On Street Mission at Port Aventura Park

A few years have passed since my last visit to Port Aventura Park. Apart from the two new attractions Angkor and Street Mission, nothing has greatly changed in the park since then, but a lot has changed in the resort. For example, the new Ferrari Land amusement park with Europe’s highest and fastest roller coaster was built right next door.

Anyone planning to travel to Salou by train in the near future should reconsider. Although the Salou – Port Aventura station still exists, it is only very rarely used. It is also the current terminus and is therefore only an alternative to the car for resort guests. I had planned to reach the park around noon, but thanks to numerous train cancellations it turned out to be much later. So I basically only had one evening and one afternoon to experience the park in all its fullness.

As you might expect in peak season, the park was extremely busy. Since I was still without the Express Pass on the first evening, I concentrated on some beloved classics, such as El Diablo – Tren de la Mina, before I headed to the Far West area. This area, like the Mediterrània area, had much longer opening hours, but here too the offer was very limited. Basically, until closure of the park, you could only ride the Stampida wooden roller coaster, the carousel, the break dance Crazy Barrels, the Rapid River Gran Canyon Rapids and the launch coaster Furios Baco.

While the crowds were still okay on the first evening, the second day of the visit took the cake. After my flying visit to the Ferrari Land theme park, I first went to an Express Pass sales point, only to find out that buying the €65 upgrade to Express Premium Gold was not really a good idea. Since the amusement park does not limit the upcharge offer, almost every visitor had the Express Pass, so that even with the pass, you still had to wait at least half an hour everywhere.


Interestingly, during my visit, the Splash Battle Angkor had the longest waiting time in the entire park – even with the priority ticket, you easily had to wait 90 minutes here. The water ride is by no means exciting or remarkable in any way. The leisurely river ride is quite nicely presented, but the consistent use of static figures makes it not really interesting. Thanks to the limited number of boats, there were never any of the water battles for which this concept is actually known, which meant that the ride ended on a very dry note.   

Street Mission

The nearby Street Mission dark ride was also new to me. Set in the Sesame Street universe, we go with Detective Grover in search of the world’s biggest cookie, which went missing shortly before the Cookie Day Parade. Now the search for clues takes us through all the well-known Sesame Street locations. In the process, you meet familiar figures, as well as some that might be unfamiliar to me. The successful mix of screen sequences and three-dimensional scenes creates an astonishingly high level of immersion, which I had not expected. Coupled with the long ride time, it’s quite enjoyable and encourages repeat journeys. Well done, Sally!

Pictures Port Aventura Park

Conclusion Port Aventura Park

Port Aventura Park could not really convince during my last visit. Limited opening hours and a greatly reduced capacity in all rides despite the very large crowd in the park do not cast a good light on the park. While elsewhere in the country the parks were back to pre-crisis levels, at Port Aventura the Corona-related cost-cutting measures were particularly noticeable. This in turn meant that even the priority queues reached extreme lengths. This is a pity and therefore I have no other choice but to advise against a visit during the high season in August for the time being.


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The Six Flags of Texas

The History of Six Flags

If we want to talk about the big chains in the amusement park industry, we have to talk about Six Flags and there is no better place to start than Six Flags Over Texas. The park in Arlington nearby Dallas opened its doors in 1961 after a short planning phase of just two years. The real estate developer Angus G. Wynne, Jr. wanted a park like the just opened Californian amusement park Disneyland in his home state of Texas.  The initial idea of the park was to show Texas under six flags – the title quickly changed to Six Flags Over Texas, as Texas can’t be under anything. The six flags represent the six nations that have governed Texas during its history: Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the United States of America, and the Confederate States of America.

Interestingly, the park was never intended to last for long. With more than 8000 visitors on the first day of operation, Six Flags Over Texas was an initial success and was set to stay. With the investment of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central Railroad two more parks (Six Flags Over Georgia (1967) and Six Flags Over Mid-America (1971)) were constructed. In the following years Six Flags continued to grow by acquiring independent parks such as AstroWorld (1975), Great Adventure (1977) and Magic Mountain (1979). With the acquisition of Marriott’s Great America in Gurnee (1984), Six Flags obtained the rights to use the Looney Tunes characters by Time Warner.

In 1982 the Oklahoma based real estate company Tierco Group bought the theme park Frontier City. Plans for converting the park into a shopping centre quickly dropped due to an oil bust in Oklahoma City. By investing into the park and new family-friendly rides, the popularity increased. In 1992 Tierco acquired the Maryland based Wild World (now Six Flags America) and changed its name to Premier Parks. In 1995 Premier Parks acquired Funtime, Inc and their properties Geauga Lake, Wyandot Lake, Darien Lake and Lake Compounce. A year after, Elitch Gardens, Great Escape, River Side Park (now Six Flags New England) and the Waterworld USA parks were bought, while Lake Compounce was sold to Kennywood. In 1997, Premier purchased Kentucky Kingdom and Marine World (now Six Flags Discovery Kingdom). During the same time, Premier Parks agreed to buy 94% of the European Walibi Group, adding six more parks to the portfolio.

