Help with Canadian coaster trip.

Need some input on an upcoming trip
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Re: Help with Canadian coaster trip.

Postby Honorarius » Wed May 01, 2019 2:26 am

thrillrider wrote: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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Re: Help with Canadian coaster trip.

Postby Taylor Finn » Wed May 01, 2019 5:00 am

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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Re: Help with Canadian coaster trip.

Postby SharkTums » Wed May 01, 2019 5:14 am

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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Re: Help with Canadian coaster trip.

Postby Doppel Looping » Wed May 01, 2019 5:17 am

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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Re: Help with Canadian coaster trip.

Postby thrillrider » Wed May 01, 2019 6:07 am

Thank you for all the advice!
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Re: Help with Canadian coaster trip.

Postby coasterbill » Wed May 01, 2019 6:34 am

Ugh, f*cking Monstre Jesus Christ...

This ride lives in my nightmares. The ride itself is... whatever. It's not good but it's not offensively bad. It just kind of exists. That said, I don't ever in my life remember standing in a theme park and just being visibly angry at life other than when I was standing in line for that stupid ride.

We were on the ramp and we waited an hour (and we would have waited longer if they didn't randomly call for a group of 2). Each side has one comically small train of like 20 riders or some bullsh*t, each side was running one train and they wouldn't dispatch it until the train on the other track finished loading, ran the entire circuit and started unloading. The line splits immediately so the line never moves and it has Flash Pass. They probably pulled like 40 people from the standby line per hour. Also, it's not like the ops were patiently waiting for the other track to finish running before they sent the train, by the time it came back they were usually still checking the train because... reasons.

This ride sucks but I hope they never RMC it because then I'll probably go back to La Ronde and I don't want to go to La Ronde.

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Re: Help with Canadian coaster trip.

Postby hoppedup » Wed May 01, 2019 6:54 am

As someone who spent a lot of time in Québec in my late teens to early twenties (and was a French major in college), I found the system of cursing in Québec to be very interesting.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec_French_profanity

Pretty much anything to do with the Catholic church and its sacraments can be a curse word.

I would highly recommend a day and a night time view from the terrace of the Chalet du Mont Royal. And climb the steps to St. Joseph's Oratory. (If La Ronde doesn't satisfy your masochism, there is a separate lane for pilgrims to climb the steps on their knees). Last time i was in town, we caught an Expos game, so I have no clue about current hot spots.
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Re: Help with Canadian coaster trip.

Postby Married a Canadian » Wed May 01, 2019 8:56 am

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.


Definitely this.....Wonderland gets VERY busy at the weekends...and even more so in the summer months. Fastlane PLUS it....or be ready for lineups.
Marineland is only a must do if you are interested in the Dragon coaster....otherwise...just hang around the Canadian side of Niagara falls (which is better than the US side..outwith Cave of the Winds). In the last two years they have built ziplines that run down the side of the gorge (Mistrider), and if you go down to the "Whirlpool" they have built one of those treetop rope obstacle courses right next to the gorge (spectacular view if you are able to get to the top level!).

La Ronde was "interesting" in a weird weird way. When we were there they had "Le Vampire" running backwards, which I just couldn't really get into....it summed up the park for me that day (although Goliath WAS good fun...I have to admit that!). As others have said....Montreal the city is a LOT better to visit...and if you are a foodie...some great spots to eat at...and awesome Poutine or smoked deli sandwiches.
Last edited by Married a Canadian on Wed May 01, 2019 4:41 pm.
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Re: Help with Canadian coaster trip.

Postby crikett » Wed May 01, 2019 9:01 am

It seems like I may be one of the few people to have had a really enjoyable day at La Ronde! It was an overcast day with a bit of drizzle a few days after the Canadian Grand Prix. This was a few years before Six Flags took over operations at the park; so yeah, it was a while back. But at the time, while a few of the major attractions that might top the list today were not there, I quite enjoyed Le Monstre (really enjoyed both, though found one track a bit rougher than the other), and operations were just fine (everything was open and running, and it was all a walk on). That said, all this means is that there is a remote possibility of having a good time. I do not doubt that Le Monstre has aged terribly, or that operations are terrible even if that wasn't my experience. And even with those new attractions, I cannot say there is anything exceptional about the park. Montreal though is certainly worth a visit! It is a terrific city with much to see.

And while June can be rough... I was there during the Grand Prix and the Jazz Festival, but it may have only made it better! Also, not sure if this is still happening, but the International Fireworks competition used to happen around that time as well, which meant you would have spectacular displays (launched from La Ronde) just about every night.

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Re: Help with Canadian coaster trip.

Postby DirkFunk » Wed May 01, 2019 9:25 am

thrillrider wrote: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.


Oh s#it, it's thrillrider. You're gonna drive from Winnipeg to Vancouver overnight, aren't you?

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


Wait, this isn't suicidal. Are you OK? What's your body temperature?

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


Might as well do Fantasy Island and the wood coaster there while you're at it. It's good at Indiana Beach, FWIW.

Monday...Canadas wonderland
Tuesday....Canadas wonderland


I'll echo the sentiment about Centreville being cool and also maybe you could stop at the CN Tower while you're downtown?

Wednesday...Drive/ half day at la ronde


Honestly? Skip it. Either go visit Ottawa and see a museum or see stuff in Montreal.

Thrs....La Ronde


Get there at opening. Go directly to the Wild Mouse themed to bobsleds. Then Le Monstre, the corkscrew (Super Manege), Boomerang, then Dragon. That order SPECIFICALLY. If Le Monstre is closed, do either of the crappy steel coasters first that are close to one another and maybe it'll open in the meantime. After Dragon, do Ednor and then Goliath and you're basically done. If - and this is a big if - everything opens close to on time, you can be done with every coaster in 3-4 hours. I cannot make promises here. The flat rides are just like the other ones Six Flags has and nothing is run specifically well. The kebab place in the back of the park by Goliath is pretty good.

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


I would recommend, if possible, making the whole day here in Lake George (along with Great Escape). Lots of cool old mini golf. Lots of arcades. Rando kiddie park with the old Magic Forest. Boat trips. It's very nice!

Saturday...drive Waldameer Park/Maybe cp
Sunday...Cedarpoint/home


Sure.

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


Yes, but at La Ronde you have to do something something. It used to be getting slips at Guest Services, now I have no idea. You should be prepared to go there at some point in your day.

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.


A little, but it's Quebec. French is the official language. Expect everything to be in French first, English second.

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


People mentioned Marineland and I'd suggest you do Fantasy Island instead. The big coaster is better. Maybe not as weird, but better. On the upside, Marineland's owner is dead, so either it'll close soon or improve. One of the two.

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. =)


I had a great time last year. I don't know how. I may be the only person who ever has.

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.


Western NY tends to be pricey. I had good luck with the Lockport Inn and Suites and it is still 4 1/2 circle rated on Tripadvisor.

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