full speed to Ferrari Land
Full speed to Ferrari Land
In 2017 there was a lot to do about the opening of the new Ferrari amusement park next to PortAventura in Salou at the Costa Dorada. We, of Costa-info, also wanted to visit this park but due to it's location it took until April of 2018 before we succeeded.
The park is not in our area, depending on where you leave in our region you can count on a single trip of 450 to almost 500 kilometers. A bit far for a day trip, we think. That is why we went to this famous resort for 2 consecutive days.
We left around 7 o'clock in the morning to arrive in Salou a bit before noon. We had borrowed the sun from the Costa Blanca which made the weather was fine. For our first day we chose to go to PortAventura Park, the largest of the 2 parks on the domain. PortAventura Park was open until 8 pm that day. At the end of the 90s, the park opened as the European Universal Studios park. You can still see it in the high-quality finishing of buildings and rides. There are not a huge number of rides in the park, but almost all of them are big and good. In the early years the absolute topper was the red roller coaster Dragon Khan (in the Chinese theme area). Today the giant from back then appears to be a dwarf next to the more recent big brother which has been built next to it. Still, this roller coaster remains worth a ride. With 8 inversions and a very smooth ride, this is still one of the best roller coasters in Europe. For several years now, Dragon Khan has been in the shadow of the much higher Shambala. With a height of more than 70 meters and more than 130 km per hour, this is a real speed monster. There are no inversions but the many hills make it a very sensational ride. Closer to the entrance is Furious Baco, a roller coaster where the people hang next to the track and are thus launched from a standstill at 130 km per hour. For lovers of wooden roller coasters, there is Stampida, a double track where the red and the blue train compete against each other. In addition to 3 smaller roller coasters, there are of course also some water attractions, a 100 meter high free fall tower, a boat trip, a train ride, …. Since the early years, there have been many attractions especially for children in the park. Since the addition of the Sesame Street area, the offer for this age group has become even wider.
Every amusement park enthusiast will be able to enjoy a full day (or longer) here without any problems. The only problem (especially in the summer) are (often) the long queues at some rides (regularly > 1 hour)
At the end of our first day full of speed and sensation we went to our apartment. Since we were very hungry, we quickly went out for a night at Salou. We soon realized that almost everything in Salou was closed. Both for our dinner and for a drink we had very little choice. If you are used to the life at the Costa Blanca then it is a bit of a shock if you notice that in the Easter holidays in a place like Salou almost nothing is open. Also for breakfast the offer was very limited and we ended up at one of the few places that were not closed.
In the morning of day 2 we went again to PortAventura, this time for the other park for which we finally came: Ferrari Land.
We noticed at the common entrance of both parks that the vast majority of visitors chose the entrance to PortAventura, only a minority went to Ferrari Land. As soon as you pass the gate you will be immersed in the right atmosphere. Lots of shiny red materials and references to the iconic brand. The buildings and the details are of a very high level. You really think you are in a piece of Italy. Almost all attractions are dominated by the famous sports car brand and of course you will also find the associated merchandising. Whether it is a cap, a T-shirt or a coffee mug, it is all there with a Ferrari finish.
The park likes to show off with its towering roller coaster Red Force. You can see this roller coaster from miles away. With its 112 meters, this is the highest of Europe. And this is not the only record. In 5 seconds you will be catapulted from a standstill to the phenomenal speed of 180 km per hour. That is so fast that people in the front row have to put on glasses to protect their eyes. In comparison, the well-known Python in the Efteling is suddenly very low and slow, with a height of 29 meters and 75 km per hour. The Red Force is a real sensation, but given the extreme speed, the fun is already over after about 20 seconds.
After this eye catcher you have had the only top attraction of the park. There are also two thrill towers (towers where you fall down in free fall or get shot from bottom to top), a Ferrari museum, a ride in a mini Ferrari on an electric circuit and a few children's attractions. Furthermore, there are no real toppers except the Flying Dreams simulator. We can certainly recommend that to you. You step into a large open cage with other people, after which that cage moves along with a few similar cages in front of a large screen that shows a film of a Ferrari sports car that drives through various environments and cities. The movements the cage makes really make you feel as you are flying behind the sports car. Appropriate music has been added and you can regularly literally sniff the surroundings. How much more realistic can it be? You smell the pine scent during a ride through a pine forest. Anyone who ever visited Epcot at Disney World will certainly see the similarity to their Soarin attraction.
After our virtual flight we had seen everything in the park. Oops, that was faster than expected, it was only 3 pm. We spent the rest of the day in the other park PortAventura. According to our personal opinion, Ferrari Land is not really worthy of the name "Land", even for "village" it is rather small at the moment. But it is very beautiful and pleasant. If you only want to visit Ferrari Land, we actually think it is very far in proportion to what you get. If you can combine it with PortAventura and make it a 2-day trip like we did, the park is worth this long drive for us. We paid 60 euros per person via internet for 2 days access to PortAventura, of which we were also allowed to enter Ferrari Land for 1 day. A good price if you compare this with the standard price of 55 euros for 1 day access to both parks.