Monstre valleyed at La Ronde and how to destroy your park PR

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 5:49 PM

Monstre (Cobb double wooden coaster) track 2 valleyed in the helix yesterday afternoon, possibly due to the very cold weather.

Firemen were called, guests were evacuated after an hour. End of story?

No! The park management and security team managed to fumble the situation. In some paranoid rage, park security started tracking down anyone who looked like they had shot footage or taken pictures of the stalled train. They caught at least 30 guests and demanded the pictures either deleted or they were escorted from the park with no refund!

It doesn't surprise me that La Ronde security would do such a thing... I've never seen such a bunch of arrogant 20 years old kids, walking around like they own the place and not doing much.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 9:22 PM

Wow, that is pretty stupid. I mean, this kind of thing happens, it's generally a non-event, even though the press likes to report it. Idiots. I don't know what the laws say in Canada, but if you pulled that in the US without some kind of written policy in place, you'd get raked over the coals by the press and consumer groups.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 10:07 PM

I would tell security to follow me straight to Guest Relations as I demand to speak with the park president.

That is B.S.!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 11:40 PM

Wasn't GL known for confiscating people's cameras?

Agreed. That it is bullcrap. If a property allows you to bring your camera and take photos, they shouldn't have any say in what you take photos of, as long as it doesn't bother other guests and you don't go anywhere that is restricted.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 12:10 AM

The only time I've ever had a problem with taking photos was at SFWOA. They took my film. I let them because I had just changed rolls. They got a nearly empty roll.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 12:23 AM

Wow I've never heard of such a thing. What's the difference between a picture of a train that's moving and a train that's sitting, valleyed?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 12:42 AM

I don't think I have ever heard anything positive about La Ronde and I could see this happening based on everything I have heard about the park. As much as I would have liked to have gotten the credits there I otherwise don't regret not going (and I saw the horrible operations when on a bus tour of Montreal they drove by the park).

Last edited by YoshiFan, Wednesday, May 20, 2009 12:43 AM
Wednesday, May 20, 2009 12:44 AM

The Man kept you down, Gonch. I'm disappointed. You should be stripped of your "Lord" title. I'd tell Six Flags to go **** themselves.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 12:50 AM

This is always good info on the subject, at least in the United States:

It boils down to this:

The law in the United States of America is pretty simple. You are allowed to photograph anything with the following exceptions:

• Certain military installations or operations.
• People who have a reasonable expectation of privacy. That is, people who are some place that's not easily visible to the general public, e.g., if you shoot through someone's window with a telephoto lens.

And yes, you can shoot on private property if it's open to the public.That includes malls, retails stores, Starbucks, banks, and office-building lobbies. (and, of course, Amusement Parks) If you're asked to stop and refuse, you run the risk of being charged with trespassing, but your pictures are yours. No one can legally take your camera or your memory card without a court order.

*Taken from/paraphrased from

What I find interesting is that, they can call you on trespassing unless you delete your pictures. So, it's really a catch 22 - if you want to remain in the park, you kind of have to comply.

Edit: weird spacing issue with copy/paste.

Last edited by Raven-Phile, Wednesday, May 20, 2009 12:53 AM
Wednesday, May 20, 2009 2:15 AM

Raven-Phile said:
What I find interesting is that, they can call you on trespassing unless you delete your pictures. So, it's really a catch 22 - if you want to remain in the park, you kind of have to comply.

And that's exactly how it was presented to me. Sir, we noticed you taking pictures of (whatever they said). We don't allow that. If you want to take photographs of/like that you need to contact the park ahead of time to set up a media escort. You'll either need to give us your film or leave the park.

(it should be noted that I was taking pics from the monorail with my big zoom the day after they had an employee die during that heat wave of 2002 - I suspect paranoia on their part)

No biggie. I lost next to nothing and I'm very non-confrontational when it comes to photography. It's just not that big of a deal to me. I tend to stick to the advice that Raven-Phile didn't paraphrase from that article:

"All this in mind, it's almost always a good idea to get permission where you can and to be polite and friendly with anyone you deal with."

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 3:21 AM

O.K. I understand what Raven-Phile just posted, but let's get serious here. If that were always the case, they would want you to consent when you enter through the gates with a camera.

I have always heard or read that if you bring a camera into the park, and take pics, you do it for personal reasons. You can't publicy publish them without the express written consent of said park.

The only time I was questioned at SFGAm with a camera, is when I wanted to take shots of American Eagle from the Washington entrance which at that time was closed just after 9/11. They asked if I was media, I said no, and they let me go ahead and photograph.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 8:28 AM

LostKause said:
Wasn't GL known for confiscating people's cameras?...

Yes, I had at least 4 times GL/SFWoA tried to take my camera, asked to delete my pictures, and a mixture of both...Three times by security and Once by employee.

One was outside the park by Villain, taking pictures along the road in my car.

Once was taking pictures from the opened midway at the non-opened midway of them painting the cargo net climb. That was BY FAR the worst. Those security guards were going NUTS...Telling me that the park would fully press charges if those pictures showed up online.

The third time was when I was trying to pictures of the waterpark (when it was still on the correct side)...this one is probably the most arguable on their behalf...Of course I was a guy taking pictures in waterpark...not of any one person or persons...but they didn't know that. They made me put down my camera...even after I tried to show them my pictures, and the employee called security before even talking to me, and the security escorted me out of the waterpark to near Mind Eraser.

