Theme park in Benidorm
Terra Mítica is a theme park located in Benidorm, Spain, approximately 43 kilometres from the city of Alicante. Together with Port Aventura (Tarragona) and Parque Warner (Madrid), it forms part of the most important and most visited theme parks in Spain.
The park is divided into thematic areas, each influenced by their respective origins: Egypt, Greece, Rome and Iberia Park, although the latter is currently sits separately from the main park. I have to say, however, that Terra Mítica was much larger in the past, before they reduced the size of the park a few years ago. Originally, there were five areas if we counted Iberia and The Islands. All of the attractions, decor, shows and shops revolve around these themes, just like at other theme parks.
Now, I am going to talk about the attractions that you will find in each area of the park:
This area is situated to the right of the park's entrance, and it is here where one of my favourite attractions can be found, the "SynKope"; a gigantic red wheel that turns whilst you are being raised up and down, giving you a feeling of vertigo in your stomach. Another of my favourite rides is "Titánide", a roller coaster that has 7 loops and travels at top speed - it's incredible! For those of you who like water rides (I personally only enjoy them during the summer and if it's sunny outside), you can go on the "Triton's Fury". Basically, it is a boat that holds several people at a time and follows a circuit that has two big drops that leave you absolutely soaked, although it won't seem like it to begin with. The other attractions in this section of the park are either more gentle or are designed for children. The Icarus is a ride that has those typical swing seats that go round and round on a very high merry-go-round; it's a great way to relax and has amazing views of the park and the surrounding area. "The Labyrinth of the Minotaur" is a train that has laser guns and you have to shoot objects as you move around the ride. However, they don't tell you the points that you have earned, so it doesn't give you the same kind of excitement as other rides like this in terms of seeing who wins. I have never actually ridden "Arriarrix", "Alucinakis" and "Kinetos' Temple" because they are designed for children, and when I started to go to this theme park, I was already a teenager. And, with regards to the decor in this area, the most eye-catching thing is the depiction of the three winners of the Olympic Games, which can be found just next to the queue for "SynKope".
This area is just next to the park's entrance, and the thing that catches most people's attention is the huge pyramid that you come face to face with. This pyramid has served as part of several different attractions over the years, but there are other times when it is empty and you cannot go inside it. The only time that I have been inside the pyramid was to ride a scary ride that you had to pay for separately and wasn't included in the admission price. This ride was there because it was Halloween, and although I don't generally like these kind of things, I have to admit that it was very fun for the scares that it gave us. One of the most popular attractions in this area is "The Falls of the Nile", which is a water ride that has two to three man boats decorated with pharaohs that travel down two big drops - you won't get too wet, though. "Akuatiti" is basically the same as the aforementioned ride, but the children's version. And, finally, there is "Alexandria's Port", a boat ride that takes you from Egypt to Iberia, from which you can enjoy some nice views of the park and, above all, the replica of the Pharaoh of Alexandria. One ride that can be seen from the road is "Infinnito", although I don't know if it is still in operation nowadays because it has been a long time since I last visited. It is a tall white tower that slowly travels up 100 metres above ground level to give you the best views of both the park and Benidorm.
This is the area that is situated furthest away from the park's entrance, but it is undoubtedly one of the most popular. Here, the stand-out attractions are "The Flight of the Phoenix", "Magnus Colossus" and "Inferno", as well as its decor, which I think is the best of the entire park. "The Flight of the Phoenix" is a standard drop tower, but it still scares me to this day because you have no idea when it is going to drop when you are at the top... "Magnus Colossus" is a typical wooden roller coaster, but I think it is quite old now because the last few times that I rode it, the jolting hurt my neck and it stopped being fun. "Inferno" is quite a short ride, but it has a 360 degree loop that is quite fun. However, it is more famous now because a foreign teenager died while riding it a couple of months ago. There are several children's rides in this area, like "Rotundus", "Vertigum" and "Ayquesustus" (it's a funny name for sure).
In the past, this area was simply known as "Iberia", and I remember that there were some very popular bumper cars here in the shape of goats and wild boars called "Arietes". Nowadays, it is an area that is actually separate from Terra Mítica that you have to pay for separately, although, in theory, you just pay for the individual rides that you want to go and the admission is free. They are having problems with this area and I honestly think that its future is very uncertain.
Aside from the attractions, there are also shows here at Terra Mítica. I have personally only seen a few of them as I prefer the rides, but it was nice to watch one when I started to feel tired. The one that I remember the most is the one that I saw inside the Roman theatre with a couple performing acrobatic tricks. It was really nice to watch and I was rather impressed by it all, for how they performed such skills at those heights without any safety equipment... There are other shows that take place in open-air theatres or performance spaces, which can be seen whilst you make your way through the park.
