Last week I went on the most exciting press trip EVER with Rachel; we were invited to the opening of Ferrari Land in PortAventura, Spain with 365 Tickets. For those of you that don’t know, PortAventura is a theme park just an hour outside of Barcelona in the Salou area of Spain and welcomes over 4 million visitors a year. Ferrari Land is a separate theme park on the PortAventura site which is dedicated to the brand and celebrates all things Ferrari. It also boasts Europe’s tallest and fastest rollercoaster Red Force which has been making headlines since the opening day.
Live the authentic Ferrari experience in more than 70,000 m2 of excitement, adrenaline and fun. This is a unique theme park in Europe where you can enjoy a thrilling experience with the whole family and discover all the secrets behind the legendary Italian brand and its creator, Enzo Ferrari.
Thursday 6th April was the exclusive invite-only opening for press and VIPs which we were lucky enough to get passes for. The special guest for the event was Ferrari test driver Marc Gene who gave a speech letting us know his thoughts on the new park and rides and even Mr Ferrari himself was in attendance to officially cut the ribbon and declare the park open. There were so many different things going on with parades, dance shows and photo opportunities. We spent a good few hours walking around the park taking everything in, enjoying the free food and drink and using the opportunity to get photos whilst the park was relatively quiet.
As the creator of Ferrari is Italian, the whole park had an Italian theme with some very realistic looking buildings – when I was eating gelato in front of the ‘Colosseum’ I could easily have been fooled into thinking that I was in Italy! There are several food outlets on site and on the opening day we went into the Italian themed restaurant called Ristorante Cavallino which is actually based on Mr Ferrari’s favourite restaurant back in Italy and we helped ourselves to focaccia, cheese and Italian meats before hitting up the chocolate fountain. This was so beautiful inside, I wish I had taken some photos. I would definitely go back there to have a proper meal if I was ever to visit again.
We checked out two rides on the opening day, both of which were in the car shaped building which is one of the first things that you see as you enter the park and were simulators. The first one reminded us both of Soarin’ at Walt Disney World, it was the same concept whereby you ‘fly’ around the world experiencing different countries and flying over famous landmarks. I really enjoyed this one, which is no surprise as Soarin’ was one of my favourite rides in Florida. The second ride had the same kind of concept but you sit in a ‘race car’ and you’re driving around the world going over different terrains and experiencing different smells, I didn’t find this as exciting as the first one but it was still really enjoyable.
On our second and third days, we managed to get around the rest of the rides. One of our favourites was the Maranello Grand Race where you get to sit in your own Ferrari and race against other people around a 550m track. This ride is aimed at children, but for some reason Rach and I loved it and went on it three times while we were there. We also really enjoyed Thrill Towers: Bounce-back tower which is meant to show you the movement of genuine Ferrari pistons by launching you up into the air towards the sky and then allowing you to bounce back down. There is also a freefall tower which we didn’t get around to, I’ll definitely be going on it next time though.
The main attraction in Ferrari Land is Red Force which standing at 112m high is now Europe’s highest and fastest vertical accelerator.
Experience the full range of f1™ sensations on a spectacular ride with an 880-metre route, accelerating from 180 km/h in just 5 seconds and reaching a maximum height of 112 metres.
It took me a couple of days to persuade Rach to go on this but I knew that she wouldn’t be able to leave PortAventura without having been on it. The whole experience lasts just fifteen seconds but is the most thrilling ride I have ever been on. There’s no gentle build up like you get on most fast rides, it simply goes from 0 to 180 km/h in 5 seconds and sends you straight up to the top of the 112m high loop. Of course once you’re up, the only way is back down again! We loved this ride so much that we decided to go on again before we’d even got off it the first time. Luckily, we had express passes so we were able to just walk back around to the front of the queue but I would happily wait up to half an hour to ride on this.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time at Ferrari Land and I think it’s definitely worth visiting whether you’re a Formula 1 fan or not. I know absolutely nothing about cars or racing, but I had a great time and loved all of the rides. I’m so pleased to say that I’ve been on Red Force, it’s not every day you get to go as fast as a racing car! If I ever get the chance to go to PortAventura again, I would happily pay the extra €35 for tickets into Ferrari Land.