventura

Needless to say we weren’t brave enough to try King Khajuna, where you free fall from 31 meters and reach speeds of 6 meters per second! We did however, find that there was plenty of rides to suit us all and we left happy! Note you will need to rent lockers (big queues) for your camera, glasses etc, as you can’t bring anything on the rides with you, including waterproof cameras. You can purchase a photo pass, where an automated machine takes pictures of you on the rides, but unfortunately I didn’t notice this until we were leaving! Note Caribe Aquatic Park is only open from June to mid September.

review of portaventura

Ferrari Land

We didn’t visit Ferrari Land on this occasion but I was there for the opening launch, you can read my review on Ferrari Land here. This is also located beside Port Aventura park but in my opinion a half day is plenty of time to discover it. Europe’s highest rollercoaster Red Force is a must for rollercoaster fanatics where you reach 180km per hour in 5 seconds! Car enthusiasts will love the F1 simulator rides (extra charge) where you can feel what it is like to drive a Formula one car. However I thought most of the other rides are fairly tame and not as good as the rides on offer in PortAventura, so we opted to skip it on this occasion.

review of portaventura

Where to stay:

Salou, Cambrils and La Pineda are nearby holiday resorts offering a wide range of self catering and hotel accommodation. We stayed in the lively resort of Salou in Camping La Siesta for two nights and also in one of the PortAventura hotels for two nights. Camping La Siesta is a four star family resort that offers high quality bungalows and mobile homes. There is a day and evening entertainment program and a great pool area with slides for children of all ages. This is a great option if you are looking for a lively resort but within easy access to PortAventura. Read my review of my family holiday in Salou.

review of portaventura

If you want unlimited access to the park and plan on visiting at night time, then you should consider staying in one of the PortAventura hotels. You can come and go as often as you like throughout your stay. We were staying at the Gold River hotel and we loved it. The wild west theme was a huge hit with the kids and the rooms were very spacious and well equipped. We were staying on a half board basis and we were able to dine in the a la carte restaurant which was great. They have a dine around system, where you can dine in any of the restaurants in the park or the a la carte options in the hotels. There may be a small supplement to pay, depending on what you choose but in our case it was minimal.

review of portaventura

TOP TIP: If staying in one of the PortAventura hotels, check that your booking automatically includes access to the other parks. In our case it didn’t and we had to pay an additional €75 to enter the Caribe Aquatic Park (and that was with a 30% discount for staying at the hotel). If you are staying in one of the hotels or apartments in Salou or surrounding areas, I would definitely recommend pre purchasing your tickets, it is much cheaper than buying them at the gate and you get a better choice of ticket options. Make sure you read my blog post on the best tickets to buy for PortAventura before you book.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

Best Travel Deals

Halloween Break at Port Aventura World & Ferrari Land, 3 Nights, 2ad & 2ch, Flights, 4* Hotel & Park Passes, €1019!

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Spend the Halloween break at Port Aventura and Ferrari Land this year. Treat the kids to a weekend away with this super deal, which includes flights, hotel and park tickets!

 

Port Aventura World is a great place to go during the Halloween break. The park is decked out with lots of spooky decorations and there are enough frightening characters and scary creatures to satisfy kids of all ages. Younger kids will also enjoy the Sesame Street characters that sing and dance in Halloween costumes. Make sure you catch the amazing Halloween show on the gloomy lake and stay till closing time to catch the spooky fun parade.

Halloween Break at Port Aventura World and Ferrari Land

What I love about this Halloween break at Port Aventura and Ferrari Land is that the kids can still enjoy Halloween night at home. I’m not sure about you but my kids always want to be at home to go trick or treating! You will be flying from Dublin to Barcelona Reus ( closest airport to Salou ) on Wednesday the 1st of November and return on Saturday the 4th and staying at the 4* Sol Costa Daurada hotel in Salou, which is located only 2 km from the Park. Hopefully the weather will be good enough to spend a day at the beach but if you are unlucky the hotel also has an indoor pool as well as a host of activities for all the family to enjoy. 🙂

Halloween Break at Port Aventura World and Ferrari Land

The price includes a two day park ticket to Port Aventura and Ferrari Land, which you can buy in advance with Attraction Tickets Direct. Read my top ten reasons to visit Port Aventura World and my blog on Ferrari Land to see all the amazing attractions available.

Click here to book flights  Dublin – Reus €239pp

Click here to book hotel: €216

Click here to book theme park tickets:  €59 per adult, €51 per child.

 
Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to change. Note that some links above are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.

