While we were holidaying in the Costa Dorada we were given the opportunity to visit one of the largest theme parks in Europe. With Monkey being four and measuring just over 105cm height wise, I was a little worried there may not be enough to keep him entertained. Espically when we saw the huge rollercoaster from the air as we landed. However the big kid in me wanted to have a break from the pool and beach and have some fun! Thankfully I need not have worried there is so much to see and do for every age group, you really can’t get it all done in one day. It was without doubt our best day out for the two weeks we were away.
PortAventura World is made up of different parks and resorts, there is the theme park with six different lands which this review is based on. But they also have a water park Caribe Aquatic Park, Cirque du Soleil, a convention centre and five different four and five star hotels. You can even park your caravan on their site. We arrived at the park at 10am and left just after 7.30pm and we mainly focused on two lands which is where the lower height rides are. The map actually lists them out for you by height and colour codes them depending on the land they are in. Genius, and it made life a lot easier. What sets them apart a bit from other theme parks is that they also have various shows running throughout the day, when we visited there were thirteen different ones with multiple show times.
Initially we headed over to the Far West, the setting is brilliant every detail has been thought of. Essentially you walk through a wild west high street, which could have easily been a TV set. Here Monkey go to go on:
- The Crazy Barrels – I was literally crying with laughter as we flew around
- Wild Buffalos – bumper cars in the shape of buffalos, they also have a mini one next door if the kids want to drive their own which is great if you have a wide age gap like we will have once Kipper is older
- Silver River Flume – we ended up on this around midday but still only had to wait around 30 minutes
- Carousel – which lights up at dusk and looks very pretty
- Tomahawk – a rollercoaster and I thought as we got near the front of the queue, oh its pretty high and he’s pretty little. While I had my eyes shut he laughed all the way round! Typical of my fearless four year old, I sense an adrenaline junky in our mits!
- Los Portrillos – the opportunity to ride your own technical horse around a track
We grabbed a snack in the Blacksmiths, which provided sandwiches, soft drinks and beer! I chose it specifically because it also had a play area attached. There are so many places to eat I couldn’t even begin to list them all. The food is reasonably priced for a theme park where you do expect to pay more. Hubby was most impressed that the beer was pretty much the same as pub UK prices! Chips, hot dog and either a soft drink or small beer is 8.70€ we paid 4.50€ for a toasted sandwich.
After lunch we caught the train over to Sesamoaventura, its bright its colourful and has all your favourite Seasame Street characters. Height wise he was fine with almost everything in this land, but we were starting to tire and wanted to check out a show so Monkey only went on about half of the attractions:
- Coco Piloto – a raised plane/train ride which takes you all around Sesame world
- El Arbol Magico – a far away tree which the children can explore and offers face painting underneath for an additional fee.
- Tami Tami – a mini roller coster
- El Salto de Blas – Elmos own little towers where you need to pull yourself up before letting go and flying back down to earth
There is so much more he could have gone on in the different worlds, including Canoes and the Ice Age 4D Ride in Polynesia, Teacups and Angkor in China and the Armadillos in Mexico. We did check out the kids play area in China, which in itself had a lot of things to go on without queuing!
The one thing that Hubby wanted to do was to check out a show – Bang Bag West which is a stunt show about some thieves trying to steal money from a fort. Thankfully they narrate in both English and Spanish, it includes loud bangs, smoke and pyrotechnics. It was hilarious and a brilliant end to the day.
Things we loved – where do I start?
- There is genuinely something for all age groups! I need not have worried about Monkey not having enough to entertain him.
- They have thought about tired feet for both little and old visitors providing a train and a boat which will take you between different lands. Plus its a great place to feed a baby so to maximise your time on rides!
- You can hire buggies – if Kipper was a bit older we would have done this as Monkey was worn out by the time we left. 12€ for a double one and 7€ for a single one with a 3€ deposit. You can also hire wheel chairs for 9€.
- Lockers are available at the water rides, so if all your party want to go on them together you can keep your valuables safe.
- Its vast! And due to get even bigger with the new Ferri Land coming in 2017
- There are boards up around the park which show you the current waiting times for the big rides helping you to plan easier. For all the rides we went on we didn’t have to wait more than about thirty minutes and the majority of them were quite a lot less.
- Wide selection of different types of food outside your normal burgers and chips option. They are tailored to the land you are in so in China you can get noodles, in Mexico there is a hacienda eatery. There is fast food, buffet and full sit down al a Carte restaurants. The ones in the Mediterrania area looked especially appealing.
- Queuing is an inevitable part of theme parks, add in the fact that it can get pretty hot in Spain I was a little worried about everyone getting sun burnt. However most of the queuing areas are under cover which is a real bonus.
- It’s open till midnight! Could you imagine how much fun the roller coster a would be in the dark?! Unfortunately with two small boys in tow Hubby and I didn’t get a chance to find out… Maybe next time.
Things not so keen on – the only thing I would wish for is for the fireworks to be on a little earlier than 11.45pm to give us a chance to see them. Also for the shows you need to get to some of the smaller venues well in advance, we arrived 20 minutes early for the Bubblebou Show and couldn’t get in because it was full. But thats theme parks for you, some careful planning would mean you can avoid that particular pitfall.
Some extra advice:
- This is much bigger than any of the parks in the UK. You need to plan your time wisely. Their website had details of all the rides – have a plan of attack in place before you go, otherwise you’ll miss something.
- When we visit again we would definitely consider the three day ticket for both the theme park and the water park. Buying a combined ticket can save a lot of money when compared to buying the tickets individually.
- When we visited we simply jumped on a bus. They run every half an hour from Cambrils, your hotel will be able to give you a bus timetable. It will take you straight there for 2€ each, the bus stop is a two minute walk from the entrance of the park. They have ample parking if you are driving but do charge 10€ to park.
- Photos – you can purchase a prepaid wrist band to store the images digitally which works out cheaper. As we weren’t going on any of the bigger rides we opted just to buy one of Monkey & I on the Tomahawk for 7.95€. All the rides which have cameras on them are marked on the map so you can see how many photos you are likely to want.
We will definitely be going back without doubt, Hubby’s already talking about booking into one of the resort hotels! I would definately recommend it if you are visiting the area.
Things you need to know:
- The price of tickets will vary depending on the number of days and if you want both parks. However for a single day at PortAventura Theme Park it will be 45€ for an adult (11-59) and 39€ for a senior (60+) or Junior (4-10). If you buy your tickets online then you can have a second day for an additional 5€ this is not available at the ticket booths. It really is worth checking out the pricing on their website.
- When we visited it was open from 10am-midnight, however they have different opening times depending on the time of year so check out their calendar.
- Located on the Costa Dorada and about an hour away from Barcelona, their address is Avinguda Alcalde Pera Moles, Salou, Tarragona
- Website – www.portaventura.com
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We were given entrance to PortAventura in return for an honest review. All words and opinions are my own – we loved it!!
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