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Old 30 Dec 17, 03:33 PM  
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Hotel Reviews: 1
Something Different - Salou / PortAventura - Day 3

Something Different - Salou / PortAventura (Oct 17)

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Day 2 is Here

Day 3 – Thursday 26th October

I woke up before the alarm clock this morning (at about 6:30am), and watched an episode of Friends and the first 30 minutes of Christmas With the Kranks on Netflix before waking the boys up.

By 8am we were all dressed and heading down for breakfast. I sorted my usual pot of tea and Tom got an OJ each for him and Rich.

There were a couple of extra options with the hot buffet this morning – chorizo and black pudding, and they also had scrambled eggs today. I was getting quite good at picking out the more well-done pieces of bacon. I followed this up with an apple pastry, and mini cake and a bowl of peaches and strawberry yoghurt...

Tom had a bowl of Sugar Puffs and tried a bit of chorizo, and Rich had sausages, chorizo and bread.

NB – We didn’t score our breakfast today, but I’d say it was about the same as yesterday

At about 9am we popped out to the Simply supermarket that we’d got our lunch from yesterday, where we picked up another bargain baguette, a pack of ham and 6 cans of pop to take with us to the parks (along with some Pringles and other snacky bits that we already had in the room). This all came to €5.90, so a bargain lunch...

We quickly popped back to the room to sort out the park bag and also for me to change out of my dress and into some jeans as my thighs were still a bit sore from walking in wet shorts yesterday. Outside the hotel, we realised that we could actually see Red Force through the trees opposite...

We could see even more from the big window on our 2nd floor staircase...

We headed out at 9:30am to walk up to the park. It was a little cloudy / hazy this morning, but still nice and warm.

We arrived at 9:50am and after the same quick security bag check as on Day 1, we joined the short queue for Ferrari Land just before 9:55am...

Our bags were checked again at the entrance and I was told that I couldn’t take in the baguette or the Pringles as they were “big” items. We could have put them in a locker, but it wasn’t worth the fuss, so we binned them (which meant no bargain lunch after all).

Ferrari Land looked great – really clean, bright and modern, and lots and lots of red ...

We headed for what we thought was the queue for Thrill Towers first. Tom got quite nervous as we were walking over, but agreed to give them a try. It turned out that we were actually in the queue for Maranello Grand Race though, which was pretty much a walk on. From the map, I’d thought that this ride was Go Karts, but it was actually a Tomorrowland Speedway style ride (minus the overpowering petrol smell ).

Tom went first in a red Ferrari, with me and Rich following in a yellow one – I was driving. The cars were very slow and quite difficult to steer, but it was an ok ride.

Next, we walked straight onto Thrill Towers (there was no time for Tom to get nervous again). It was great and we were positioned so that our view was out towards the sea. We all wanted to go straight back on, so walked back around and were on the same tower, but this time the view was looking out over the parks. We could’ve kept going as there was no queue, but we thought we’d better give our stomachs a rest .

We stopped off at a bench to share a can of Coke from our bag at 10:40am. I was the only one who wanted to go on Red Force, and as the queue was posted at 20 minutes we decided that it was now or never, so I headed on solo.

The queue didn’t move for the first couple of minutes. Then I saw them send an empty train, and then the queue got going again. I was really nervous in the queue and considered bailing, but knew that I’d regret it if I didn’t try it now whilst the queue was so short. I could see that the queue split up into a single rider line up ahead, and it took about 15 minutes to get to this part, after which I literally walked right up to the front of the queue and was seated in the front row with another single rider (a young lady).

The attendants handed us goggles to wear (I didn’t know about those) and we were only held in by a lap bar! And then we were off, for the fasted and scariest and most exhilarating 38 seconds of my life! My hands were shaking as I was walking back to the boys, but I was so pleased that I did it ...

Rich said that he was sure that he’d heard me screaming. They had tried to go up to the viewing platform to watch out for me, but there was sick on the steps so they passed and just took a few pics and waited at the bench instead...

We went to Flying Dreams next. We had no idea what kind of ride this would be, but as it was inside, I suspected / hoped that it might be like Soarin’...

The queue took about 30 minutes, and we saw a lot of pushing in. We’d read that this was a common issue in European parks, but it was so blatant, and one example really wound us up...

