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Photo TR: La Ronde 8/4/08


gk
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My daughter Mandy & I decided that our next park in the northeast would be the Six Flags park that we hadn't visited yet, La Ronde in Montreal. So we headed across the border to see how the French Canadians do things.

 

Our nav system doesn't have Canadian maps, but it was no problem getting to the park. It's pretty much a straight drive north from here to Montreal, and sign directing you to the Jacques-Cartier bridge. Once across the bridge to the island, it can be a little confusing finding your way to the parking, but we managed to so before the lot opened at 9:30. Unfortunately, that meant waiting until 11:00 until the gates opened, which turned out to just be the first of MANY long waits throughout the day.

 

Once in the park, we headed for Vampire. This is my 3rd Batman clone (her 2nd) and it was a walk-on. This is a great coaster (mirror image of the normal Batman layout) and at least the 2nd best one in the park.

 

After that I took a quick ride on Cobra. This is my first "Intamin" standup after riding a couple Togo and B&Ms. The restraints on this thing are weird, with one stationary hand hold on the left, with a lap bar and the other hand hold swinging down from above. They weren't the most comfortable restraints, and the ride itself was a head-banging experience. I'd rank this right down there and probably below Mantis as my worst stand-up experience.

 

Mandy wanted to ride Goliath next, so we headed towards that end of the park. In retrospect, we should have stopped along the way and ridden Le Monstre, as the lines were still short, but we held off on that.

 

Goliath was a 30 minute wait at this point, & we decided to spend an extra 15 minutes or so waiting for the front row. It was fun, but I expect a little more out of a hyper-style coaster. I was expecting massive amounts of airtime from all of the hills, and while there was some floater air, it wasn't all that memorable. It was still the best ride in the park.

 

Lunch (poutine, which turned out to be not so good), followed by some walking around marveling at how long the lines had become. We started to stand in line for Toboggan Nordique, but the line was moving incredibly slowly, so we bailed hoping to come back later. So we headed to the back side of the park again to get some pics from the ferris wheel.

 

After that, we noticed the Dragon coaster almost by accident. The line didn't look _too_ bad, but it actually ended up being about a 45 minute wait for this _very_ short ride. Oddly there was exactly one ride operating manning the entire ride. This is an Intamin indoor family coaster, similar to and very reminiscent of Skull Mountain at SFGadv. We estimated the overall ride time to be little more than 30 seconds.

 

We took another spin on Goliath after this, hoping for a better experience from the back. After a long (90 minute wait), we took our seats in the 2nd to last row. We enjoyed it much better from back there, with some speed over the hills providing more airtime. It just wasn't the incredible feeling you get riding most "real" hypers. I guess height and speed do matter.

 

Le Monstre was next. We rode the right side. This was a surprisingly fun ride, although hampered by incredibly slow operations & lots of flash passers slowing the queue to a crawl, rampant grafitti and a disgusting amount of gum on the supports going up the lift hill. Way to take pride in Canada's largest woodie, La Ronde. Still, I enjoyed it despite a merciless stapling by the ride op. We decided to pass on riding the left side.

 

We decided on one last ride, and decided to try Toboggan Nordique again, since Mandy had never been on a "wild mouse" coaster before. Unfortunately, the queue wasn't much emptier so we ended up waiting almost an hour. Most of the lateral forces on this ride are on the right turns, so if one of your passengers is a lot larger than the other, sit them on the left side to minimize the squashing unless you're into that sort of thing. We didn't know any better so I sat on the right and regretted it. Still, it was a decent ride overall but not worth the stupid-long line.

 

We'd had enough at that point, and had decided to skip the Vekoma corkscrew and Boomerang rides long before. So we just did a bit of souvenir shopping before heading back south.

 

Overall, we weren't too impressed with the ride operations at La Ronde. Although the park didn't seem too crowded walking down the midway, the lines were incredibly long and moved slowly due to understaffing and horrible ride operations. I'd have to hear that they'd made some dramatic improvements to these areas before I'd ever want to return. If you go, and you intend to get every credit possible, I'd suggest springing for the Flash pass. Next some photos.

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Some photos. These were mostly shot while walking and waiting in lines, so I didn't get a chance to focus on artistry too much.

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Le Product Placement.

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In the loop.

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Le Cobra. Le Suck.

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Going up the lift

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Darn, just missed the "loop shot". You can see the train is just entering the loop.

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Le Batman.. AKA Vampire.

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I don't know what the hell this thing is.

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Waiting to get into the park - noticing a trend here that doesn't bode well.

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Waiting to get into the parking lot - shot across the river.

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Waiting to go through customs.

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more.

P1010033.jpg.115e317468ad6f9f64d4e41d977d096b.jpg

Hey look, Le Monstre is almost racing!

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...Are you kidding me?

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Looks fun, but..

