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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This was the bad boys’ first trick, But the second follows quick

Efteling’s Max + Moritz

Every now and then, a roller coaster that you have grown fond of has to say goodbye. After 34 years of operation, this happened to the roller coaster Bob – one of the rare Swiss Bob coasters of the manufacturer Intamin. The end of the coaster was very predictable, after all it was one of the few roller coasters allowed for smaller children – but due to its low capacity it could not compensate for this, so there was always a longer queue. Since Efteling also became more and more popular, something new was needed. Probably the most family-friendly roller coaster on the market for decades has been the Powered Coaster from Mack Rides. If you double the number of trains, you also get a very high capacity, which leads to additional fun by using two lanes. The result was the roller coaster duo Max + Moritz.

Typical for the theme park Efteling, this roller coaster can also show a very affectionate design. Here, the two rascals from the well-known story by Wilhelm Busch try out their self-built ride gear, which leads to some chaos.

The ride on Max

The ride with Max (the blue lane) begins with a small hill on which we gain some momentum. Close to the ground, we now drive through a few alternating right and left turns, and at the same time we gain a little height in the final right turn. Now we cross Moritz’s track once and spiral in a tight helix towards the ground. In the process we meet Moritz. The train now leads us with momentum through a right turn and a turn to the left before we gain height in a helix. A short turn to the left and a tight right turn later we enter the station building. Here we meet Moritz and start the second lap.

The ride on Moritz

Moritz (on the green lane), meanwhile, is well on his way and so we immediately enter a wide left turn. In two swerves we approach the ground gradually, whereupon we immediately dissipate our energy again in an outward spiral. Above Max’s lane we now take a left turn. Here we meet our brother. After a ground-level turn to the right, we gain altitude within a tight helix once again. Another right turn and a left turn follow before we approach the station on a longer straight and slowly lose speed.

Conclusion Max + Moritz

Max + Moritz are clearly excellent roller coasters for smaller children. In this respect, there is absolutely nothing to criticise. However, I personally find it a great pity that you only really meet in two places during the course of the ride. If both tracks went in the same direction, the roller coaster would definitely be a bit more exciting. I also don’t consider either roller coaster to be a dignified replacement for the old bobsled ride, but only a functional one. Admittedly, the colourful ride with its great design and terrific soundtrack fits much better into Efteling than Bob ever did; however, my conclusion is clear: children will have a lot of fun on both rides, adults might ride them once or twice.

Pictures Efteling

 

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Star Trek – Operation Enterprise

The novelties of the last years

Movie Park Germany has always been one of my favourite parks in Germany, but I haven’t been to the park for the last three years. During this time, however, a lot has changed: The Intamin Rapids Ride Mystery River became Excalibur – Secret of the Dark Forest, the new roller coaster Star Trek – Operation Enterprise was opened and the dark ride Alien Encounter was redesigned to Area 51 – Top Secret.

Area 51 – Top Secret

The latter novelty was also the reason why I delayed my visit more and more, because a visit to Movie Park Germany without a ride through the volcano is just not the same. Instead of driving through an island in the Bermuda Triangle, we now go through a flooded mine in the middle of the Nevada desert. Where before there was a clearly defined arc of tension, there is now only a trivial and far-fetched story based on the scenes of the original story. Of course, aliens are more likely to be associated with Area 51 than with the Bermuda Triangle, but water travel in the desert just doesn’t make sense – even if it’s Groom Lake Air Force Base (Groom Lake is a dry salt lake).

But if you can overlook the story, Area 51 – Top Secret is the HD version of an aging dark ride and that alone is simply wonderful. The ride finally shows its best side again and convinces with its numerous effects. Although little or nothing has changed in the course and the staging inside the ride, the lovingly audio-visual refreshment shows its effect. In this respect, thank you Movie Park Germany for the preservation of this ride!

Excalibur – Secret of the Dark Forest

While the Alien Encounter previously still had the story of the original version from the Australian amusement park Sea World Gold Coast, the Mystery River looked quite different after the license was cancelled. The ride was just a shadow of its former self and, except for its ride hardware, it was nothing more than construction foam. IMAscore and IMAmotion then breathed new life into the old ride and so Mystery River became Excalibur – Secret of the Dark Forest. Again, the theme is a bit generic, but the ride itself was definitely upgraded. The queue is now really well done and puts you in the right mood for the ride. It has also been enhanced with new figures, even if the focus here is more on the rapid ride through the current channel and less on telling a story.

Star Trek – Operation Enterprise

Things are different with Star Trek – Operation Enterprise, where the overall experience takes up the original idea of the film park and thus tells a rather round story. For this purpose, the former Marienhof was converted into the Federation Plaza and the once existing – but hardly noticed by the visitors – Film Museum was cleared out to accommodate the queue including the replica of the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. The external station can then be reached via a narrow corridor.

After you have taken a seat on the train, the journey can begin immediately. But first of all you are pushed over a transfer track onto the actual track.  Since this track section has no LSM modules, you are pushed forward very gently before you enter the launch section and accelerate slowly. After this, we climb the first element about halfway before we turn around and accelerate much faster. At the back of the transfer track building we shoot up the Twisted Halfpipe, a slightly twisted vertical section of track. Here, too, we change direction and race through the launch section a third time. With 90 km/h we race up the Top Hat and are immediately torn out of our seats. After a powerful valley we climb an Immelmann and see the world upside down for the first time. This is immediately followed by a heartline roll, which changes into another fall. After a jagged bend above the transfer track building we speed through the Borg Cube and immediately start the second part of our rescue mission. Extremely close to the ground we are now going over several smaller hills and then through a crisp left turn. Very smoothly this then changes into the last inversion figure of the ride, a Zero-G Roll. Directly after that our mission reaches its end. After the braking section there is only a short right turn before we find ourselves back in the station of the ride.

Star Trek – Operation Enterprise is a really nice roller coaster by Mack Rides. The ride through the compact layout can show some really nice elements, all of which are ridden with a good pacing. It may not be the most powerful roller coaster and the triple launch is a nice feature at best, but the overall package is quite impressive. Star Trek – Operation Enterprise is at least a very family-friendly launch coaster and fits perfectly into the park’s portfolio in this respect.

Pictures Movie Park Germany

Closing Words

What I personally dislike, however, is the new theme area around the roller coaster. The Federation Plaza looks naked and doesn’t look as inviting as the rest of the park. Here, one could and should have gotten out more.

Nevertheless, all novelties of the past years have been very successful and let you look into the future of Movie Park Germany with a joyful view – even if I can hardly imagine the new design of the Vekoma SLC with the henceforth extremely unwieldy name Lucky Luke – The Ride: Die Daltons brechen aus. At least you can be curious and that’s a good start.

 

What is your opinion about the last three novelties at Movie Park Germany? How do you like Excalibur – Secret of the Dark Forest, Star Trek – Operation Enterprise and Area 51 – Top Secret? Just write it here below the report in the comment field or visit our social media channels: