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Portaventura Being Sold Back to Universal? Rumour!

JFranks

Roller Poster
There has been a very strong rumor lately that Universal is highly interested in buying PortAventura again. It seems like they already held conversations between high executives from both PortAventura and Universal (including PortAventura´s very owners), and were apparently spotted in the park making an important visit. There is even a rumor you should take with a grain of salt, that they already signed a contract for something (not disclosed if it's to buy the park or related to universal IPs). Now, according to Discovery Line, a well-known blogger from the area, this is not the visit they would normally do to take ideas as they did a couple of years ago with Red Force to make Velocicoaster. And honestly, seeing how Universal is expanding its market right now, and making themselves a name in the industry, I don´t see why this would be a crazy idea... after all Europe is the next place they should be aiming for. We are talking about very big stuff if this comes to reality. Anyway, none of the rumors come from me as this is something talked about among workers and people who frequent a lot the park, so I´m not the one that´s going to either confirm or deny everything that contains this post is true, but I thought they were very important news to share with you all!
 

oriolat2

Giga Poster
Could we get a link to this claim? Not that I don’t see Universal once again expanding into Europe as a possibility, but I’d like to see a tangible source.
So far, it's just a rumour circulating around Spanish thoosies discussion boards. Most of it is wishful thinking, as people are fond of that Universal period when big attractions were installed.

However, as some Universal characters still roam the park (Woody Woodpecker), Universal is being known for visiting the resort from time to time to perform a quality check on the use of their IP, which might be totally unrelated to this rumor.
 

Howie

Donkey in a hat
As far as unsubstantiated rumours go, this one is quite exciting to be fair. One of the reasons I first fell in love with this park was its Universal-ness. If nothing else, park operations were a lot slicker back then so it'd be nice to have some of that efficiency back.
 

oriolat2

Giga Poster
As far as unsubstantiated rumours go, this one is quite exciting to be fair. One of the reasons I first fell in love with this park was its Universal-ness. If nothing else, park operations were a lot slicker back then so it'd be nice to have some of that efficiency back.
I had friends working in operations during the Universal years and ride ops were really pushed by management to get good hourly numbers, unlike now.
 

Crazycoaster

Giga Poster
Yeah honestly it’s probably my biggest gripe about the park, it’s beautiful, but it’s not fun. The queuelines are awful cattlepens made worse by the sheer time it takes the ops to dispatch. I went in july and they launched one train on Baco roughly every 5 mins. And they would let as little as 8 people through from the standby queue, and fill the rest up with fastpassers.
 

FistedColossus

Hyper Poster
The coasters there are so rough/crap I'm not sure Universal would want to be associated with them at the moment. Unless they're planning a major overhaul in a short period of time.

Stampida, Khan and Baco all ride like the Blackpool woodies.

Still, the best thing about PA is the scenery and themeing. Most of which is down to the initial Unveirsal period.
 

oriolat2

Giga Poster
The coasters there are so rough/crap I'm not sure Universal would want to be associated with them at the moment. Unless they're planning a major overhaul in a short period of time.

Stampida, Khan and Baco all ride like the Blackpool woodies.

Still, the best thing about PA is the scenery and themeing. Most of which is down to the initial Unveirsal period.
See? This is not true. The initial scenery (1995) is the backbone of the park. Universal came and did some little touches here and there (painted the houses in Mediterranea in different colours, which is not true to the original area and reality, for example). Then came the Italians with cheap materials (Sesame Street and Shambhala plazas are falling to pieces) and lack of upkeep, destroying what once was a top-tier theme park.

The park opened with such quality (Tussaud and Anheuser Busch were responsible for this) it was an inspiration for Islands of Adventure.
 

Hutch

Strata Poster
What would the owners of PA benefit from this kind of deal? I know nothing about their financial earnings, but I've no reason to think that the resort is doing anything but really well right now. Especially knowing how much they've expanded and invested.

Universal's take on ride operations would be a big benefit though. I thought PA's operations were solid, but the way they handle their crowds coerces you into relying on fast pass.
 

Trax

Mega Poster
PAs operations in a nutshell:
The dispatch timer on Shambala hit 0 before they even opened the gates. Any questions?

I had a great time there, but only thanks to the express pass.
 

JFranks

Roller Poster
Yeah operationswise portaventura is kinda terrible and Universal buying it would be a whole different world. But I think an important sum of money could make the current PA owners agree to sell it. Anyway as I said nothing is confirmed nor there is an specific source as it’s many people who brought these news to us, so it might just be made up news by somebody, you never know.
 

Trax

Mega Poster
Yes, as far as i know PA is owned by an investment company, and they want some decent margins on their investments. I am quite sure, they are more than willing to sell the park - but not for cheap.
 

TheCoasterCruiser

Giga Poster
Made up or not, I do see why it could be of interest to Universal. They have yet to bring the Wizarding World to Europe and buying PA, could be one of the more sensible ways to do that.
 

JFranks

Roller Poster
Plus, Universal seems more stable nowadays as to how to manage a park compared to back then. They have an easier job now, while still a challenge, to bring PA to their standards. And they sure know how to bring crowds. The first harry potter, Nintendo world, or Jurassic world/park area in Europe sounds like a huge success. This is a personal opinion with no sources lol, but I really think it has a chance of happening.
 

cookie

Hyper Poster
The coasters there are so rough/crap I'm not sure Universal would want to be associated with them at the moment. Unless they're planning a major overhaul in a short period of time.

Stampida, Khan and Baco all ride like the Blackpool woodies.

Still, the best thing about PA is the scenery and themeing. Most of which is down to the initial Unveirsal period.
Stampida had a lot of retracking done earlier this year and from my experience ran pretty smooth in those sections. They just need to overhaul the rest of it (and preferably replace the Kumbak trains with Millennium Flyers or Timberliners).

Baco is admittedly atrocious in the outer wing seats. I have no idea what causes such disparity between two seats on the same row, for the inner seats are a lot better. It’s like something wasn’t aligned right between them.
 
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Rupert

Mega Poster
Baco is admittedly atrocious in the outer wing seats. I have no idea what causes such disparity between two seats on the same row, for the inner seats are a lot better. It’s like something wasn’t aligned right between them.
I’ve often wondered what the solution to Baco is - the outer seats are indeed instant headache. It’s not the only rattly Intamin launch (I’d put Kingda Ka close in ride quality) but it’s notable that it’s the only wing coaster and obviously no other orders were forthcoming.

Does the existing heartlining for a wing train rule out replacement with normal trains? Or is the heartline envelope already so wide that a conventional train could work? There would obviously be a hit to capacity (unless Skyrush-style trains were used) but making it rideable would be great. Saying that if you were the business and it’s still generating queues, why bother changing it?

Apologies that’s somewhat off topic!
 

Crazycoaster

Giga Poster
Skyrush trains would in theory work, but the heartline would make it uncomfortable, as it’s very close to the track. It would make the inline twist ride more like those inversions found on SLCs (part inline, part corkscrew).

I think the biggest problem with the wing trains is the shuffle. It’s noticeable offride as the coaster goes over the bay, the cars shunt about as if they’re not attached to the track properly. This is then made worse by the outer chairs being further away from the centre, and the shuffle far more pronounced
 
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