Exploring Angkor at PortAventura

DSC00882The biggest new attraction for PortAventura’s 2014 season is undoubtedly Angkor: Adventure in the Lost Kingdom.

This attraction, known as Angkor for short, can be found in China, one of the park’s six themed lands. It brings the total number of onsite water attractions up to four, not including those found in the neighboring Costa Caribe Aquatic Park.

After passing through a spectacular entrance made up of elephant sculptures, and a mood-setting soundscape, one enters the courtyard which makes up the main area of Angkor. Here, you realize that Angkor is almost a land in itself, rather than just a water attraction. As well as the ride, the area features a bridge, toilets, a dryer, a snack stand, a shop and, if you get your timing right, a five-minute stage show called Los Mysterios de Angkor.

DSC00826Angkor, named after a region in Cambodia, features several park icons, the tallest one being the dome of the boarding station, based on the real-life Temple of Angkor Wat. At 19 meters high (roughly 62 feet), it is a shame that it sits in the shadows of two nearby coasters, which does slightly spoil the immersive feeling. For the coaster aficionados, these coasters are Shambhala (Europe’s highest) and a seven-inversion coaster called Dragon Khan.

Going off-season meant that we didn’t have to queue for more than five minutes for the main Angkor ride. However, the queue area is beautifully themed, and features both indoor and outdoor sections. The attraction does feature PA Express (PortAventura’s equivalent of Disney’s FastPass) but this wasn’t necessary for my particular visit.

The ride vehicle is themed to look like a raft, although in reality it is on tracks, with a box at the front and back where items can be placed to keep them from getting wet. The riders sit on the sides, facing outward, and have a water pistol in front of them. There are eight pistols in total (four per side) and function pretty much immediately, meaning you can even soak the guests waiting in line or those who have just disembarked from riding.

DSC00863Employees make sure that guests have a pistol each, and therefore never seat more than eight to a raft. It is safe for guests to stand up and for them to use more than one pistol at a time. However, it is frowned upon to squirt the staff.

The attraction itself has three main sections. The first takes you through a jungle, where various creatures squirt water at you. The second takes you through the Angkor Village, where you get squirted at by models of its inhabitants. During the final section, which in my opinion is the least-themed but most fun, you could possibly get squirted by guests who have paid to shoot at you from wall-mounted pistols, either on the same level as you or from the bridge above. Obviously, you can shoot back at them (and other gawkers) and get your revenge for free!

During the first two sections, there are some targets for you to aim your water at. If you aim accurately, you are rewarded with more water coming at you, such as from behind a curtain or from the mouth of a dead fish. It is a pity, but perhaps sensible, that there is no way of keeping score and of finding out who has hit the most targets.

DSC00856Obviously, during all three sections of the ride, you may be squirted by riders on other rafts and this is where the majority of one’s wetness comes from. The water beneath your raft isn’t turbulent (despite what some publicity pictures would have you believe) and there are no drops. But depending on the vindictiveness (or sense of fun) of other riders, you will get soaked.

Once you have finished riding, and before you are dry, it may be worth riding again and sitting on the other side of the raft. We did this, and it gave us completely different angles and more of a chance to appreciate details and scenes we didn’t see the first time around. It also means you get wet at totally different points.

Overall, a total must-do the next time you visit PortAventura!

– Hugh Allison/European Contributor

All images used in this article are courtesy of Hugh Allison for use on Theme Park Adventure. All rights reserved.

TPAers, what do you think? Does this look like a water ride you’d love to check out this summer? Have you visited PortAventura to see this for yourself? Share your thoughts and opinions with other fans and join the discussion below!

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