“Small-sized theme park with one decent roller coaster”
Many European theme parks offer on-site hotels and some resorts even have a water park. Still, it’s rather uncommon for a European leisure destination to feature multiple amusement parks. PortAventura World in Spain is one of the very few exceptions. The resort opened in 1995 with a single park, but it has been expanded with several hotels and the Caribe Aquatic Park in the 2000’s. The biggest expansion, however, came approximately four years ago. On 7 April 2017, the resort opened Ferrari Land. This theme park may be considered as the little brother of the world-famous Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi. Unlike its sibling in the United Arab Emirates, this Spanish version is mostly an outdoor venue. Unfortunately, the European park is very small and the number of must do attractions turns out to be quite limited.
Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is home to a record-breaking coaster and the same is true for Ferrari Land in Salou. Red Force is Europe’s fastest and tallest roller coaster. It reaches a top speed of 180 km/h and it’s tallest point lies at 112 metres. Interestingly, PortAventura World just broke its own records when Red Force was inaugurated. At the time, Shambhala and Furius Baco held the European height and speed records. And what about Red Force’s ride experience? Well… it’s not bad at all. The ride’s vehicles are comfortable and the launch is powerful, but the ride is also very short. It’s such a shame that Red Force’s incredible speed isn’t used in a more appropriate way. Some extra twists and turns would make the ride even more enjoyable. This is just a less interesting version of Top Thrill Dragster and that’s not enough to be the headliner of the park, if you ask me.
Ferrari Land’s second coaster credit is shorter, lower and slower. A lot shorter, a lot lower and a lot slower, actually. I’m talking about Junior Red Force, a kiddie coaster built by the SBF Visa Group. This manufacturer is mostly known for it’s cheap-looking family rides and that’s not any different in this case. The ride feels like it belongs on a funfair, so it really looks out of place at one of Europe’s premier theme park destinations. I agree that Ferrari Land desperately needed some extra family rides, but the park deserved a better addition than Junior Red Force.
Interestingly, many rides at Ferrari Land came in pairs. The park offers two S&S towers, two Autopia-like race tracks and the park’s main building houses two different simulator-type rides. Flying Dreams is the only one that’s really worth mentioning. This is a Flying Theatre, just like Soarin’ and Voletarium. The ride simulates a flight around the world, including several famous sights and many brightly-coloured race cars. It’s fun and it obviously belongs to the park’s best attractions, but beware: it’s not the best Flying Theatre on Earth. The ride doesn’t match Disney’s incredible soundtrack and the projections aren’t as sharp as they are at Europa-Park. Flying Dreams is a decent ride, but please don’t queue more than 30 minutes for this one.
WORTH A VISIT?
Ferrari Land has a few good attractions, but let’s be honest: I only visited the park because of Red Force. I’m not interested in fast cars and Italy isn’t my favourite country, so I don’t care much for the overall theme of the park. Besides, the park feels way too small and decoration is rather limited. Of course it’s perfectly fine to spend a few hours at Ferrari Land during your trip to PortAventura, as admission is included for the resort’s hotel guests anyway. However, if you’re short on time, you shouldn’t mind skipping Ferrari Land. Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is an excellent theme park, but its Spanish sibling is still desperately waiting for major expansions…
Have you had the chance to ride Red Force? Did you encounter any crowds while visiting Ferrari Land? And how long did you need to discover the entire park? Share your opinion in the comments section at the bottom of this page.