La Ronde - good coasters for an inner city park

Tuesday, September 9, 2003 9:25 AM
I visited La Ronde on August 30, 2003 (Saturday - Labour Day weekend). I live in Ottawa, which means that it's only 2 hours away, compared to 4-5 hours for other major parks Paramount Canada's Wonderland, Six Flags Great Escape or Six Flags Darien Lake. I must admit, I tolerate a lot more @^#$& because of it's proximity. But the coasters are great.

Pros:

1. Roller coasters -- Vampire is amazing: an inverted coaster with 2 loops, 2 barrel rolls, 2 corkscrews, all in one of the tightest tracks I've ever seen. The track loops through itself so much, you're always guessing what's coming next. Monstre is a good woodie - lots of dives and turns, but not much air-time. There are also the themepark standards: a standard stand-up coaster, a boomerang, a corkscrew, a wild-mouse, a themed dark coaster...

2. nice variety carny rides. It is an amazing place after dark -- the light show is awesome. Condor is taller than most coasters, with an amazing view of the park. They also have a new style of bumper cars that drives like a tank.

3. Unlike some parks, it does have a variety of food, including MacDonalds and Subway, which are priced normally.

3. If you ask nice, most of the staff speak perfect English and can help you find what you are looking for.

4. If you want beer with your coasters, if you're 18 or older, you can buy it practically anywhere in the park and carry it around with you.

5. It's cheap. Without discounts, $29 CDN (~$20 US). Any Costco in Quebec will sell tickets for $25.

Con:

1. La Ronde isn't on a major highway -- in fact the entrance is half-way across a bridge in downtown Montreal. The on-site parking is expensive and a healthy walk from the gates. Driving in Montreal is scarier than any of the thrill rides in La Ronde. Unless you are prepared with a detailed city map and nerves of steel, I would highly recommend parking at subway stations - Namur coming from Ontario or Longueuil coming from New York. Montreal subways are clean and fast, and the station is just a 5 minute walk from the gates.

2. La Ronde is an inner city park, which means that there are a lot of unsupervised youths. (I found the same in Pittsburgh's Kennywood.) Little Johnny and little Sally won't think of line-jumping or smoking in line with Mom and Dad at Magic Kingdom, but send them to at La Ronde unsupervised and look out!

3. Despite being run by Six Flags for two years, the park remains filthy. Staff take no time to clean up the gum or graffiti on Monstre's queue. Garbage and cigarette butts are everywhere. Nearby Six Flags Great Escape and Six Flags Darien Lake are immaculate by comparison.

4. Compared to major parks like Cedar Point, Hersheypark and SF Darien Lake, the staff at La Ronde are slow and unenthusiastic. They make only feeble attempts to fill coaster trains to capacity. They ignore smoking and line-jumping. They take twice as long to load a train as Cedar Point staff. Six Flags needs to do some training.

5. The staff give all announcements in French, and they do a very poor job of it. While I can understand some French, most staff just mumble into the mike - French or English, it's still just static.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2003 10:46 AM
Nice TR! I like how this TR is set-up, and you gave good, detailed information. I kind of want to head up there sometime.

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"If you're thirsty, it's too late to go get a drink." Chinese Proverb

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Tuesday, September 9, 2003 11:16 AM
I wouldn't say Kennywood is an innercity park, yes it has metal detectors and are close to pitt, but they manage the crowds well, on the other hand SFWOA being only about 1/2 hr from cleveland is to me an innercity park, with tons of trash running around just being ignorant dont for get to lock your car and set the alarm. WOA's metal detectors are weak too at KW my keys set it off at WOA my lighter keys, phone, and change didnt set it off.
*** This post was edited by Snap43 9/9/2003 3:18:43 PM ***
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Tuesday, September 9, 2003 12:13 PM
La Ronde also has one of the msot incredible views of any park. The skyline of Meontreal viewed from the island location of the park is gorgeous. In the summer, they also have the fireworks festival. I was a little less impressed by the coaster selection. And, Le Monstre needs new trains. The Morgans are not only bad, they are painful. There's a nice selection of flats, and the food is above average for SF.
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Tuesday, September 9, 2003 8:19 PM
Here's what I whould do for Monstre. Keep the Morgan. Yes, keep them. Maintenance worked all the 2002 summer on a train, basically replacing the hard to get parts from Morgan/PTC (the main reason why those Morgan are starting to dissapear) and its worked. So...

Regarding comfort, modify all the seats to what they did in 1998 for the guy who rode it one month straight. What it is? Bench seats. Put a no single rider riders rule if needed or a small padded seat divider, but essentially, make the seats benches instead of the molded things its has now.

For the lap bars, retrofit them with PTC lap bars with strong springs!

Why all that instead of putting PTC? The PTC on SFNE Cyclone are a disaster. Putting them on Monstre whould also turn Monstre in a disaster.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 6:26 AM
If you do all that, don't you virtually have a PTC?
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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 8:27 AM

Snap43 said:
I wouldn't say Kennywood is an innercity park, yes it has metal detectors and are close to pitt, but they manage the crowds well, on the other hand SFWOA being only about 1/2 hr from cleveland is to me an innercity park, with tons of trash running around just being ignorant dont for get to lock your car and set the alarm. WOA's metal detectors are weak too at KW my keys set it off at WOA my lighter keys, phone, and change didnt set it off.

off topic.... how is sfwoa an inner city park compared to kennywood?

ive never had a problem with either park's guests, compared to somwhere like sfGAdV woa and kennywood are a dream.

/ --------------------------------------
http://www.eightdotthree.net

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 8:45 AM
SFWoA an inner city park? Its in the middle of nowhere! Its not really that close to Cleveland.

As for Kennywood, that is the definitive inner city park. Not in terms of the park guests, I agree they do a good job of keeping trouble out, but it really is right there in the city. Both times I've gone to KW (I'm from California) I've been nearly hopelessly lost in Pittsburgh.
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The Trip: CP, SFWoA, PKI, KW, HW, IB, SFGAm, MiA and LeSourdsville too.
8 Days- 10 parks. May 2003

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 4:44 PM
La Ronde is my home park, it is still pretty dirty and yes the staff does take a long time at filling the trains, but it still is fun. Not to be a critic, but Vampire only has one barrel roll and it is a BTR. Overall though, i enjoy LaRonde because it is very close to town. Great TR.
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Thursday, September 11, 2003 10:06 AM
I guess you do, but you keep the Morgan, which tracks the ride perfectly and thus, you dont have a terrible ride like SFNE Cyclone...
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