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Photo TR: Roller Coaster Tomfoolery Tour 2010


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This summer marks the first summer I've spent actively going to different theme parks in Canada and the US. Normally, I'll go to Canada's Wonderland a ton of times and maybe Cedar Point. I decided this year was going to be different. After discovering that a friend of mine from work was a brand new roller coaster enthusiast, we decided to undertake a series of trips to parks we had never been to or rarely go to. What lies below is the sordid tale of our journey of our travels, broken into several terrifying chapters.

 

Part 1: Holiday World (June 7)

Part 2: Kings Island (June 7-8)

Part 3: Cedar Point (June 9-10)

Part 4: Waldameer Park (June 11)

Part 5: Seabreeze (July 15)

Part 6: Darien Lake (July 15)

Part 7: Martin's Fantasy Island (July 15)

Part 8: La Ronde (August 25)

Part 9: Canada's Wonderland Halloween Haunt (Oct 17)

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Part 1: Holiday World

 

We set off from Kitchener Ontario early in the morning of June 6, and an 11 hour drive and 1 suspicious border guard later, we arrived in Santa Claus Indiana. We ended up staying at the Quality Inn in Huntingburg, which was pretty nice. They had this funky Mexican restaurant attached to it that we ended up eating at since we were too tired to drive to the nearest Subway or whatever. We woke up on the 7th anxious to start riding some roller coasters. When we pulled into Holiday World, the park was starting to get a bit busy (we were parked behind Raven's helix), but luckily for us, everyone was heading to the water park.

 

As we entered the park, we immediately made a beeline for Voyage. All I have to say about this ride is WOW. The Voyage is by far the best roller coaster I have ever been on. It was fast, full of airtime and completely relentless. The ride is the Spinal Tap of roller coasters. On a scale of 1-10, it goes to 11.

 

After we quickly toweled our pants off from spooging all over the place, we set off to ride the rest of the coasters in the park. Our next stop was Legend. We got a back row seat and loved every second of it, some good drops and nice lateral forces were found all over the ride. The school bell and wolf howl at the top of the lift give the ride so much charm.

 

We then made the quick trip over to Raven, which was only running one train. In most parks, seeing a one train operation would have meant a terrible wait. But no, not at Holiday World! Even though they were running one train, they were still quite quick and efficient...something we noticed all over the park. I liked Raven, especially going through the woods, but the ride seemed just a bit too short.

 

The rest of the day we spent riding the other miscellaneous rides at the park, like Liberty Launch, etc. Gobbler Getaway was all sorts of fun, though I still prefer Men in Black. I ended up scoring 1,560 on my first try. Not sure if that's good or not, but I beat the person I was with, so I was pleased. Pilgrim's Plunge was actually a bit of a disappointment. Sure, it was really tall and imposing, but I really didn't get that wet on it. It was a hot day, so I definitely could have used a cool down. But, that's what Wildebeest is for, I suppose.

 

Speaking of Wildebeest, wooooooow. I never thought I'd see the day when a water slide could possibly be ranked higher than some roller coasters. The LIM hills were something I had never experienced, same with airtime on a water slide. Yeah. There should never be air on a slide, it freaked me out. But, the ride was all sorts of fun. My only real complaint with Wildebeest was the queue line. Long line + no shade + concrete = not happy. If they put some canopies over the uncovered portion of the queue, I wouldn't have minded the long wait, but without them it was brutal.

 

All in all, I absolutely LOVED Holiday World. It's one of my favourite parks, right behind Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Everything about the place was top notch...the rides, the operations, the staff. If it weren't for TPR, I wouldn't have known about the place. So, thanks for being there TPR!

 

Here are some pictures from Holiday World. Next up, King's Island!

Finally! I've been waiting a long time to get here!

 

This bodes well!

 

I see you! Also, through the trees and whatnot.

 

The line pretty much stayed at the stairs all day. It was amazing.

 

Oooooh, Timberliners.

 

Signage

 

 

I really liked Legend's first drop

 

Who ya gonna call?

 

The line may have been super long, but it moved really quickly. Right on, Raven crew!

 

Station and stuff

 

This ride is full of lol

 

I'm pretty sure Granny here stole my soul with that turkey caller thing

 

It's a whimsical land...full of poultry.

 

Pilgrim's Plunge is tall and stuff

 

Noted!

 

Going down?

 

Relatively tiny splash

 

More Voyage? Why not!

 

Disappearing into the trees...

 

A common side effect of riding The Voyage is becoming blurry for brief periods of time.

 

Only at this part does the ride let up...at the end.

Edited by mightypotato
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Part 2: Kings Island

Man, I waited a long time to get this done, I'm terrible at this.

 

We left Holiday World around 3:00pm and set out for Cincinnati and Kings Island. After a very uneventful drive (and some super gross KFC), we got to Kings Island around 7:30-8:00. Our first stop was of course, Diamondback. I'm not sure what it was, but I was actually let down by Diamondback. I felt that it didn't really have very strong airtime and it was becoming pretty shaky in spots (especially the hill after the turnaround). Out of the four B&M hypers I've been on (Apollo's Chariot, Behemoth, Goliath La Ronde and Diamondback), it's a distant fourth place. That said, it was still a good ride, but not as good as I was expecting.

 

Our next stop took us over to The Beast. This was one of those rides I've been wanting to get on for years, ever since I saw it on all those TV shows. We took our seats in the middle of the train on a non-wheel seat, so things started out good. The sun was almost completely down, so things were even better, too. The ride was ok, nothing really spectacular. It would be all sorts of awesome were it not trimmed every ten feet. Even with all the trims, that last helix is something special. I can only imagine how crazy it would have been without the trim brakes.

 

Getting off Beast, we decided to ride Vortex since it was like right there. Now, knowing Arrow and what their multiloopers are like, I was preparing myself for a world of pain. Thankfully I experienced no pain! I don't know if it was proper "defensive riding" or what, but there was little headbanging. The corkscrews had some nice hangtime and vertical loops never go out of style. There was one pretty nasty jolt that happened in the turn right before the MCBR after the second loop. The train takes the turn pretty fast, and I wasn't prepared for it. Got a rather good whack to the side of the head there.

 

After Vortex, we knew we only had time for one more ride, so we decided to hit up either Flight of Fear or Firehawk. We tragically made a wrong turn coming out of Vortex's exit, which led to some sort of bandstand. Confused, we realised we made a wrong turn and pretty much ran over to X-Base where Flight of Fear and Firehawk are located. In a coin toss decision, we deicded to ride Firehawk.

