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Around the World in 8 Hours!
Port Aventura (Spain)
Member Name: tange
Port Aventura (Spain)
Date: 26/05/02, updated on 26/05/02 (2505 review reads)
Advantages: Great family day out, Easy to reach from Salou
Disadvantages: A day isn't l;ong enough...but you can always go back
Port Aventura Theme Park is located near the popular Spanish holiday destination of Salou, on Spain's Costa Dorada. It is 15km from Reus Airport and 120km from Barcelona Airport.
Port Aventura can be reached from Salou by local bus, taxi or by one of the Mini Road Trains that do circular routes around the town. The park is on the outskirts of the resort and can be reached on foot from some of the hotels. Visitors can walk up the Plaza Europa, one of Salou's main streets, which takes you right up to main entrance of Port Aventura. In 2002 Warner Brothers, who own the Theme Park, are due to open two hotels in the park itself, so in the future visits will be even more convenient.
The park is open from 10am to midnight in peak season (this is classed as mid-June to mid-September) and from 10am to 8pm at other times. 2002 season finishes in January 2003 and the attraction reopens in March. There are plans to eventually make Port Aventura open all year round, to coincide with a longer holiday season in Salou, but so far this is not the case.
Prices vary depending on age, the number of days you wish to visit and whether you are booking for a party of guests. There is also a special rate for School parties, including a "Ticket Plus" option, which includes the admission fee and a meal voucher. Children from 0 to 4 years old are free to enter. The Junior category includes children who are aged between 5 and 12 years. Adults are classed as anyone between the ages of 13 and 59 and the Senior category refers to anyone of 60 years old and above. There is also a discounted rate for students under 18.
Prices of course vary from year to year and updated charges can be found on the Port Aventura website at http://www.portaventura.es/ing/index.html
for anyone wishing to go. Most Tour Operators also have a list of prices and many will book tickets for you in advance before departure. I was lucky enough to book with Airtours
who were offering free tickets for everyone who booked one of their hotels on the Costa Dorada. On previous occasions I have booked in the resort via my travel rep.
The Park consists of Five themed areas MEDITERRANIA, POLYNESIA, CHINA, MEXICO and the AMERICAN WEST. Each of these areas has places to eat, shows, entertainment, shops and, of course, rides. There are cash machines available in each zone and a bureau de change in the Mediterranean area at the entrance of the park. Toilets and baby changing facilities can be found and a number of wheelchairs and children's buggies are available for hire.
Once you are in the park it is easy to find your way around using the free, colourful maps provided. Don't worry if you lose yours because they are available all over the park and there are also maps located around Port Aventura. The only thing you have to now is decide which of the many shows and rides you want to go on.
I don't really want to give too much away about the rides; I recommend that the only way to find out is to experience them for yourself. I can only say that if you don't like getting wet, don't go on the Tutuki Splash in the Mediterranean zone and if you aren't a fan of hair-raising Roller Coasters, don't try the Dragon Khan Ride in China. Let me just tell you that this is a large 8 loop roller coaster with lots of turns and twists, you can decide for yourself once you see it looming on the horizon! I went on 5 times, but that's just because I love white-knuckle rides.
The Park itself is incredibly clean and tidy, despite the great many visitors it must have during the season and I have always found the staff to be very friendly and helpful. There are rides available for all age groups, from the big Roller Coasters, through the "wet" rides, to the smaller Children's rides and even the relaxing boat and train rides that link the various zones.
I have never bee
n anything other than impressed by the Port Aventura experience. Each time I have visited with different ages of people and each time they have all enjoyed their visits. The younger ones loved the rides and the older ones were impressed by the beautiful gardens and the way the themes of the zones had been achieved. I was particularly impressed by the Polynesian region, with the humidity of the Rainforest being created by sprays of water and by the Great Wall of China.
Whether you have dreamed of strolling by a Mediterranean harbour, watching Polynesian dancers perform, walking by Chinese Temples, visiting the ruins of the magnificent Mayan Empire in Mexico or propping up the bar in a Wild West Saloon while the runaway mine train stampedes into view, Port Aventura is the place to bring your dreams into reality. You can travel all around the world, have a wonderful time, scare yourselves silly or relax with a drink or a meal, (all specially themed for the zone you are in) and still go be back in your hotel in time for your evening meal!
Of course you must try it for yourself, if you want to know more about the rides, let me know and I will add more...I just don't want to spoil the surprise!
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