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      CommentAuthorBolt789
    • CommentTimeAug 18th 2014
     
    Hi guys! I'm currently on a bus on my way to Montreal to visit La Ronde for the first time. I've heard some pretty negative things said about this park (boarded up food stalls? Most rides running only one train? Ride ops texting on the job?!) however I am excited to ride my first Batman clone, and therefore also experience my first zero-g roll. I'm also quite hyped about Le Goliath, the 175-foot B&M "baby" hyper at the back of the park. The airtime looks insane, so many hills!

    I hope to compile a full report with photos upon my return.

    Any tips for improving my experience at the park are beyond welcome!
    • CommentAuthorbigjoe97
    • CommentTimeAug 18th 2014
     
    Skip the woodie. When I went, the food, rides, and ride ops weren't bad at all, so don't worry too much. Goliath is amazing, better than any full size B&M hyper I've been on, so ride that as much as possible. Plan your visit carefully though, as the weird layout of the park can make it hard to get from place to place, and it's a pretty long walk from one end to the other.
    • CommentAuthorfrutiemax
    • CommentTimeAug 18th 2014
     
    Hi, I live next to Montreal and I've went to La Ronde several times.

    Yes, the woodie is not quite good; it's rather rough and doesn't provide much thrill at all (no airtime). I suggest you ride the Batman clone, it is the best roller coaster in the park, next is Goliath. However, I find Goliath a bit boring because of it's go and return layout but the airtime it provides is really good. I haven't been on Ednor yet, but I heard some negative comments about it (SLC rollercoaster = headbang on restraints). The operating time of roller coasters can be long depending on which day you visit La Ronde. I suggest riding Orbite in the evening because the waiting time can be long (but worth it). Funny fact is there are a lot of huge catfishes in the lake you can feed while waiting for Orbite XD.

    Also, SuperManège sucks and is a waste of time in my opinion (operating time is too long). I would go instead on Boomerang if you can (very often closed due to maintenance). Try to ride Le Condor at night, the view of the park is amazing from this ride : http://www.laronde.com/larondefr/ride_detail.asp?ride=14.

    For food, I would suggest eating in the western themed area. The ambiance is pretty nice and the food is fine (costs a bit but I guess it's not that bad compared to american parks).

    Anyway, have a nice trip at La Ronde. I hope that french accent doesn't scare you. XD
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      CommentAuthorBolt789
    • CommentTimeAug 20th 2014 edited
     
    ^&^^I didn't receive those tips from you guys until I was on my way home, and I wish I had...but more on that after the trip report!

    From the moment I set foot on park property, time was limited because of unfortunate situations with transportation options that day. I was only able to stay from 12-5 in order to catch the bus home, and crowds looked moderately thick.



    Because of this, I prioritized coasters above flat rides for this visit. The flat collection does look awesome though, I'd love to return if only to try them out.

    This park has an awesome front gate:



    Once inside, I headed to the right, planning to make Le Boomerang the first ride of the day. The queue was chock-full however, and looked more intimidating than the ride itself. Since I've already ridden a boomerang anyways (Bat @ Canada's Wonderland), I dropped that plan and moved on to the ride next door. This was SuperManege, the park's old Vekoma Corkscrew w/ BayernKurve model. This line looked a lot better, and I love old-school corks.



    It wasn't until after I was queuing and watching the ride cycle that I realized it was only running one train! Don't these things have block systems sufficient for two-train operation? Not that the ride ops could handle loading more than one train consecutively, lol. Loading and unloading this thing took forever. Dunno if this was the coaster's fault or poor operation. It was about a 20-minute wait to get on.

    The ride proved be be fun enough. The little hump after the drop has a surprising amount of airtime, and the corkscrews were a blast, albeit somewhat rough and headbang-y. Not the smoothest of rides, but not headache-inducing either. Also, no seatbelts or handles on the OSTRs!

    After SuperManege, I hurried to the world's tallest double-tracked woodie (Le Monstre) and hopped in line for Track 2. Big mistake. The line crawled along like molasses as the park admitted the Fast Lane guests in ahead of everybody else. My legs fell asleep from standing in one place for ages, and some people were sitting down on the floor of the queue. It was over an hour before I finally entered the station and discovered the cause for the slow line - Track 2 was only running one train this day. Across the station, Track 1 had two trains rolling in and out and the line was moving significantly faster. It did't help matters that the ride operators took FOREVER to load each train...and dispatched each train with several empty seats! Not once did they check if there were any single riders to try to fill the available seats, so people in line began taking the initiative to do that themselves.

