Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

Photo TR: Derek and Nicole's Northern Excursion


Recommended Posts

Originally I had a day off of work set up to go to Valleyfair, but with insane airline prices, I opted not to go. Instead my aunt was having a graduation party for my cousin on Sunday up in Albany, so I'd be in that area anyway for the weekend. Perfect time to use that vacation day, grab the girlfriend, and take her to finally ride her precious Comet that she grew up too short to ride for 8 years of her life, and get us both some much needed credits up in Montreal.


Part 1: The Great Escape

I haven't been to TGE since 1999 when Nightmare opened up there. A lot has changed since then, but there's definitely a whole lot more I hope to see altered if they're ever going to "Flag" the park. Pathways are narrow, the layout is odd and incomplete, and the manual release on some of the coasters has to go.


The Great Escape was the brainchild of Charlie Wood, who also built the other park in Lake George, as well as Fantasy Island on Grand Island, Nicole's homepark, so lots of the older stuff was very similar for her. More and more stuff was expanded upon, and then Premier took over and carbon copied things.


The park would be very easy to credit whore in under 2 hours, assuming things actually opened with the park. At 10am when the park opened on Friday for us, the only coaster that was running was Comet, located at the very back of the park, beyond the waterpark. By 11, Steamin' Demon at the front was opened, and Alpine Bobsled was completing its final tests. Boomerang opened around 11:30, but with difficulties and didn't actually run frequently until 12. Canyon Blaster, the only credit there I needed (can't ride the kiddie coaster unless you've got a child) never opened in the 4 hours we were there, nor were ride ops present. Despite this slow to open operations scheduling like the old Six Flags, we still managed to have a good time. Onto pics:


and Nicole has some fun bouncing on the suspension bridge before we call it a day and head out for some food


Finally, we'll check out a walk-thru that was here before Premier bought it, and Six Flags not only kept it, but spruced it up a bit! It used to be mostly a boardwalk-like nature walk, but they Bugs and Daffy themed it


Nicole is very much a kid again, but that one flowery face is creeping me out!


"Watch your speed!"


Tweedledee and Tweedledum apparently miss their younger brother Tweedleduh, aka Ryan, and are pounding it until he returns


The Cheshire Cat hiding in the tree is all like "yo, I'm a pussy...cat" as the train goes by


and Nicole was all excited about the Alice in Wonderland walkthru


Credits achieved, it's time to try to kill some time hoping for the mine train to open (which it never did). The carousel was very nice


At least here the Vekoma Troll has a cart to drive around


Neither of us is too thrilled about riding this. And this one was very ghetto, with the lamest lift cable motor ever


Of course I need a vertical loop shot. Here's one of the boomerang...yay :\


Woohoo, waterfall! and you can still walk up thru the cave inside it to get to Western Town


Ah yes, Vekoma Loop Screw goodness. Glad I showed Nicole how to ride with minimal damage (here you can see the new pedestrian bridge connecting the parking lots to the park)


Steamin' Demon still manages to get a line, but that's probably because it has only one train and manual release and lock restraints


The park is still very kid friendly, with several walk-thrus, storybook scenes, and rides for the youngins. Definitely a place the whole family can enjoy


Missed credit #2, because boosting my count is not a good reason alone to have kids outside of wedlock


They may all be the same, and they may all be not running when it rains, but these things still are lots of fun. Yay Intamin!


The Canaba car, for Jerrki and Paul, our Canabian friends


Walking back thru the park we heard the rumble of the bobsled. We didn't think Nicole would get this credit, but we're glad she did.


It may not be Lake Erie, but the Comet still has some water around it


While it may have had some reprofiling over the past couple of seasons, it still delivers one fantastic and fun ride on its double out-n-back run


Nicole seems to be in heaven, finally able to ride the coaster she saw for so many years, but was unable to ride


Venturing to the very back of the park we find the only real reason to want to continue to come back here for coaster rides after you've gotten every credit, The Comet


(Capacity) Nightmare is SBNO for the season, good thing I got the credit on its opening day, and Nicole rode it when it was at Darien Lake


Canyon Blaster, moved from Opryland, would not be operating while we were there. Missed credit, but at least it was only the crappy minetrain we missed


They even managed to add a castle that towers over Disneyland's with horse-drawn carriage rides around it


Lots of the front of the park is very "storybook" like and untouched from Charles Wood's time


Ragin' Cajun...errr Steamin' Demon still welcomes guests to the park, and can be seen from the Interstate


Newly added was the Great Escape Lodge, much like the Great Wolf Lodges, it's got an indoor waterpark. And you have to stay at least 2 nights and pay way too much money.


