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Re: Coasterbill's Alcohol, Coaster and Culture Trip Reports

Postby coasterbill » Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:04 pm

I'll most definitely be back, but the trip will have everything to do with Montreal and very little to do with La Ronde. I'll pop in to ride Goliath, Vampire if it has no line and La Pitoune (easily the best ride in the park and it's not even close) just because we have a pass and then get the hell out of dodge and go eat and drink the day away in Montreal.

prozach626 wrote:is Fun Spot a pay per ride kind of park if I wanted to stop in to ride White Lightning?


Yup. I want to say it's $10 per person for a ride which is a little steep but worth doing. The first time we went we got wristbands which payed off quickly but this time it was late so we just bought tickets for White Lightning and the bat sh*t insane Paratrooper. Honestly I'll probably do this every time we go to Florida and then get a drink or two (just because they're so cheap). I love Fun Spot.

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Re: Coasterbill's Alcohol, Coaster and Culture Trip Reports

Postby DILinator » Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:52 am

coasterbill wrote:I
prozach626 wrote:is Fun Spot a pay per ride kind of park if I wanted to stop in to ride White Lightning?


Yup. I want to say it's $10 per person for a ride which is a little steep but worth doing. The first time we went we got wristbands which payed off quickly but this time it was late so we just bought tickets for White Lightning and the bat sh*t insane Paratrooper. Honestly I'll probably do this every time we go to Florida and then get a drink or two (just because they're so cheap). I love Fun Spot.


To piggyback on this, I also HIGHLY recommend hitting up Fun Spot, even if for a brief stop just to ride the awesomeness that is White Lightning, and any other selected rides! I know $10 an hour seems a steep per hour price, but the park is open until Midnight this Saturday, while Sea World closes at 8. So you can get four hours in the park for about $40. If you were going to pay $10 for just one ride on White Lightning anyway (assuming Bill is correct about that, because I don't honestly know since we paid the all day price), you might as well enjoy four hours at the park at night, which I think will provide you plenty of time to ride any flats you want, Freedom Flyer once for the credit (or more, if you really like it), and marathoning White Lightning, which is an awesome thing to do! As Bill said, I too love Fun Spot, and will visit it anytime I'm in the Orlando area in the future!
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Re: Coasterbill's Alcohol, Coaster and Culture Trip Reports

Postby deguy123 » Thu Aug 11, 2016 4:31 am

La Ronde's only good quality I remember is that they had bars in the middle of the park! Plus the bars sold shots LOL
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Re: Coasterbill's Alcohol, Coaster and Culture Trip Reports

Postby The Geek Mojo » Thu Aug 11, 2016 5:42 am

Awesome funny report so far. I like your point about "Normal people would have spent their three theme park days at Universal and Disney"...And I'm like you. We went for a quick weekend trip back in February and spent our weekend at Sea World and Busch Gardens too...We fit Disney Springs in also...But Central Florida doesn't all have to be about the resorts. To me, the Sea World parks are just as fun. Except for my trip, Sheikra and Falcon's Fury was open, but Cobra's Curse and Mako was not. I also agree with you about Kumba...It is absolutely a fantastic B&M...My second favorite B&M behind Fury 325. And although you make a valid point on B&M's, I actually like Banshee better than Montu. Montu is an amazing ride, but probably #3 on my invert list. And lastly, after reading about La Ronde...I'm going to wait awhile on my Montreal trip. Definitely going to make Toronto my first Canadian visit. La Ronde can wait! Thanks for the spoilers!

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Re: Coasterbill's Alcohol, Coaster and Culture Trip Reports

Postby coasterbill » Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:15 am

Thanks everyone! Okay... brace yourselves for part 2.

As the sun rose on Quebec, La Ronde remained in shadow. A cold, dreary rain fell, almost as a solemn reminder of the dark and depressed nature of the mysterious island where the sun never shines, birds never sing and trains never dispatch.

The island has a bridge passing over it that connects to Montreal. Some drivers never notice the shadowy land beneath them as they sip their Tim Horton’s and think “aboat” the next habs game or their upcoming trip to Canada’s Wonderland. Other drivers though feel a sense of unease as they pass over it… some even subconsciously add a few extra kilometers per hour until the mysterious island is safely in their rear view mirror.