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Toboggan Nordique

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Weren't going for the kiddy credit - but closed anyway. This did open later, we noticed trains running while waiting for Toboggan Nordique.

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lunch break

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Almost there. A rare 2-train ride at La Ronde. They still stacked em terribly.

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Hey look, RCT monorail.

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Mmmm. Hilly.

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OK Goliath, show us your stuff.

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more..

P1010039.jpg.af95b2de6f2025e8e4da2d9305f81057.jpg

More monorails, these were neat with the names of the Canadian provinces on them, instead of the tacky "Yum Yum" ads on the other one.

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Good night, Montreal.

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Nice sculpture at the entrance plaza.

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Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale. A tale of a fateful trip. It started at a Six Flags park aboard this tiny ship.

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Le Splash.

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..because the ops spend an awful lot of time standing there doing nothing.

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The queue passes under the lift hill, kinda neat. You can watch when the very occasional train runs.

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waiting for Le Monstre.

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obligatory pic

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larrygator shoutout

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Not just one train - one-ride op oerations.

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Waiting for the Dragon coaster.

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Mmm. Molson.

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Mmm. Hilly.

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Stade Olympique, former home of the former Montreal Expos.

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Observation tower, Monstre, Super Menege

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Vampire & Cobra

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setting up for some fireworks, the 8/6 show I guess.

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S&S Space Shot tower. For some reason they built it so that the car only goes up about 2/3rds of the way.

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The ferris wheel is nice and big. Perfect place to get some photos.

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through the 'screws

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"Super" Menege, well I guess it might have been super when it opened in '81, now it wasn't worth waiting through the long, long line.

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Le 'Rang. We skipped.

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I don't think I have ever heard one good experience from this park. I was in Montreal 2 years ago but the bad operations stopped me from wanting to go. Even though I would have liked to have gotten the credits, I don't think I missed much.

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^^ Not as much airtime as I hoped, but pretty good in the back. It may have been trimmed but it wasn't obvious to me.

 

^ I doubt I'll make it back any time soon. I would like to visit Montreal again for other stuff though.

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I've been thinking about visiting La Ronde this summer (its only about 4 hours from me). I have a question though, do you need your passport to re-enter the US? I know that Canada only requires gov't id/birth certificate, and you have to have a passport for air-travel, but I've heard that you can still get back into the US by car with just your license. Is that true?

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We just used our passports, a lot easier especially when traveling with a minor. But it seems the law requiring a passport for reentry via car doesn't take effect until 6/2009 so you should be ok.

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The Beaver Tail was pretty good, it took us a while to figure that was what "Queues de Castor" were, so we walked past it a few times.

 

What I really liked were the Rolopan crepes. Tasty!

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"Ya, it's not a hyper coaster. It's more of a diaper coaster" - Hanz & Franz

 

I don't think kilo-coaster is term that is used much. Jr. or baby hyper, perhaps. I just used hyper for lack of a better term. No biggie.

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My experience last year pretty much echoed yours. It is certainly the biggest dump in the Six Flags chain. I did enjoy Goliath though. It wasn't life altering but was a nice ride. If I remember right, the ferris wheel looks nice from far but suffers from a lot of graffiti inside of the cars. The Canadians don't treat this park very nice! Thanks for the TR!

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Why does everyone refer to Goliath as a Hyper/mega coaster? It's technically a kilo-coaster, as it isn't at least 200ft tall. Its a mini hyper.

 

It gets called a hyper partly because B&M market it as a "Hyper Coaster", and partly because "Hyper" is really just a generic term for the style of ride (Big hills, drops, airtime, no inversions, trains with only lapbars)

 

I personally don't really use the 200ft/61m definition because its antiquated, and doesn't really reflect the fact that a good number of hypers aren't that height anyway (Eg Expedition Gforce, Steel Eel), but also there are a number of coasters that are above that height (Eg Griffon, Eejanaika) that aren't really referred to as hypers.

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Ah, poutine, (aka heart attack in a bowl) so good, yet so unhealthy.

 

La Ronde used to be a park that I wanted to go to, yet all the trip reports I've seen of it make it look like the Mt. Olympus of the Six Flags chain. Also, while this may just be me, does anyone else think La Ronde looks like a run down cedar point stuck in the 70s or 80s? While I'd visit the park if I was ever in Montreal, it would probably be for the fireworks(possibly some of the best you'll see), and not the rides. Although, I would make sure to ride Goliath and Vampire as the rest of the rides look pretty painful.

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Nice report! It looks exactly like I remember it from a couple of years ago , except Super Menage and the Boomerang were not even open. Super Menage looked like the worst excuse for a coaster that I had ever seen, but the name sounded just so damned sexy and kinky!

 

 

I really liked Goliath, but the rest of the park was very forgettable. I also did a "Le WTF?" when I saw the drop tower and could not figure out why it did not go to the top.

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