Six Flags being perfectly stable was sold to Premier Parks in 1998. Premier Parks continued its rapid growth by acquiring the German theme park Warner Bros. Movie World (now Movie Park Germany), the Mexican Reino Aventura (now Six Flags Mexico) and taking over a small share in the upcoming major theme park project Warner Bros. Movie World Madrid (now Parque Warner Madrid). It’s no surprise, that the European Division didn’t last for long. The increasing depts lead to the parks being sold to Palamon Capital Partners in 2004. Six Flags Worlds of Adventure (Geauga Lake) was sold to Cedar Fair, which led to its closure some years later. Six Flags Astro World was sold and cleared due to its real estate value but did not even made half of it and Six Flags New Orleans was destroyed by hurricane Katrina. Six Flags now fighting was hardly stroked by the financial crisis of 2007/08, which led to the reconstruction of the company.

Nowadays, Six Flags doesn’t grow as rapidly. Since this year the theme parks Frontier City and Darien Lake are back under Six Flags. A park in China will be licenced with the Six Flags name and the project of Six Flags Dubai has been finally cancelled.

Six Flags Over Texas

After this small history lesson, it is time to move on. I think you can understand the importance of this true giant in the amusement park industry. Although, I already visited all of the former Six Flags parks in Europe, my first visit to an actual Six Flags park was always intentioned to be at Six Flags Over Texas. Therefore, I looked forward to my visit for quite a long time.

After a short night in Wichita Falls, I drove all the way to Arlington and ended up spending quite some time in a traffic jam because of a giant interstate/turnpike road work. With best views of the Shock Wave roller coaster and the observation tower Oil Derrick, the anticipation of the visit changed to steadily into despair. It didn’t help that all the other roads towards the park were congested as well. With a fantastic view on Judge Roy Scream, I finally arrived at the parking. Due to my Six Flags membership, I did not have to pay for parking, which is a good thing regarding the parking fees at most of the American theme parks. After a while, I found a parking spot at the rear part of the parking lot.

When walking towards the entrance, I admired the view on Titan, the biggest roller coaster of the park, and their cool bobsled coaster La Vibora. After standing in line for the security control for quite a while, I realised that I’ve left my wallet in my car. After a ten-minute walk back and forth, I was finally ready for my visit at Six Flags Over Texas. By scanning my voucher at the entrance and after a picture has been taken, I quickly had my membership card in my hands. The included member bottle for unlimited soft drinks could be picked up at the membership office, but the line was way to long to even consider it.

Stepping into the park you find yourself on a small plaza. From here you could begin your journey clockwise and counter-clockwise. You could also take a ride on the Silver Star Carousel which is located slightly above the plaza.

Conquisador and El Aserradero

We start our journey in the clockwise direction, where we immediately find the Spanish theme area. The signature coaster of this area showed a rather long line and the beautiful swing boat ride Conquisador was down due to the construction on the Larson Giant Loop El Diablo Looping Coaster. Therefore, we moved on to the parks log flume El Aserradero.

El Asseradero was the first log flume ever build. Back in 1963 Arrow Development has created a new kind of ride, which quickly became the most desired attraction in every theme park around the globe. In Germany, the manufacturer Mack licenced the patent of Arrow to build the log flumes for the European market. Log flumes were everywhere. Some years after the first installation, the capacity of the ride was enhanced by building another one right next to the first one. Nowadays, the second flume is the one being in operation. Till 2019, the first log flume was used on crowded days. The remaining ride features a lot of curves and just one drop at the end of the ride. Unluckily, the ride was not in operation during my visit.

Oil Derrick

Following the pathways through the older section of the park, we quickly encounter the almighty Oil Derrick. This observation tower is one of the first projects of the ride manufacturer Intamin and features a great view at Six Flags Over Texas, the water park Hurricane Harbour in the distance and the surrounding area. Unluckily, due to strong winds the tower did not operated most of the day of my visit. It opened in the late evening and I had to rush to get a ride on the bobsleigh coaster La Vibora before the park’s closure.

Shock Wave

Just behind the shiny tower, which just got a new coat of paint last year, you can find the entrance to the legendary roller coaster Shock Wave. This Schwarzkopf classic was the first roller coaster being constructed in regard of the heart line. This all new concept allowed for smoother ride for the ride passengers as their hearts would not experience any abrupt motion nor high lateral G-Forces. Due to this change, steeper curves and other manoeuvres were possible.

Nowadays, Shock Wave does look quite tame from the outside. The rides significant loops were placed right next to the interstate and feature a nice advertisement to the park, but apart from that the layout does not offer anything special. To be honest, this is true for most of the rides being build in the 70’s – but Shock Wave is indeed the perfect coaster.

After climbing the lift hill the train quickly gathers some speed before the big drop. Without any merci we quickly run over the hilltop and shoot down to gather some speed for the two inversions. Forcefully as always, the world keeps on turning upside down till we climb the next hill. Up here, we take another turn before we drop down once again. With a significant amount of negative G-Forces we are pulled out of our seats immediately. Back in the valley we experience very high positive G-forces. This delta of forces speaks for the ride. With a big smile on the face, we quickly pass through another curve above the station, before the game of G-Forces repeats itself several times. After a short lefthand curve, a descending straight and a very long righthand curve, we quickly approach the brake run of the ride. Shortly thereafter, the ride is done.