For some reason, the island felt even more lonely and solemn on this morning. Sure it was clearly advertised that Goliath had 2 hours of exclusive ride time for passholders, but as we approached the rear parking lot we felt alone, abandoned and overrun with the kind of hopelessness one can only experience on the mysterious island of “La Ronde”. The air was full of eerie silence, the kind of silenced reserved for an eerie horror film or for when… I don’t know, a park advertises ERT but they don’t even know they advertised ERT until you f**king tell them and then they go get their f**king manager to show them the f**king email you had to f*cking pull up on your f**cking phone or the posting they put on their own f**king website that clearly says ERT but they forgot to tell the staff so nobody knew it was even a thing…

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We needed all the coffee in the world to put up with another day at La Ronde. Thankfully we were in Canada and drinking Tim Horton’s is like drinking liquid sunshine and happiness.

Oh crap, I broke away from the storyline. Sorry, I guess I needed to vent. Anyway yeah they had no idea they were supposed to have ERT. We were the only ones at the gate and security looked entirely confused as to why we were there until we showed them what it said on their website and in the email they sent out on our phones. I swear to god I’m not making this up.

Pic 2.JPG
Waiting for the ERT session that may or may not be coming.

Eventually someone went to get their supervisor so they could “find out if they were going to do the ERT since we were the only ones there” (are you f**king kidding me? They really said that.). About 20 minutes later they came out and told us we could go in, but we went over to the ride and were told that we couldn’t ride because it was raining and VR wouldn’t work in the rain.

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Silence… lol

We explained that we didn’t have any interest whatsoever in the VR and after looking confused as to why anyone would ever want to ride a coaster without a cell phone strapped to their face, they allowed us to ride. To be honest the ERT session was actually a lot of fun. The ride was enjoyable (nothing amazing but all B&M hypers are fun rides) and we got a bunch of rides in, mostly as the only 2 people on the train.

Eventually it stopped raining and we decided to try the VR. The first time it didn’t work at all and I was left staring at the back of my virtual seat. The second time it worked and it was sort of cool, but personally I thought it was kind of an overrated gimmick and the phone was pretty annoying bouncing up and down on every hill. Most of our rides were ridden without the VR, the way the coaster was intended to be ridden. It’s a solid ride for sure and Goliath would be a welcome addition to any park.

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A picture of Goliath taken later in the day. Notice the stacking. Lol

As ERT came to a close, more and more people started to show up. As 12:00 rolled around we went over to the rope drop area so we could head to the other rides. We had a simple plan, to ride the Wild Mouse (because of it’s horrible capacity) and then Vampire to get all of the coasters in. Besides that the only other rides we were interested in were the Sky Tower, Monorail and La Pitoune.

As soon as the rope dropped we headed right for the mouse. It had a cool bobsled theme but was a really forgettable ride. Capacity was terrible so a stair wait took about 20 minutes but by the time we got out of line it was posted at 2 hours so I can’t complain.

Our next stop was Vampire which took us through an obnoxiously long, overgrown, ugly queue line into a generic looking station. It was running backwards which was a shame but we got our ride in. Unlike Batman at Great Adventure the ride really beat the hell out of us running backwards, but I’m sure when it runs forwards it’s just fine so I won’t hold that against it. I’m not sure why it was so much rougher than the Great Adventure version but we assumed that it was because the ride was at La Ronde and in order to be compliant with park policy it had to be slightly sh*ttier than it’s counterparts. I’m pretty sure that just like Quebec has language police, La Ronde has a private force of suck police in order to keep the tradition alive. I’m sure they had to go through a bunch of hoops to have a Batman clone at all. That might be why the ride has one less row than the other Batman clones (so it had a 6 car train with the backwards train) just to keep with the tradition of miserable capacity that La Ronde holds near and dear to it’s heart.

