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An economy-sized Ferrari Land theme park gets set to roar to life in northeastern Spain

An economy-sized Ferrari Land theme park gets set to roar to life in northeastern Spain
Concept art shows an aerial view of Ferrari Land at Spain's PortAventura. (Portaventura)

If you've ever wanted to try out Ferrari's line of luxury sports cars, Ferrari Land, opening April 7 in PortAventura, Spain, may be just the ticket.

Ferrari Land, about an hour southwest of Barcelona, will feature five rides based on the sports car brand when it opens next door to the PortAventura theme park.

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The 19-acre Ferrari Land will be about a third the size of the original Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi and about as big as a single themed land at PortAventura. The $140-million budget for the entire park is less than Disney or Universal spends on some individual attractions.

Doubters questioned the wisdom of the Italian sports car maker when the first Ferrari theme park opened in Abu Dhabi in 2010 amid the relentless heat and occasional sandstorms of the Middle Eastern desert. The world's largest indoor theme park still boasts the world's fastest roller coaster, the 149 mph Formula Rossa.

Visitors will enter Ferrari Land by way of a checkered flag plaza with a fountain sporting a statue based on the carmaker's prancing horse logo. Display models of the Spider, Italia, Berlinetta, California and Speciale sports cars in Ferrari's signature red will ring the entry plaza.

Just inside the front gate, Formula One race cars and engines will be on display along an entry promenade designed to look like an Italian village.

At the park's central hub, visitors can tour a reproduction of the automotive production line at Ferrari's factory in Maranello, Italy.

The imposing building will be wrapped in facades designed to look like Venice's Piazza San Marco, Rome's Colosseum and a Ferrari's car hood.

The park will feature five rides: a launched roller coaster, a pair of drop towers, a miniature motorway, a race car simulator and a whip ride.

The Vertical Accelerator coaster will rocket riders from 0 to 112 mph in 5 seconds up a 368-foot-tall top hat spike. The ride is billed as the tallest coaster in Europe, besting the 249-foot-tall Shambhala next door at PortAventura. The Ferrari Land coaster won't be as tall (456 feet) or fast (128 mph) as the similar Kingda Ka at New Jersey's Six Flags Great Adventure.

The twin Bounce Back drop towers will be themed to look like engine pistons with riders bouncing up and down in ride vehicles on the 180-foot-tall structures.

The 1,900-foot-long Circuit track will feature a driving course similar to Disneyland's Autopia, with drivers climbing behind the wheel of miniature Ferrari cars.

Race fans will also find a motion-platform simulator attraction with full-size Ferrari race cars that drivers navigate around a virtual track projected on a curved screen.

The updated version of the classic whip ride travels around an oval course with a "crack the whip" effect at either turnaround. The simple ride consists of two opposing turntables with a cable loop that pulls cars around a slick track.

Visitors will access Ferrari Land from PortAventura for an upcharge fee, with visitors granted either daytime or nighttime admission to the new land.

Still need more theme park news? Check out the Los Angeles Times Funland theme park blog on TwitterFacebookGoogle+ and Instagram

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