Shock Wave is a great coaster full of speed, powerful inversions, great ejector airtime and high positive G-Forces. The ride is just perfect, which should not come by surprise as this ride has been built by the famous ride manufacturer Schwarzkopf based in Münsterhausen, Germany (nowadays the site of Gerstlauer Amusement Rides). Although we basically invented the modern vertical loop, we always thought of an American invention. The world is rather strange.

Roaring Rapids, Caddo Lake Barge and Superman Tower of Power

After the brilliant ride of the Shock Wave and the great weather I wanted to cool down a little bit. Unfortunately, the big Intamin rapid ride Roaring Rapids just had a break down when I passed by. The ride itself does not offer anything special, apart of the loading system which uses two parallel stations and therefore requires two lift hills right next to each other.

Passing by the beautiful looking Zamperla Rockin’ Tug Caddo Lake Barge, I quickly hopped on a ride of the Superman Tower of Power, which offered a great view at the park and a hint of airtime. Apart of the massive tower, the ride does not fit in greatly. The theme is negligible and looks rather off. Especially since the DC universe part of the park is located at a different corner of the park.

Runaway Mine Train

The roller coaster Runaway Mine Train certainly looks better. The second oldest roller coaster based on tubular steel pipes does a great job. It is the first true mine train roller coaster and defined every element still being popular on modern roller coasters of this type of ride.

After boarding the ride, the operator wishes us fun on a mine train of one of the Six Flags parks before releasing the train. This is kind of geeky, but I had my fun. The ride starts with a small lefthand curve out of the station. After passing the transfer track, the first lift hill is reached. Arrived at the top, the ride builds up some speed during a descent of alternating left- and righthand curves. When passing by the roller coaster Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast the train crosses a hill and dives into a helix. This is followed by a wild ride over hill and dale, which also passes through a tunnel. After another curve, the second lift hill is reached.

After a short hill climb, the track starts its very flat descent. It basically takes a while passing some right and left turns and lots of straight track until the train gets some speed. After passing a building and a righthand curve, the third lift hill is reached.  Things reach their climax when we pass through a saloon and dive directly into a tunnel. This is were we hit the last curve before we reach the brake run of the ride.

The Runaway Mine Train is a fantastic family coaster. The ride is not fast nor high, but it delivers many great moments of pure fun. The wacky and way to narrow curves, the small hills and the tunnels all come together for a complete roller coaster package, which somehow looks kind of odd when seeing onride footages of the ride. For me, the ride was a complete surprise and one of the best roller coasters of the park.

Mini Mine Train

Therefore, it doesn’t surprise me that the Runaway Mine Train was a complete hit among the park visitors. Many similar rides where build in a similar fashion in parks all around America in the following years. Due to its popularity, Six Flags Over Texas even built a smaller version of the ride right next door: The Mini Mine Train.

While the name of the roller coaster is not really creative, the ride certainly is. Even though it looks kind of unremarkable from the outside. After climbing the lift hill, the ride starts with a small and flat descent into a left turn. After a short straight the train then enters a tunnel followed by a small righthand curve. When leaving the tunnel, the ride surprises by one of the best views onto the roller coaster Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast you could ever imagine. This moment is simply amazing, especially at night. After a small drop and another tunnel and passing through another curve the train quickly crosses over a hill and dives into the final curve of the ride before it reaches the brake run. Although, the ride is a rather short one, it is a fun one as well and should not be missed.

The Gunslinger and Mr. Freeze

Passing by the wave swinger The Gunslinger, we quickly change the theme when entering Gotham City. Here we find a lot of rides allocated to the dark knight and his villains. This area was expended in the last years, but it surprisingly started by the launch of the LIM Shuttle Loop Coaster Mr. Freeze in 1998 by Premier Rides.

Initially the trains were launched with the riders facing forward. Interestingly, the ride featured over the shoulder restrains for the first years until they got removed on all the Premier Rides installations in all the Six Flags parks back in 2002. The second big change happened during the year 2012 when the trains got rotated to face the first half of the ride backwards. A change that was set to stay, as it enhances the ride experience like nothing else.

Being launched backwards is kind of an amazing feeling, as there is only the lap bar to be pushed in rather the whole back of your seat. After reaching full speed the train quickly climbs the inside Top Hat element, where the riders experience an intense upside-down moment before falling to the ground. With full speed a large steep turn is being taken before the train climbs the vertical spike at the end of the ride. The train is now pushed upwards by linear induction motors in order to have enough energy to be able to finish the cycle. At the same time, the riders are experience a great moment of pure weightlessness by facing ground forward. Back on the ground the train takes the large turn once again and climbs back into the Top Hat, where it just passes it without getting stuck upside down. Soon after, the train slows down on the launch track. When entering the station, the train then get transferred to the loading position.

Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast is a heck of a ride. The ride is extremely intense and features many great moments. The inside Top Hat is simply amazing and the vertical Spike at the end of the ride is just awesome when facing to the ground. Unfortunately, the ride is also kind of shaky. I’m glad to not have experienced this ride with over the shoulder harnesses, as it is simply not a smooth ride. The whole experience is great, but it also could be better at the same time. Nevertheless, Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast is one of the most intense roller coasters I’ve been on.

