Europa Park, Phantasialand or PortAventura? (Read opening post for context)

Discussion in 'Your Trip Reports and Plans' started by Matt N, 17th Jul 2019.

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Europa Park, Phantasialand or PortAventura?

  1. Europa Park

    84.6%
  2. Phantasialand

    15.4%
  3. PortAventura

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    0.0%
  4. Other

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    0.0%
  1. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Hi guys. For a number of years now, my parents have told me that they'll take me to a European theme park of my choice for my 18th birthday. I know it's currently July 2019 and I don't turn 18 until July 2021, but I'd quite like to get some ideas quite a long time before my 18th birthday. For years, I said I'd wanted to go to Europa Park, and I'd originally had my heart set on Europa. However, as I've thought about it a little more, I'm a little undecided, as I'd say there are 3 European theme parks I'd really like to visit; Europa Park, PortAventura and Phantasialand. I'll outline a few of my personal pros for each park:

    Europa Park
    • Theming and atmosphere look lovely.
    • Arguably has the widest variety of attractions.
    • Continually recieves critical acclaim as the world's best theme park.
    • Operations look world class.
    • Blue Fire, Wodan and Silver Star all look top-notch.
    • My parents looked at Europa's hotels online and seemed impressed.
    Phantasialand
    • Taron is a number of people's favourite coaster in Europe.
    • Theming looks stunning, particularly in the likes of Klugheim, Mexico and Africa.
    • Is arguably easier to do in 2-3 days (the length of time my parents would probably want to spend at wherever we go) than Europa or PortAventura.
    • Is easy to get to (I believe it's very near Cologne/Cologne Airport?).
    • Taron, Black Mamba and FLY (from what we know about it) all look top-notch, along with the likes of Chiapas, River Quest and Talocan in the non-coaster department.
    • My dad seemed most impressed with Phantasialand when I showed him cinematic footage of all 3.
    PortAventura
    • Theming and visuals look stunning.
    • Shambhala is a bucket list coaster for me, seeing as the apparently inferior Mako at SeaWorld Orlando is my present number 1.
    • Has two theme parks and a water park, so I could sell it to my parents as a resort a la Universal Orlando/WDW.
    • Many compare PortAventura favourably to Islands of Adventure, which I adore.
    • Shambhala, Dragon Khan and Red Force all look top-notch.
    • Like Phantasialand, I think PortAventura is quite easy to get to, seeing as Reus airport apparently overlooks Shambhala.
    Also, it might be worth me noting that my parents seem very keen to stay onsite at wherever we go to.


    I know this trip is still over 2 years away, but I'd appreciate any advice!
     
    skyscraper likes this.
    Posted 17th Jul 2019
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  2. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    I think that you'll probably enjoy all 3, however I have got to recommend Europa-Park. It may seem like the hardest to ge to of them all, although if you fly to one of the nearby airports and hire a car it's very easy.

    Europa-Park has the best mix of rides, the best food and plenty of shows to watch inbetween the rides. The Resort hotels are also the best in the industry.

    I would recommend thar you spend 3 full days at Europa-Park to make the most of your visit. If you did go to Phantasialand then I doubt you would need any more than 2 full days. As for PortAventura, it depends on what pace you want to go at but either 2 or 3 days would probably be fine.
     
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    Posted 17th Jul 2019
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  3. Lurker

    Lurker TowersStreet Member

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    Europa does look to have fantastic hotels. However, I've been trying to plan a trip abroad recently too and they seem consistently very expensive.

    Not saying it's not value for money, as they do look worth it. But I think it's important to budget, and depending on how long my trip was id have to consider other accomodation options too.

    From what I've read about Port Aventura (I've not been since Ferrari land opened) it's seems that you might be overselling the two parks aspect? Most people say it's more of an area, than its own park.
     
    Matt N and GeorgeT like this.
    Posted 17th Jul 2019
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  4. RicketyCricket

    RicketyCricket TowersStreet Member

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    Port Aventura is certainly the best value if you're staying on site, but there's no point wasting your time there if it's completely rammed. If you go at a quiet time of year you'll probably very much enjoy it. But in terms of the actual rides, they're all pretty average apart from Shambhala and Red Force.

    Europa is the hands down winner. Plus there's Silver Star, so you're still getting a B&M Hyper credit. Your parents will no doubt love the resort, it's very relaxing for a theme park and has great drinking/dining options.

