Great Adventures at PortAventura Park in Spain

Great Adventures at PortAventura Park in Spain

When I was in the Costa Brava in Spain at the end of April, my kids were disappointed that the water parks in the places we went to were not open yet for the season.  I didn’t tell them that the biggest of them all in the area, PortAventura Park, was up and running.  Because I’m a mean mummy who just wanted to sip sangria on a secluded beach near Begur.

Luckily, my fellow blogger Suzanne Fluhr who writes at Boomeresque went to PortAventura with a group of fellow TBEX bloggers.  She could told me all about the fun my kids had missed.  Did I feel guilty?  Not a bit.

Located  on the Costa Dorada, PortAventura Park is an entertainment complex consisting of an amusement park, water park, hotels, restaurants and shows.  The set-up is similar to those theme parks operated by Disney.  This summer Cirque du Soleil, are staging their famed circus act in July and August at the park.

Port Aventura is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The grounds are very nicely planted and tended. As you can imagine, it gets quite hot during the summer and there seemed to be an effort to provide shaded places to sit.

20th Anniversary PortAventura

Image credit: Suzanne Fluhr, Boomeresque

The Park is divided into 5 different countries and regions (somewhat randomly selected) such as the American West, China and Polynesia. Each region also had some rides that would be suitable for families—i.e. tame-ish water rides. There were at least 2 big roller coasters which Suzanne didn’t ride, but others in her group did and liked them.

PortAventura China section

Welcome to China!
Image Credit: Suzanne Fluhr, Boomeresque

Port Aventura American West

Willie Nelson blares out over the American West
Image credit: Suzanne Fluhr, Boomeresque

PortAventura

Image credit: Suzanne Fluhr, Boomeresque

For the littlest ones, there is an area with rides based on Sesame Street.  Seeing the photos, I had flashbacks to my own Sesame Place days when my kids were younger.

Port Aventura Sesame Street

Sésamo Aventura
Image credit: Suzanne Fluhr, Boomeresque

You should be prepared to get wet (not too much of a hardship with the Spanish sun beating down on you). The park has “drying huts”, subject to an additional charge.  I would think you’d dry very fast in the summer without resorting to drying huts.

PortAventura aquatic park

Image credit: Suzanne Fluhr, Boomeresque

You don’t need to worry about having a fussy eater with you.  The food options included Spanish food as well as fast food and cafes.  And, they serve wine! Hurrah!  While your kids run around, you can chug down a bottle (or two) of Spanish wine.  Theme parks the world over would be so much more fun if they served wine to the parents in tow.

The Park sell tickets by the day so you can enjoy all the rides at the park.  Suzanne got the impression though that they did seem to nickel and dime you for things to purchase in the park.

Will we go to PortAventura when we next visit Barcelona?  You bet.  They had me at wine in the restaurants. And, I’m pretty sure my husband will appreciate the can-can girls.

PortAventura Theme Park in Costa Dorada in Spain

Image Credit: Joao Maximo

Thanks to Suzanne for reporting back on PortAventura.  Do check out her blog, Boomeresque, if you are a baby boomer looking for fun, adventure and travel (not necessarily in that order).

PortAventura

Image credit: Suzanne Fluhr, Boomeresque

Details for Visiting PortAventura:

PortAventura is well-located on the Spanish coast.  It is one hour from Barcelona airport and only 15 minutes from the smaller airport at Reus.  Europcar has special rates for PortAventura visitors if you choose to drive.  There is PortAventura stop on the regular Renfe trains including the high-speed trains that come from Madrid, Malaga etc.

A standard one day ticket entry to the Park costs 45 Euros for adults for the day.  Both a junior ticket (ages 4-10) and a senior ticket (age 60+) costs 39 Euros. There are concessions for multi-day visits, evenings only, disabled passes etc.  Check out their very well-detailed English language website for more information.

There are lots of beach hotels and activities nearby on Costa Dorada so you are not restricted to staying at one of the four four-star hotels at PortAventura either.

 

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Elmo Loves You and Sesame Place

Elmo Loves You and Sesame Place

When my children were younger, they loved Elmo from the US hit children’s show, Sesame Street, with a passion that defied explanation.  They loved everything about Elmo – his pet goldfish, squeaky helium voice and limited repertoire of ways to express his love.

Sesame Place and Elmo

My parents live in Pennsylvania near Sesame Place, a theme park for younger children revolving around the Sesame Place characters.  Sesame Place has amusement park rides, a water park, song & dance shows, character parades and all the other usual stuff you find at a theme park.  Unlike many other theme parks though, even toddlers can participate in most of the rides.

Having grown up watching Sesame Street myself in the days before Elmo, I definitely have as soft spot for the show myself.  Between my nostalgia and the twins’ obsession, we were destined to visit Sesame Place.

sesame street sign

The first few times at Sesame Place were indeed a lot of fun.  The kids were delighted meeting the Sesame Street characters and with the rides.  By the time we had gone about 20 times, only the children were still in its thrall.

I feel completely qualified to dish about the top tips for making the best of a visit to Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pennsylvania.  I wrote a guest post on Sesame Place for Lara at Chicken Nuggets of Wisdom while she was enjoying a trip to Ireland.  Check out my post – Top Tips for Visiting Sesame Place – so you can get the most out of your trip to this theme park.