Batman: The Ride

Seven years after the first Batman: The ride was built in Six Flags Great America and another copy was already established in Texas, the dark knight finally found its place in Six Flags Over Texas in 1999.

After climbing the lift hill, a pre-drop awaits its passengers before the train finally plunges down the first drop in a steep turn. When passing the valley high G-Forces awaits the passengers before entering the first loop. In the twinkling of an eye the second inversion, a Zero-G Roll, is taken. Another loop follows. The blood pressure in your feet suddenly increases when passing through an upward helix and a straight section of the ride. Without merci, we drop down toward the ground level, whereupon the first corkscrew awaits. This element is just pure madness when riding in the back of the train, as the acceleration suddenly changes. After a short righthand turn, the second corkscrew is taken. This is followed by a left turn into the brake run.

Batman: The ride is still one of the best inverted roller coasters out there. The ride offers an intense ride layout with a lot of positive G-Forces on a rather small footprint. Apart of the theming, the ride experience does not vary between the different installations, which is a good sign. Due to the more immersive experience I prefer Batman: Arkham Asylum in Parque Warner Madrid but this is just personal taste.

The flat rides of Gotham City

Passing by the Telecombat Batflyer, we quickly enter the new part of Gotham City where most of the other villains found their home and got some great amusement rides. Personally, I don’t like this area as all the rides were just placed on a big concrete filled place with no theme at all. The rides themselves are solid. Catwoman Whip is a Zamperla Endeavor and therefore a fancy enterprise style ride, which HUSS would like to sell to somebody someday. Riddler Revenge is a Giant Discovery – also by Zamperla – and therefore automatically a good ride, which at some day was the biggest one of its kind. Harley Quinn Spinsanity however was once a HUSS Troika and is now an ABC Rides Tourbillion (the name is great, so why not keep it) which I would like to have tested. This new kind of multiaxial Top Spin ride was down on the day of my visit.

The Joker

The last ride being left in this area is the S&S Free Spin roller coaster The Joker. After riding the similar roller coaster Arashi at the Japanese theme park Nagashima Spa Land I was not looking forward for a ride on The Joker, as the ride was uncomfortable and rather boring. I nearly skipped it. As I’m also a curious person, I wanted to make sure that my feelings regarding this type of ride were right.

As a single rider, I met a nice woman and had a great chat with her before boarding. Whilst on the ride, our vehicle flipped itself over a dozen of times offering a ride of a lifetime. At the end of the ride, we were rushed by all the adrenalin pumped into our body and left the ride with a big smile on our faces. It is hard to say that the marble run roller coaster The Joker could not convince me. The ride is epic!

Aquaman Splash Down, Texas Sky Screamer and Judge Roy Scream

Do you remember the roller coaster we saw just when entering the parking lot? Well, I nearly missed it as I couldn’t find the entrance to it. Even a look on the map does not really help you out, as there is only a small sign above a small tunnel which gives you a hint where the roller coaster is located. If you are coming from Gotham City and passes by the now demolished Shoot the Chutes Aquaman Splash Down you already missed it. It is easier if you just want to take a ride on the giant Funtime Star Flyer Texas Sky Screamer, as the entrance to Judge Roy Scream is right next to it.

The roller coaster with the unusual name is named after Phantly Roy Bean, Jr. better known as the justice of the peace (Judge) Roy Bean. Back in the days, Judge Roy Bean used his saloon as a court and officially sentences two man to death by hanging, one of them escaped. In Western movies he is usually referred as the hanging judge; what a pleasant theme for a family roller coaster, isn’t it?

Nevertheless, the name is creative and original. The layout of the ride on the other hand is quite normal for an Out & Back Woody. After the climb and the first drop, the train runs over a series of airtime hills before turning in a large curve at the other end of the ride. The return itself also features a bunch of smaller hills, which indeed makes it a perfect family roller coaster.

After I finally found the entrance to the ride, I really enjoyed my rides on Judge Roy Scream. It is not the perfect airtime machine, but it is a classical wooden roller coaster offering a lot of great moments. During my last rides on the Judge, I was sitting next to a small boy who could otherwise not ride alone. He reported me everything about his visit and his family in just around 3 minutes in a deep southern accent. This pretty much made my day 😊.


Another interesting encounter happened at the Gerstlauer Spinning Coaster Pandemonium, where an employee immediately identified by Dragon Khan shirt and asked me some questions about Port Aventura, as he planned a coaster trip during the summer. I ended up recommending him the fast pass of the park, as Port Aventura truly isn’t any fun without.

After climbing to the top of the lift, the ride immediately starts with a curvy drop which sets the cars into rotation. Two small hairpin curves then enhance the spin before two helices in style of a figure eight are taken along. After a small drop, a large Bayernkurve follows. With a good spin, a larger drop follows with a funny camelback hill right after. A final upward helix joins in, before the brakes are being hit and the funny ride comes to its end.

Justice League: Battle for Metropolis and Looney Tunes Boom Town

Passing by the extraordinary dark ride Justice League: Battle for Metropolis and the rather ugly kids area Looney Tunes Boom Town with its coaster Wile E. Coyote’s Grand Canyon Blaster – which I have not tested – we quickly make our way to the other side of the park where La Vibora still needs to be tested.