    After 1 1/2 hours of waiting, the ride malfunctioned and everyone had to wait again while the ops ran all 3 trains empty and then removed one train from Track 1. I then let a woman go ahead of me in line so as to fill what was about to become another empty seat on that train. The ride cycles take forever thanks to a slow lift, and by this point I was very tired of waiting for the single Track 2 train to keep returning to the station.

    1 hour and 45 minutes after I set foot in the queue, I finally boarded the thing, muttering to myself "This had better be a darn good ride." It was an okay ride, but not entirely enjoyable after all of the waiting. Overall, it was a typical wooden coaster that majorly lacked airtime but had plenty of curves, a very nice swooping second drop, and a crazy amount of headchoppers. I have never seen a wooden coaster with skid brakes before, so I gotta hand that one to it I guess. Watching the skid braking mechanism kept me entertained most of the time I was in line:



    I meant to make a GIF for you all, but I forgot to record a movie.
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      CommentAuthorBolt789
    • CommentTimeAug 20th 2014
     
    Discouraged by the lines at this point, I rushed to Le Goliath, the 175-foot B&M mini-hyper. Thanks to a much better ride op crew than Monstre's, on top of full 3-train operation, the line for this ride was only about 30 minutes despite its extreme popularity.

    In the station, I sat in car 5, seat 1, and got stapled in a bit further than I'd have liked. There wasn't really any room for true airtime floating it seemed, and during the lift I worried that this might ruin my experience a tad.

    Despite its lack of extreme steepness, Goliath's drop is just as good as those on the steeper B&M hypers. As for the camelbacks (which I had been really anticipating), it was a little hard to enjoy the airtime with the tighter-than-normal restraint. It's definitely there, but not as strong as I had expected, and certainly can't touch Behemoth's air IMO. This is a bit of a shame, as it has far more hills than Behemoth...however my experience may have been biased by that darn restraint mishap. My favourite part of the ride by far was the twisty bit at the end, very fun and a great way to finish. I managed to see the onride camera coming as well and made a pretty awesome pose, but the printed photos cost too much for my budget.

    This ride is very hard to photograph due its location in the park, but I was able to get this pic of the next train ascending the lift.


    Such a colourful coaster!

    I really wanted to ride again, try a different seat, or even marathon this ride, but my limited stay at the park kept me from doing so in the end... :,(

    I then headed towards the third ride of the day, quite short on time at this point.



    Don't let the cool sign and name fool you. This ride is nothing more than a standard, run-of-the-mill Vekoma SLC. I know SLCs are horrible in general, but I thought I'd give this one a try in hopes it was any better than Top Gun/Flight Deck @ Wonderland. The theming is definetly better, but I can't say the same about the ride experience itself.

    The ride is themed to a sea monster that allegedly attacked workers during construction, and the queue winds through a museum full of information, videos, and "artifacts" relating to said sea monster. Unfortunately, most of the stuff in the museum blew straight over my head as I am far from fluent in French.

    Upon exiting the museum, the queue goes right through what is normally the restricted area on most SLCs, offering some really unique views to the public that are typically reserved only for maintenance workers.




    ^This ride is ridiculously photogenic for an SLC.

    One neat thing about this SLC is the fact that half of it is built over water, and the first drop dives towards the water. The jets that normally shoot up sprays next to first inversion weren't on today, although they appear in CoasterForce's off-ride video.

    In the station at last, the trains were cruising in and out hanging by their upstops. The guide wheels on the side and bottom made zero contact with the track while the train was stationary. I realized right then the mess I had gotten myself into.

    My trip up the lift was the best part of the ride, the sailing was smooth and the view was awesome. And then...the pain began. The shakiness began with the first drop and got worse and worse throughout the journey, culminating with the double roll over. This element beat my head so bad I couldn't even see what was happening for that part of the ride. I swear I felt my brain start to dislodge from its socket in the mayhem. Nope, Ednor is no better than Flight Deck, it's worse if anything. I seriously wish I hadn't wasted my time with this thing. I will definetly think twice before riding SLCs at any other parks in the future.

