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So this summer we're planning a trip to Canada for the first time in over 15 years. The only Park we've ever hit in Canada is Canada's Wonderland.

So I figured it was about time we head back up north check out some coasters. Problem is, besides Canada's Wonderland I don't really know a lot about the other parks. Here's the potential list of parks we will be visiting in order.

 

Friday... leave work and start to head towards New York. Maybe stop by Cedar Point for a few hours.

Saturday... Darien Lake

Sunday... Sea Breeze half the day, marineland in the PM

Monday...Canadas wonderland

Tuesday....Canadas wonderland

Wednesday...Drive/ half day at la ronde

Thrs....La Ronde

Friday...great escape for half a day/drive

Saturday...drive Waldameer Park/Maybe cp

Sunday...Cedarpoint/home

 

Our home park is Cedar Point, and we will be starting out in Detroit. A few questions that we have are....

 

1. We have dining plans on both Six Flags and Cedar Fair passes. Will they work in the Canadian parks?

2. we're a little concerned about the language barrier at La Ronde. Do they speak English in those parts? I know silly question, but we've never been that deep into Canada before. The few videos that we've watched of the park seemed to be in another language.

3. Are there any other parks in the area with a decent coaster collection that we should check out?

 

I've heard a lot of negative things about La Ronde as far as operations and what not , but it's kind of along our route so I definitely want to check it out. I'll take any suggestions or help about that Park.

 

Also, looking for any input on decent hotels near the parks. We are budgeting roughly $100 per night for a hotel, so anything around that or lower.

 

Thanks for any input and help.

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Montreal is an awesome city and La Ronde is a horrific theme park. I strongly, strongly, strongly recommend spending some time in the city. I know you won’t be able to help yourself and you want to go to La Ronde and I get it but budget some time for the city itself. Don’t try to cram it all into one day because you won’t be able to since La Ronde is a full day park thanks to its terrible operations.

 

As for the language barrier, it’s a non issue. Everyone speaks fantastic English. It’s polite to say “bonjour” but when you do 99.9% of people will politely respond in English as the way you say it will probably let them know that you can’t actually speak French. If you want to learn some other phrases that will be helpful for your trip like “merci” and “Ce parc d'attractions est de la merde. Fais-moi sortir d'ici” you can but you won’t need them.

 

Dining plans work at La Ronde but I recommend leaving and eating in the city as the food is amazing.

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I think you could save 4-5 hours in the car if you changed your route to a loop around Lake Eerie and Ontario; Detroit->Niagara->Toronto->Montreal->Lake George->Rochester->Waldameer->Detroit. I get you probably don't wanna do Wonderland on a weekend but a Sunday/Monday shouldn't be terrible. Do something like:

 

Friday: Drive to Niagara through Ontario

Saturday: Marineland/Niagara Falls

Sunday: Canada's Wonderland

Monday: Canada's Wonderland

Tuesday: Drive/Montreal/La Ronde

Wednesday: La Ronde

Thursday: Great Escape

Friday: Seabreeze/Darien Lake

Saturday: Waldameer

Sunday: Cedar Point

 

The way you currently have it you're going to basically drive right past Seabreeze and Darien Lake on your ride from Great Escape to Waldameer having already done those two parks. This route could be a more leisurely pace except for the one crowded Sunday at Canada's Wonderland. Just something to consider!

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There are no other parks other than those two for an above 14 year old expectation of roller coasters. I would go an enjoy the music scenes, food, breweries and beaches along the way. Of course depending on the month you plan on going.

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as bill says, language is gonna be a non-issue.

Everyone speaks English as a 2nd (if not 1st) language.

 

only advice I can really give is on MarineLand - the place is HUGE.

 

Expect a lot of walking, and long stretches of dead space, where you'll be the only human. I would do my darnedest to get there as early as possible in the afternoon, just to make certain they don't decide to close early due to lack of customers.

 

that said? the long, LONG walk back to Dragon Mountain was well worth it - the coaster is a bizzare combo of OMG how fun, and WTF ? (the long stretch over the poop smelling buffalo fields falls into the WTF as do the long helixes inside the "mountain").

 

The bears back there over by Dragon Mountain are really cool too, and love to be fed.

 

The trek up to the drop tower is a killer, but will offer AMAZING views of Niagara Falls, if you ask to be in the seats facing them.