The pavilion was split into two queuing areas (we initially thought it was just two queues for the same ride, but on the way out of the park realised that there was a 2nd simulator experience). After about 20 minutes in the queue, a family of about 6 women / kids walked down the middle of the two queueing areas and pushed through the barrier just behind us. They then proceeded to do the “I’m just going to my family” move and ended up about 2 families in front of us - annoying, but we let it go (although Rich did make it awkward for them to pass him by pretending he couldn’t see them). Then, after another 10 minutes, just as we were about to go into the pre-ride video area, we saw the same family waving to another lady and more kids at the back of the queue, who all walked straight down to the front and joined them. Rich wasn’t impressed at all, so called them out, firmly telling them that there is a queue for a reason. I think they were French, but they spoke English and a man who was with them tried to argue that they were just coming back to re-join their family (which we knew was a lie as we’d joined the queue at the same time as the original group). The woman just kept repeating “Have a heart”, but Rich told her “English, French or Spanish, there is still a queue”. I mentioned it to the lady operating the turnstile, who didn’t say anything, but did keep the big family behind the turnstile until the pre-ride doors opened up. We just couldn’t believe how blatant they were! :angry::angry::angry:

The pre-ride video was an Enzo Ferrari hologram, and it lasted about 5 minutes (there were English subtitles)...

Then we were in the main area and right away it was clear that I was right and it was going to be like Soarin’ (the seats were exactly the same). The video was very well done – we were flying round the landmarks of the world following a Ferrari, and ending up driving up the entrance to PortAventura. It was really good. We’ve only ridden Soarin’ once, but I’d say that they are on par.

It was 11:45am by the time we came out. Rich had noticed that the acrobatic stunt show was starting at 12pm, so I popped to the loo – it was a bit of a walk, but I loved the signage, and I took some pics on the way back to the boys...

We sat down to watch the show at about 11:55am and tucked into the pop, sweets and snacks that had made it past the bag check lady. When Rich first said Stunt Show I’d been expecting something a bit like Lights, Motor Action, but there was only a small stage.

It turned out to be a really fun show. Lots of dancing girls, trampolines, basketballs and bikes – plus Woody Woodpecker on a scooter – very cheesy and silly, but I loved it...

The main Ferarri land song was super-cheesy but really catchy too...

It was coming up to 12:30pm now, and we were almost done with Ferrari Land. We popped into the Gallery on the way past, which was quite cool...

It was at this point (as we were walking past), that I realised that there was a 2nd ride / experience in the Flying Dreams pavilion. It was called Racing Legends. We decided not to queue for it though.

And finally, we went into the gift shop, which was, as expected, quite expensive (hats were between €30 and €70) – it was cool to look around though...

All done, we made our way out of the side entrance / exit and were walking into PortAventura by 12:45pm.

After a quick loo stop, we checked out the queue for Furious Baco (which Tom had decided he was up for). It was 30 minutes, so we decided to leave it and see if it came down a bit later on.

We headed anti-clockwise through the park this time, so ended up in Polynesia first, where we had a 2nd go on Kontiki (the Pirate Ship that Tom had really enjoyed on our first visit).

Next, we mooched over to the lower level of China, which we’d missed last time, where we rode the Tea Cups and browsed in a couple of shops...

We were going to go on Cobra Imperial (a kiddie coaster) but it was closed, as was the boat ride.

By now, the wait times signs were showing that Furious Baco had come down to 20 minutes, so we headed back to Meditterania. Tom and I used the loo first and we passed a lovely looking ice cream place that I wanted to come back to after our ride.

We put our bags and loose items into a locker (€1) and headed on. The queue went quickly and was probably more like 15 minutes than 20. Tom rode next to Rich and I was in the opposite barrel, next to a random guy.

It was a very fast and brain rattling ride. Good, but not one I’d be in a hurry to ride again and I’d choose Red Force over it any day (I think I may have even got a bit of whip lash from this ride as I really suffered with my next and shoulder for a few weeks after our trip). I didn’t really get the bizarre monkey / “Blood” pre-ride video either. We exited the ride through a wine shop, and it was at this point that I twigged that none of our rides so far had exited though a gift shop, which I thought was a very good part of the two parks.

Later that night I read online that the whole ride is themed around a vineyard, and that the “blood” on the video was actually red wine, which made the wine shop make sense. I also read that this was once the fastest steel coaster in Europe, and has similar G-Forces as Red Force! I also discovered that Red Force is the 5th tallest and joint 4th fastest roller coaster in the world (tallest and fastest in Europe), so I felt pretty proud of our rollercoaster achievements today.