 

Firehawk was the first flying coaster either of us had been on, save the oh so wonderful Zamperla Volare. I actually kind of like the restraints on the Vekoma Flying Dutchman. I found them to be relatively comfortable, and I'd like to try out a B&M flyer to see how they compare. Everything on this ridew was a completely new experience for me, which I loved. The lie to fly and fly to lie transitions were actually really fun and the vertical loop is probably my all time favourite loop. As an added bonus, right when we hit the brake run, the park's nightly fireworks started going off. It was pretty much the perfect end to a fantastic day. It couldn't have been better.

 

We came back the next day, bright and early to get the rest of the park's credits. When we arrived, they only had a few rides open for season passholder ERT. We inquired if our Cedar Fair Platinum Passes would let us get in on the ERT fun, and what do you know....they did! They had Diamondback, Vortex and Beast open for ERT that day. We wanted to redeem Diamondback for its lackluster ride the night before, so we went there first. After about 5 rides all over the train, we were still disappointed with it. I don't know what it was about the ride, but it just didn't do it for me. Sorry, Kings Island fanboys. We also rode Beast again. It's nowhere near as good in the day as it is at night. For reals.

 

After Beast, we decided to get some of the lower capacity rides in. Since it was right there, we got our ride on Backlot Stunt Coaster in. Having already been on the Canada's Wonderland version, we knew what to expect. There was absolutely no difference between the two rides. Everything was exactly the same, right down to the non-functioning effects, lol.

 

Continuing our march through the park, we came to Flight of Fear. We skipped Firehawk today because we had already been on it the night before. Luckily since it was still early, Flight of Fear was a walk on which was much appreciated. It was my first Premier spaghetti bowl, and I rather enjoyed it. The launch into the dark tunnel was pretty fun and taking the inversions with no OTSR's was a great new experience. One thing that confused me was the MCBR. It completely kills the momentum and energy of the ride by coming to a complete stop. I have no idea why they did that.

 

Leaving the X-Base area, we decided to ride Racer. At the time, only the red side was open, so it wasn't racing. The ride was another walk on, something that would be a theme for the day. Nothing really special about the ride, especially since we weren't doing any actual racing. It was pretty "meh".

 

Next came what is probably the cheesiest, most awesome ride ever, Adventure Express. Now, like 9/10ths of the ride is your standard Arrow mine train, which is nothing special. But then you come to the second lift hill. Animatronics! Excitement! Suspense! End of the ride! As we crested the lift only to arrive back at the station, I couldn't help but start laughing my butt off in utter confusion. I will never understand this ride, and maybe that's for the best.

 

Continuing our march through the park, we again returned to something fairly familiar with Flight Deck. Much like Backlot Stunt Coaster, we had been on the Canada's Wondlerand version, Vortex. Frankly, I prefer Vortex to Flight Deck by a wide margin. On Vortex, you fly over a lake, through trees and are in the middle of the park. With Flight Deck however, you go through a seemingly abandoned field that is in the middle of nowhere. Seriously. Why did Kings Island put the ride like a mile and a half away from everything? Does not compute.

 

After trekking back from Flight Deck, we rode Drop Tower, which was my first Intamin Gyro Drop. It was pretty much the best drop tower I've ever been on. It is miles ahead of anything S&S has done and way better than the 1st/2nd generation Intamin Freefalls I've been on. Every park needs to have one of these rides. Seriously.

 

Going from something completely awesome to something decidedly less awesome, we rode Invertigo next. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Invertigo was my 70th credit. I kind of wish I saved it for something a little more awesome. Invertigo was like the unholy demon spawn of a boomerang and SLC. Ugh. It also broke my sunglasses, which made me sad.

 

Since we had finished pretty much everything at the park, we decided to do some re-rides of various things. We ended up going on Vortex, Flight of Fear, Beast again and eventually got the Racer Blue credit once it opened. Racer is way better when it actually you know...races. To finish the day, we went over to The Crypt. Woooooooooow, is that ride well themed. I totally did not expect to see theming like that in a Paramount/Cedar Fair park. I was so excited for the ride, but was ultimately let down by the horrendously boring program. If it had a better program, it would be one of the best flat rides in the world. But alas, it was not to be. After our disappointing ride, we left the park and made our way to Sandusky and Cedar Point.

 

And now, for pictures!

Driving through Kentucky...

 

Cincinnati (sponsored by Polaris)

 

More Cincinnati...

 

Entering Kings Island!

 

Not centered version of the picture everyone has

 

Hey look! A roller coaster!

 

Lift hill goodness

 

First drop...

 

First drop at dusk. I like how this one turned out.

 

Old and busted.

 

Station and stuff...

 

Arrow multilooper goodness

 

For being a relatively large coaster, the action is packed into a relatively small area.

 

After a wrong turn, we made it to X-Base

 

Surprisingly fun!

 

Fireworks!

 

More fireworks

 

Back early the next day...

 

Nothing new or interesting to see here...

 

Vortex by day...

 

Batwing or bowtie or whatever Arrow called this element

 

Hangar 18? Oh, this must be Megadeth: The Ride

 

Oh, it's just a roller coaster. That's fine too, I guess.

 

Alien pods in the station

 

*Bzzzzz.....wooooooosh*

 

Since we're here...

 

lol

 

Every park needs one (or more) of these.

 

Giant frisbee > normal frisbee

 

It's the same, but not quite...

 

Swingers

 

I always liked the look of Arrow suspended track

 

Still dry...

 

Not anymore!

 

Credit #70!

 

Broke my sunglasses though

 

Eiffel Tower picture taking...

 

Firehawk (worst caption ever)

 

That turn just before the MCBR hurts

 

2/3 down. I guess I need to hit up Kings Dominion.

 

Racer

 

It wasn't bad, just not as good as I had hoped.

 

Pointless, IMO

 

I really did like their Planet Snoopy

 

More Delirium

 

Up close and personal...

 

This guy was just hanging out under Vortex :3

 

*sigh*...so much wasted potential

 

Spooky!

 

Grrrr...I'm a big evil bat thing! Gimme some candy!

 

Cedar Point up next!

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Its a shame you hadn't gone to KI last year. Crypt...went through cycles. As TR it had good themeing and a decent cycle. Last year the themeing completely changed, they took out all the theming in the ride chamber, and cranked they cycle upto about 48/10. This year...well, you experienced that. Also, as much as I love my home park's BM, I have to agree with you. I've only been on 3 of their hypers (Raging Bull, Goliath SFoG and obviously LSHoF), and as fun as it is, it lacks the twistyness of Bull and the pure speed rush of Goliath...Glad you enjoyed Firehawk though. Flying Dutchman>>>B&M flyers for me.