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This picture was taken specifically to make Boldikus jealous. For some reason he loves Batman backwards. The jealousy factor was raised exponentially by the "I Conquered Skull Mountain" shirt (which I rarely ever wear in public) . He was texting me pictures from Great Adventure on opening day at work and therefore deserves this. Plus let's be real... nobody was actually jealous of anyone who was at La Ronde. The only appropriate emotion would be empathy.

After we left Vampire we figured that since the park had been open for an hour we’d be able to go ride the other rides we wanted to ride and then head into the city (Spoiler Alert: AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA).

Just kidding, basically every ride was still closed. No really, besides Goliath, Vampire the Mouse and the Super Horsemanship ride, nothing was running. Nothing. The park was open for an hour and most rides weren’t even staffed yet.

We didn’t want to leave without riding the Flume, so we decided to just meander around and check out the shops / take some pictures.

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The go kart track was lovely. Had it been abandoned for a decade? Was it going to open in an hour? Sometimes at La Ronde it's hard to tell. That's half the fun!


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For when the park drives you to drink…

As we kept walking it became obvious that basically nothing was open which now included Goliath because it was drizzling. Apparently this is par for the course at La Ronde that only 3 rides are open for the first 2 hours of the day so people just jump the chains and get in lines for rides that aren’t staffed and haven’t moved once all day.

Pic 7.JPG

The flyers had a long queue building up, but there was no ride op in sight and the ride wouldn’t move for another 40 minutes. Notice the brand new ride behind it which had a full queue and was also closed with no ride op in sight 90 minutes after park opening on a weekend. I like this picture because it’s framed nicely by the closed observation tower on the left and the closed wood coaster on the right. I’m artsy…

Pic 8.JPG

Here you’ll see another artsy photograph I took that I like to call “A compilation of closed sh*t”. This piece really speaks to how if we search deep within ourselves we’ll find a lot of our own closed sh*t that we need to deal with, but in turn that really just makes us stronger people in the end. The people on the left walking away sad because the park has been open for 90 minutes and everything is closed are really just a symbol of how sometimes things can seem dreary and bleak but we need to experience that so that we can learn to search within ourselves and turn our internal closed sh*t into open sh*t and then when we finally experience the open sh*t it will seem even better because of the struggles we’ve had to overcome.

… it’s a metaphor.

After more mindless meandering we were shocked to see the Sky Tower actually running. We hopped on and got on the first cabin of the day, which offered some impressive views of the park and the surrounding area. The bridge sort of gets in the way of the skyline, but you still get great views of the area and of Olympic stadium.

Pic 9.JPG
The bridge and the invert with the closed standup, closed log flume, closed S&S tower, closed Go Karts, closed Breakdance, closed slingshot, abandoned concrete whatever-that-is and closed Star Flyer.


Pic 10.JPG
This ride was actually open at that point but with dispatch times like that it’s really hard to tell.

Once we got back down to the ground most of the rides had finally opened (all 2 hours after the park opened so it was obviously scheduled that way). We made our way over to the flume and were greeted with a 30 minute line that had formed before the ride opened. That was just fine with me because this was the most anticipated ride of the trip and it didn’t disappoint.

La Pituone opened with the park in 1967 which makes it one of the older Flumes still in operation. It shows it’s age, but in a good way with old wood structures, leaky troughs and a really cool classic vibe. I think the key to this ride’s longevity is it’s location. It’s located over the lake and it’s filled with lake water. Because of this Six Flags doesn’t seem too concerned with the incredible amount of leaks because if the water leaks into the lake they just pump it right back out, probably keeping the maintenance costs low for a flume that’s pushing 50 years old.

The ride really bangs around the troughs a lot and does very little floating which I generally don’t enjoy that much but because of the classic nature of this ride I didn’t care one bit. This is a great little ride and helped give us a slightly (and I mean slightly) more favorable opinion of the park as a whole.

Pic 11.JPG
La Ronde does not deserve this ride.

After La Pituone we were ready to head into the city, but we opted to take the unique looking monorail to the other end of the park. The ride was really cool, unfortunately it really needed a coat of paint but I did appreciate it for it’s old school appearance.

