When the ride opened in the 80's there was a time when it was pretty highly rated. These were the days when Texas Cyclone and Riverside Cyclone ruled the coaster world.
It looks like a great ride, I used to hear some things about it. Don't hear much these days. So how is it?
It won the Six Flags Tournament of Thrills on facebook if that counts for anything...
Bolliger/Mabillard for President in '08 NOT Dinn/Summers
I rode it in 2007 and it was "ok". Nothing terribly exciting about the ride, but it wasn't mind-jarringly rough or anything. I've had better, I've had worse. That's what she said.
I just rode it on my trip to La Ronde in August. It's not worth traveling to the park just for Le Monstre, but if you are there it is worth riding. The ride isn't rough, but it's not smooth. The Morgan trains with NO padding don't help it feel any smoother. Overall I liked side 1 better because it had one pop of airtime (third drop) and seemed to keep the pace better with less awkward transitions. Side 2 wasn't much worse than side 1 and had a fairly spectacular second drop. Some of the helices seemed like they were banked too much for the speed of the train and there is almost no airtime. Very strange design. If you like a ride that feels out of control, you may love it.
One other thing I noticed was Monstre uses skid brakes... very weird. La Ronde's operations were horrid though, running one train on one side and severely stacking on the other side. The park felt like 2003 Six Flags, and not the "new and improved" image/operations of most SF parks.
What's odd about having skid brakes? It was built in a time when all woodies used skid brakes. Great American Scream Machine and Rolling Thunder still have their skid brakes (as far as Six Flags woodies go) and plenty of other woodies out there have them as well.
I got one lap on one side last fall. The other side was closed that day (very bad operations on my first visit to the park). I kind of expected to love it since it's kind of an oddball ride that doesn't get talked much about anymore--I tend to love those. But it was very uncomfortable for me the way the seatbelt bracket stuck into my hip and it was a crappy day at the park overall, so I'd put it in the bottom 30 of the 100+ woodies I've ridden.
Long live the Big Bad Wolf
1985 was getting close to the end of the skid brake era. PTC introduced their pneumatic fin brakes for wooden coasters in 1989.
Of course NAD had hand operated fin brakes long before that, but those were not very common.
Also Morgan trains could use fin brakes in 1986 because they are on Grizzly at CGA. I guess that could be a retrofit though, as it does have a long brake shed.
Sorry I didn't mean to make this a discussion about brakes. :)
Sorry about the typo, but it does sound like something I'd say in a verbal conversation. :)
Twister opened at Knoebels in 1999 with (and still has of course) skids.
Long live the Big Bad Wolf
Ever since Six Flags took over La Ronde, they've been taking care of the Monstre. Before the purchase, track 2 was the roughest wooden coaster I have ever been on. In 2004 or 2005, both sides got fully retracked and part of the ride rebuilt by Martin & Vleminckx.
The ride itself is strange. Not much airtime, but unique second drops and and different third drop for each side. Track 2 third drop is amazing and into the structure. Track got that quick airtime hill and rise into the helix. This year, it ran pretty good and even ran 2 trains when it was busy, something I had not seen constantly since 2002.
Sounds like I need to go to Montreal next year. It'll be easier now i've got my passport. Plus, I'm about 5 hours away. It's closer for me to go to La Rhonde that CP.
Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!
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