PortAventura World was opened back in 1995, and has been a family-orientated theme and resort park, but is currently going through a new development phase with the introduction of Ferrari Land.
The Ferrari red will be evident in the expanded park from 7 April 2017, which is intended to put the park on the international map.
Located around an hour from Barcelona, PortAventura World already has a host of fantastic attractions and rides for all levels of thrill seekers, but the addition of Ferrari Land will increase the parks status and put it firmly amongst the best theme park resorts in the world.
The current PortAventura World set up has parts of its park dedicated to countries and cultures from around the globe, including China, Mexico, Polynesia and even the Far West in the United States of America, and Ferrari Land will continue this by bringing a feel of Italian culture to the park.
There will be interpretations inspired by buildings and monuments seen in traditional Italian towns, with one of those being the entrance to the historic Ferrari Factory in Maranello.
“We are currently involved in construction of the buildings that willhape the area dedicated to traditional Italy, such as the trattoria, and the area designated for the simulators,” said Luis Valencia, the Director of Development at PortAventura World and Ferrari Land project manager.
“Once the construction phase is complete, we will start working on the theming of the building.”
When you think of Maranello, you instantly think of all the history that has been made by this legendary Italian Car Manufacturer, founded by the great Enzo Ferrari in 1939, and the Ferrari Land experience looks to show off parts of the story of Ferrari’s founder.
The racing history of Ferrari is hugely impressive on its own, even without the legacy that has been built up, and has seen many a legend created as they pass through the team and drive the legendary cars, in the Formula 1 world, through the 24 Hours of Le Mans and into sports car and GT Racing and beyond.
You just need to look at some of the names that have driven for the Scuderia through the years – it is like a who’s who of motor sport legends. Alberto Ascari, Ferrari’s first and Italy’s last world champion, Juan Manuel Fangio and Mike Hawthorn in the 1950s, Phil Hill, John Surtees, Jacky Ickx, Mario Andretti, Niki Lauda, Gilles Villeneuve – all names instantly recognisable by anyone involved in Formula 1 and in some cases, a much wider audience.
Moving forward into the 1980’s and 1990’s, you had the likes of Michele Alboreto, Gerhard Berger, Nigel Mansell and Alain Prost, and then there is Jean Alesi, one of the most popular yet perhaps unlucky drivers of his generation.
And then there was Michael Schumacher, highly regarded as one of the best drivers of all time, who claimed five consecutive titles with the Scuderia between 2000 and 2004.
The current line up consists of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, the latter of which was there to place the first brick of the Ferrari Land development project.
Of course the park is now more than just one brick, and perhaps the most spectacular and adrenaline-inducing rides is almost ready for its inaugural ride – The Vertical Accelerator, Europe’s highest and fastest accelerator ride.
Standing at 112-metres high, up to twelve passengers at a time will be propelled from a standing start from an area made to reflect a Formula 1-style pit garage, including sounds, with Linear Synchronous Motors (LSM) technology that involves propulsion through electromagnets, with the utilization of large amounts of electricity propelling the train along the track.
The Accelerator will propel thrill seekers from zero to 180 kilometres per hour in just five seconds, and there is a chance of roll back, meaning the car will not reach the top of the tower and will roll back to the start to try again!
The Vertical Accelerator will hold three emblems of Ferrari, with the first 12-metre high, 9 tonne ‘Prancing Horse’ having been hoisted in a ceremony under the Spanish sunshine at the beginning of May.
Of course they’ll be other attractions within the Ferrari Land expansion, including a 600-metre long circuit, complete with 32 electric twin-passenger cars, complete with the sound of a Ferrari engine, which will give the feel of being in control of a racing car.
“In addition to the accelerator, we are forging ahead with the construction of an electric car circuit, which will be another star feature of the new park,” said Valencia.
“The track will cover a distance of more than 500 metres and the vehicles are based on Ferrari GP racing cars.”
Then there are the two 55-metre high Bounce-Back Towers, which are being designed to look like giant pistons from an engine. The riders will face 4G upward forces and 1.5G downward in the ride, which is designed to travel back up and down as if controlled by a piston gear.
And then there are two key points of interest for motorsport fans, with semi-professional simulators, which will pit drivers against the clock, and a pit stop simulator, which will see two teams competing against one another to see who can change tyres on a real Ferrari the fastest!
And there are things to do for children as well, with a mini speedway giving the young ones the opportunity to get behind the wheel!
Evening the shops and restaurants will have a taste of Ferrari, with memorabilia from the Scuderia to adorn the walls.
At the centre of the park will be the Ferrari Experience, a unique experience not seen anywhere else, although at present everything beneath the large Ferrari Prancing Horse remains top secret!
PortAventura World want to be recognised on the world map of top resorts in the world, and on top of what they already have, Ferrari Land will provide another reason why to visit the up-and-coming resort. The prestige is there, the name is familiar to everyone, and they have the thrills required to make it work.
Currently the resort brings in 4 million people, with 50% of those coming from foreign lands, but with the introduction of Ferrari Land, this number should rise still further, with estimates feeling the Scuderia could bring in an additional 1 million visitors.
The finished 100 million Euros investment of Ferrari Land is set to open early in 2017, and you will not want to miss out on the experience. For any fan of Ferrari, or for any fan of motorsport, this family-orientated resort will be worth a visit.
“The arrival of Ferrari Land next April will highlight PortAventura World’s position as a worldwide leading holiday destination, offering 3 theme parks in one resort,” said Giovanni Cavalli, the General Manager Commercial for PortAventura Park.
“PortAventura World Parks & Resort will be a wholly unique destination on an international scale, combining the true essence of PortAventura with the distinctive traits of Ferrari Land.”