La Vibora

As a big fan of the now demolished Bobbaan of the dutch theme park Efteling, I was looking forward for my ride on La Vibora. Even in Roller Coaster Tycoon 2, the ride was one of my favourites to be placed in every scenario where possible due to its beautiful looking alternating colour scheme resembling the German flag.

After reaching the top of the lift hill, the train rapidly descent in a right bend. The valley is driven through with an absurd force with the first change of direction directly following. A helix then leads you up into the first brake run. Another curvy drop follows and leads you into another powerful valley. A swinging S-curve combination adds itself and leads you into the second block brake run. This game now repeats itself in the same brilliant manner. After the third and final block brake, the train swipes down a lefthand curve and into the final upward helix. Shortly thereafter, the brake run of the ride is reached.

La Vibora is an extraordinary coaster. Due to its train design (it features the trains used on the Bob in Efteling before its change to the two-seater rows) the ride is even wilder than I could ever imagine. This train design adds a lot to the thrills, as you are always in fear to fall over. The rest of the ride is quite forceful and offers a great and fun experience. Thanks, Six Flags Over Texas for keeping this ride alive.

Runaway Mountain

In search of the roller coaster Runaway Mountain we pass by basically every corner of the old section of the park. At our way we meet the HUSS break dance Rodeo and the Chance Trabant El Sombrero, but don’t bother a ride. Finally, we stand in front of a giant and impressively decorated rock face covering the hall of the park’s only indoor roller coaster.

Runaway Mountain is basically a copycat of the Italian coaster model Hurricane by S.D.C. build by Premier Rides in 1996. It therefore features a rather compact layout with a very interesting element in the middle of the ride. As the hall is not perfectly dark and no theming elements can be found within the cave, let’s focus on the ride’s layout.

Right after climbing the lift hill, the train takes a gentle descent in a left turn and runs over a small hill. On the other side of the ride the train gains some height before plunging down the big drop. After an uphill curve, a very steep drop follows quite surprisingly. In the same motion an even steeper ascent adheres twisting the riders like crazy. After a small even section, the train takes a downhill helix into a small drop. Another helix at the other side of the rides acts like the grand finale of the ride before the brake run is reached and the fun ride comes to an end.

New Texas Giant

As everything is bigger in Texas, it doesn’t come by surprise that the park featured once the biggest wooden roller coaster on earth. The ride was massive and although it had a brilliant reputation during the first seasons, the ride’s comfort got worse with time. The construction company Rocky Mountain Construction just provided a new solution for typical wooden roller coaster problems and Six Flags Over Texas was pleased to try it out. The rest of the story is coaster history and led to one of the biggest success stories in the amusement park industry. RMC was set to stay and to become a market leader.

Due to technical difficulties, the New Texas Giant was the only ride in the park running with one train only which led to a waiting time of around two hours. It did not help, that the team working on the roller coaster was not in their best mood and worked rather slow. Overall, the New Texas Giant was the only roller coaster in the park with dispatching times of up to six minutes. Apart of the many downtimes on the day of my visit, every other ride did very well.

After finally taken my place at the back of the train, the ride is about to start. After a small turnover at the end of the transfer track we reach the ride’s lift hill. At a height of 153 ft (~47m) we suddenly fall down a fantastic 79° drop. With full speed we jump over a hill and continue our way upwards in a long and heavily banked curve. At the peak of the hill we take another drop down. In the same manner as the first hill, we bank ourselves sideways in the upcoming hill before falling back to the ground. Once again with full speed we climb a slightly overbanked turn before flying over a small hill after which we hit the first brake run.

Without losing any speed, we drop back into the action by flying over a series of airtime hills towards the other side of the ride. Next to the final brake run and the station, we surpass the rides support structure in a curve at ground level after which we continue our way through out another series of airtime hills. Suddenly we enter three tunnels in a row, each having their own dips and turns. Back into sunlight, we pass over another two airtime hills before we reach the final brake run of the ride.

The roller coaster New Texas Giant is a surprisingly tame RMC coaster providing a pleasant re-rideability to the overall madness experience. All the hills offer an excellent floating airtime, which lets you fly over each of the countless camelbacks and bumps. The first drop is brilliant, and the large curves provides a good feeling of pacing. You simply can’t do anything wrong when boarding this great ride.


Passing by the Scrambler Sidewinder, we quickly encounter the last ride of Six Flags Over Texas we need to talk about: the almighty Titan. One year after Goliath at Six Flags Magic Mountain was being build, a bigger roller coaster had to come to Six Flags Over Texas. It is the second hyper coaster ever built by Giovanola (former subcontractor of Intamin and B&M) and the last out of the three coasters built by the company before going bankrupt.

After riding the New Texas Giant, I was kind of worried about the dispatch of the biggest roller coaster of Six Flags Over Texas, but I was wrong. Apart of a small down time, the line moved surprisingly quick. Every now and then, a train left the station and it didn’t take long until I could ride it in the back of the train.