I was definitely ready for some ice cream now. The boys didn’t fancy any, but did want a drink. As it was coming up to 2:30pm, and the hot dogs and fries looked nice at Cervesenia L’estacio, we decided to get a Hot Dog meal (€10.90) and 2 extra portions of fries (€2.95 each) first. The boys shared the hot dog and we each had some fries, which we ate sat in the seating area by the lake. It was a simple mini lunch, but it was reasonably priced for theme park food and I really enjoyed my fries...

The boys still didn’t fancy any ice cream, so I left them by the lake and went to queue at the Happiness Station that I’d liked the look of earlier. The queue wasn’t too long, but it was a slow mover (especially as a few guests were ordering waffles which seemed to bee cooked to order). I went for a Chocolate Swirl (they were out of vanilla, but I didn’t mind). I chose strawberries, chocolate curls and muesli crunch as my 3 toppings – this came to €4.20 and it was lovely...

It was almost 2:45pm by the time I got back to the boys, and there was a bird show (Aves del Paraiso) starting at 3pm so I ate my ice cream on the walk back to Polynesia – we arrived in time at 5-to.

The show was in Spanish, so we couldn’t understand much of what the presenter was saying. It didn’t matter though, as he was very energetic and clearly loved his job. He did a quick poll of the audience when one of his jokes didn’t get a reaction, and it turned out that only about 25% of the audience were Spanish speaking. He did speak a bit of French and a bit of English which helped with a few of the kids who volunteered to take part in the show...

What I could understand (from the remnants of my school Spanish) seemed to be very informative – he seemed to be explaining about each bird’s colours and how to tell if they were male or female. It was an enjoyable show and nice and cool in the shade too.

After the show, we headed through Sesamoaventura to the “top” section of China, where we watched Dragon Khan and Shambola for a while. Tom definitely wasn’t ready for these two just yet, so we all passed (we’ll get them on our next trip)...

It was really warm so we stopped to top up our sun spray. I managed to drop my sunglasses whilst doing this. They were only cheap Primark ones so it didn’t really matter, but as I needed them for the rest of our day I had a go at patching them up with a couple of plasters, which worked quite well.

We also stopped in China for a large Coke (€4.10), which we all needed as it warm. Then we carried on round to Mexico, where we couldn’t see what the wait time was for El Diablo Tren de la Mena, so skipped that. Hurakan Condor was showing as 30 minutes and as Tom still want fancying it and this was beyond our waiting threshold, this is another one for a return visit.

We saw Betty Boop walking around, so I had a selfie with her...

Then we went on Volpaiute, which is a small fairground style ride just on the border of Mexico / Far West which looked quite good. This was technically a walk on, but it took ages to load up and it definitely wasn’t worth the wait.

We’d already decided by this point that we weren’t going to stay for the 6:30pm Halloween parade, as we were starting to flag. It had been a long, full day and Tom fancied a dip in the hotel pool whilst there was still a bit of sunlight left. By now it was 4:30pm, so we decided that Stampida would make a great last ride of our mini holiday.

As we were walking towards it, we looked at the poster for Horror in Texas (passage de la terreur) – and Tom said that he might consider it after Stampida...

We rode the red track this time, and it was just over a 10-minute wait. We were in the back rows this time (me and Rich together and Tom riding solo in front of us). It was much faster a jerkier than the blue track had been on Tuesday, but this time the blue track beat us.

On the way out, Tom said that he was definitely up for Horror in Texas. There were only 10 minutes left until it closed (at 5pm) so we paid our €5 each and were put into a group with 5 other mid-20s men and women...

It was ok, with some good make-up, props and scare actors, but being at the back of the group did impact our experience and the 5 in front of us would scream before we could see anything which diluted the whole thing a bit. Their screaming freaked Tom out a bit, more than the props and makeup. No photography was allowed so I don’t have any pics.

After, Tom and I pooped into the gift store opposite to claim our free gifts (which turned out to be a badge each). When we came out of the store, Rich said we’d just missed the Addams Family, who were driving around in their car / float and were really good.

We walked through the rest of Far West on our way towards the park exit, seeing quite a few really good scare actors on the way, and I met Vampire Woody Woodpecker too..