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Part 3: Cedar Point

 

We left Kings Island around 4:00-5:00pm and started to head out to Sandusky. Our plan was to check in to the campground we were staying at, then head over to Cedar Point for the evening. Things didn't exactly turn out as planned. We were following my GPS unit, which up until this point had been extremely reliable and trustworthy. When we came to Columbus though, it had a major brain fart (CPU fart? Whatever). It took us on a rather interesting journey through Columbus, getting on and off the interstate at random points, only to go in large circles. Once we finally got back on the interstate, it decided that it didn't want to be there anymore so it took us through rural roads until we came to Sandusky. Apart from being a little scared that our GPS was out to kill us, it was nice to see some more rural areas that I wouldn't have normally seen from the bigger highways. Since we weren't on a direct or fast route, we got into Sandusky later than we had anticipated and weren't able to get to Cedar Point for the evening. We were sad, but still had two full days at the park ahead of us, so it was all good.

 

The next morning, I woke up to the sound every person who has been to Cedar Point dreads....rain. It was raining (albeit lightly) which didn't bode well for our day at the park. The first thing we did was turn on the weather network which said partly cloudy, making us feel a bit more relieved. By the time we left our trailer, it had stopped raining, but the sky was still an ominous grey colour. Little did we know that the early rain and all around gross weather would make for an awesome day.

 

My friend had never been to Cedar Point, so it was awesome to see his reaction to the park's skyline as we drove down the causeway. The first time you see the park is always the best. Though to be honest, I think I was more vocally excited about it. Anyways, as soon as we got into the park, we made a beeline for Top Thrill Dragster. The rain and general nasty weather was seeming to keep a lot of people away from the park, so there wasn't much of a line for it. We did end up waiting around 30-45 minutes for it since they were only loading the front half of the train for a while. I suppose this is to prevent rollbacks or something similar. The ride still hasn't lost any of its intense punch, especially in the launch. It is a one trick pony, but what a trick.

 

After getting that out of the way, we decided to trek to the back of the park to get a ride on Maverick in. Nothing has changed about the ride since I first rode it in 2008. Still awesome, and so much fun it should be criminal. The airtime on the first drop and second hill are simply fantastic. The second half of the ride wasn't as rough or jarring as I remembered it being. Again, that may be due to my general knowledge of the ride and defensive riding. One thing that has always confused me is why they wanted that heartline roll right after the second launch. That would have been unbelievably painful were it still there.

 

We then decided to start our lap of the park from that point. This meant suffering possibly one of the worst wooden coasters out there, Mean Streak. It's sad to see how much the ride has deteriorated even from 2003 when I first rode it. At least then, I had a fun ride and enjoyed myself. Now it's a shell of its former self. It appears that a lot of work was done to the ride in the form of retracking and adding additional support to the track. None of it helped. It was still rough as hell, slow and boring. It's one of those "ride once and then never again" type rides.

 

In an effort to try and re-align our spines, we ventured over to Cedar Creek Mine Ride. Nothing special to report for this ride, just a really old Arrow mine train. Could have used some animatronics at the end though, lol. As we left the ride, we noticed that Skyhawk was right there. Since there was a small line, we figured we'd give it a shot. What an awesome ride that is! Lots of fun, a decent length cycle (though it could have used one or two more full swings) and gave some nice hangtime. This is pretty much the one flat ride Canada's Wonderland doesn't have, and I'd love to see one come to the park.

 

Next came Gemini and it's 1980's station. Gemini is criminally underrated at the park. It gets overshadowed by a lot of the newer, bigger rides, but it still offers a great ride. There was almost no one in the station, so it was a walk-on which was great. We hopped on red train first and had a great ride. Slapping hands with the other train is always a highlight of a trip to Cedar Point for me. Since it was a walk-on, we decided to head back into line and ride the blue side. Since we're awesome, we won both races. Take that, imaginary competitor.

 

One of the things that always confused me about Cedar Point is the dead-zone between Gemini and Magnum. There is like nothing to ride between the two coasters. There's just a spider/octopus ride and a random frog-hopper. Either way, Magnum was our next stop. Ever since I've been hanging around the site, I've heard about the "ejector seat". Normally, I go to Cedar Point with my family, who don't particularly care for intense airtime. Since I was with a like minded friend, we decided to sit there. Everyone wasn't kidding when they said "ejector seat". Wow, talk about intense air...it was borderline painful. That said, it was still all sorts of fun and sent Magnum rising quite a few spots in my favourites list.

 

Leaving Magnum, we came to an even older coaster, Corkscrew. Nothing really to say here...it's an Arrow corkscrew. Yay? Though it is old and stuff, I still love the way double corkscrews look. Immediately after that, we decided to give Power Tower a quick ride on the shot tower. Though I prefer free fall to a shot, the suspense before they launch you up is pretty neat. After our quick ride on Power Tower, we made our way over to the beach area to take part in Wicked Twister. The ride still holds up pretty well, provided you're in either the front or the back of the train. There is little actual twisting going on in the middle, which is rather boring. Next door was Disaster Transport, so we decided to get a quick ride in on that.

 

Normally, I love waiting in the Disaster Transport line since it's air conditioned and a good escape from the summer heat. Since today was already fairly cool, I wasn't looking forward to the cold air. Luckily, it was another walk-on for us. The ride has deteriorated pretty badly since the last time I had ridden it. It seemed slower and all around less fun. It didn't help that none of the effects or lights were working, either. Oh yeah, and the girls screaming at the top of their lungs behind us. Not cool.

 

Continuing on, we decided to hit up Blue Streak. You know, the ride may be small but it's still pretty fun. Definitely the best wooden coaster in the park. Though, that isn't exactly saying a lot. After our quick ride on Blue Streak, Raptor was our next target. I absolutely love B&M inverts, Raptor especially so I was really looking forward to riding it again. One of the only bad parts about Raptor still exists however, in the form of quick snaps into both the MCBR and end brake run. They give your head a quick smack against the restraint. Probably B&M's way of keeping you focused on the ride. Zero-G rolls are still my favourite inversion ever, which is probably why I love B&M inverts so much.

 

After a quick lunch, we made our way to Iron Dragon. Why couldn't this have been taken out and Big Bad Wolf be left alone? It's very hard for me to be bored on a roller coaster, but this is the only one that that actually happens on. I have nothing further to say about this waste of steel. At least across the path there was a Schwartzkopf waiting to be ridden. Sure, it's only a Wildcat, but it's still fun and a great family coaster. It does seem ludicrously out of place at Cedar Point, though.