Leaving the station, the train takes a right turn whereupon we hit the lift hill of the ride. When reaching a height of 245ft (~ 75m) the train starts its long and amazing descent into a tunnel leading to an overall height difference of 255ft (~78m). With a speed of 85 mph (~137kph) the train head upwards into an impressive looking overbanked turn. After completing the turn, the train heads down another drop which is followed by a fantastic airtime hill. A long ascent then leads into a forceful upward helix. At the end of the helix, the train hits the mid-course brake run and got slowed down to near standstill.

The train continues its journey in a slow pace, before it finally gets some speed in a hard left turn. In a fluent motion, the train changes its direction and we drop down towards the ground level. This is followed by a powerful and insane 585° helix. Then, the track turns upwards and banks to the left. After another powerful valley, the train takes an ascending right turn which leads us into the final brake run of the ride.

What a ride! Titan is a beast of a roller coaster. It is forceful, fast and perfectly paced. I cannot even describe how much I admire this roller coaster, as it jumped directly into the Top 10 of my favourite roller coasters. It is by far the best hyper coaster, I’ve ever ridden. Man, I love this ride. Unluckily, I could only ride it twice in a row. But there will be a next time in Six Flags Over Texas and I’m already looking forward for some more rides on the Titan.

Pictures Six Flags Over Texas

Conclusion Six Flags Over Texas

Although my first impressions of Six Flags Over Texas were flawed by the many down times during the first half of my visit, I managed to get all the rides I wanted to ride. Especially in the late evening, I could ride a lot of rides without any big waiting times. Overall, I really enjoyed the park. It has a lot of charming places and a bunch of great rides. While Six Flags Over Texas is not a flawless park, it tries its best to be one. Therefore, I’m looking forward to my next visit. Your new for 2020 roller coaster could be a reason, as Pulsar of Walibi Belgium (ex Six Flags Belgium) is a blast of a ride.

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Click here for the next report of the Texas Round-Up Tour

A lot of bling about Shambhala

Port Aventura

After the Spanish resort Port Aventura, consisting of four hotels, the water park Port Aventura Caribe Aquatic Park and the theme park Port Aventura Park, was bought by the Italian Investindustrial from the Bank la Caixa, a lot has happened on the outskirts of the tourist city of Salou. Long overdue investments in the area of amusement park maintenance, as well as the expansion of the water park, bear witness to this, as do new investments in the coming years.

Compared to the last visit the amusement park Port Aventura Park was in a much better condition, which was mainly due to the only slightly scribbled trains and queues, as well as a much higher level of cleanliness in the park. But the view of the queue was clouded, after all the express entrance was used most of the time.

Although the purchase of the Express Premium wristbands was not profitable at all on the first day, after all there was a waiting time of 0 minutes at most of the attractions, it proved to be a necessary investment on the second day to avoid waiting for an average of 90 minutes. The advantage, with a few exceptions, to always pass the queue without waiting and to get your turn right away was actually worth the money, even though the 15 minutes waiting time at Dragon Khan seemed like half an eternity.

It would be wrong to say that the system is fair for everyone, but at least it is affordable for everyone. The situation is different for the food, which is simply not affordable. By not selling single tickets, you save yourself too much of a crowd at the express queues, and in addition, as a normal day passenger, if not too many people pay the extra cost of a one-way trip in the first row, you have an increased chance of a seat in that very row.


If you stay at the Hotel Gold River, you can enter the spacious western area through its own entrance and enjoy the slightly different view of the dueling wooden coaster Stampida. Although the two tracks usually run parallel to each other, the middle part, introduced by a tunnel each, is completely different. In this part the two tracks meet each other, which is a great effect, which is sometimes enhanced by the small wooden coaster Tomahawk. The racing effect is quite distinct, which is mainly due to the well calculated track. However, the two trains should have about the same weight.

As the tracks of the ride are almost continuously bent in the wrong direction, the ride is quite special and mostly of the rougher kind, which is what a wooden roller coaster should be. The used trains are not disturbing at all, even if the bar sometimes closes quite tight.

Silver River Flume

Passing a merry-go-round, a bumper car and a beautifully designed break dance, we immediately arrive at the entrance of the Silver River Flume log flume, one of the best and strangest rides of its kind. Since you can wait here for half an eternity in a full queue, despite the very large capacity, it was always a pleasure for us to take a seat in one of the boats through the Express Pass entrance and without any waiting.

After leaving the station, the first lift hill is reached within a few metres. The following shot brings you up to the plateau on which a large part of the track leads and where the El Diablo mine train shows up from time to time. After the front side of the boat has been well moistened, a short time later a second lift takes you up to the top of the trees. Through the second slope, which now prefers to soak the rear part of the boat, you get back down to the plateau only to cover some more metres. Here you are float around for a longer time and even start to wonder how long the track actually is. Then you climb another lift and after a short turn you can start the impressive, but not wet, final. Back at ground level the track leads to the exit where you get out more or less drenched.

Furios Baco

Over a bridge with artificially attached rivet heads and along the Grand Canyon Rapids ride, which is unfortunately hardly worth mentioning although it is rather stylish, the path takes us towards the entrance area of the Port Aventura Park, where, apart from some transport rides, the catapult launch coaster Furios Baco is located. The prototype of the Wing Rider Coaster, which is definitely worth seeing, is a real wonder bag in terms of theming, but also in terms of ride characteristics. Notoriously and quite rightly the ride is considered to be a shaking machine of the more extreme kind, which at the time of our visit also cost Martin his mobile phone.