    I'd love to vote Phantasialand because of the Taron factor, but it's a very small park - save that for a day or two in the future.
     
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    Posted 17th Jul 2019
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  5. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    Europa is your best bet, no doubt.

    All have their pros. Phantasialand is easy to get to, PortAventura good value and Europa perhaps the best theme park resort in the world as an overall package. Whichever you pick I'm sure you'll love it.

    The fourth location probably worth considering (especially if you're staying on site) is Disneyland Paris. It may look like an inferior version of the product on offer in Florida but it is genuinely fantastic in its own right, with great hotels too.

    Still, Europa is better.
     
    Last edited: 18th Jul 2019
    Robert Jones, Matt N and Ted like this.
    Posted 17th Jul 2019
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  6. Ted

    Ted TowersStreet Member

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    As @D4n says definitely consider DLP as well. A lot of its attractions are better than its Florida counterpart, very easy to get to and you could potentially do Asterix and a small park in the centre of Paris as well :)
     
    Matt N likes this.
    Posted 17th Jul 2019
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  7. TPC

    TPC TowersStreet Member

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    Portaventura you can go to the beach, which may be better for family members who don't love theme parks. That's kind of how I convinced my family to go as I was by far the most enthusiastic member about PA and I had to find a way to convince them that a Salou holiday wasn't a bad thing
     
    Matt N likes this.
    Posted 17th Jul 2019
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  8. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks for all your suggestions, guys! Europa is definitely shaping up to be my choice based on what you've all said, which lines up with the gut feeling I had anyway; Europa was actually my original choice, but I started to think about whether I'd rather visit Phantasia or PA instead, so that's why I made the thread! It's clearly proven that I was right all along, however!

    I certainly will visit Phantasialand and PortAventura some day, but I think EP is my choice for this particular trip.

    As for Disneyland Paris, I certainly want to visit there some day too, but to tell you the truth, my family has actually already been. I was very young at the time and don't really remember it too well, so I don't actually count it within my list of parks. I'm very different to a lot of enthusiasts in that I only count parks that I've visited and coasters I've ridden after I properly got into theme parks in late 2013 as opposed to everything I've ever done like most.
     
    Posted 17th Jul 2019
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  9. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    Europa Park. Fly in to Basel, stay in a decent French Villa half hour away and rent a car for a few days. Dirt cheap.
     
    Matt N likes this.
    Posted 18th Jul 2019
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  10. Danny

    Danny TPWW's no.1 Fan

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    Europa. Best of everything; variety of rides, restaurants and a very expansive resort offering. Likely to be a new coaster by then I would imagine plus Rulantica.
     
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  11. John_P

    John_P TowersStreet Member

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    Yeah definitely Europa Park of the three options. Slick operations regardless of how busy the park (also no fast passes).

    They've got a water park as well (opening this winter)

    Plus the park has plenty of shows/entertainment for people who don't want to spend all the time on the rides.
     
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  12. John C

    John C TowersStreet Member

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    Another vote for Europa Park here. Also if time allows and you have access to a car I'd suggest that while you're in the area that you do the Hasenhorn Mountain coaster at Todtnau which is just over an hour's drive away. We went there last September, fortunately it was fairly quiet and it was pure fun. You go up a chair lift to reach the start of the track and then go down for about 3km in you own car. Check it out on YouTube. Another bonus was some stunning scenery on the way there.
     
    Matt N likes this.
  13. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    Europa-Park without a doubt. It's the most enjoyable of the three you listed and also has so much to do... there's plenty of rides for all age groups, even those who're not into rollercoasters and "thrill" rides, not to mention the dining, shows, hotels etc which are brilliant.

    Phantasialand is also a great park but much smaller and compact with less to do.

    PortAventura is a frustrating park. It has some great rides but I always think the experience itself is quite stressful and not at all relaxing. Recent experiences by others on the forum also suggest the customer services are effectively non-existent. Even though I love Shambhala I would still pick the other two parks above this one.
     
    Matt N likes this.
  14. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Europa-Park too. Phantasia awesome too but Europa-Park is the best destination. With parents too... it's the bees knees.

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
     
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  15. Plastic Person

    Plastic Person TowersStreet Member

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    Europa Park is basically the only park in the world that my parents will still actively visit out of their own free will.
     
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  16. AstroDan

    AstroDan TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Mine too. And they're 67 and 71 respectively!

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
     
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  17. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    If you have to ask...
     
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