 

Mantis came up next. Or rather it should be called "Ow My Balls: The Ride". Normally, I don't get too much pain from Mantis, but this year was something different. I don't know if it was how the seat was positioned, but it was none too pleasant. At least the trim brake is off now, so it's a little more intense. I still think stand-ups are pretty lame. Like, if Mantis were a sit-down or floorless, it'd probably be a lot more fun.

 

We crossed the railroad tracks and came to a ride I was really looking forward to riding again: Millennium Force. It's been my favourite steel coaster since 2003 and I'm always super excited to get on it. However, as we approached the entrance to the queue, there was a terrifying sign that said "this ride is currently closed". Awwww....denied. We decided to take the train around the park to waste some time while waiting for it to open. After going around once, we decided just to ride up to the back of the park and ride Maverick again. No sooner did we get to Maverick did Millennium Force start running again. So, we went double time and got in line.

 

As for the ride itself...it's still lots of fun. For me, it all comes down to that first drop. Nothing else compares to it. There was some air on the hills, but not too much. The ride still relies on that first drop and the sheer speed of it to generate a thrill, and I think it works. Do I think it's #1 in the world? Probably not. Is it still #1 to me? Probably. Since there were still no lines, we grabbed a few rides on Millennium Force and Raptor before heading out for the night.

 

The next day was a much nicer day, which resulted in some longer lines. But when I say longer lines, I mean 30 minutes instead of a walk on for major rides. This day was all about re-riding everything we liked. So, there was lots of Raptor, Millennium Force, Maverick, Wicked Twister, Magnum, Skyhawk and Top Thrill Dragster riding going on. All in all, I still love Cedar Point and really should go more often than I do now. It's always sad leaving the place since I know it'll be a while before I come back.

 

Anyways, here are some pictures!

 

Driving through the middle of nowhere. This is a prison.

 

Continuing our odyssey, here is Norwalk, OH!

 

Arriving the next day

 

No park has a better skyline than this. It's scientific fact.

 

Entrance gates. You can see how grey and nasty it still is.

 

Baby I'm ready to go.....

 

It's just so nice to look at!

 

Whenever I heard the whirring of the cable, I instinctively brought my camera out.

 

Yay!

 

Super fun happy ejector airtime!

 

Twisted horseshoe roll (also an excellent name for sushi)

 

Twisty!

 

Oh god, no.

 

You can see all the additional support wood.

 

It was all over the ride, but didn't help any.

 

Needs more pointlessness

 

This was the unexpected surprise hit of the trip!

 

Way way back in the 1980's...

 

Old and overlooked, but still fun!

 

Ooooh, spiffy new sign.

 

Lift hill that takes what seems like forever

 

Weeee!

 

I am original

 

Those are some real wicked twists...

 

Hey guy in the middle! Why do you sit there?

 

Raptor is still awesome.

 

Zero-G rolls are still awesome, too.

 

Vertical loops never go out of style.

 

Blue Streak station

 

It finally started to clear up!

 

*sigh*

 

Lame.

 

Ow My Balls: The Ride

 

Huuuuuge loop!

 

Track needs a good powerwashing...

 

It may hurt, but man does it ever sound good.

 

Yay!

 

Denied!

 

Whatever, I'll just take pictures from the train.

 

I liked how this one turned out.

 

Here's some more Maverick since we were in the area

 

Airtime!

 

Love this hill

 

95 degrees!

 

Weeeee

 

Millennium Force reopened! I used to have this exact same picture as my desktop way back in the day. Weird to actually take it this time.

 

First drop goodness

 

Going out...

 

Coming back

 

Bahahahahaha @ guy in the front row left

 

Random order pictures from the next day...

 

Up close and personal on Skyhawk

 

The second day was a lot warmer, so we wanted to cool down on a water ride

 

However, we didn't want to get THAT wet!

 

Still wasn't open

 

Testing, teasing us.

 

Lousy Intamin...*grumble grumble*

 

Hurray for Gemini racing!

 

OK, get ready to slap hands!

 

I can never get over how tall it is. I can't wait to see Kingda Ka.

 

More originality

 

Nerdgasm! There were old Atari machines everywhere!

 

Ferris wheel goodness

 

Good place to take pictures from

 

More Magnum

 

While we were in line for Millennium Force, one of the red train's wheels needed to be replaced, so we got to watch that.

 

Big wrench!

 

Always an awesome time when I come here. I need to visit more.

 

Next up, Waldameer Park!

Edited by mightypotato
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  • 2 weeks later...

Part 4: Waldameer Park

 

The last stop in our June adventure was to Wadameer Park located in scenic Erie, PA. Originally, we weren't planning on heading here, but when I realized that our way home would take us through Erie and hearing all the good about Ravine Flyer II, we made it a last minute addition to the trip.

 

Coming up from Sandusky, we pulled into Waldameer sometime mid-afternoon. The parking lot was a bit full, and the picnic pavillions seemed to be crowded, so it didn't bode well for us. When we got to the ticket gate, the person running it asked for our zip code. Being Canadian, I gave her my postal code which caused her to give a weird look at me. When she realized I was Canadian she simply asked "why did you guys come all the way down here for this place?". Some people will never understand, I guess.

 

My first impression of the park was that it reminded me a lot of a big fair that decided to stay put. I really liked the small park vibe of Waldameer and it definitely grew on me as the day went on. Walking down the main midway, we came to Ravine Flyer II. This is another ride that I heard a lot of hype about, mainly on TPR. There wasn't very much of a line for Ravine Flyer II, so we got in pretty much right away. The ride may be small(ish), but it still packs a big punch. The hills going over the road give some nice pops of airtime and the turn going into the second big drop has decent lateral forces. Of course, the thing everyone knows about this ride is that it takes a few turns going NINETY DEGREES, and those are definitely the highlight of the ride. It may have taken decades, but Waldameer has a real winner on it's hands with Ravine Flyer II. I guess it's true when they say good things come to those who wait. We grabbed a few rides on Ravine Flyer II since there was no line, it was great.

 

After our riding on Ravine Flyer II, the park started to fill up...quickly. It got very crowded with a lot of families and young kids. It wasn't very overwhelming, but it did become a bit irritating later in the day. Our next stop brought us to Steel Dragon, a Mauer Sohne spinning coaster. This would be my first spinning coaster ever and I was pretty excited. After waiting in line for a while (some slow operations, more on that later) we got our ride in. It was....ok. It didn't really feel like it spun that much and it was a bit jerky. For a small park like Waldameer, it's a great fit though.