However, Furios Baco is quite rideable, as long as it is in the first row on the left inner seat, where the vibrations of the train vanish into thin air in an interesting way and the best launched coaster from Intamin shows up. It looks different on almost every other seat, where the pleasure is on a rather medium level or is only felt by people with a sadomasochistic disposition. But what is always in common is that the straight sections of the track are absolutely brilliant and the direct gradient after the launch creates a lot of airtime. No matter how much you are shaken in the curves, the Inlinetwist always provides a short moment of joy, even if another curve is passed immediately afterwards. After all, the train then goes into the final brakes and the rapid ride comes to an end.

Furios Baco is without equal a very brute roller coaster, but a very interesting and fun at the same time. The launch and inversion are rarely found in this form and should be tested during one or more rides. The storyline at the attraction is original and just as bizarre as the range of the too experienced ride characteristics. The rear part of the train on the right hand side is indeed the worst possible seat, which makes the ride oscillate strangely between “absolutely brilliant” and “absolute nuts”.

Sea Odyssea

The Sea Odyssea simulator shows similar behaviour, whereby a strong distinction must be made between the theme and the film currently running. The hardware in Port Aventura Park, as well as the general design of the ride, is on the highest possible level, but the software, i.e. the film, is no good here. Why of all places in an amusement park with a multitude of roller coasters a 4D film with a roller coaster is shown, although a water roller coaster is still missing, remains a big mystery, just as why the film, whose preshow is still shown before loading, was stopped a few years ago.

Tutuki Splash

In addition to the Kon-Tiki Wave ship’s swing, as can be found in Flamingoland, and a small children’s train, the Spillwater Tutuki Splash also shares the area known as Polynesia.

If this ride is not running at its best capacity, there is a real chance of getting wet, and this in a rather nasty way. If, however, the best possible capacity should be run, due to the high rush, then on the one hand you get a cold while waiting for the return to the station and, apart from a few drops, you hardly get wet due to the two slopes, but with a little luck the water cannons are occupied in this case.

After you have been assigned to a row in the double loading station and have boarded your boat, your journey starts quickly. After a few meters of distance you find yourself inside a volcano, whose ceiling is covered with chewing gum. After passing a second, interestingly less glued tunnel, the first shot follows. Unfortunately you hardly get wet, but this can change very quickly when you climb the first lift hill. If at the same moment, when the boat reached the beginning of the lift, a boat shows up on the slope of the second descent, you can assume that you will be showered properly from the side in the next moment. But the level of wetness is less than when the same thing happens at the spillwater La furia de Triton in Terra Mitica, Spain, where you actually get soaked down to your pants. Either you continue to climb the lift hill dry or now refreshed and moistened. Afterwards you will race towards the double drop in a turn. The double drop, however, is not quite as smooth and basically only ensures that no big waves are formed during the subsequent splashdown which could cool down the spectators on the bridge from the exit of the ride. During this drop you get at least a little wet, so that the trip can be worthwhile even without the wave from the falling boat. The subsequent shower from the cannons will then make for smiling faces on both sides.

Dragon Khan

Since last year, you can reach the two big coasters of the Port Aventura Park much faster than before through the children’s area Sesamo Aventura. At the same time the way allows completely new perspectives on the roller coaster Dragon Khan, which is now incredibly photogenic and brings movement into the picture due to the short handling time.

Although Dragon Khan was long considered to be the worst steel roller coaster for me, a lot has happened to the ride since my visit. Not only does it shine in a beautiful new colour scheme, but the ride has also not been affected by the neighbouring construction site. Without sand on the tracks, the ride still runs very brute, but this is due to the continuously high forces, which are generated by the clearly too high speed. Dragon Khan just races down the track and is not really regulated, which doesn’t really help when the block brake is released, but makes for an interesting driving experience.

After the train has climbed up the lift, after a short bend, the way goes downhill. Meanwhile the train experiences positive forces for the first time, which it doesn’t really want to give up until the block brake. Shortly before the valley you get a little bit wiped from the right and left side, which affects the ride a little bit, but supports the overall picture of the ride. Full speed ahead you go up the loop, the top of which is not at all reminiscent of a hangtime. Shortly afterwards you pass a diveloop, whereupon the hardest element of the ride awaits you with the Zero-G Roll, whose name should have a much higher number. It is easy to get in contact with the restraint during this inversion. By means of a Cobra Roll you make a turn above the final brake only to take the drive up into the block brake with full speed, which of course does not brake you, but releases you rapidly into the next curve. The following loop is much more powerful than its big counterpart within the track. Through a turn you screw yourself to a higher level and then you are turned upside down by two interlocking corkscrews. Shortly afterwards you reach the final brake and can finally take a deep breath.

Dragon Khan is one of the few rides that really demands a lot from its passengers without harming them, as long as you’re not that crazy and try to ride it permanently. Although the inversions elsewhere are even more powerful, it is the length of the track that makes the ride very stressful.


