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.
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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