The wife and I headed up to Montreal for the first time for a weekend trip that included a visit to La Ronde on Friday, July 24th 2009. The park has a scenic island location, charming atmosphere, fun rides and we had a fabulous time.
We took the metro to the island and decided to walk to La Ronde’s entrance which was a pleasant fifteen minute stroll. We arrived at the entrance at 10:30 and waited with a small crowd until 11:00 when the park opened. It had been drizzling in the morning but it stopped by the time the park opened. We had originally planned to get a gold flash pass but decided against getting it based on the size of the crowd at opening. Le Galopant and Minirail were the only closed rides and all coasters ran one train but the lines remained short during our visit.
We headed to Toboggan Nordique first to get on the low capacity mouse coaster without a wait. I think we were the third car out of the day.
Next we headed to the back of the park to the excellent Goliath. We traversed the long but empty queue to find a three train wait for the front row. Nice! As we waited, a train got stuck at the top of the lift but maintenance hustled up the exit ramp and had the coaster reset and running quickly. Goliath has some nice airtime throughout as well as a sweet airtime + lateral moment and I really enjoyed it.
We then headed to the far reaches of the park to face the Dragon (walk-on, mid-train). This mild Intamin coaster is enhanced by an excellent all-around theming package. Any coaster where the riders are digested by a creature gets high marks in my book. We got a double ride for some reason, maybe a station overshoot.
Both sides of Monstre were running with about a fifteen minute wait per side. We rode the right track (left entrance) first in the front seat followed by a mid-train ride on the left track. Overall I enjoyed the ride and found the layouts to be quite unique. I enjoyed the right track more as there was some surprise airtime hills not visible from the midway.
I was super psyched for a Super Manege (walk-on, mid-train) but alas it turned out to just be a coaster. This was the first one of this particular old school Vekoma I’ve ridden and I found it to be a smooth, enjoyable ride. I wish I could say the same for Le Boomerang (walk-on, front) but the ride was rough and it was my least favorite ride of the day.
The temporary Mummy attraction was our next stop. This was a good haunted walkthrough with some nicely detailed sets and scareactors speaking French. I am a haunt fan so I was glad that this attraction was at the park during our visit and although I didn’t understand what was being said, I enjoyed it very much.
Vampire was our next ride and we waited two trains for the front. I don’t know why but this ride seemed more intense than B:TR at GADV. The turn after the 2nd vertical loop has some mad Gs.
The final coaster credit of the day was Cobra. I’m not a fan of stand-up coasters but this one wasn’t too bad. There was some ear-boxing but the restraints were really soft so it didn’t hurt.
So it was 2:00 now and we needed to find something to eat. We opted for pizza from the Pizza Pizza stand near Goliath and it was really good. After lunch, we took another ride on Goliath and Dragon (both 10 minute wait, mid-train) as they were our two favorite coasters in the park. Next we grabbed some amazingly delicious Rolapan Crepes and ate them down by the water.
We hopped on the Spirale tower for a beautiful view of the park and surrounding area before heading to our final ride of the day, Pitoune (15 min.) Pitoune is an awesome log flume that runs very fast through its course so much so that we both fell off the seat at one point. We couldn’t help cracking up on this ride even if the devil chased us in a canoe!
Before leaving, we walked through the kiddie land to take a look around and so that I could unclog my nose at La Marche du Mille-pattes.
It looked like a nice ride line-up for the little ones.
We left about 4:30 to get ready for a night out on the town. La Ronde hosts a world fireworks competition and we caught the spectacular Montreal fireworks from our hotel Saturday Night. The city of Montreal and its people were wonderful and we look forward to a return visit to Montreal and La Ronde in the near future.