Ferrari Land isn’t just a theme park – it’s a theme park in a tip-top setting. It’ll be part of PortAventura World, which holds top spot when it comes to Spain’s most-popular theme parks. The complex is wedged between Tarragona and Salou, on the Costa Dorada, which means sandy beaches are just a stone’s throw away. And if you’re happy to travel a little further, the shop-filled boulevards of Barcelona are only an hour away by train.
PortAventura itself is just one of Ferrari Land’s neighbours – it’ll also rub shoulders with Caribe Aquatic Park and a cluster of themed hotels.
This is the real question on everyone’s lips. It’s fair to say expectations are high, given Ferrari’s blink-and-you’ll miss-it credentials, and the end result doesn’t disappoint.
The piece de resistance is the Vertical Accelerator, a cloud-piercing coaster that reaches a top height of 367 feet. The bold red cars are designed to look like actual Formula 1 vehicles, and Ferrari’s iconic prancing horse logo takes pride of place on the tower-like structure.
The 880-metre route is the equivalent of seven football pitches, and you’ll hit top speeds of 180 kilometres per hour in the space of just five seconds. All of this means that Ferrari World’s main attraction will snatch a couple of European records – for the fastest and tallest coaster on the entire continent.
The rest of the park might be the supporting cast, but it still delivers a bunch of excellent F1-themed attractions. Sit in a replica Formula 1 chassis to take on a few circuits on the simulator, sign up for a driving experience on the park’s 570-metre race track, or visit the pit lane to see if you can cut it as a Ferrari mechanic. And if you’ve got a head for heights, there’s the lofty Bounce-Back Tower – a stomach-churning drop that also uses Ferrari pistons to fire you upwards at full speed.
At the centre of the park you’ll find the Ferrari dome – a futuristic building that contains a gallery of cars through the ages, and virtual track experiences for Formula 1 and GT models.
If pulse-pounding experiences are your cup of tea, take a look at our top 5 holidays for adrenaline junkies.
Now that we’ve covered the thrill-seeking side of things, it’s time to take a look at what else the park has to offer.
You’ll see little nods to Ferrari’s heritage all around the park, mostly in the form of replica Italian landmarks. There are versions of Venice’s Campanile di San Marco, Milan’s La Scala Theatre, and Rome’s iconic Colosseum. You’ll also be able to poke your head into a carbon copy of Enzo Ferrari’s red-shuttered family home.
The restaurants will fall in line with the Mediterranean theme, too. There’ll be an authentic trattoria, which is made to look like the Ferrari drivers’ favourite restaurant in Maranello. You’ll also be able to pick up light bites from pit stop-style snack bars, and fully-loaded cones from an ice-cream parlour.
And just to keep you up to speed with the global theme park scene, we’ve got the latest on Nintendo Land coming to Universal Studios.
Thanks to Ferrari Land’s location, the PortAventura World hotels are right outside the park gates. There are four options to pick from, and each one has its own standout theme. All that’s left to do is select the one that suits you.
The Hotel Caribe, like its name suggests, adopts a laidback Caribbean approach. Think lagoon-like pools, chunky palm trees, and an artificial beach. Over at the Hotel El Paso, things take a Central American turn. There’s a Mexican diner, and a hacienda-feel to the hotel grounds.
At the Gold River, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a Midwestern frontier town. The whole place looks like it’s been plucked from a cowboy movie, with features like an old-style Main Street and an abandoned railway station. Last, but by no means least, is the Hotel PortAventura. This place sticks to its Spanish roots, and the peach and white-tinted buildings are set up like a traditional village.
Regardless of which one you pick, you’ll still be within touching distance of Ferrari Land’s attractions.
We’ve saved the most important detail for last, just to keep you on tenterhooks. Luckily, Ferrari World’s opening date really isn’t that far away.
The park’s due to fling open its gates for the first time on Friday 7th April 2017. From then, you’ll be able to experience the white-knuckle fun first-hand. Just remember to empty your pockets before you hit the rides.
At the Gold River, you’ll feel like you’ve time-travelled back to the Wild West. From the restaurants to the pools, everything here’s like an American frontier town.
The Hotel PortAventura is practically touching distance from the rides, and it has three restaurants and a couple of pools.
The Hotel Caribe has its own manmade beach, lagoon-style swimming pools, and a five-strong line-up of restaurants.
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