 

After Steel Dragon the park was getting PACKED. I guess everyone finished their lunches at the picnic pavillions and started heading towards the park. This made lines quite a bit longer, but it was still managable. Up next was a very....unique ride. The Wacky Shack (properly pronounced waaaaaaackyyyyyyyy shaaaaaaaaaack). This old dark ride was awesome. No other word can really describe it. Pure cheesy, all around awesome fun. Plus, it looks AWESOME from the outside. I wish more parks had rides with detail like that.

 

Speaking of detail, another awesome walk through, Pirates' Cove was right across the midway! I loved this. It was like a fun house, but with pirates! It was awesome and I loved all the mannequins and whatnot on the inside. Some of the effects used in the ride are pretty trippy. Definitely something unique that not many parks still have.

 

Heading across the park, we came to Comet, a quite old classic woodie. Any ride with single bench seats, buzz bars and manual brakes is awesome in my books. The ride isn't intense or anything, but it's a fantastic family ride and a great coaster to get kids started on. Plus, it looks nice in the woods.

 

After our ride on Comet, we were pretty beat. After the week of doing nothing but going hardcore riding roller coasters, we had no energy left. We grabbed one or two more quick rides on Ravine Flyer II and left the park. In total, we were only there for maybe 3-4 hours. All in all, I really liked Waldameer and it definitely turned me on to the smaller, more out of the way parks.

 

As for my thoughts on the whole weeklong adventure? I'm definitely doing something like this again. To spend a week doing nothing but riding roller coasters is like a dream come true. It was immensly satisfying watching all the planning and preparation come together seamlessly to provide a great trip. Whether it's a TPR trip (signed up for Northeast 2011!) or something I do on my own, I must do this again.

 

I really didn't take many pictures, but here they are anyways!

This is the 5th state we've driven through so far!

 

Our last stop. This park is still younger than Jeff Johnson.

 

Well worth the park's wait

 

Lift hill action

 

My first spinning coaster!

 

These cars spin...

 

Spinny!

 

First time I've seen one of these drop towers...

 

I honestly can't remember the last time I saw a Tilt-A-Whirl

 

Waaaaaaackyyyyyyyy Shaaaaaaaaaack

 

Wacky!

 

More wackiness!

 

Ahahahaha...awesome.

 

Yarr!

 

Steel yourselves, me hearties for a swashbucklin' good time!

 

If you stare long enough into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you.

 

Skeletons? Check. Grog? Check.

 

And you thought your job was crappy...

 

Old school!

 

I really like how this picture turned out

 

Coming up next, Upstate New York (Seabreeze, Darien Lake, Martin's Fantasy Island)!

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^

Bayshore Estates. I've stayed there in one of their park model trailers every time I go to Cedar Point. It's cheap and the trailers are pretty nice.

 

How cheap? I'm curious about the price as I might be traveling out there with family next summer (5 people in total). They don't have prices listed on their website.

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Part 5: Seabreeze

 

Last year, my friend and I went to Darien Lake. Unfortunately, Motocoaster was closed that day, so we were unfortunately denied the credit. We resolved to head back this year to get the missed credit (and get more rides in on Ride of Steel). When we were planning to head down there this year, we decided to add on a quick trip to Seabreeze and Martin's Fantasy Island because...why the hell not?

 

We crossed the border in Buffalo fairly early with less suspicion than the border guard gave us in Detroit in June. That was good to see. A few very uneventful hours later, we got to Rochester and Seabreeze. The drive to Rochester took less time than we had expected, so we got to the park before opening. We sat around the parking lot until the gates opened. What we didn't know was that the park doesn't open all of its rides at the same time. When we got in, really nothing was open yet. We wandered around the park for a bit, taking in the sights until the rides started to open.

 

Our first stop of the day was Bobsleds. No words can describe this ride. I thought Adventure Express was messed up, but this is in a whole other league. The ride looked like it was put together by some drunk contractor over the course of a weekend. Nothing really made sense, but I really liked that. It's a pretty fun ride that is enhanced by it general all around messed up nature. Also, any ride that has a Jamaican bobsled, allowing me to sing the song from Cool Runnings is fine in my book.

 

After our ride on Bobsled, other rides started opening around the park. Right across from Bobsleds is the park's Zamperla Disk-O, Revolution 360. This was my first Disk-O and it is the ultimate definition of "spin 'n puke". While it was a fun ride overall, I don't think I'd give it a second ride. Just not my thing.

 

At this point, most of the rides were open, but not Whirlwind, their Maurer Sohne spinner which is right next to Revolution 360. So, we made our way across the park to Jack Rabbit.....which was closed. The park was doing filming for some commercials that day, so there were cameras around the park and they were getting some on ride footage of some of the roller coasters. Jack Rabbit was one of the rides that was getting filming done on it. It was closed until 1:00pm, so we had an hour or so to kill before we could get our ride in on that.

 

After being denied our ride on Jack Rabbit, we decided to ride the park's other rides since everything was open at that point. I rode a Tilt-a-Whirl for the first time in maybe 10 years and had a blast. I forgot how much those things could actually spin. We then made our way to Whirlwind which was open. The ride is the exact same model as the spinner I had gone on at Waldameer, but this seemed to be much better. We ended up getting a ton of spinning on the ride, which made it unbelievably fun. I don't know if it was the weight balance or not, but I enjoyed this ride way more than I did Steel Dragon. After Whirlwind, we grabbed another quick ride on Bobsleds, still loving it.

 

Since we still had even more time to kill, we decided to try out their bumper cars. These things were awesome! They had some decent speed to them which made hitting or spinning people out easy and all around fun. Out of all the bumper cars I've been on, these are probably the best. Though, from what I've heard Knoebel's blows them out of the water. I guess I should go there one of these days. After the bumper cars, we hit up their log flume, appropriately named...Log Flume. It's not that tall or steep of a ride, but oh man, did we get soaked. The unacceptable amount of wetness was welcomed today since it was mind blowingly hot (40+ degrees Celsius with no breeze = not fun).

 

Finally, Jack Rabbit opened to the general public. We grabbed our ride somewhere near the back, though I don't suspect it really makes a difference on the ride. Jack Rabbit is a nice little wooden coaster. It fits in with the rest of the park so well in that it's not intense or anything, but it's just fun. I'll take being fun over anything else. We grabbed one or two quick rides on Jack Rabbit and made our way out of the park and got back on the road to Darien Lake.

 

Overall, I really liked Seabreeze. Much like Waldameer, it's full of so much charm that the bigger parks just don't have. The staff were all super friendly and seemed happy to be there. Their ride line up was just perfect for a park of that size. I'm really starting to like the smaller parks a lot more than the big chain parks. They have more soul and sense of fun. I'm sad that it took me this long to find this out though.

