Red Force - A Crazy-Fast Coaster
In 2017, PortAventura, the theme park resort near Barcelona, Spain, opened Ferrari Land. The 15-acre (60,000 square meters) park features a number of rides and attractions that pay homage to the legendary carmaker as well as its Italian heritage.
It follows the UAE’s Ferrari World, the first theme park to feature the iconic auto brand. Unlike the standalone indoor theme park in Abu Dhabi, Ferrari Land is a traditional outdoor park (the seaside location in Spain has a more hospitable climate) and is part of the existing PortAventura resort. It joins the PortAventura theme park and the PortAventura Caribe water park. Ferrari Land requires a separate admission ticket. Combination passes are available to two as well as all three parks.
The featured attraction at Ferrari Land is Red Force. Since the park’s theme is Ferrari, it should come as no surprise that the ride is built for speed. In fact, at 112 mph (180 km/h) it is Europe’s fastest (and at about 365 feet, also the tallest) roller coaster.
Red Force uses electro-magnetic power, delivered by linear synchronous motors, to launch its trains from 0 to 112 mph in a heart-stopping five seconds. It climbs a top hat-shaped tower at 90 degrees and plummets straight down the other side. The ride is over in a matter of seconds. (But what a few seconds!)
Flying Dreams takes its cue from the original “flying theater” attraction, Soarin’ (which is now known as Soarin' Around the World). Like the Disney attraction, Flying Dreams simulates soaring above vistas by using ride vehicles that move in sync with action projected onto a large, immersive screen in a hemispheric dome. In this storyline, riders pick up a shiny, new Ferrari GT at the carmaker’s factory in Italy and follow it on a tour around the world (but mostly Europe) that ends at PortAventura.
A motion simulator ride, Racing Legends uses theme park trickery to place guests in Ferrari F1 race cars and sends them careening on the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya course. Passengers also travel back in time, including an early 20th-century journey alongside Enzo Ferrari. The attraction uses a domed theater screen like The Simpsons ride at the Universal parks.
At 55 meters, or about 180 feet, the two drop tower rides at Ferrari Land are plenty tall and fast, but there are similar attractions that are much taller and faster. Port Aventura already offers one of the world's tallest drop tower rides, Hurakan Condor, which rises 100 meters (328 feet). The two Ferrari Land towers are designed to look like engine pistons. The Free-Fall Tower rises slowly to the top and freefalls down, while the Bounce-Back Tower shoots up, freefalls down, and bounces back up.
Maranello Grand Race
Forget simulators. The Maranello Grand Race uses actual cars that visitors can drive to compete against one another. Granted, they are essentially go-karts and don’t reach the speeds of real race cars, but the cool vehicles are designed to look like Ferrari F1 cars. Children as short as 1 m (about 40 in) can ride with an adult. Unaccompanied children must be 1.3 m (about 51 in). There is a similar ride, Junior Championship, designed for younger children.
Pole Position Challenge
PortAventura says that the simulators used for Pole Position Challenge are similar to the ones that drivers used to train Ferrari F1 drivers. There are six simulators for adults and two for children. Visitors can make reservations, but they are often gone early in the day. Both this attraction and Pit Stop Record (below) require an additional fee.
Pit Stop Record
Do you want to feel what it’s like to be in the pit crew at a race? Two teams compete against one another to change the tires on an F1 car in record time.
Rides for Children
In 2018, Ferrarri Land added an area with rides designed for younger kids. They include Junior Red Force, a much smaller coaster that kids as small as .95 m (about 37 in) can ride. There are also spinning rides and a toned-down Kids Tower attraction.