Pic 12.JPG
The rusty monorail

My overall opinion of La Ronde is that no matter how much I try to sugar coat it the park flat out sucks. Strangely enough though I’ll probably be back. Why? Because Montreal is incredible! We can’t get back to that amazing city fast enough, and despite the crapiness of the park I’m sure we’ll stop in for a ride on Goliath and La Pituone at some point. As far as the rest of the park though it’s really a dive, and it’s kind of sad because it does feel like it was once a very impressive park.

I’m going to split this report into 3 parts because I don’t want the crapiness of La Ronde to put a damper on the rest of our Montreal report (can I just say one more time how much I love Montreal? Because I LOVE Montreal.) Also for all you coaster people, there’s a cameo from Great Escape on the way.

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Bye piece of crap wood coaster and crappy horsemanship ride! Hopefully next time we’re here we’ll find out that the horsemanship ride was melted down to make steel for the IBox track that it’s piece of crap neighbor so desperately needs.

As for La Ronde, bye Felicia! Or as the locals would say… “Au Revoir Felicia”.

Coming up next… Montreal and Great Escape!

PS: And if you participated in the last trivia question and guessed “Actual Midway”, you’re right! Let that sink in for a minute.

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Re: Coasterbill's Alcohol, Coaster and Culture Trip Reports

Postby Jcoaster » Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:36 am

Tim Horton's is God. That had to be the highlight of the visit next to Goliath.
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Re: Coasterbill's Alcohol, Coaster and Culture Trip Reports

Postby DirkFunk » Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:39 am

I have two La Ronde experiences:

1) Victoria Day, 2004. The park was slated to be open for the holiday. We arrived at around 1PM. The gates were all closed. The coasters were running empty. The park simply never opened due to occasional rain showers in the area. Other people would occasionally come up in the 10 minutes we were there, look like "Oh, of course, La Ronde isn't open because this place is awful" and then would leave. The staffing was actually there to operate the park; they had to be, the park is fully unionized and they can't be sent home without pay. And yet, they just didn't open FOR NO GOOD REASON.

2) Some time in 2005 or 2006: Went with a friend to Quebec and made the stop in. Waited 90 minutes each for Le Monstre, Vampire, and whatever the standup is called. After being in the park for roughly 4 hours and seeing full queues for every attraction but only one train running on each, we left.

I've actually never been back to Montreal simply because I know I will go to La Ronde if I visit and I don't want to go to La Ronde. It is the worst operated amusement park in North America and possibly the world.

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Re: Coasterbill's Alcohol, Coaster and Culture Trip Reports

Postby boldikus » Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:56 am

This picture was taken specifically to make Boldikus jealous. For some reason he loves Batman backwards. The jealousy factor was raised exponentially by the "I Conquered Skull Mountain" shirt (which I rarely ever wear in public)


Oh please. I am pretty sure you have had this shirt on every time we have hung out, including last weekend. And I have the pics to prove it! :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:

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Re: Coasterbill's Alcohol, Coaster and Culture Trip Reports

Postby GCI Wooden » Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:05 pm

How did they forget they were hosting an ERT session, like how does that even happen??? Does this park really suck at being a park that much? This seems like a place that I need to go to just to see for myself how bad it is (And to ride Goliath and the Log Flume, but mainly the first reason).

I'm still loving the report, and looking forward to the following installments.
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Re: Coasterbill's Alcohol, Coaster and Culture Trip Reports

Postby coasterbill » Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:08 pm

^ Yes. They really suck that much. Clearly the ride crew knew about it since it was staffed but it seems like the front gate / security crew never got the memo. Honestly when we drove up to the park we almost figured it would happen. This seems shocking but really it was entirely predictable.

boldikus wrote:
This picture was taken specifically to make Boldikus jealous. For some reason he loves Batman backwards. The jealousy factor was raised exponentially by the "I Conquered Skull Mountain" shirt (which I rarely ever wear in public)


Oh please. I am pretty sure you have had this shirt on every time we have hung out, including last weekend. And I have the pics to prove it! :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:


:lmao: :lmao: :lmao:

Well yeah but when hanging out with the president of the Skull Mountain cult that's a necessity.

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