 

Anyways, enough of my babbling, here are some pictures!

After a quick 3 hour drive, here we are!

 

I hope I ended up on Rochester TV

 

Small place...but good things come in small packages (that's what she said)

 

Wandering through the park before the rides opened. Worst parking job ever.

 

lolwut

 

Wow...just wow.

 

Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme! Get on up, it's bobsled time!

 

That tree comes too close for comfort

 

Happy smiles

 

My first Disk-O

 

It ran quite a long cycle

 

Prepare for spinny

 

Mess of steel...

 

First drop goodness

 

I love the look of sheer determination on the top kid's face

 

I love this picture

 

Oh yeah, we also went on this!

 

What, me worry?

 

Tiny log flume...

 

But oh man, do you get wet!

 

Yeah...no thanks.

 

Small, but fun wooden coaster

 

Lift hill/first drop

 

First time I've been in one of these trains

 

More lift hill

 

Darien Lake up next!

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Part 6: Darien Lake

 

As I mentioned in my Seabreeze report, we had gone to Darien Lake last year but were denied the Motocoaster credit as it was down the day we went. That day, we resolved to come back this year to get our missing credit. After leaving Seabreeze mid afternoon, we got to Darien Lake about an hour and a half later. Upon pulling into the park, we saw that the parking lot was packed, which made us sad. We ended up parking way behind Mind Eraser, which is somewhere I haven't needed to park since Ride of Steel opened.

 

Luckily, the coaster gods were smiling on us that day. Since it was still unbelievably hot, 99.9% of the people in the park were at the water park. This meant next to no one was riding the rides, which meant walk ons for everything. Hurray. Getting to the entrance we immediately looked for the "rides not operating today" sign. None of the coasters were on the list, so we would get our Motocoaster credit.

 

Our first stop was of course, the missing credit, Motocoaster. I really liked the trains (bikes?) on this ride. They were surprisingly comfortable, which I wasn't expecting at all. The restraints are virtually identical to the restraints found on the Zamperla Disk-O, though my only complaint is, if you shift forward a bit during the ride, the harness locks even tighter, which can get uncomfortable. As the for the ride itself? It's just ok, really. The launch is surprsinly forceful for how small the ride is. The ride does maneouvre through the course pretty well, albeit slowly. My one real complaint is that it is nowhere near anything else. You pretty much have to leave the park just to get to the ride. It doesn't make any sense.

 

After Motocoaster, we made our way over to Predator, with its spiffy new trains. As soon as we got to the station, something broke and it went down. Boo-urns. So, not very brokenheartedly, we left the station only to arrive at an awesome ride, Ride of Steel. I remember riding Ride of Steel when it first opened in 1999, and it is still just as awesome. The smaller airtime hill and bunny hops heading to the brakes are still full of wild ejector air. The only downside is that it's becoming rather shaky in the helices. And by shaky, I mean "oh god, what is happening to me" shaky. Also, I just want to go on record and say that I hate the stupid Intamin leg shackles. WTF. That said, it's still a great ride, but it could definitely use a little TLC. Since the lines were non-existant, we hopped back into line a few times for re-rides. All were happy.

 

By the time we had finished on Ride of Steel, Predator re-opened. We walked right up to the station and grabbed our seats. I had sworn that I would never ride this ride again after last year. In the past, it was so horribly rough, I would consider it worse than Mean Streak. But....new trains. So, we had to ride it. Wouldn't you know it....the new trains helped immensely! Most of the roughness seems to have been eliminated so that your organs and spine remain in place throughout the course of the ride. It is still shaky, but it's not a ride that needs to be avoided like the plague. So, good job to PARC Management for that. The rest of our time there, we spent re-riding Ride of Steel. We didn't really bother with Viper (back in black!) or Mind Eraser. We only had a few hours left to get to Martin's Fantasy Island and get our credits in there, so we booted it out of the park and back on to the interstate.

 

All in all, Darien Lake is still in pretty bad need of a new E-ticket attraction for those (like myself) who don't particularly care for water parks. Even if they were to build that Intamin stand up they've had in storage for years, it would be a good addition for the park. At this point, anything is good. OK, pictures now.

 

North Chili, West Chili...it all comes down to personal taste. I mean, the spices are fairly similar, but whatever.

 

Arriving at Darien Lake. Parking behind Mind Eraser was not a good sign.

 

Speaking of signs...

 

Our first stop, getting the missed credit from 2009.

 

Most of the layout. It's a pretty compact ride.

 

More Motocoaster, but with a train in the picture this time.

 

Didn't ride it. Moving on.

 

This view is always nice

 

Since Predator went down, Ride of Steel was next!

 

This ride is still very awesome.

 

Going up...

 

Awesome turn

 

The last hills are still full of crazy ejector air

 

Airtime!

 

Wait a minute, that shouldn't be there...

 

Predator reopened soon after coming off Ride of Steel

 

New trains!

 

Oh man, did those new trains ever help!

 

Not terrible anymore!

 

Well, maybe not "hands up" smooth, but whatever.

 

Nice hills

 

Yes, I'm back in black! *guitar riff*

 

I still love the look of the double corkscrew.

 

Big Ferris Wheel.

 

Martin's Fantasy Island up next!

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Part 7: Martin's Fantasy Island

 

Our last stop of the day was Martin's Fantasy Island. Growing up in Southern Ontario, I would always see commercials for Martin's during the summer on the Buffalo TV stations. Even going down to the US with family, we'd always drive by Martin's as we crossed Grand Island. Yet, I had never been there. All that was about to change.

 

After leaving Darien Lake and driving pretty fast along the interstate, we arrived at Martin's Fantasy Island around 5:30 or so. Luckily for us, admission after 5:00 is dirt cheap, so the park gets a +1 for that. We came into the entrance area of the park, which was a lot nicer than I had expected. There was a lot of green to be found, and all the buildings were fairly well kept. The random wild west area was pretty odd, but nicely themed. Of course, we wandered by Malaria Lake. Water should never be that deep a green. Seriously. I'd imagine if you fell out of one of the canoes, you'd turn into a monster...or start melting like that bad guy at the end of Robocop.

 

Anyways, our first stop was of course, Silver Comet. This ride was pretty much the reason for our coming to Martin's Fantasy Island. Wow, what a surprise! This CCI woodie was far better than I had imagined or hoped it would be. It had some nice little pops of air, and some great lateral forces in the turns. That last swooping turn before the brake run is AWESOME. It's kind of sad that the ride gets no attention...it's definitely way underrated. As soon as we got off the ride, my friend and I looked at eachother and got right back in line. Simply fantastic.

