According to East Asian tradition, Buddha summoned each of the world’s animals so that he could bid them farewell before he departed Earth. However, only 12 species heeded his call and appeared before him. As a reward for coming, Buddha decided to name each subsequent year after one of these twelve loyal animals, giving rise to the twelve animals of today’s Chinese zodiac.

You’re probably wondering ‘But why is this relevant?’.

Well, February is the month of the Chinese New Year and 2024 is the year of the dragon! Have you spotted any kicking about lately? Because we see one fairly regularly: it’s red, has 8 massive loops and whisks you through the skies at breakneck speed.

Keep reading to learn all about its history and some interesting facts that you might not have known!

Dragon Khan: a high-flying history

It was on 1 May 1995 that PortAventura World opened its doors for the first time, inviting the whole world to enjoy a wealth of unforgettable wonders. Of all the park’s amazing rides, there was one that stood head and shoulders above the rest: our incredible and imposing Dragon Khan.

When it first opened, Dragon Khan smashed the world record for the number of inversions, leaving all who braved it speechless with its 8 exhilarating loops. It also boasted the tallest loop on the planet at the time, reaching a maximum height of 36 metres.

It was considered a genuine masterpiece of engineering and entertainment, measuring 45 metres at its peak and reaching a top speed of 110 kilometres per hour.

With these characteristics, it was only natural for it to become a genuine icon of our park that attracts millions of visitors to PortAventura World every year.

How many times have you ridden the dragon?

If you’ve been on Dragon Khan before, you’ll know that the initial climb of this minute-and-a-half ride is followed by a small 1-metre pre-drop. This clever structural feature ensures safety by reducing tension in the chain while giving you precious seconds to close your eyes and cross your fingers before you go hurtling down the main drop.

The legend

Dragon Khan can be found in the heart of the China area, housed in the temple of the first Chinese emperor.

Legend says that the proud prince Hu tried and failed to dethrone the emperor using the darkest of dark arts. His punishment? The wise gods chose to entrap his soul in the body of a huge, winged dragon. Furious and ashamed, the dragon fled China and ended up settling in our park.

Dragon Khan’s twists, turns and loops are so furious because the enraged soul of this rebellious young prince lives on within it.

Do you back yourself to be the first person to tame it?

We wish you a happy year of the dragon. We hope that they will be twelve months of good fortune, courageous acts and exciting challenges.

 If you’ve been waiting for the right time to embark on that great adventure you’ve always dreamed of, there’s no better time than now. Just spread your wings and follow your heart! Come and create amazing memories at PortAventura World and enjoy enthralling experiences that will live on in your memory forever.