 

Most of the rides were running fun programs, and the animals are exhibited well (besides the Bears, there are tons of deer, Elk/Buffalo, lots of Beluga Whales (with underground viewing area) and an Orca. I wouldn't recommend wasting any time at the "aquarium". .it was pretty pathetic, tho the seals in there were fun to see.

 

We didn't bother with any shows when there, but there really was only 1 anyways - featuring dolphins, seals, and a walrus (otherwise not on display anywhere). . . but like I said, we didn't see it.

 

check out my Trip report from last may for lots of pics of the park. They were working on an expansion for "bird land". .but no idea if it opened or not.

 

have fun!

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If you want to learn some other phrases that will be helpful for your trip like “merci” and “Ce parc d'attractions est de la merde. Fais-moi sortir d'ici” you can but you won’t need them.

 

lmao

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Thanks for all the input so far.

Lots to consider.

Montreal could be a fun place to visit.

Being that we have kids, what are some interesting places to visit in the city?

Also, Thanks for the routing info. 5-6 hours less driving would be a great thing. I'll definitely look into that option as well.

 

Marineland sounds like an odd place, so maybe a half day wouldn't be enough. Looking on the Marineland website, I had to laugh. It's only an additional $5 to upgrade your one-day ticket into a season pass.

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If you want to learn some other phrases that will be helpful for your trip like “merci” and “Ce parc d'attractions est de la merde. Fais-moi sortir d'ici” you can but you won’t need them.

 

lmao

 

I legit just looked those up on google translate. Well played

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here's the page for Marineland on my TR from last year

 

you can see how huge it is. (yeah, the upgrade to season pass was like that a year ago. .also TONS of coupons to save a few bucks in the tourist guides at Niagara Falls - less than 5 minute drive from park.

 

https://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=75980&start=40

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Marineland is huge in terms of acreage but low in terms of the number of attractions. When I went back in 2010, I did everything I cared to do in like 2 hours.

 

I've only been to La Ronde once (2016). They do accept the dining plan, but it's a bit weird. Instead of going straight to the food stand, you need to show your dining pass/membership to Guest Relations to get food vouchers. You can then use those vouchers at food stands. It's also important to note that La Ronde has two entrances. If you arrive later in the day, you may want to try the back entrance. I didn't know it existed during my visit and I had to wait in a brutal 2 hour line from hell to enter the park (no seriously it was two hours, See here).

 

If you drive between Ontario and Montreal, I think your route may take you past Wild Water & Wheels. The park has the last operating Auto Sled, which is a really funky roller coaster.

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I’ve done a trip that worked well that is similar.

Take the Bluewater bridge and the 402-401 route and go to Wonderland first. Walk around Wonderland a bit that evening to get a feel. Saturday, fast pass it if you can and enjoy the day (fast pass there on Saturday’s in my experiences are more like kings Island on a Friday for waits and nothing like Cedar Point ever.) Sunday fast pass lines are even better and there is a limited early entry. If you decide to go to Montreal, take the 401 all day there and skip La Ronde to instead just enjoy the city itself. It’ a wonderful city, don’t waste it on the park, you won’t regret that decision. Then head back to the states 0n 91 to Great Escape. Then if you need to do Seabreeze it will be only an hour out of your day for travel and you can do everything in less than two hours max if you want. Darien Lake is a 1:10 minute drive from there. You can easily spend the day at Darien Lake with enough to do and unless Marineland and Niagra Falls is on your bucket list, just screw it and just go to Waldameer for ravine flyer II and a better park IMO. This route only costs 2 border crossings (Unless you go to Marineland and need to see Niagra Falls). From Waldameer Cedar point is about 2 ½ hours.

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Oh and there is good lodging around the Metropolitan Center near Wonderland, I was able to find rooms around your price, Montreal (downtown) also. New York and PA even cheaper.

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As far as Niagra falls goes, we did that last summer. However, we only did the American side. I guess it would be interesting to get a view of the falls from the Canadian side.

 

I'm not sensing a lot of love for La Ronde.

As much as I want the credits, I'm wondering if it's worth the 5 1/2 hour drive east from Canada's Wonderland. the only reason I have great escape on the list is because it's basically on the way back from La Ronde. we actually hit great escape last summer as well, so I'm not hard pressed to get back there soon.

 

Maybe a visit to Knobles would be a better option than La ronde. I still need to get my black diamond,impulse, and bobsled credits.

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the Canadian side view of the falls (cascading over the American side) is THE view of the falls.

 

and there's a whole tourist area, with mini-golf, wax museums, go karts, and restaurants there.

