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.

Angkor

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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Batavia is burning – and you want to go there?

Preface

Well, who would have thought that Batavia would actually burn down one day. Two years after the disaster at Europa Park, we were determined not to miss the new edition of the Piraten in Batavia dark ride, as well as some of the other novelties of the last three years.

The Novelties of Europa Park

Voletarium

The Voletarium in the entrance area of the amusement park marks the beginning of our little round-up. The ride is the first project under the guise of the Adventure Club of Europe, a fictitious adventurer’s club that links the innovations of the last few years a little bit and is therefore also supposed to function as a trademark of Europa Park. As with the new water park Rulantica, this is taken ad absurdum by various novels, making it difficult to follow the plot once again.

Leaving it at the essentials, however, the Voletarium is a so-called Flying Theatre by the company Brogent Technologies. The flight simulator offers a breathtaking, but very family-friendly, flight through Europe. However, not every transition between the individual scenes is successful, nor logically implemented, so that the film comes across as a little weak in comparison to the really well-done film of Fuji Airlines in Japan’s Fuji-Q Highland or that of Sky Voyager in Australia’s Dreamworld.

Nevertheless, the Voletarium’s location enhances the front section of the park. The ride is coherent overall and is ideal as a ride for in-between.

Jim Knopf – Reise durch Lummerland

It’s the same with Jim Knopf – Reise durch Lummerland. In the best Europa Park style, they did not miss the opportunity to integrate another licence into the park – this time one that is mainly known in German-speaking countries. The children’s locomotive Old’99, which previously had a circus theme, was redesigned for this purpose. It’s old decoration found a new home in a small pavilion of the neighbouring marionette boat ride. Accordingly, you now travel with Emma the locomotive through Lummerland, well-known from the book by Michael Ende, which is a really great experience, especially for smaller children.

Snorri Touren

It’s a similar story with the immensely popular dark ride Snorri Touren, which moved into the basement of the Scandinavian themed area when it was rebuilt. On this tour, Snorri – the mascot of the Rulantica water park – leads us through the legendary water world outside the gates of Rust. Thanks to the vivid design and the largely successful media integration, the ride does a lot of things right – only the short slide sequence, in which the car drives onto a moving platform, is reminiscent of early Playstation 2 titles due to its spongy graphics, and thus dulls the actually coherent overall impression immensely.

Madame Freudenreich

Something you can somehow forgive the cute Snorri for, you can’t forgive Madame Freudenreich for the life of her – after all, the Universum der Energie used to be the most coherent dark ride in the entire theme park. Now the ride is no longer even a shadow of its former self, but an attraction you should at best stay away from. Smaller children might still enjoy the Alsatian gugelhupf dinosaur mash, but I can’t think of anyone else who could halfway tolerate this baloney.

Eurosat CanCan Coaster

It’s a good thing that the Green Fairy has moved in directly above it. Since its redesign, the indoor roller coaster Eurosat CanCan Coaster has taken us on a sensory intoxication. Driven by absinthe and the familiar sounds of In A Second Orbit, we climb up the drum lift in familiar fashion before the Galop Infernal kicks in and we basically encounter a brand new roller coaster.

Like in a CanCan, we swing through the curves. Past large black-light backdrops, we race faster and faster through the dome and are even lifted out of our seats a little in between. The fact that the experience is absolutely smooth makes the ride all the better.

Eurosat has always been a good indoor roller coaster. A bit rough on the ride, but quite entertaining. Eurosat CanCan Coaster on the other side is one of the roller coasters of Europe. Perfectly balanced, atmospheric and with a great show value. Everything is just perfect on this ride.

Eurosat Coastiality

But that really only applies to the CanCan Coaster. There is also Eurosat Coastiality. While one side has been able to soar to new heights thanks to its collaboration with the Moulin Rouge Variety Theatre, the other side is betting on a VR experience based on Luc Besson’s Valerian – The City of a Thousand Planets.

In principle, I find VR roller coasters fun and Europa Park has already shown on the Alpenexpress Enzian what you can squeeze out of a roller coaster. Despite the outdated graphics, the first film was a revelation beyond compare. After that, many parks joined the VR trend and there seemed to be no stopping them. Fortunately, as quickly as the trend came, it disappeared again, so it’s a little surprising that Europa Park is the only park in the world that continues to promote the technology. Thanks to the resort’s stand-alone attraction Yullbe, however, this is actively no longer happening in the parks.

Eurosat Coastiality is, at least in theory, an extremely passable upcharge attraction that barely if at all affects the capacity of the Eurosat CanCan Coaster thanks to a separate station, which eliminates one of the main points of criticism of VR roller coasters. However, the ride is strenuous and not very impressive thanks to the outdated graphics. The show value of the roller coaster is completely lost, which is why there is no incentive for a repeat ride.

Piraten in Batavia

Meanwhile, the dark ride Piraten in Batavia, which has undergone a complete makeover thanks to the new construction, offers plenty of reasons to go on a ride. What was previously a long-winded rip-off version of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean is now much more independent thanks to a consistent storyline around the adventurer Bartholomeus van Robbemond and his otter Jopie. The Piraten in Batavia ride is thoroughly entertaining and offers an overall high show value, which is why it should by no means be missed.

Pictures Europa Park

Closing Words

As you can see, Europa Park has been in quite a redesign frenzy in recent years. Some of the projects were long overdue and some of the park’s attractions would actually still like to see such changes. Not every upgrade is a success and not every licence is a plus for the park, but in general the Mack family’s drive is positive. They are trying to show a world-class amusement park to an ever-growing number of visitors, but unfortunately they often forget that great attractions do not need additional media integration.

 

What is your opinion about Eurosat CanCan Coaster, Piraten in Batavia and the other Novelties? Just write them in the comment field below the report or in our social media channels:

 

          


Heide Park (2020)

Heide Park and the Corona measures

You can see that Merlin Entertainments is a little more professional than the medium-sized company nearby. It is therefore less surprising that the Heide Park Resort is also making exemplary progress in its implementation of the Corona measures. The entrance including instructions on how to wear your mask in the park simply works smoothly. In the park itself this is a different game, as many visitors do not want to follow the rules. Masks can be worn at will, often they only cover the mouth and not the nose. Also keeping distance is often an unsolvable task during the course of the day despite existing and clearly visible ground markings. Only in the attractions themselves the rules are respected. This is a pity and only ensures a large number of announcements.

Despite maximum capacity, the Corona measures taken result in longer queues at each attraction. The staff is visibly trying to keep the operation running at its best despite the measures taken. In this respect I would like to thank all the ride ops in the park; you guys are really great!

But as the queues were partly too exhausting for myself, I enjoyed the day with only a few rides. Especially because of that it was a quite relaxed day all in all, where a lot of videos but also some photos were taken.

Pictures Heide Park

 
 

Videos Heide Park

 

Big Loop • Vekoma Looping Coaster • Offride

 


 

 

Limit • Vekoma Suspended Looping Coaster • Offride

 


 

 

Krake • B&M Dive Coaster • Offride

 


 

 

Flug der Dämonen • B&M Wing Coaster • Offride

 


 

 

Desert Race • Intamin Accelerator Coaster • Offride

 


 

 

Indy-Blitz • Zierer Force One • Offride

 


 

 

Panoramabahn • Mack Rides Monorail • Onride

 


 

 

Käptn’s Törn Onride • Mack Rides Round Boat Ride • Onride

 


 

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