WITH ruddy cheeks, a rosy nostril and an elf’s hat on, my husband is standing close to an enormous igloo and laughing a few Chilly Willy.
Chilly Willy is in truth Woody Woodpecker’s mischievous penguin pal, who has taken up residence at PortAventura close to Salou in Spain, as a part of the festively adorned enjoyable park’s Christmas celebrations.
And to fulfill Chilly Willy, you should stroll like a foolish billy — waddling like a penguin alongside a snowy path to his igloo residence. We had began the day on the new Road Mission 3D experience, which turned my extremely aggressive household into rookie snipers, firing away from our carriage at cookies.
It’s within the park’s Sesame Road-themed SesamoAventura, which boasts lots extra for nippers. If it’s extra intense thrills you’re after at this 125-hectare park, you received’t be disappointed.
My worry issue maxed out at clammy arms and a throat left raspy by way of screaming. I saved my eyes squeezed shut by way of terrifying rollercoaster Shambhala’s 249ft stomach-plummeting 80mph drop.
Dragon Khan’s twists and turns additionally proved a success, as did Furius Bako, whereas our favorite, Stampede, left us laughing after galloping alongside its wood construction. In any case that pleasure it’s time to refuel — and a three-course festive feast at La Posada de los Gnomos will get even essentially the most Scrooge-like into the seasonal spirit.
The restaurant is festooned with baubles and with assistance from LED screens, all of the “home windows” cleverly look out on to snow falling. As you dine, energetic costumed entertainers dart round singing and conversing with one another.
And judging by the tone of the Spanish narrative, there’s hassle afoot. Us people in a gnomes’ inn simply received’t do.
I slide off to the john — no method am I upsetting Santa this close to to Christmas — solely to return to search out my husband Pete, and our children Tom and Lottie carrying elf hats, their cheeks and noses glowing with rouge, as are ALL the diners.
Now they’re disguised as Santa’s helpers, all is properly. After heading off to fulfill Chilly Willy, we take within the Christmas World present — a 30-minute spectacle within the park’s 1,500-seater Gran Teatro Imperial.
Forty performers sing and dance their method by way of incredible routines, the spotlight of which, for me, have been the “Russian” acrobats who leapt, tumbled and glided in a brilliantly choreographed piece as Ra Ra Rasputin resounded. Mesmerising.
It’s one among a number of exhibits across the park — with birds-of-paradise spectacle Aves del Paraiso additionally properly price seeing. The fantastic thing about the parrots, macaws, cockatoos and cassowaries transfixed us, whereas the host’s cheeky humour had us chuckling, transcending the language barrier.
Within the neighbouring Ferrari Land, we skirted round Crimson Pressure, Europe’s tallest and quickest coaster, daring each other to take it on. However catapulting 112mph in simply 5 seconds, to climb a 90- diploma monitor, then plummeting 367ft vertically down the opposite aspect, is a scare too far.
As an alternative, we loved a extra sedate journey all over the world on Flying Desires earlier than delving into the historical past of the enduring model, and marvelling at a number of the F1 automobiles up shut, at Ferrari Land Gallery.
To finish the day superbly, it was again to the principle park to affix the throngs lining Important Road to see the colorful Christmas Parade, then the spectacle of fireworks over Mediterrania Lake.
The park boasts the terrifying curler coaster Shambhala and Eurpoe’s tallest and quickest experience, Crimson Pressure[/caption]
A brief trek by way of the park and we have been again on the Wild West-themed Lodge Gold River — one among six accommodations on the resort — the place we may even spot the ocean, simply 3km away, from our fifth-floor room.
The four-star resort’s diverse buffets — each breakfast and dinner — had one thing to swimsuit all, however on our final night time we headed to the opulently styled Grand Opera restaurant.
It’s one among greater than 20 eating places and 60 different eateries on the resort. And what a deal with.
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My salmon tartare starter was superb, and the ocean bream that adopted was scrumptious.
Whereas on PortAventura Park itself, the standard Italian-style pizzas at Raco de Mar have been a giant thumbs-up from all my household.
The park’s Christmas celebrations proceed till January 6, however sadly for us it was again to Blighty — a two-hour flight from Barcelona — and a temperature of 4C. Chilly Willy, certainly.
GETTING THERE: Flights from the UK to Barcelona are from £18.99 per individual a technique. See easyjet.com.
STAYING THERE: One night time’s B&B on the Lodge Gold River is from £41.25 per individual, primarily based on two adults and two kids sharing and together with tickets to PortAventura Park and Ferrari Land.
The meal, drinks and present at La Posada de los Gnomos is £32 per grownup, £23 for kids 7-12 and £15 for below 7.
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