Today, with the eighth article, our Spanish Theme Park History series comes to an end. During five months we’ve dived into the history of thirteen Spanish amusement and theme parks, some of which no longer exist, and some others are still operating and receiving guests nowadays. We’ve traveled in time through 168 years in theme park history, starting in 1853, to our days in 2021. In this last article of the series, we’ll focus on four different theme parks: Siam Park, Ferrari Land, Horrorland, and Puy du Fou. It has been a pleasure to travel in the Spanish Theme Park History with all of you!
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Siam Park (Costa Adeje, 2008)
Siam Park is a water theme park in the Canary Islands, it is considered the best water park in the world by “TripAdvisor” and, for reference, it could be said that is the European equivalent of Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort.
Its theme is based on the landscapes and the culture of Thailand, it features a really great range of themed water slides, an awesome water coaster, and an impressive giant wave pool.
Furthermore, as the park was built on a hill, most of the slides don’t need big supports or structures so they can be considered “terrain water slides”, which benefits the park’s theming and its beautiful landscaping.
The construction of the Siam Park began in 2004 and had a cost of 52 million euros. The park opened in 2008 on September 17, a year later than expected due to various complications during the construction process. Thanks to the Canary Islands’ weather the park can operate all the year.
The highlights of the park are “Tower of Power”, a vertical 28-meter-high slide themed like a Thai pyramid where guests pass through a huge aquarium full of sharks and where speeds up to 80km/h can be reached; “Dragon”, where a true sensation of zero gravity can be experienced on its vertical funnel and which includes a huge and iconic dragon figure; and “The Wave Palace”, the wave pool with the biggest artificial waves in the world that is surrounded by an amazing white sand beach, surfing sessions are held in “The Wave Palace”. If you ever visit the Canary Islands Siam Park is a must!
Ferrari Land (Salou i Vila-seca, 2017)
Ferrari Land is the second theme park of the PortAventura World resort and also the second theme park of the world dedicated to the Ferrari brand. It was announced back in 2014 and its opening was planned for 2016, although it ended up opening in 2017. The park features Red Force, the tallest and fastest roller coaster in Europe (the fourth in the world), a 112-meter-high Intamin launched Giga coaster which reaches speeds up to 180 km/h.
The other highlight of the park apart from Red Force is “Flying Dreams” a flying theatre where guests are able to fly around the world following the route of different Ferrari cars. Although Red Force sets two European records, I personally enjoy “Flying Dreams” the most.
Ferrari Land itself is a very tiny park, in size it’s comparable to a single area of PortAventura Park. Furthermore, the range of rides and attractions is very limited and the entrance price high (although it was more than twice expensive on opening day, just four years ago).
The original plans for the park included a Ferrari-themed 5-star hotel, which never became a reality. Maybe someday the land where the hotel was planned to be constructed could be an expansion of the park. For the moment the park has only received some extra children attractions and a kiddie coaster (Junior Red Force).
Horrorland (Cercs, 2018-2020)
Horrorland was the first southern-Europe scream park, it was located in an abandoned power station and surrounded by a natural landscape. The horror theme park featured about 5 haunted mazes, an extreme experience, a scape room, and a carnival games area. Horrorland was very popular and, since it only opened during the Halloween and Christmas seasons, it usually was highly crowded.
As a curiosity, the name of the park and the design of its logo were inspired by Disney’s, and the name of the main character of the park, who was named Mortimer, was in tribute to the discarded name that Walt Disney had once considered for Mickey Mouse.
Although Horrorland was very successful it had to close permanently last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It would have been awesome to see how the park would have evolved, maybe someday Horrorland will open its gates again, let’s hope so!
Puy Du Fou (Toledo, 2021)
After the success of its French park, Puy du Fou has built its first international park in Spain, which sets a new standard for theme parks in the country, especially in terms of theming and the quality of its shows and spectaculars. It can be considered one of the best theme parks in Spain, although it’s important to note that it doesn’t include any mechanical ride, it is all based on breathtaking shows.
The theme of the park is based on the history of Spain, which is told through shows and historical recreations. This year 2021 the park was inaugurated, including four big stage shows and three historic village recreations along with a really impressive nighttime spectacular featuring 200 actors, fireworks, and spectacular special effects on an immense 5-hectare stage.
If you visit Madrid or one of its theme parks it’s a must to also visit Puy Du Fou in Toledo, at 55 minutes by car. For the moment the park can be perfectly visited in one day but, later on, it will be expanded and probably two days will be required in order to be able to enjoy all the shows and immersive experiences.
Sources used for this article:
Away With Katie. (2019, September 26). Do’s & Don’ts for Visiting Siam Park, Tenerife. https://www.awaywithkatie.com/dos-donts-for-visiting-siam-park-tenerife/
Blanchar, C. (2014, March 13). Port Aventura invertirá 100 millones en un nuevo parque dedicado a Ferrari. EL PAÍS. https://elpais.com/ccaa/2014/03/13/catalunya/1394711022_331793.html
Horrorland. (n.d.). Horrorland – El primer Scream Park del sur de Europa. http://www.horrorlandpark.com/
Ocio Terror. (n.d.). ¿Qué nos espera en Horrorland Scream Park? https://ocioterror.es/horrorland-scream-park-entrevistas/
PA-Community. (n.d.). Review Siam Park Parte 1 (introduccion y primeros analisis). https://www.pa-community.com/articulos/review-siam-park-parte-1-introduccion-y-primeros-analisis
ParqueTematico.net. (n.d.). Puy du Fou España y El Sueño de Toledo: todo lo que necesitas saber. https://www.parquetematico.net/espana/puydufouespana/
Puy Du Fou España. (n.d.). Puy Du Fou España. https://www.puydufou.com/espana/en
Shermans Travel Media. (n.d.). The 5 Fastest Roller Coasters in the World. Shermans Travel. https://www.shermanstravel.com/advice/the-5-fastest-roller-coasters-in-the-world
Theme Park Experts. (n.d.). Historia Siam Park. https://www.themeparkexperts.com/siam-park/historia-siam-park/#:%7E:text=La%20construcci%C3%B3n%20de%20Siam%20Park,de%20un%20a%C3%B1o%20de%20retraso.