In terms of eating, there are several restaurants and food outlets spread across the entire park. Of course, there is the "typical" theme park food, although there is a better variety of it here: from pasta dishes to a buffet, and even burgers! The thing that I personally liked the most was the ham and cheese sandwich with fries and Coca Cola, with the combo meal for two costing me €10. In addition to this, you will also find snacks, ice creams and waffles at the little food stands throughout the park, as well as Haribo sweet shops.
If you want to buy souvenirs, there are also gift shops dotted around each area of the park. Depending on the area that you are in, the souvenirs will differ and match the theme, be that Egypt, Roman or Greek. However, you will also be able to find souvenirs related to specific attractions and others that are more "typical" of a theme park.
The theme park is also home to an extensively-sized car park, and in the entrance area, you will find information stands, ticket offices, turnstiles and toilets.
Another point in favour of visiting the park is that they change the decor at certain times of the year for specific celebrations or holidays, like Halloween, for example. There are other theme parks that go that extra mile, like Europa Park or Port Aventura, but I really like it here at Terra Mítica after having been twice and having had a fantastic time. Besides, the first time that I came when it was decorated, it was a total surprise because we didn't know that it was going to be like that, and the shows were really good. The characters would try to scare you, or you would just end up laughing because of the "frights" they gave. I remember seeing a skeleton couple and the Addams Family, and these were the characters that I liked the most. The Addams Family performed in a mini-show at the park's entrance, and, as it was ending, they did a variety of different poses whilst we all took funny pictures of them. There was one in particular that I loved, which was the one where Uncle Fester was behind me and stuck his finger in my ear, hahaha.
The theme park opened in 2000 and, although it started as a very ambitious project on a European scale, it has already had several foreclosure notices due to its impending bankruptcy. They have never actually ended up closing the park down, but they have reduced it in size and it has been passed from owner to owner. In 2012, the park was bought by the company, Aqualandia, and it was again saved from permanent closure. What could have been the final nail in the coffin was the death of the teenage boy on one of the rides in 2014, but the park was fortunately able to continue operating.
My experience at the theme park has always been quite good, but that doesn't mean that I haven't seen it from many perspectives. I have been there more than seven times, and I have seen the park on days where it is rammed full of people with queues that last for hours, as well as days where the only visitors are you and your friends. Obviously, it was better when there weren't queues, but in the end, you get on all of the rides very quickly, going on them a thousand times if you wished. I specifically remember one day that I visited with my friends from Valencia and we had the rides pretty much to ourselves. Well, as we were leaving in the evening, we saw some karts by the exit that also belonged to the park but came at an additional cost. After 10 minutes riding them, we had found the thing that we had enjoyed the most during the entire day. You can also notice the difference in the park from when it opened to now, both in terms of its size and the fact that there is no longer an area that you can walk through, which almost lessens its charm in a way. To add to this, the decor of the park is also quite outdated, but I do understand that a park of these dimensions requires an extensive budget. In my opinion, it's a huge park that I have really been able to have a lot of fun at, considering its relatively close proximity to Murcia and the fact that I don't have to spend a lot of money on a hotel and transport. However, it's true that they are not doing everything right with it, and it honestly wouldn't surprise me if the park closes in the end. I suppose its saving grace for now, at least, is that Benidorm attracts lots of tourists.
With regards to the weather, if it is summer time, you can go in your bikini! It seems a bit out there, but it really does get hot, especially if you go in August. However, be careful of your garments (or lack thereof) whilst on the rides, as my friend had a bit of wardrobe malfunction with her bikini top on a roller coaster... I think the best thing to do would be to go on a day when it is totally or, at least, partially cloudy because you have to walk a lot and climb stairs, etc., and with the strength of the sun, there comes a moment where this feels impossible. Although, for the water-based attractions, the sun is very welcome, but if you prefer this, maybe it would be better to go to Aqualandia.
The theme park is home to some incredible views of Benidorm, as you can see in the following photos, and you can even get some great ones from the rides themselves.
The park's opening hours are usually different depending on the time of year and the climate. The best thing to ensure that you will not get an unwelcome surprise is to check the times online or over the phone before making the journey there.
The cost of admission to the park is in the region of €35, although you can easily get discounts for tickets in shopping centres, online, with leaflets that are handed out around Benidorm, or even at the ticket office itself. They have even done 2 for 1 offers in the past, but this is usually during periods when visitor numbers are lower (i. e. in the off-peak season).
To get to this theme park, you can travel by car or by bus. Personally, I have travelled there both ways. If you are coming by car from Murcia, the best thing to do is to take the motorway towards Alicante and exit at junction 65A for the A7, but bear in mind that you will have to pay a toll (it's around €3. 50 each way). After taking the exit, you have to stay left at the junction and follow the signs for CV-767/Finestrat/CV-70/La Nucia. At the roundabout, take the first exit in the direction of CV-7673, and at the next roundabout, take the next exit signposted Partida del Moralet.
I hope that you all enjoy it as much as I do!
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- Español: Parque de atracciones en Benidorm