PortAventura theme park is building the tallest rollercoaster in Europe
The Catalan theme park, located on the Costa Daurada next to Tarragona, will invest 25 million euros building the new attraction, which will be 76 metres high and will emulate the Himalaya. In addition, users will reach a speed of 134 km/h. The new rollercoaster’s name and exact design are still a mystery, but it will cross the Dragon Khan four times. The Catalan President assisted in the ceremony of the laying of the first stone. The attraction will be ready in May 2012.
Barcelona (ACN).- The Catalan theme park PortAventura will have the tallest rollercoaster in Europe next May. The new attraction\u2019s name and exact design remain a mystery. However, it has been released that the roller coaster will be 76 metres high, being the tallest in Europe. In addition, the attraction will beat another European record: it will have the longest drop on the continent, 78 metres high, as some parts will be underground. In addition, the speed will reach 134 km/h, becoming one of the fastest in Europe. The roller coaster will be based on the Himalayas, with continuous and severe ups and downs, but without any loops. Its tracks will cross those of another rollercoaster, the Dragon Khan, up to four times. PortAventura, which is located on Catalonia\u2019s Costa Daurada next to the towns of Tarragona, Vila-Seca and Salou, will invest 25 million euros in this colossal attraction. The Catalan President, Artur Mas, chaired the first stone ceremony on Friday. Mas praised PortAventura\u2019s attitude at facing the current and global difficult economic situation by making investments. Mas congratulated the theme park for its \u201Cpush\u201D and \u201Cjoy\u201D.
PortAventura opened in 1995 with the Dragon Khan as its main attraction. This roller coaster has one of the highest loops in the world and it can be seen from all points in the park, including from Reus Airport. From May 2012, the Dragon Khan will have a neighbour, the tallest in Europe. However, instead of being a competitor, the two roller coasters will be seen as a single one from the distance, as their tracks will cross each other\u2019s up to four times. \u201CIt will look as if the Dragon Khan is being eaten up by the new roller coaster\u201D, said PortAventura\u2019s Director Fernando Aldecoa. It will help that both share the same designer Bolliger & Mabillard. However, in the latest one, PortAventura also participated in the design. Once completed, visitors will be able to go under the tracks, a space that was earlier closed.
According to the Catalan theme park\u2019s President, Antoni Massanell, the new roller coaster is inspired by the Himalayas and the mountain climbing world. \u201CIt will reproduce the feeling of reaching a mountain summit\u201D, he explained. The new roller coaster inspired by the Himalyas will be located in the park\u2019s Chinese themed area. In fact, the Dragon Khan itself is inspired in the Chinese legend of a dragon unleashing its rage when someone tries to climb at its back.
A theme park divided in six areas and a water park
PortAventura is divided into six themed areas. The first one is the Mediterranean village, which welcomes visitors and is where many restaurants, hotels and shops are located. A few years ago, it added the park\u2019s fastest roller coaster Furius Baco, which reaches 135 km/h, being the fastest in Europe. The second area is the Polynesia, which has many water attractions, such as the Tutuki Splash. Thirdly, is China, which has among many other attractions and theatres, the Dragon Khan. After the Chinese area, the visitor arrives at the Mayan Mexico area, which has other roller coasters and thrilling attractions. The last geographic area is themed on the American West, combining water attractions with wooden roller coasters. A sixth area was added this summer, called SésamoAventura. This area is aimed at young children and is based on Sesame Street, being the only park in Europe having this concrete theme. In addition, PortAventura has a parallel aquatic park, themed on the Caribbean Sea, which opened a few years ago. There are plans to expand its current facilities.
An ambitious expansion plan
PortAventura is going through an ambitious investment plan, running from 2009 and 2013. The plan foresees an investment of 80 million euros. Once the new Himalayan rollercoaster is completed, the park will have already invested 45 million euros. Therefore between 2012 and 2013 it will still have 35 million euros to invest. Currently, the resort has built on 60% to 70% of the total land available, which represents around 700 hectares.
The Catalan President congratulates PortAventura for investing in the current economic context
The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas,chaired the ceremony to lay the first stone of the new roller coaster on Friday. Mas stressed the \u201Cbusiness friendly attitude\u201D of the Catalan Government, and also those at Salou Town Hall and Vila-Seca. They are the two municipalities in which PortAventura is located. The Catalan President also congratulated PortAventura for having recovered to pre-crisis levels and having hosted more than 4 million visitors this year. PortAventura\u2019s President hopes the new attraction \u201Cbecomes a good promotion tool for the Costa Daurada\u201D. Finally, the Catalan President, while joking, did not promise he will go on the new roller coaster once completed; \u201CI will come, but I don\u2019t promise I'll be going on it\u201D, he said.