Monday, June 21, 2010

Aerial Antics: Parque de Atracciones Madrid

Parque de Atracciones is located in Madrid, Spain, and is a member of the Parques Reunidos family - meaning it has a lot of siblings these days!

The attraction got it start in the late 1960s, and slowly developed into a major theme park. A lot of the expansion it has seen has come in recent times and at the hands of Parques Reunidos. It's now a full fledged theme park, consisting of 5 separate areas and filled with rides and attractions.

The park has crammed most of it's roller coasters into once section of the park. At the bottom of the above image is Abismo. This is an extended version of Maurer Sohne's Sky Loop coaster - after completing the lift and inversion, there's a huge banked turn, airtime hill, and overbank before the brakes.

On the left side of the photo you can see the park's Intamin drop tower who's name translates into The Shuttle, but that's probably not right.

This is Tornado, an Intamin designed inverted roller coaster. It is obviously green in the above photo, but has since been painted all black. Intamin hasn't been contracted to do many 'regular' inverted rides, so this one is pretty unique.

This guy was in the first photo but I ignored him on purpose until now - this is Tarantula, a spinning coaster also from Maurer Sohne. It's got a unique layout and actually sits on top of a dark ride where you shoot at giant, you guessed it, Tarantulas. I hate spiders!

The park is full of other flat rides and attractions as well. Among those is the above river rapids ride, Los Rapidos. The park even boasts a serious copy of Disneyland's Jungle Cruise, named La Jungla. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.

I included this photo because it intrigued the heck out of me, and also because it's no longer at the park. The slow boat ride you can see took guests past many mythical creatures as it went around a giant tree. The tree was originally an observation tower themed as a crashed and disguised UFO. The park had to close the tower in 1978 due to the lack of proper emergency exit systems but it remained until just this year. I'm not sure if it's open yet, but a Star Flyer ride will replace both attractions.

Click here for the aerials of Parque de Atracciones.