In the background, and unfortunately not so photogenic, the latest roller coaster Shambhala towers up. The Hyper Coaster from Bollinger & Mabillard is only the second ride of its kind in Europe, but it mercilessly lets the first, and previously highest roller coaster in Europe, sink into oblivion. Silver Star had never been a real danger to other comparable roller coasters, but Shambhala is.

The experience does not have to start positively in order to end positively. Therefore, it is advisable not to be served by certain persons when the train is being handled and to close the hanger properly from the beginning. After a short bend, the train climbs up quickly, with a much better view on the right side of the train, unless you want to look down on ugly hotel complexes and a construction site. Shortly afterwards the train descends rapidly down the 78m slope, where you have lost most of your contact with your seat, and then descend into a tunnel underneath a magnificent head chopper. This is followed by a high but hardly eventful hill, on whose descent, however, airtime appears again. The turning point is the highlight of the ride, even if the banking could be more pronounced at the top. The supports offer great head chopper effects, but these are more pronounced in the right part of the train. Back in the valley you pass a much too low speed bump and are lifted out of your seat with unusual force. Another, quite high, hill follows, whereupon you pass the most impressive element for the passers-by, the splashdown. After this, basically unspectacular straight, where you get a few drops of water in the back of the train, another hill follows over the lifthill of the neighbouring roller coaster Dragon Khan to enter a block brake. This block brake is passed again without any braking before you feel negative G-forces for the last time after a downhill turn. During the subsequent braking the rear part of the train gets its money’s worth, on the other hand it takes place quite smoothly.

Shambhala is one of the few roller coasters that actually gets better on every ride, yet Shambhala is not the best roller coaster in Europe, nor the best ride of its kind. I personally like rides like the Big One at Pleasure Beach and the GeForce Expedition at Holiday Parks more, because they not only have an insane first drop in common, but also a fun ride from the beginning. But what is interesting about the big roller coaster from Port Aventura is that it entertains you very well on every seat. Where the forces at the back are a bit rounder, the ride at the front more or less voluntarily takes your shirt off.

El Diablo

Coming from Dragon Khan, you can walk directly into the arms of El Diablo, the mine train of the park. This roller coaster from Arrow Dynamics is the last ride of its kind and one of the strangest. The track basically consists of only three lift hills, where you spend most of the ride time, and a bit of distance between them. However, these parts are quite fast, except for the second major part, which is only used to pass the maintenance buildings of the ride. The resulting views of Port Aventura Park, the two big coasters from the Chinese themed area, and the log flume further enhance the family-friendly roller coaster.

Hurakan Condor

The second supposed highlight in this area is the Giant Drop Hurakan Condor, a freefall tower with a sloped roof and several different “fall pleasures”. Whatever could go wrong with such a ride has been realised in perfection, because the tower does not only look wrong from far away, but also from close up when you see how exactly the gondolas fall. It’s strange that such a simple principle is ruined by lateral displacements, these produce a clearly noticeable bump or a little wobble in the lower part of the tower, depending on which track you have caught. Interestingly, the fall experience is accompanied by very long waiting times, which also apply to Express Pass holders, so that it was quite easy to do without several rides. The manufacturer Intamin has proven many times that size is not everything and with Hurakan Condor has created its worst tower.

El Secreto de los Mayas

Very close by is the glass labyrinth El Secreto de los Mayas, the novelty of the current season, which, like the Templo del Fuego, was not visited. While the first ride kept us from going on due to long queues, the brilliant fire show was already closed for the season.

Yucatan and Serpiente Emplumada

Not far from there, the Musik Express Yucatan is making its rounds, which made for a good squeezing session at unfortunately only medium speed, of course to the delight of the other onlookers. The Schwarzkopf Sombrero Serpiente Emplumada, whose ride is not only ideal for a dry spin, is a completely different pleasure. This ride, which can best be described as a mixture of a polyp and take off, is always worth a ride, if you are not unlucky and have queued up at the beginning of the boarding.


However, the loading procedure is still halfway reasonable, a feature that Flipper VolPaiute cannot offer. Although there are two people working here, it is hardly possible to board the gondola on your own, because here the loading of each individual gondola is called to the gondola after some waiting time so that it can be dispatched. The whole spectacle lasts for several minutes, a period of time when one could have ridden at least three times the Flipper of Heide Park. Of course, there might have been a risk in closing the HUSS bars on their own, but then it could have been solved like the HUSS Magic at Walibi Holland. The ride itself is boring and as soon as you think the ride is going to accelerate, it ends.


Opposite the still best animatronics of all times is the entrance to the wooden roller coaster Tomahawk. This children’s roller coaster is used by the small PTC trains, which unfortunately leads to a low capacity, as only one adult fits in one row of seats. The ride is quite wild and has some daring curves, but it runs on the best level, making the ride an ideal entry-level roller coaster.

Conclusion Port Aventura

Port Aventura is, to my own surprise, a much better park than I remember. Although the attractions themselves may not always be 100% convincing, the overall offer is coherent. Totally adapted to the Spanish preferences the park presents a large number of shows that you can watch as you like and without regretting it afterwards. Nevertheless Port Aventura is not the park you should visit every year, because there is still a lot of room for improvement and the offer is not yet mature enough, although this year increased amounts of money were invested in the resort.


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