    I can't help but think that Vekoma got very close to hitting the nail on the head with the whole SLC concept, though. They are relatively cheap for parks to build, uber compact, and feature what could be an intense ride if not for the unbearable pain. If only there were such a thing as a smooth SLC...what's the smoothest one you've ridden? I'd genuinely like to know.

    Trying to ease away the pain in my head and quiet the ringing in my ears, I began the walk back to the front of the park, towards Vampire (Batman clone) and Cobra (Pre-B&M Intamin stand-up).
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      CommentAuthorBolt789
    • CommentTimeAug 20th 2014 edited
     
    I had never seen a Batman clone before, and first impressions are very important.


    Yup, this baby deffs does not disappoint...in terms of appearance, and its incredible B&M roar, that is. But how would it ride?

    The queue winds through a slightly overgrown grassy spot, before leading into a large covered area with zigzagging fencing to handle large numbers of people. When I saw the size of the line-up it was confirmed that this would be my final ride of the day,unfortunately there would be no time afterwards for Cobra. If only I had seen those comments you guys left about skipping SuperManege and Monstre, and if only I had had the sense to leave that old SLC alone!

    After about half an hour, I was seated in car 4, seat 4 and awaiting dispatch. And my gosh, the wait was certainly worth it. This is, to date, the most intense coaster I've ridden. It easily slipped into my personal top 5 without a doubt.

    The drop begins with a wonderful sense of flight which is quickly transformed into hard positives, literally gluing you to your seat as the ride slams through the first inversion, the vertical loop which looks very humble and innocent when you're not riding through it. Without a break, the ride rises, and snaps through a wicked zero-g, spinning the horizon before your eyes and giving you a mild airtime pop whilst inverted. But, no time to think about airtime anymore now! WHAM, more positives, and there goes the second vertical loop, outta the way. The following helix caused me to grey out a little before a smooth, yet violently-snapping corkscrew took over my attention. Sometime around here, I lost track of where the ride was going. After another cork and a great footchopper moment in a trench filled with cool mist, the ride whipped into its final brakes. WOW. The ride left me speechless, and had there been any more time I would have hopped right back in line for some more. I can easily understand why this ride has been cloned so many times!

    Extreme postives and general g-force madness:


    My personal favourite shot of the day, wish I had brought a better camera for this than just my iPod touch 5:



    My breathtaking spin on Le Vampire pretty much concluded my day at La Ronde, other than this interesting fountain structure I spotted on my way out:



    ---------------------------------------

    So ya, that's pretty much it. The park is quite far away from me and it will likely be more than a year before I even attempt organize a returning trip (want to hit up KI and CP next summer). I certainly do want to return though, I have unfinished business with Boomerang and some of the flats :)

    Comments welcome!
  1.  
    Everyone likes to bash on Batman clones because they're everywhere and popular, but if you think about it as though it was only one ride, I bet it'd be a top coaster today. It's probably one of those few purely brilliant layouts - the pacing is on another level and so is the intensity. The soaring turns before the corks serve as a "no-so-MCBR break" just so you don't black out on it. It's one of those few rides that is a massive adrenaline rush from start to finish with mad intensity.
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      CommentAuthorBolt789
    • CommentTimeAug 20th 2014 edited
     
    Agreed. In fact, I wouldn't mind seeing more Batman clones in the world if I had to – certainly better than the boomerangs and SLCs. I've never ridden a full-size B&M invert though (Raptor @ CP will likely be my first, next summer). How do they compare?
  2.  

    I like Batman clones and Raptor pretty much equally but Batman Maintains its intensity through the whole layout. On Raptor the Loop and Zero-G aren't as intense as on Batman but the cobra Roll is. The MID course is pretty much nothing and then the ending is basically a longer version of batman but still manages to keep up the intensity with the final helix being one of the most intense coaster moments I've been on.

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      CommentAuthorParadox
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2014
     
    Batman clones are okay, I rode the one in Georgia, but I felt the layout was a little boring and repetitive. My first full B&M invert was Oziris and the absence of the predrop was amazing.
  3.  
    Excellent TPR, thanks for sharing.