 

Sarah

 

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EuropeFamily HolidaysFeatured

The Definitive Guide to Ferrari Land, Spain

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No man alive could have pried my fingers off that safety bar. Zero to 180km in 5 seconds, I couldn’t even imagine what that would feel like, and what did G Force factor of 1.3 actually mean anyway?

 

When my invitation to visit Ferrari Land arrived to my inbox I had mixed emotions. I was genuinely delighted to be invited, but absolutely terrified at the same time. Rollercoasters are not really my thing, but how do you turn down an invitation from Ferrari? One of the world’s most iconic luxury brands combining with Port Aventura, Europe’s largest theme park, in a €100 million development! There was no way I could accept without actually going on Red Force, the tallest (112 meters) and fastest (180km) rollercoaster in Europe, that would be pointless and unfair to whomever could have gone instead of me. I had no option, I had to do it…

I stood in line for the third time. The first two times there was a ‘malfunction’ somewhere and we were told to come back! I began to wonder was somebody trying to tell me not to do it… There were six of us who travelled together from Ireland for the official ‘Grand Opening’ of Ferrari Land in Spain. I appeared to be the only one who was remotely scared of Red Force. At one point the others actually discussed waving their hands in the air – seriously!!

Ferrari Land

The best part of the whole experience for me, is that it was over in 24 seconds! Actually to be fair, if you are into rollercoasters, it is amazing. It is the tallest and fastest in Europe and the feeling of reaching that height and speed is something I thought I would never experience. My colleagues thought it was incredible, all of them wanted to go on it again and for brief minute, I thought I did too. My eyes were closed the whole time and listening to the others discuss the view from the top, I suddenly had this feeling that I didn’t experience it properly, and I SHOULD really do it again. Then I spotted a sign that said that the Red Force has a 30% chance of rolling backwards from the crest, depending on the weather, and that it might not make it to the top! That was the end of Red Force for me, but for thrill seekers it adds a whole new level of excitement…

While Red Force is the main attraction in the park and is a ‘must do’ for serious adrenaline junkies, there are other rides there too. There are two Thrill Towers, one a free fall and the other a bounce back tower. They are relatively tame compared to Red Force. Children will enjoy the Maranello race track where families can compete against each other and race around a track. There is also a Junior Championship for younger kids.

Ferrari Land

The Ferrari Experience is housed in a vibrant Ferrari Red building, a must visit for Ferrari enthusiasts. Learn all about the legendary Italian Scuderia and try the two simulator rides, The Flying Dreams and Racing Legends. Petrol heads will love the Pole Piston Challenge. You get to feel what it is like to ride in a Formula 1 car in the on site simulators, these are similar to the simulators that the F1 drivers practice on.

There are only 8 simulators though (6 for adults and 2 for children) and they were booked very quickly so unfortunately we didn’t get to ride them. Similarly with the Pit Stop Record. Two teams compete against each other to change four wheels on a full size F1 car as quickly as possible.

TOP TIP: Make sure you go to both of these rides as soon as you enter the park to book your place. You can wander around the park and come back at your allotted time. There is an additional charge of €20 for both of these rides.

Ferrari Land

While the iconic red Ferrari colour is visible throughout the park, the designers also managed to create an authentic Italian environment too. Walking around the park amidst the Colosseum and Venice’s St Mark’s Campanile, you might forget you are actually in Spain. There are some excellent Italian restaurants to choose from as well as famous Italian ice cream parlours.

An acrobatic show with dancers, acrobats and BMX performers is scheduled three times per day during the week and four times at weekends. There is also a fancy souvenir shop with Ferrari merchandise at the exit – bring your credit card! Overall the park feels upmarket and classy and you can see how they spent a whooping €100 million creating it.

Ferrari Land

Ferrari Land will be open from 10am to 5pm, and in high season there will also be an evening session from 6pm to 1am. It is a small park so a half day is probably enough time to see it and I would recommend visiting it as part of a trip to Port Aventura World, Europe’s largest theme park. 

TOPTIP: You must pre book tickets, the entry is limited to 5,000 people per day so if you have not pre-booked your ticket you may be turned away!

 

How to get to Ferrari Land:

Reus is the closest airport to Ferrari Land, only 15 minutes drive away and there are numerous charter flights available with Sunway and TUIand scheduled flights with Ryanair. Combine with a holiday in Salou and Port Aventura World. Port Aventura is a world class family resort, now with three theme parks, five hotels, three golf courses and a beach club! Read my blog on reasons to visit Port Aventura World this year. Barcelona airport is another option, only an hours drive or train ride and there are daily flights with Aer Lingus and Ryanair.

