La Ronde - June 2, 2003

Associated parks:
None

Tuesday, June 3, 2003 7:11 AM
This was my first trip to my home park this year. I try to avoid the first weekend because nobody else does and the weather hasn't co-operated since. Sure I'd like to spend the day in a cold and rainy park re-riding everything, but anyone I'm going with tends not to share that view.

We arrived at the park at 9:40 for a 10 AM opening. We purchased our season pass, ($75 Canadian.. can't beat that anywhere) and headed in at 10. Passes were processed in less than five minutes and we were off. I'll stick to the new editions and coasters, but many other flat rides were enjoyed.

Toboggan Nordique (Zamperla Zig-Zag) - The first of 7 new editions this year, we rode this wild mouse twice and enjoyed it. I missed a larger drop but no breaks helped. Ride ops were happy. All in all a laugh out loud kind of ride.

Tour de Ville (Zamperla Flying Carousel) - Typical flying carousel. Seemed faster that others, but I'm sure it was in my mind. Very nicely themed with hand painted scenes of Montreal all over it.

Tasses Magiques (Zamperla Tea Cups) - Another laugh out loud ride, especially when you get that cup spinning well. Really had it hauling one time.

Bumper Cars (RDC) - I had never been on these new type of bumper cars but I must say I am impressed. Easier to drive and they seem to be faster. I saw several bumps that lifted the receiving car off the floor. I like the lack of a big pole attached to your car and lack of that mesh roof of sparks.

Grand Carrousel (Chance Morgan) - Typical Carrousel with the full menagerie and the "non-rider" bench. Seems very slow to me though.

Vertigo (Zamperla Hawk 24) - I was expecting more. Too much hang time and not enough sense of swooping speed. I also expected some air time but there was none. A disappointment that I won't be riding again without walk-on status.

Manitou (Zamperla Discovery) - Now this ride I like. Powerful swooping motion leading to pops of air at the top. Nice spinning motion, smooth, comfortable restraints, well themed. I rode it 3 times and loved it. Each time is a little different based on what position you are in the spin when you hit the top of the swing. A great addition.

As for the coasters:

Monster - This ride is poor during the day, especially compared to how it flies at night. Unfortunately I left at 5 and my only comments are not that positive. Only the 2nd side was open, which is IMHO inferior to the first side. It lacks the double-down I love so much. No grease on the track and slow trains creeping through the course. I do enjoy the lack of seat belts though. At night when there is actually airtime you can take full advantage. One side was opening but they were running both trains. Ops were not overly friendly but flying through restraint checks. The train had to be slowed and/or stopped on the lift often due to them getting the trains out so fast.

Super Manege - Typical Vekoma corkscrew. I wouldn't have ridden it had others in my party wanted to. For a Vekoma build in 1981 it still seems to be running quite well. Head banging is minimal. I just wish they'd get some new trains to speed up the load/unload as they require the ride-op to lock/unlock each car.

Dragon - I hadn't ridden this family indoor coaster since they put it in. There was no line so I hopped on. It has potential but it seems just as each turn/drop is about to pull some g's the apex of the turn is changed. Oh well. I guess I'll hit it again in another 5 years.

Cobra - A decent stand-up. Some head banging unless you keep your head firmly on the headrest. Great first drop, loop and following couple of curve, but uneventful afterwards.

Vampire - I love the Batman clones. G's and the sense of speed packed into a course that never lets up for a second. It seemed to be running faster this year. One train operation however with pathetically slow ride ops. It was our only wait of over 10 minutes at close to 45. I've been to the park in the rain with 6 other people in the park and they've been running two trains, so I don't know that the deal was. Perhaps there was a problem with the other train, but I saw it the shed and there were no outward signs of repair. My guess it they didn't want to rush the ride ops as they would have had to be stacking in a big way.

As for the park, the crowds were heavy for a Monday, completely due to busses. There were no more than 150 cars but there must have been at least 25 busses. There were Greyhounds from the states, tours buses from Ontario and then there was the school busses. Everyone wasn't that badly behaved though. There was some line jumping but they were actually pretty well behaved.

The weather was great. Sunny and 21 Celsius.

The park is looking better and better each year Six Flags has control. Cleaner and better maintained. New trees being planted. My only problem is the graffiti in the Monster queue. I really don't understand. It's all over and some of it is from 1992. They've painted other areas of the park and all they need here is a coat of dark green paint. I honestly think since the higher ups don't walk through the queue to get to the station they don't know how bad it is.

There were plenty of sweepers keeping ahead of the garbage spewed by the school kids. Security was evident everywhere. There were actually midway games and a few concession stands that were closed but 100% of the rides were open. Seems concession workers were diverted to sweeping and rides. Staff management seems to be on the ball this year.

A fun visit. I just look forward to a nice cold and rainy day so I can have the park to myself.

(edit for paragraphs)
*** This post was edited by Mtl_Shag 6/3/2003 11:13:49 AM ***

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