And for anyone wondering. Cedar Point security WILL tell you not to take a picture if it's something that's not suppose to be seen by the public....with the exception of a new ride construction (assuming because SOOoo many people do it). IE I was taking pictures before over a fence from a bench of some new Haunted attraction stuff they were working on, and the security told me I wasn't allowed to take the those pictures.

"The Future of Roller Coasters"

Last edited by RollerCoasterGod, Wednesday, May 20, 2009 8:29 AM
Wednesday, May 20, 2009 8:29 AM

The only time I've ever experienced anything, it didn't involve confiscation or deletion. The first was at Geauga Lake post-SF during the last CoasterEXT. After we had heard about the incident on Raging Wolf Bobs, I went over to the ride to see what I could see, and they were asking people not to take any photos, though I didn't see them do anything to the people who did get photos.

The second situation was at Rye Playland. I was there in 2007 and was walking around by myself taking general park photos. Park security stopped my and asked me what I was photographing. After I told him he let continue on my way. I'm not sure what they thought I was doing. I guess it's better to be safe than sorry, maybe they though I was stalking or something.

In neither case was I asked for my camera or even asked to delete anything. They didn't even ask to see what I photographed.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 3:37 PM

Canada IS a foreign country, this park is in Quebec, which is adding a whole couple of levels to the complications to this story. Without delving deeper into Canadian federal law, I wouldn't start slamming management, at least not just yet.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009 11:49 PM

Chitown said:

I have always heard or read that if you bring a camera into the park, and take pics, you do it for personal reasons. You can't publicy publish them without the express written consent of said park.

I was at Kings Island the week after the park opened with my 13-year-old cousin Chase. We were there to have a good time, but I was also there to take some photos and get info on a newspaper story that I was writing. The park knew my business at the park because I contacted Mr. Helbig in advance to get comp tickets, and I let him know of my intentions in the initial e-mail.

In the afternoon, just before I was ready to walk through the park to take some photos, we stopped in guest relations. I asked to speak with someone in the PR department. Mr. Hilbig arrived shortly after and I asked him if it was all right for me to take the photos and to print them in the paper. Not only did he say that it was no problem, he also gave me pointers on where the best places to take some pictures of Diamondback were. He did make sure that I knew not to go into a restricted area.

I didn't get written permission, just verbal permission.

The photos and story turned out really great, by the way.

Thursday, May 21, 2009 12:00 AM

^Being technical with the verbal agreement. It applies the same way.

Thursday, May 21, 2009 12:25 AM

Both of the times I've run into camera issues I was in Canada. As I was leaving Playland, I was approached by park security and questioned about my photography. I suspect that it was this photo of a kiddie wet boat ride that got me into trouble. The other time, park security was overly interested in my motives when I was taking pictures of Mighty Canadian Ballbuster where it was shamelessly and incompetently reprofiled.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Thursday, May 21, 2009 1:09 AM

Dutchman said:
Canada IS a foreign country, this park is in Quebec, which is adding a whole couple of levels to the complications to this story. Without delving deeper into Canadian federal law, I wouldn't start slamming management, at least not just yet.

With all due respect, I /did/ specify that I knew this was American law, and that I didn't know what the story was in Canada. Someone brought up SFWoA and other places here in the states, and I was more specifically referencing those.

Thursday, May 21, 2009 4:07 AM

^^ That MCB pic was taken from the bridge inside the waterpark. Guys taking pics in the waterpark of stuff that doesn't involve family saying "cheese!" is a red flag for security. It sucks but it is a problem for the industry. Occasionally guys show up at parks, and more often waterparks to take pictures or video subjects that aren't attractions, friends or family. The odd reprofile of Ballbuster is between a couple of busy slide towers so that's why you got some attention there.

Thursday, May 21, 2009 10:31 AM

Hmmm.. When I enter a park I occasionally notice a sign stating that "Photographers are in the Park Today", and at that point I give up the right to my own image. Isn't it strange that they can shoot me, but I may not be able to shoot them?

The worst experience ever for me was at Cedar Point. My partner at the time, his pre-teen daughter, and I went up a couple weeks before they opened, one, to check out the newly built Raptor, and two, to have lunch at the Bay Harbor, which is open year round. While waiting for the restaurant to open we strolled through the Marina parking lot just to have a look at some of the boats that were dry docked there. As far as we could tell it was a public area, it was the parking lot, and it wasn't fenced off or restricted any way. We had our camera out, and here came a CP policeman who bawled us out for trespassing. We explained that we were just killing time until the restaurant opened, sorry. He said over and over that there was "a lot of money here" and we had no business sneaking around. I was appalled, we didnt look like vagrants or trouble makers, so I explained to him that I had seen money too, and I knew what it looked like. My partner made the mistake of referring to him as "security" and it went from there!

So we went back to the restaurant, (still thinking about spending money there), found a public bench, and waited again. I raised up my camera to take a picture of Raptor from where we sat, and here came the dick again. This time he was ready to throw us out, screamed that picture taking was prohibited, threatened to take the camera, (not my Instamatic!), arrest us, and yelled about trouble makers like us they'd had to deal with.

Needless to say, we were out of there. I wrote a letter to CP about how we had been treated, and how they lost our business that day, but I never got so much as a response.


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