Wednesday, 17 September 2014

La Ronde

Following our morning excursion we headed under the Jacques Cartier bridge to visit one of the larger parks of the trip, La Ronde.

The park opened in 1967 and is one of 2 non-American parks in the Six Flags chain. The other is in Mexico.

Cameras at the ready we have 11 coasters to ride and photograph. 11 was quite a big number and having heard bad things about the operations here we were expecting a busy and challenging day.

 The centrepiece at the entrance to the park is this bizarre plant looking thing. Prior to being a theme park the island was home to the 1967 World Expo. I'd hazard a guess that this is a remnant from that.

The park has 2 carousels, the more modern one is right by the entrance.

We chose to hit the coasters in an anti-clockwise direction starting with what we'd guessed was the worst rides.

and yes, the boomerang was as bad as we'd hoped. Somewhere out there there's a good one. I'll say that every time I ride a new one and will continue the search until either I find one or I've ridden them all.  

Second coaster was the corkscrew which was rideable...that's the kindest thing I can say. It's name Super Menage translates as Super Carousel...Hmmm!

The next strangely named coaster was Toboggan Nordique, which had nothing to do with a toboggan. It was just a normal, and fun to ride mouse coaster.

Annoying corporate sponsorship gets even more annoying. We insist on the whole area being painted red.

Zero-Tolerance is always something advertised but rarely enforced. The more corporate the park the more they announce this and the less likely they are to action it. I tried searching for queue jumpers getting ejected on youtube and found barely half a dozen. 

Despite the French name this is just a dodgems attraction and nothing more sanitary.

Monstre is the park's racing wooden coaster and whilst it no longer races its still a fun ride. On our visit we had two trains running on the right hand side and a very intermittent single train running on the left. It was leaving so infrequently that at first we thought it wasn't running at all. 

Whilst queueing for that side the ride shut down with no estimated opening time although engineers were walking the track and trying to resolve the issue. Our patience was rewarded as it re-opened after a 30 minute wait after the root cause was deemed to be spider webs tripping the sensors. Either the spiders spin webs fast here or the morning inspections need to be a little more thorough.

Demon is the latest ride in the park opening last year. It's one of those kinked top spin rides.

The operator was having a field day ensuring everyone got soaked.

This is the park's original carousel with a debut date of 1885. That's old 

Having spent around 90 minutes riding the wooden coaster we were fearing the worst for Goliath, the parks big B&M coaster. We needn't have worried as the ride was a near walk-on with a queue time of less than 5 minutes. Excellent!

Operations were really good on this ride and with three trains on the go, this was eating the queue line really quickly. This was my favourite coaster in the park with huge hills and great airtime although it wasn't the easiest ride to photograph as most of the track goes out the back of the park.

Whilst Goliath was my favourite coaster, this had the best name and being an SLC I knew it'd be a great ride. Collect 5 points if you realised Ednor is Ronde backwards.

This ride has a theme, rare for this park, and tells the story of a sea monster, a Canadian Nessie if you will.

The coaster was relocated from the now closed Astroland park in Texas.

The coaster is so much fun, not something most sane people would say about this ride. I ought to be the SLC poster-boy :)

I found some evidence that there's at least one other person who likes this ride, and who is going to mess with Chuck Norris. 

Like Goliath the Dragon coaster is not easy to photograph, in the case of this one it's due to most of it being enclosed in a barely lit room. This coaster was actually pretty good.

Germany approves!

Tal is going to reserve judgement...(he did like it)

The park has a pair of Skycoasters which run side-by-side doubling the capacity. I couldn't help but wonder what would happen if they set this up wrong.

Something like this but with 180ft swings :)

A shot of Goliath from another part of the park. Loving that first drop.

There is a second B&M coaster in the park. Vampire is the park's inverted coaster and it is a clone of the Batman ride that is in most other Six-Flags parks, although the real nerds will know it's actually a mirror-image ;) Interestingly the theming around the ride looks exactly like the Batman rides. I'll assume the ride was added with a hope to be able to secure the Batman licence in Canada, but it fell through late in the day.

 and how was the ride? ending up with pins and needles in my feet meant I loved it!

Silly me thought there was a third B&M in the park with the stand-up coaster in the front corner of the park. Turns out it is made by Intamin.

The public can get quite close to the ride. It's a bit rude to call the passengers animals though... I think this is a nice in-joke as the ride (Cobra) is themed around a snake. 

Intamin rides are so well designed that they've incorporated a drinks holder within its structure.

The park is not a complete circle as there's no way of walking from the big wheel down to the inverted coaster. The monorail is a quicker way to make the hop rather than walking all the way back.

I'm hoping "Bestioles" isn't something rude.

That's a might big bee!

The final coaster was the children's coaster which translates as The March of Millipedes. This park will let adults ride but only if with a child. 

Christof sat this one out and decided to enjoy seeing the rest of us attempt to ride it. Myself and Thomas quickly decided it wasn't worth bothering about. Clearly the Dragon Wagons had taken their toll on us. 

Tal did persist and after being initially kicked out of the ride was able to buddy up with a kid and get the credit. 

This is the on-ride of the kid afterwards...not really. This was just a weird advert for one of the food stalls.

Having successfully got all the coasters (that we could be bothered with) we spent the rest of the day re-riding those rides that we liked the best. Kat and Tal got the front-row on Goliath.

A shot of Vampire and Cobra taken from the wheel.

Goliath...Hmm I'm guessing you could get a photo if you were in that car park.

When boarding the wheel try to consider your seat for the photos otherwise other passengers may have to sniff your armpits. 

The two Vekoma coasters and Monstre peeking in.

The rather excellent SLC.

I wonder how the Top Gun theme would sound in French.

Having enjoyed the 7D ride at Edmonton we thought we'd give this a go but it was an upcharge and outdoors so we didn't bother.

Ha! I manage to catch Christof with the "take a photo having kicked him up the arse" shot!  

A little pano from the centre of the lake where the shot tower is located. Somehow I've managed to lose Goliath.

and that was La Ronde. A park that was on my "I'd love to hit it" list and one that I could probably only do on a trip like this, although being in the centre of the city its easy to reach for a non-driver. The park has a good selection of rides and like some other feedback on parks it wasn't as bad as others had experienced. 

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