The amusement park or better said water park Aquashow Park is located in Quarteira near the city of Faro and is the largest park in the country and at least theoretically divided into the two components that describe it. When you enter the park you first enter the amusement park area of the park, through a separate entrance in the middle of the park you can then enter the water park. At least that was the idea at one time, but more about that later. In addition, the park offers a lot of extra activities, like a space centre, a museum about Portuguese history or a skating rink, which are not included in the entrance fee.
Directly at the entrance the Fabbri Top Swing swings into the air, and my expectations were justifiably high; after all, the identical model at the Flamingo Land zoo and amusement park in England has clearly proven that you can overdo it a bit with airtime. Unfortunately the ride was quite short and not very varied, so that my enthusiasm was limited. Although the desired ride characteristics were offered, the airtime orgy was simply not the same.
Directly opposite, the first European Air Race has been running for some years by now. This ride was the one that put the Aquashow Park on my list of amusement parks to visit; even though a much closer ride has been installed at the Copenhagen amusement park Tivoli Gardens last year. Overall, this type of ride is becoming more and more common in amusement parks all over the world.
As soon as the ride has started, the passenger carrier slowly swings up and creates a very bizarre hang time, which you are bound to enjoy a little longer. Once the ride has started, the passenger carriers roll over at a very fast speed and by no means powerless. In the interim, the direction of travel is reversed, so that as time goes by, a few rollovers in both directions add up, making for a very interesting and varied ride.
On the way to the park’s big roller coaster, the Montanha Russa, you inevitably walk along the Aquafly, which at least in theory is supposed to be a splash battle at lofty heights. In order to have enough water in the tank, the cars, which are designed as seaplanes, stop in a water basin and then follow the track at constant speed, similar to a gondola ride. As there was nobody else on the ride, the ride was not very convincing, also the guns were difficult to handle and therefore hardly usable.
Let’s now turn to – if you want to believe the park flyer – Europe’s only and largest water coaster: Montanha Russa. Of course, those who know Poseidon from Europa Park and Skatteøen from Djurs Sommerland in Denmark will hardly agree with this, but it reflects the humour of the park and is a clever, albeit mendacious advertisement. The design of the ride is exceptionally minimalist, but that’s not all that makes it stand out.
Once you’ve walked through the whole ride and finally found the entrance area, you’ll be off on the next best boat. The course of the ride is identical with Poseidon and so the boat bobs around the maintenance hall of the ride a little bit. Shortly after that the boat hacks into the chain with a strong jerk and climbs up the lifthill. At the top there is a small 180° turn and shortly after that the notorious highlight of this circuit follows, where normally even raising hands can be a test of courage. It would be wrong to say that the ride is smooth, however, Aquashow Park is the best place to ride this section that all water coasters of this type in Europe have in common; regardless the super modern production on the newest model. The following shot ride is known for its sweeping ride and the degree of wetness is at a surprisingly high level.
Full of anticipation for the next stroke while hacking into the lift, which did not happen, the Portuguese sun dries you a little. A panoramic view from a lofty height follows until the second shot is initiated. Thanks to the shape of the downhill run, you are torn out of your seat a little bit until you are racing over the bunnyhop at full speed to get a good shower shortly afterwards. This is unfortunately not due to the wave generated by the boat, but rather to the conveniently placed bridge over the splash area, where the water is broken and falls down onto the boat, while the passers-by on the bridge, interestingly enough, remain completely dry.
From this bridge starts the ascent to this year’s novelty of Aquashow Park and at the same time the reason why the separation of water and leisure park can no longer be taken seriously. This is a simple, but by no means small, mat slide called Speed Race. The interesting thing about it is that the end of the slide is built on a base and you leave the pool via a steel platform. While the mat slide in Slide & Splash had already proved to be very funny, here you miss the water pool at the end of the ride, which makes the braking not at all pleasant, at least not for men. Nevertheless, the experience is great enough to make the long way back to the starting point.
Through a turnstile you enter the water park, where under a peculiar construction there is the large wave pool Piscina Tropical and an immense number of sunbeds, which are free to use. Four of the so-called Slow Slides also end in this area, whose individual names rather reflect what they actually offer. It’s a bit strange to call your much too fast and airtime-rich body slides slow – but it’s no wonder if at some point you realize that the park doesn’t take itself quite so seriously. Here you will find a variety of wonderful slides, all of which not only have a fast course with a good water flow in common, but unfortunately also a rather long way back to the starting position.
Passing the wide slide Pistas Foam, well-known from the Slide & Splash water park nearby, we now head towards the park’s own hotel, where the trivial and not really attractive Lazy River is located. However, as there is a slide featuring an endless helix, which ends in it, the Lazy River was also tested. Visually, the Wildsnake slide takes a lot of getting used to and is also rather boring from the ride in this tyre slide.
After what felt like an eternity, we finally reach the end of the flow channel and climb up the mountain with a different tyre towards the biggest slide in the park. White Fall is a fully-grown version of the Tsunami slide from Polin, which, like the ride in Djurs Sommerland, can generate one or the other Adrealin thrust. In contrast to the ride in Denmark, here you don’t just swing back and forth, but towards the end of the halfpipe-like section you are pushed into the next section by two big guiding rolls. There, you go over a few hills towards the pool at the end of the hill.
Aquashow Park is a decent water park with some attractions that you can find in some theme parks. In general the park offers more than it should and so a space centre for example seems to be completely out of place, also the skating rink is a place to argue about and if you have to offer the shows on top of that. that all other parks in the Algarve seem to offer. Aquashow Park is therefore a bit of everything and does what it does quite well. At least it’s no wonder why the Aquashow Park is Portugal’s most popular theme park.
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