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El relevo que nunca llega

Monday, August 05, 2013 | This article is listed in the sections Amusement parks, Columns and Magazine.

The relief that never comes

Tibidabo © Xavi Rodriguez
© Xavi Rodriguez
One of the park's favourite attractions
Situated over 500 metres above the sea level with privileged views over the city of Barcelona, Tibidabo has a good hand in competing with Spanish amusement parks. Nonetheless, it seems as though in recent times the pressure of obtaining the best new attractions or to withstand the economic crises that the country is experimenting leads to the situation that the park, that has been reinvented year after year, looses its position and interest. It thus takes a back seat to the more flamboyant offerings of, for example, PortAventura or the water parks along the Catalan coast.

Tibidabo has always been offering a wide range of attractions, shows, gastronomic delights and fun activities for the whole family. This could scarcely be surpassed by other parks which were in the city and which were forced to close ahead of time. It has always kept a wonderful balance between old and new, reached a historic level with its iconic Avió and intensity with its new juwel Muntanya Russa. These atributes have on several occasions put Tibidabo in the position of being an example for small and medium-sized European parks to follow.

However, this level seems to be hard to keep, above all when looking back to the past few sesons. The Catalonian park, that knows about PortAventura receiving the powerful financial injection in the last 4 years or the drowning state of the current economic crisis, has no scope to reacted they way they might have done with regard to the increasingly harsh requirements of the public familiar with amusement and theme parks.

The light at the end of the tunnel?

The slow but persistent fall of the amusement park has commenced, ironically, with the most expensive investment in the history of Tibidabo: the construction and launch of Mutanya Russa in 2008, that makes children of the city (and not only children) waiting anxiously for the weekend to start to go to the park, just like the kids did in the old days.

The establishment of this attraction involves the removal of the former old roller coaster that previous generations remember with nostalgia. Maybe that decision was taken in haste. Unfortunately, the unexpected disaster, that afflicted the park in 2010, began after the collapse of the Pendulum ride which already implied a sad and tragic metaphor for the park's future course.

More impressions of Tibidabo

Bild links Bild rechts
  • Tibidabo<br />© Xavi Rodriguez
  • Tibidabo<br />© Xavi Rodriguez
  • Tibidabo<br />© Xavi Rodriguez
  • Tibidabo<br />© Xavi Rodriguez
  • Tibidabo<br />© Xavi Rodriguez
  • Tibidabo<br />© Xavi Rodriguez
  • Tibidabo<br />© Xavi Rodriguez
  • Tibidabo<br />© Xavi Rodriguez
  • Tibidabo<br />© Xavi Rodriguez

Tibidabo tried to restore its reputation and showed a slight signs of recovery, but the Spanish "crisis" knocked on the door; the city has turned off the liquidity tap, less day and season passes have been bought by visitors and, consequently, the level of quantity and quality of new attractions per season has so far amounted to practically 0. They were about to add a Rockin' Tug by Zamperla (a project abandoned at the last minute), too expensive trampolines were installed, and desmanteling the two mystical attractions Aladino and Panoràmic (Ferris wheel which should have been the new attraction for 2013, now probably for 2014) was the straw that broke the camel's back.

Should one of the numerous investor groups that exist in this continent take over the park? How about resigning from the outdated management run by the city of Barcelona since its acquisition in 2000? Will reinvention and investment in the form of attractions that draw the attention of the wide public be adviseable?

Whatever happens, Tibidabo has not got rid of the same sad mantra for the past few seasons, making us wait year after year for a new attraction to come that will revitalise the ancient and characteristic spirit.

Please note
The texts writen by our column writers express their personal opinions and do not necessarily represent the views of the parkscout editorial.

Information on the writer Xavi Rodríguez (Jivo)

Xavi Rodríguez, aged 28, decided on a beautiful day to travel and cover one by one the parks on his way around the world. He still is fascinated by the magic and charm of each and every one of them. He has been furnishing his blog bloggercoaster.com with writings that intend to reflect his personal and critical point of view, without being tied to any park in particular, offering the chance to get to know new all types of parks ranging from the unknown to the most well-known. As he loves the thematical quality, the old school touch and the detailed work, he confesses that he is a fan of the unmistakable European style.

© parkscout/XR/AF

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