Back at The Great Escape in Lake George, NY. I haven't been here since Premier called it "the Thrill Park"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 43
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

Part 2: La Ronde


La Ronde was a park we were both dreading after seeing earlier reports on TPR that it was the worst park in the Six Flags chain. But we needed to get here eventually, and those 10 credits were calling my name.


The biggest pain was crossing the border, and that's not the US's fault, I blame French Canadia. 1 hour to cross from the 1/4 mile from border mark (yet only 5 min to return to the States.) I don't know if they enjoy grilling people, or they're really scared that people want to blow up their country, or those crossing in front of us were just deedeedees, but it was ridiculous. We arrived on Friday around 8 to find the park abandoned, much as I expected, due to the rain hitting Montreal the entire day.


Surprisingly, despite the fact that the park was closed because of the cold weather and rain on Friday, and very hot and crowded on Saturday, we had a pretty good time. It certainly wasn't the worst Six Flags experience of the year; that title still remains with SFNE. We had no problems using my SF parking pass to get into the park, no problems at the turnstyles with my SF pass and Nicole's Darien Lake pass, and everything that could was running multiple trains. We didn't see any garbage laying around. Garbage cans did stink, but it was hot outside, that could explain it. Only 1 smoker in linewas encountered, and he was downwind from us, and were only linejumped once, and those people were yelled at for it by the ops. The language barrier wasn't a problem either, as almost everyone we had to talk to spoke both English and French.


Best of all, despite being there for longer than expected (partially because we missed out on Friday) going on a crowded Saturday paid off for us because we managed to get every credit there, as all the coasters were running, including BOTH sides of Le Monstre! Now next time we go back, we can focus on the good coasters and some of the weird flatrides. We certainly didn't think it wasn't the worst SF park in the chain, maybe the worst in Canada, but it's also the best in Canada...because it's the ONLY one in Canada


Onto the pics:


All I can say is Le Cha-ching, this park has been destroyed! But we shall return sometime for more quality rides on Goliath, Le Vampire, and to obliterate all the flats.


Giant fountain of doom! Don't know what this was, looked like some sort of statue with a bidet, as water was shooting up the middle but nowhere else!


and yes, Elissa, the kiddie land has a spinny raft ride, just for you and KidTums. Actually, the Kiddie area looked really cool and nicely themed


Yay for RCT monorails!


The Condor, or the La Rondor? :)


My biggest regret, not having time to ride the tower to get some more shots of the park and especially Goliath. Hopefully next time


Good thing it was running 2 trains by the time we got back to it, it was running 1 earlier, as we passed it to ride Le Cobra and Le Vampire. If only these things ended after the corkscrews instead of going around for more hills and helices afterwards much like the Arrows. Ouch!


Final credit of the trip, Super Manege, a wonderful Vekoma corkscrew that is older than my girlfriend. Oh joy!


Such a cool location, with the bridge into the city and downtown right behind the coasters, I thought you might like it.


Chick n Chick n Chick


Wow, the line for the automated tampon machine sure is long!


One of many of La Ronde's cool flats we didn't have time to ride


They did have smartcars and Wiis though


Wow, old school Nintendo! I was sad that it was only a dolphin show. I was hoping for like Super Mario: The Musical or The Legend of Zelda: A Link to Quebec


mmmmm, under the loop


Everyone loves a Batman, except when Joel Schumacher adds nipples to the suit


The line sucked, but the ride was really intense, even though the train is missing a row compared to the other Batmen


Finally on our Le Tour, Le Vampire, a mirror image Batman-clone, and my first version of the mirror!


On Le Cobra, you aren't allowed any 35mm cameras or 1980s camcorders


At least it didn't try to do too many inversions, it was content with one, followed by lots of turns. Though I was really freaked out when we got to the bunny hill. Bunny hills on standups is just plain evil for guys


Nicole wasn't too fond of this ride and said "I wouldn't be sad if Darien Lake never built theirs!" but I didn't mind it too much


Next up, Le Cobra, an Intamin standup, much like Batman: The Escape that now sits in Darien Lake. Third rule of whoring, ride the better capacity last. And this crew was awesome, NEVER stacking trains when we were there.