Ferrari Land

 

How much does it cost?

Attraction Tickets Direct offer the best selection of packages to Ferrari Land. At the time of issue prices are €60 per adult and €52 per child for a one day, two park ticket; or €109 per adult and €94 per child for a four day, three park ticket.

Ferrari Land

 

For more information on attractions, height requirements and prices, click here.

 

 

Sarah
The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery
 
DestinationsEuropeFamily HolidaysFeatured

Top 10 Reasons to Visit PortAventura World

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I was really impressed when I visited PortAventura theme park last year. Together with FerrariLand and Caribe Water Park, it so much to offer. Here are my top 10 reasons to visit PortAventura World.


 

1. There are three parks in PortAventura.

One of the main reasons to visit PortAventura is it’s sheer size! With PortAventura Park, Caribe Aquatic Park and Ferrari Land, PortAventura World now has the largest number of theme parks in Europe. And 65 million visitors over 20 years – the numbers say it all…

rollercoasters - one of the reasons to visit portaventura

 

 

2. PortAventura Park has 6 different lands.

6 lands, with 41 attractions and 40 daily performances, there is a huge variety on offer to suit all ages groups. Highlights include the famous Shambhala & Dragon Khan roller coasters and Tutuki Splash, where wagons drop rapidly from the top of a volcano to a lake – not for the faint hearted!

great rides at portaventura

 

3. The Caribe Aquatic Park has 14 rides

Caribe Aquatic Park is another park that caters for all ages. Daredevils will love King Khajuna where you take on a free fall from 31 metres and reach speeds of 6 metres per second! Not your thing ? Why not stretch out on one of the water beds in the Caribbean style swimming pool.

caribe water park, one of the reasons to visit portaventura

 

4. Ferrari Land is home to the Vertical Accelerator

At 112 meters tall, it is Europe’s highest roller coaster.  You will experience the same sensation as in Formula 1 racing, and reach a speed of 180km per hour in 5 seconds – yikes!  You will also discover what it feels to ride a Ferrari in an F1 simulator, there are 8 simulators, two of which are suitable for children. For more information read my definitive guide to Ferrari Land.

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5. There are many special events throughout the year in PortAventura.

If you still need reasons to visit PortAventura, you will love the special events that are on throughout the year. During the summer months there are White Nights where the park opens until the small hours of the morning. Cirque du Soleil will perform their amazing show from the 6th of July – 13th of August. Christmas time is a magical time to visit where the park is covered in coloured lights and lots of decorations.  Meet Santa Claus and enjoy Christmas shows, songs and parades.At Halloween the park is filled with spooky characters and there is a special scary parade at closing time.

reasons to visit portaventura

 

6. Little ones are well catered for too.

Sesame Street characters wander around the land of  Sésamoaventura where there are 11 rides especially catered for children from age 1.  Caribe Aquatic Park also has a separate children’s pool and water slides for small children.

reasons to visit port aventura

 

7  It’s not all rollercoasters and water slides.

Anyone for Golf? There are three golf courses and two of these designed by Greg Norman. PortAventura World also caters for conferences – who said you can’t have fun on a business trip! After a few days at the parks what better than a chill out at their beach club.  Choose from 8 swimming pools, including an infinity pool with sea views or take advantage of the direct access to the beach.

reasons to visit portaventura

 

8. The food is surprisingly good in PortAventura!

Usually when you visit a theme park you can right off healthy eating. In fact you can write off eating well at all. In Port Aventura there are plenty of good restaurants and they wont break the bank either. With different themed lands, come different themed restaurants. Try noodles in China, tacos in Mexico and Italian in Ferrari Land. Many restaurants even cater for food allergies and intolerances.

reasons to visit portaventura

 

9. There are plenty of places to stay in PortAventura.

There are five hotels within the resort, including the 5* Mansión de Lucy and spacious bungalows at the Gold River Hotel. If you stay in one of these hotels you have unlimited access to all the Port Aventura Parks. There are also a limited number of camper-van spaces available or you can choose some self catering options in the nearby resort of Salou.

reasons to visit portaventura

 

10. It is so easy to get to PortAventura!

Only 15 minutes from Reus, 1 hour from Barcelona and 2 hours from Girona. With numerous low cost flights daily – you really have no excuse not to go!

 

 

Like this post?  You might like these too:

My Review of PortAventura World

The Best Tickets To Buy For PortAventura

 

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This post, 10 reasons to visit PortAventura was sponsored by Port Aventura World but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 

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