Attraction Review: Ferrari Land

Let's face it, 2017 wasn't the most exciting year for new European coasters, and given that I got married this year we had to reign it in a bit with jet setting all over the world in search of creds and parks. Luckily, PortAventura - sorry, PortAventura WORLD - decided to combine their tallest and fastest coaster in Europe accolades and smash it with a brand new coaster. Oh, and while they were at it they decided to shove it in a completely new park too, in what was probably the biggest investment the Resort has seen since the water park opened.

So yes, Ferrari Land, the weird second gate PortAventura World park. because nothing compliments a park themed to adventures all over the world across a wide scope of themes and ideas like a giant logo celebrating capitalism in its reddest and shiniest form - the Ferrari. Absolutely bloody bizarre to me that you'd theme a ride to this, let alone a whole bloody park, but here we are. The SECOND Ferrari park in the world - the brand team seem to be absolutely desperate to get the Ferrari brand all over the world, but weird that they think soulless theme parks of such a niche hobby brand are the way to do that.

Red Force (Challenge the was obviously the big draw here. I make no attempt to hide my dislike of PortAventura and honestly wouldn't have returned for a good few years if this new coaster wasn't a thing. And again...weird choice? We haven't seen one of these giant phallic Intamin launch things since the noughties - they'd kind of gone out of fashion and given the likes of Helix and Taron tastes appeared to have moved away from the BIGGER + FASTER = BETTER mentality. But alas, here Red Force was all the same, so obviously I had to get out there to ride it.

I'd heard a lot about how dead this park was and man, people weren't wrong! Given this was a Sunday, we arrived around 11AM and after the initial rush of people running to get their Red Force cred we never queued more than 20 mins for a ride, with the coaster being walk on most of the day. Yay.

My initial thoughts of the park were mixed. I don't give a shiny fuck about cars, so the Ferrari branding and theming were of no interest to me, nor were the many car-themed experiences to enjoy around the park. I found the shiny entrance to look a little tacky and distasteful, but then the giant Colosseum/St.Mark's Square area was really pretty. Just, shame about the fibreglass which takes up 75% of the park's theming.

Red Force then. My first go I was in row...3 or 4 I think? And it was fine. I think I was waiting for that Stealth/Baco style gut punch to come and it never did, so I spent the rest of the ride being disappointed with the launch and it distracted me from the rest. Over the next few rides (think we got 8 or 9 in, I had to skip one to wait for Conor because he was having a poo...) I sat all over and decided that I really quite liked it! The speed is intense yet elegant, the airtime kicks you out of your seat over the tophat and doesn't really relent until you're at the very bottom. The way you float all the way back down is stunning and the final pop or ejector as you head up onto the break run is a fun little note to end on.

I think if Red Force had the fabulous hydraulic launch this would easily be in my top ten, but sadly the launch really does miss that gut punch for me which leaves the entire ride just ever so slightly lacking. That's not to say it's not really fun though - it definitely is, and that was made even better by all of the re-rides we were able to get due to the park being dead as a doornail.

Time to take on the rest of the park, and by that I mean the 3 other rides available to us! We jumped in the queue for the flying theatre first. I have a weird love of these rides so was excited to try a new version. My god, the bloody pre-shows go on and on and on. We suddenly realised why the park was so dead - everybody was in here! It actually took sooooo long to get through everything that even though the projection mapping and Pepper's Ghost effects and stuff were cool, I was too irritated from queuing to properly enjoy them. Also they were mostly about cars, so meh.

The ride itself was...strange. I guess it's just like Soarin' only there's a shot of a Ferrari in each setting. I felt like each section cut off just a little bit too soon in each instance. They could have each stood to be another 10-20 seconds longer to really take everything in. I also thought it was strange that some of the scenes were actual footage and some were digital - especially weird when it's a digital version of London that you know so well, proper uncanny valley stuff. Honestly, I came off this a little deflated, especially considering we'd queued for ages and wasted precious Red Force time riding this.

I'm putting this out there now - we didn't bother with the shot and drop towers. Firstly because this model is lame and can be found pretty much anywhere around the world, and secondly because we did join the queue but one of the towers spited and it was going to take ages, further eating into our Red Force time, so we sacked it off.

The last attraction for us to try out was the little car ride. I say little, it was actually bloody huge and really well themed - it takes up so much space! I do love a classic car ride, I usually find time to ride Autopia at Disney and considering the limited ride options at Ferrari Land as it it we decided to give these a try. Fun, but my steering was extremely clunky so I spent most of the ride getting annoyed that I couldn't go faster.

We spent the rest of our day at the park getting in the re-rides on Red Force, because let's face it, there's not exactly much else to do! I'll be honest, the whole concept of the park is strange to me. The theme, the selection of rides, the choice of major coaster, the fact that the pricing was so incredibly off when the park first opened, the fact that it doesn't match the rest of the Resort in any way. It's just so bizarre. Red Force is very, very fun, but it's not a park I'll be rushing back to any time soon.

Talk later xoxo,



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