We had a final mooch in a couple of the souvenir shops in the Mediterranea area on the way out, and left the park at 5:30pm, getting back to the hotel at 5:50pm.

Tom and I put our swimmers on and headed straight for the pool, but we were just too late as it turned out that it closed it 6pm. To be fair it was too cold to actually get in the water, but it would have been nice to dip my feet in over the edge as my ankles were hot and itchy after our long day of walking. After being tutted at by the security guard for trying to dip our feet in (we hadn’t seen the 6pm closing sign), we made a hasty retreat back to our room, where we all chilled for an hour.

My poorly ankles...

By 7:30pm we were all showered and changed and popping into our trusty Repsol garage for a final couple of packs of cigarettes for Rich (€5.10 each)...

We walked down towards the beach and across the sea front to the Goretti restaurant that we’d found last night, arriving there just before 8pm.

We asked to be seated inside, and ordered 3 Cokes, 3 Pizzas (1 margarita, 1 ham and 1 pepperoni). We also ordered a tagliatelle carbonara to share and added a cheeky portion of chips too (thinking that we could take some leftover pizza back to the hotel for a late-night snack). We did get an incredulous look from the waitress about how much we were ordering.

It took about 20 minutes for the food to arrive, so we were glad of the bread sticks...

The boys attacked the pepperoni before I could take a pic...

The food was lovely, but the service wasn’t amazing. There were plenty of servers, but they were all fussing around a large table of what seemed to be locals, an it took a few attempts to get their attention for some more drinks – Rich actually ended up having to call them over. We also got another incredulous loo by the guy who brought out our food (surely it’s our business how much we order / eat!).

We actually ended up making a pretty good dent in the pizzas, and only had 2 slices left in the end. It was all really tasty. The bill was €64, so not too bad considering that we’d ordered enough for 4 and had extra drinks too. We decided not to tip though due to the poor service. It’s a shame the service let the place down, as it really was lovely food.

I popped to the loo whilst the boys waited for me outside. I was feeling a little bit guilty about not leaving a tip, until the timer-light went out on me twice in the loo. I understand energy saving, but surely it should last long enough for a wee! On our walk back we talked about doing a Trip Advisor review, but I never got around to it.

We took our time strolling back to the hotel. Tom had been planning to buy another light catapult toy thing, and even had his €2 ready, but suddenly decided he wasn’t bothered about getting another one.

I didn’t make a note of the time, but it would have been about 9:30pm when we got back to the hotel. I quickly did the bulk of our packing for tomorrow, and was in bed googling Red Force and Furious Baco by 10pm.

I put on the rest of Christmas with the Kranks, but fell asleep really quickly
Ems 🎢🎡🎠
Index | The Huxwolds Vacations - All Our Trippies In One Place
Index | Europa Park(s): Planes, Coaster-Trains & Autobahns (Aug 19) - Complete
WIP | Liseberg(ers) & Chips (Oct 19)
We still love Florida but have caught the European theme park bug

Edited at 06:29 PM.
HEMANCLOFTY is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 3 Jan 18, 12:03 AM  
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rebeccarobbins's Reviews
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I've just read through all of your trippie and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks for posting.
We have been to PA a couple of times and really enjoyed it. Not been since 2014 and I would like to go back and try out Ferarri Land, it looks good although my DS 10 doesn't really like roller coasters!
rebeccarobbins is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List
Old 4 Feb 18, 04:58 PM  
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Hotel Reviews: 1
Originally Posted by rebeccarobbins View Post
I've just read through all of your trippie and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks for posting.
We have been to PA a couple of times and really enjoyed it. Not been since 2014 and I would like to go back and try out Ferarri Land, it looks good although my DS 10 doesn't really like roller coasters!
Sorry for the delay replying

Thanks for reading along Hope you get back soon - there were lots of non-roller coaster rides. In fact, I don't think I've ever been to a park with so many rides
Ems 🎢🎡🎠
Index | The Huxwolds Vacations - All Our Trippies In One Place
Index | Europa Park(s): Planes, Coaster-Trains & Autobahns (Aug 19) - Complete
WIP | Liseberg(ers) & Chips (Oct 19)
We still love Florida but have caught the European theme park bug

Edited at 05:00 PM.
HEMANCLOFTY is offline Girl Mouse Click to view Members Trip Plans Add Member to Ignore List

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