 

Wanting to get in the credits before anything else, we made our next stop over to Crazy Mouse, their Reverchon spinning mouse (at least I think its Reverchon). I had heard that the ride didn't spin much, if at all. Well, for some reason, ours seemed to be stuck in "omg wtf crazy spin" mode...again probably because of weight distribution (bigger guys on one end, small kids on the other). The madness didn't really start until the second half of the ride, but when it did....omg. It was immensly fun, not gonna lie.

 

Still dizzy, we made our way over to their log flume since it was still pretty hot out. I had seen pictures from the last time TPR was there and kind of knew what to expect. But...I really didn't expect to get THAT wet...especially with only two people in the boat. That was easily the wettest log flume I've ever been on. Today was a good day for log flumes...both Seabreeze and Martin's have good ones. Right on.

 

Our next stop was Flight, the not-quite-Starflyer. The ride is only like 100 feet tall or so, but it still scared the ever living crap out of me. Something about being that high up, only being held with swing chains is a little unnerving. I'm not looking forward to how freaked out Windseeker will make me next year. But at least that has solid metal arms.

 

Around this time, the park was winding down, so we grabbed one or two more rides on Silver Comet and left for the day, concluding our adventure through Upstate New York. We crossed the border in Niagara Falls, ate dinner at Dennys (which is a tradition of ours whenever we're in the US/Niagara Falls) and made our way back to Kitchener. It was a great, albeit tiring day of riding roller coasters and driving all over the place. We decided to go on the trip to see if we could do it....and we did. So, mission accomplished. Here are some pictures from Martin's.

 

Last stop of the day...

 

Don't do it! He's not tame! Don't be a hero!

 

Random western theming

 

More random western theming

 

Super fun happy slide

 

Awesomeness awaits!

 

Go ride this. Now. It's OK, I'll wait.

 

OK, back? Good. Here's a pirate ship!

 

Fun? Wow!

 

Didn't ride this Disk-O. One was enough for today.

 

Blurry picture of Flight

 

Not cool. So very not cool.

 

Spinning mouse madness

 

From the other side...

 

I love the Tilt-a-Whirl sign. Very iconic.

 

I think the last thing Phil needs is more fries and fingers. Just sayin'.

 

Time to leave...thanks for an awesome (if short) time Martin's! I'll definitely be back!

 

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo

 

Next up, La Ronde!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Part 8: La Ronde

 

One day at work, my enthusiast friend and I start talking about roller coasters and theme parks. He brings up the fact that there's a park in Montreal that neither of us had been to. Well, one thing led to another and suddenly we found ourselves on the road to Montreal and La Ronde located therein. After driving through the night, we arrived at the hotel around 1:00am and started to prepare for the next day. Normally, I won't plug a hotel, but I highly recommend the Holiday Inn Express on Boul. Rene Levesque. Fantastic place.

 

Anyways, the next day we made our way out of the hotel, through the maze of one way streets that is Montreal and over to La Ronde. Or rather the line to get into the parking lot to get into La Ronde. La Ronde is located pretty much on the same island as the old Expo '67 grounds, so you have to take the Jacques Cartier Bridge and wind your way through some park area before getting to the entrance gates. When we tried to get there, the traffic was backed up onto the bridge in both directions. Definitely not a good sign. After waiting in horrendous traffic for 30-40 minutes, we finally got into the parking lot. Turns out, they only had 2/5 toll gates open for their park opening, which caused traffic to back up and create a huge mess. Tragically, this only foreshadowed the rest of our day.

 

The parking lots at La Ronde are seemingly light years away from the actual entrance to the park and there were no trams anywhere to be seen. So, we bit the bullet and sprung for preferred parking. It was a bit more, but it was totally worth it as we parked more or less at the main gates. However, when we got to the main gates, it was time to get in line yet again to get our admissions. At most (if not all) parks I've been to, they have a majority of their ticket windows open for park opening. Not La Ronde. They had maybe 25% of the windows open, and that's being generous. And the windows that were opened? The staff moved like snails. We waited for another 30-40 minutes just to get our tickets to get into the park. Needless to say, we were not pleased. Definitely not a good way to start the day. Let this be a lesson though, always buy tickets online if you can.

 

So, we finally got into the park. Hurrah. We then made our way to the FlashPass building. Surprisingly, there were no lines to purchase one, so we got ours fairly quickly. The Gold FlashPass was $50 or thereabouts, but it was most definitely worth it. After grabbing our FlashPass, we immediately queued for Goliath and started to make our way to the back of the park. We arrived, had our passes scanned and skipped 99% of the line. I had never used a FlashPass before, so I was very impressed with what it was offering. The crew at Goliath (or as it was pronounced "Go-yai-eth") was actually pretty decent and kept the queue moving. Something that was a bit of a rarity today.

 

Now, as for the ride itself? Wow. Why isn't this ride more talked about? There is airtime to be found all over the place, the pacing is great and there are even some lateral forces! On each airtime hill, there is awesome floater air which seems to get stronger as the ride goes on. I only have very positive things to say about this ride. Out of the 4 B&M hypers I've been on, this is easily my favourite, and that's including Apollo's Chariot. Yes. It was that good. This is definitely going to be one of the standout rides on next year's Northeast Trip.

 

We then moved on to something decidedly less awesome, Ednor L'Attaque, their "new" SLC. We made our way through the FlashPass line, only to be stuck at the station. The crew on this ride was horrendous. They were extremely slow loading/unloading and were stacking trains like nobody's business....and there are only two trains. We waited in the station for the ride for quite a while before finally getting our chance to ride. The ride itself is fairly "meh". It's your standard Vekoma hang 'n bang, nothing to write home about. And of course, at the end of our ride, we sat on the brake run for around 5 minutes as the crew feebly attempted to load and dispatch another train. Why Six Flags decided to put this here when they already have an awesome B&M invert, I will never know.

 

After getting awesome and new out of the way, we decided to hit up the lower capacity rides. First on our list we hit up Toboggan Nordique, the only ride in the park without FlashPass. By the time we got to it, the line was already fairly large. Combined with it's low capacity and lackluster operations, we ended up waiting almost an hour for it. The ride itself is your standard wild mouse, nothing special about it, but totally not worth the hour wait.

 

Our next ride was restraint popping Le Boomerang. Luckily, this ride did have FlashPass, so we didn't wait in line much if at all for it. I thought The Bat at Canada's Wonderland was an old Boomerang, but damn is Le Boomerang old. The cars on it have to have been first generation Vekoma cars. Bizzare, rattly and slightly terrifying. On the plus side, there wasn't too much headbanging, so it had that going for it. Which is nice. Next up came Super Menege, the equally as old corkscrew coaster. Nothing really too interesting or noteworthy about this ride.