It wasn't a le amazing ride by any means, but it wasn't le horrible either, it just seemed to le wander around. How interesting is it that 1 side opened a year before le other!?


and even more le wow, at times it even almost le raced


But holy le crap! It's running both le sides!


and its very Le Morgan wood coaster cars for extra Le Joy and Le Comfort


Le Monstre with its very pretty layout that does next to nothing


Le Sharktums, with its very pointy teeth


and its very Le Ouch boomerang element


Le Boomerang, with its very le bulby entrance


And now for the "le ride" portion of our trip. First up, Le Splash


With my quick thinking, I claimed the little French Canadian kids behind us were part of our party, and we were granted entry and a ride. Cha-ching! Turns out it was more fun than a lot of today's kiddie coasters, and still chock full of Arrow coat hanger transitions


It's only a kiddie coaster, and though all signs point to adults being allowed to ride, you're only allowed on if you have a kid in your party


Ultra-rare credit here? La Marche du Mille-pattes is the oldest coaster in the park, going back to when it opened, and was built by Arrow. It's like 40 years old! Whatcha think about that, Jahan?


Nothing out of the ordinary here, just a wild mouse themed to bobsledding, though there was very little braking, big plus


Second rule of whoring, after riding the newest, ride the lowest capacity. That said, Toboggan Nordique, the Zamperla wild mouse was next on the agenda.


We heard this was really lame, but I've heard that about Skull Mountain too. Truth is, don't expect a Disney ride and it turns out to be lots of fun. Plus you get eaten by a dragon and they play hard rock music inside, nothing wrong with that!


Next up, more Intamin goodness, the indoor coaster, Dragon, located not too far away from Goliath


And somewhat themed to the medieval area of the park it's located in. Check out the cute transfer shed


B&Ms most unoriginal layout, just lots of ups and downs with a turnaround. But definitely fun, and with plenty of airtime pops. In my book it's an A ranked coaster


First rule of credit whore instinct, hit the newest ride first as it's the most popular. Off to Goliath we go, way in the back of the park.


Again....CROWDED. Only 6 turnstyles to get into the park, but we'll manage. It can't be worse than the border crossing!


Really nice entrance plaza to La Ronde, located on an island with lots of other recreational things, like a park, bio-sphere, museum, etc


It's a Saturday, and the park doesn't open for another 30 minutes, and this is the line to get in. Yeah, it's gonna be crowded. Time to assume "credit whore" mode


La Ronde is located on an island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River right next to Montreal


and we definitely approved of it with a black and white photo of the park on the wall above the bed


Our hotel was a really nice Holiday Inn just a few minutes from the park

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great TR Derek. No wonder why Shapiro thinks TGE is his personal favorite park in the SF chain, it looks like a beautiful park with a retro charm and pretty areas.


Also, glad you totally owned La Ronde for credits and actually make me think the park is beautiful after that other La Ronde TR that was posted a few weeks ago. Glad to hear that the park isn't a total mess with cleanliness and operations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Glad you had a good day at La Ronde, I didn't.


I got only one side of Le Monstre, I got burned at the kiddie ride lining up only to be told I couldn't ride when I was just about to get on, I missed the Dragon credit because I didn't know it was there (my fault), and worst of all Goliath would not come until the next year.


Love the location, I really liked Parc Jean Drapeau.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awesome TR! Judging by the pics, "worst park in the SF chain" seems like a pretty bold statement.


I still can't get over the pics of TGE though. A walk-thru at a SF park? Who know!? And yeah, Canyon Blaster is obviously nothing more than a "missed credit." Rode it at Opryland. Should have been called The Lift Hill Experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The biggest pain was crossing the border, and that's not the US's fault, I blame French Canadia. 1 hour to cross from the 1/4 mile from border mark (yet only 5 min to return to the States.) I don't know if they enjoy grilling people, or they're really scared that people want to blow up their country, or those crossing in front of us were just deedeedees, but it was ridiculous.


The Canaba/US border is a pain in the ass to cross in either direction. Even on a good day, with no traffic it takes at least 30min to cross at Niagara.


And yet rarely ever do I have problems in Detroit. Maybe I'm just not the "type" they'd be looking for in Detroit.


This TR of La Ronde makes me slightly more willing to make a credit run up there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I didn't know you were coming up here, I love giving tours to La Ronde to random strangers (You wouldn't believe how many people actually let me guide them).

I like to call La Ronde the Bi-Polar park. When its on a good day it's great and it's hard not to have a good time but when it's on its bad day... "sigh".

This seemed like a good day.