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Knoebels is probably my favorite park ever and La Ronde is without question my least favorite so this isn’t an overly tough call for me either.

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I don't hate La Ronde as much as most, but it's definitely one of the weaker Six Flags parks. The highlight is undoubtedly Goliath, which I think is the better B&M hypers. If you love B&M hypers and copious amounts of floater air, it's worth a visit.

 

However, I too would pick Knoebels over La Ronde without any hesitation.

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Ok sooooo...

 

monstre-ng4k9303.jpg

 

https://www.laronde.com/sites/default/files/monstre-ng4k9303.jpg

 

I am gonna go out on a limb here and infer that based off what is attached to the side of these trains....

 

That must be one violent ride. Really I've seldom seen padding that extensive. You can even see some people slamming into the side of them in this pic.

 

Is Monstre particularly rough? Or would violent be a better description?

 

 

(And apparently this thing use to run Morgan trains. Yikes. )

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Maybe a visit to Knobles would be a better option than La ronde. I still need to get my black diamond,impulse, and bobsled credits.

 

This. So much this. La Ronde is so, so, so bad, I can't even describe it. We aren't exaggerating. It's not even worth going in a 'just to say I did' way.

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I can’t offer much, except to say that Marineland for me wasn’t too great. Bears were throwing up and eating it because people were throwing marshmallows down to them. Not many attractions, a bizarre layout. Dragon Mountain is certeinly fun. Dunno if it helps you at all to skip it schedule wise. It just felt awfully expensive. Not to say you can always go by this, but:

 

Marineland: (3.2 on Google, 3 on TripAdvisor, 2 on Yelp)

La Ronde: (4.0 on Google, 3.5 on TripAdvisor, 3 on Yelp)

 

I can honestly say I’ve never seen a park (or any food place besides fast food) that low on Yelp or Google. I’d 100 million % just explore Canada side of the falls before I’d ever return there.

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Here's our review from our last visit to La Ronde back in 2011: https://www.themeparkreview.com/parks/photo.php?pageid=344&linkid=10905&pageno=1

 

Keep in mind we had what would probably be the best visit possible. Park let us in early, we filmed on two rides before the public was let in, we had Gold Flashpass, etc.

 

That being said, we haven't been back and don't need to. It's really all about the poor operations. I remember most of us waited almost an hour for the woodie with gold flashpass, some of the group I think had to wait an hour for the SLC, ugh, yeah, just poor operations. Oh, and there was a lot of drinking to get our participants through the pain of the day.

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If you are coming to Toronto, you should consider going to Centreville on the island http://www.centreisland.ca/. It is a small family oriented park, but is really cool.

 

You have to take a ferryboad to the island, a City park with lots of greenspace, old growth shade trees, surrounded by waterways where people go to picnic, bike, rollerblade or canoe in the summer. It also has a great view of the city from across the harbour, and a free frisbee golf course.

 

Centreville is a small family run park that has been going since late 1960's. It has a flume ride, an old haunted barrel ride, skyride, scramber, antique cars, bumper cars and vintage merry go round. They also have a steam train that goes through the park. I believe there are or were kids rollercoasters, but no real ones. No extreme rides, but a really nice place to go.

 

 

Also: La Ronde is basically 6 flags run by the french, with frustratingly slow operations, but it is still worth visiting. It is almost so bad it's good... It is on an island in the St lawrence river, on the grounds of what was Expo '67. It is worth spending most of a day at, and then heading back to montreal for dinner/ nightlife. It deserves some criticism but not to be crapped on as severely and thoroughly as has been done here. You can get in with your 6 flags season pass. You can take the subway to the island and a shuttle bus to the park gates. While in montreal, check out St Laurent street and Schwarzes deli for smoked meat sandwiches, and 1 or both of the main Bagel shops: St Urbain or fairview, where they bake them in wood fired ovens. (Avoid F1 race weekend unless you are coming to see it) Check out one of the many summer festivals: just for laughs / Jazz etc, montreal is a great city to visit.

 

and: Wonderland pro tip: if you have platinum pass you can come 9:00am Sunday for early ride time. The area rotates each weekend. I usually go for the hour, then maybe an hour and a half of regular riding as the park fills up with real guests, then either hit the water park or go home for lunch. You could time your weekend with one where Yukon is the ERT area and have less lineups, then spend the afternoon on the island or touring around. Take your second day at Wonderland on the Monday and it will probably be less crowded.

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