 

We then made our way over to Le Monstre, the park's "racing" woodie. Though they were running both sides, they weren't doing anything even remotely resembling racing during our entire visit. They were dispatching one side at a time and taking their time doing it. Again...thank god for FlashPass. The ride itself actually wasn't too bad. It was shaky, especially in the helix thingy of doom, but not violently slow. My biggest criticism of the ride would be that it feels slow, especially through the helix bowl thing. It tends to crawl through the turns, and with the high bank of the turns, its very odd and all around "wrong" feeling. I definitely think the ride would be pretty cool if it actually raced....especially in the helix bowl. The criss-crossing of the tracks would be awesome with 2 trains.

 

From there, we made our way over to Cobra, the park's Intamin stand up. This was my first Intamin stand up, and I quite liked it. Some of the drops on the ride were something that you would expect to see on a sit down or invert, rather than a stand-up, which made them awesome to do standing up. There were some nice pops of airtime and some decent forces throughout the entire ride. The ride was a bit shaky, but there was very little headbanging....also very little hits to the junk (which I was extremely thankful for). This is one of the few stand-ups that I'd probably re-ride multiple times in the same day. Which may bode well for the North East trip.

 

Our final coaster stop took us to Vampire, the park's Batman mirror image clone. This would have been my first Batman clone and oh....my...god. This ride was amazing. The ride was pure intensity from start to finish, which I instantly fell in love with. The two wingovers produce superb forces and any ride that has a zero-g roll in it is a-ok in my books. As we hit the brake run, I was stunned just how crazy a small-ish ride like that actually is. I can understand why Six Flags put clones of the ride virtually everywhere...simply fantastic.

 

After Vampire, we grabbed a quick poutine (because you don't go to Montreal and not get poutine) and started re-riding things. We also stopped by The Nintendo Experience which was just random Wii and DS games in an old building. It was weird and I didn't quite get it. Near the end of the night, we made full use of our FlashPasses and marathoned Goliath and Vampire until the park closed for the evening.

 

Overall, I would say my La Ronde experience was far more negative than positive. There are some great rides (Goliath, Vampire), but the lousy operations and staff that just didn't seem to care put a huge damper on my day. My hope is that when the North East trip stops there next summer things are different. But, from other La Ronde reports I've read, I'm not sure that would be the case.

 

I now present to you, pictures of La Ronde!

(I forgot my camera at home, so I borrowed my friend's. His camera is a bit old.)

 

After waiting 30 minutes to park, we now wait 30 minutes to buy tickets.

 

Random old fountainy type thing

 

I suddenly crave pizza. Not sure why though...

 

Hey, look at that! A roller coaster!

 

So very, very, VERY awesome. Also, credit #80!

 

And now for something decidedly less awesome...

 

*sigh*

 

Ouch ouch ouch ouch

 

Crappy operations + mediocre coaster = blech.

 

We waited WAY too long for this ride. On the plus side, three F-18's flew over us while waiting. That was pretty cool.

 

Mousetacular

 

Ker-sploosh! It was barely over 20 degrees and rainy...we didn't ride it.

 

Most places have a three point shootout. Not in Montreal. It's all about hockey, here.

 

lol, Roller Coaster Tycoon

 

Harnesses stayed fastened! Hurray!

 

Le Boomerang? Les ampoules.

 

Super Ménage à Trois...wait what? That's not what it's called? Well, that sucks.

 

More Super Menege

 

Shark!

 

A "racing" woodie...

 

Meh...

 

Grrrr...je suis Le Monstre. Donnez-moi des bonbons!

 

Very few places still have Condors...kind of cool to see

 

Bahahahaha. Lamest shot tower ever.

 

Terrifying.

 

Oh, hells yes!

 

Awesome!

 

Still awesome!

 

Crazy forces in the wingovers...

 

I would sell my own mother for a zero-g roll. Well...probably not. But I still like them.

 

Nintendo Experience, eh?

 

Bizzare.

 

Yarr...

 

And now for some blurry pictures from Spirale!

 

More Monstre

 

Yet even more Monstre

 

The noise in that corner of the park is so loud, but the B&M roar is just so good, you don't even care.

 

More Ednor

 

love love love love love

 

Every hill is full of awesome and win.

 

Oh yeah, they had swings too.

 

Get out of there dog, you are not a fireman. You can't even hold a hose.

 

Up next, Canada's Wonderland Halloween Haunt!

Edited by mightypotato
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Great TR. La Ronde is definitly an interesting park...however, you list Goliath as Hyper, but its actually not. it's only 174ft so i guess its a mini-hyper? I dont know...either way it looks like a great ride, haven't had a chance to get out there since it opened, but am next year.

 

Cannot wait for the photos.

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Seeing report after report of how bad the operations are at La Ronde makes me not feel as bad about not going there when I was in Montreal. With so many other SF parks really having better operations in the past few years, it's a shame to hear that things haven't changed for La Ronde.

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Nice report, good to see some opinions on this park. When I went over the summer I really loved it. It wasn't too busy and we also had a flash pass. I agree on Goliath (pronounced "Gonyack" in the station ) being spectacular. It was really my number one B&M hyper (I don't care if it's not technically a hyper, it's the style that counts). Although I did ride Behemoth the other day which one-upped it. But it's still an excellent ride.

 

I almost feel like they don't race Le Monstre for ride integrity reasons. Did you see how much the bottom of the first drop sways? It's incredible. Kind of cool though.

 

And one other thing...did you ride the shot tower? It was easily the best I've ever been on. I too was thrown off by seeing the empty top portion of the ride, but this one is unique. There are two sets of pulley wheels, the ones the cables above are slung up and over, but also another set of pulley wheels right above those. There aren't any cables attached under the carriage (which most have, to pull up/down.) This one launches up, and shoots the carriage up and above the pulley wheels, flinging it up past its own cables. Some launches turn out weak and don't surpass them much, mind you, but a few cycles I was on had the most intense launch I've experienced as well as a freaky "holy crap we're launched above the ride itself" crazy ejector air. So that's sorta what the excess "tower" is for.

 

It's nice to read a TR of this not so talked about park. Thanks for the pictures

67428_448749001713_550211713_5858632_442104_n.jpg.22208666bfd3c318c06713ddaac4ff8d.jpg

Not the most zoomed in shot...but if you look close you can see the top-side only cables stretched down as the car flies past the pulleys.

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