Goliath is a great ride with amazing airtime (I like to go completely limp on the ride, it's a strange feeling on the airtime hills) with great operations compared to the rest of the park. Question: did you get to ride the french Spongebob 3-D simulator, it's interesting.... interesting and painful.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems you had a good time at La Ronde. I went there last Summer and Super Manege and that 40 year old coaster weren't open. I didn't end up riding Le Vampire or Toboggan Nordique because of long lines (I only had half a day at the park). I was next in line for my first Boomerang credit, and sure enough, the ride broke down. I was fortunate enough to ride Goliath, my first Hyper (or mini-Hyper [referring to my La Ronde thread]) and unfortunate enough to ride Cobra. I did get to try one side of Le Monstre (after waiting nearly an hour and 15 minutes) and it was seemingly slow. The oddest thing about my visit was that I didn't even see the Dragon coaster that you rode.


Anyways, my rant is over. Great TR! Hope you two are having a great time in the North!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great TR, Derek. As a youngin', my family would vacation up in the Lake George/Schroon Lake area for the 10 days leading up to Labor Day every summer. Amazingly enough, I can't speak highly enough for the job Premier/Six Flags has done at TGE thus far. As your photos illustrate, most of Charlie Wood's influence is still alive and well. The only questionable installation in my eyes was probably the Boomerang- and that's more an issue of placement within the park, as that area used to be home to an amazing Dentzel Carousel, and several rare family attractions (i.e. an Arrow Development powered trackless train from Freedomland).


And yes, even after all the whining over that one reprofiled section after its second drop, Comet continues to be the most underrated/overlooked woodie in the country IMO. Unlike Phoenix, it is a bit tempermental and really turns it on after dark.


As for LaRonde, "worst Six Flags property" may only apply to their questionable operations. Looks like going on a busy day while the park is in full throttle is the way to go. I actually really enjoyed the park. It is anything but cookie cutter with its bizarre layout, random remnants still around from Expo '67, and the rare flat ride collection. That monorail is an amazing attraction in itself, as it give a full aerial tour of the entire property. Amazing also to see La Monstre running all four of its trains- despite its "meander" feel, I really enjoyed that ride. For whatever reason, it just intrigues me- something about the massive structure, twisting/overlapping trackplan, and maybe the fact that rides like that were far and few between at best when it was built all factor in.


Their old Arrow Log Flume, while far from stellar, is also worth seeking out. Like the Arrow Mini Mine Train, it dates from the Expo. These days it another noteworthy feature is that it is running a set of bamboo themed boats that came off of Astroworld's old Bamboo Chute.


As for Le Dragon, we got most of Iron Maiden's "Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter" for our cha-ching.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Derek/Nicole - Are you able to use your SFGAdv Pass at the gate nowadays? A couple of years ago I had to go to guest relations to get a paper ticket.


No pictures of Beaver Tails - please tell me you had a Beaver Tail.


I hope you didn't eat at Chick n Chick. The food there is not so good.


I might drive up there later this year. I also enjoyed LaRonde on my previous trip and will ceratinly try to claim a kid next time for the kiddie coaster.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^^Larry, they allow you to use your Six Flags pass right at the gate. They must have just changed that this season as last year, Kim and I had to first go over to Guest Services to the left of the gate. Our Season Pass parking worked like a charm as well. We had no problem at the parking gate.


I'm glad to see that you and Nicole made the most out of crowded day Derek. I wish you guys could have been there with us on Sunday. Perfect weather and light crowds. We rode Goliath 3 times in the span of a half hour between 1:30-2:00 and then the line was even shorter at the end of the day. I think our impression of it from last year improved for the most part. It gives air up front but it's pretty light and floaty. The pull down air in the back is great though and we really dug the little twisty manuevers on some of the hills. For us, the real star of the park is Vampyre. Hands down the most intense of the Batman clones with that shorter train. And the mist trench at the end rocks!


As for the Great Escape, the only thing we rode was the missed Comet credit from last year. I have to agree with Mark that this thing is definitley underated and seems to have been forgotten over the years. It was an absolute beast in the back seat. I can't wait to get back in the future for some night rides.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No pictures of Beaver Tails - please tell me you had a Beaver Tail.


I hope you didn't eat at Chick n Chick. The food there is not so good.

No and no. The original plan was to get some crepes, but we ended up not doing so. It was so crowded, we went from coaster to coaster, not stopping for anything, and finally before we rode the last coaster at like 4 pm we had pizza.


... We rode Goliath 3 times in the span of a half hour between 1:30-2:00 and then the line was even shorter at the end of the day...


You suck.. but I still love you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/