La Ronde (amusement park)


La Ronde (amusement park)
La Ronde
La Ronde.svg
Location Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Coordinates 45°31′21″N 73°32′06″W / 45.5225°N 73.535°W / 45.5225; -73.535Coordinates: 45°31′21″N 73°32′06″W / 45.5225°N 73.535°W / 45.5225; -73.535
Website La Ronde, Montreal, Quebec
Owner Six Flags
Opened April, 1967
Operating season May - October
Area 146 acres (59 ha)
Rides 40 total
  • 10 roller coasters
  • 3 water rides

La Ronde (sometimes called Six Flags La Ronde) is an amusement park in Montreal, owned and operated by Six Flags. It is the largest in the province of Quebec and the second largest in Canada after Canada's Wonderland, with about 2.5 million guests in 2006. The park is under a emphyteutic lease with the City of Montreal, which expires in 2065.

It is on 146 acres (59.1 ha) located on the eastern tip of Saint Helen's Island. The park hosts L’International des Feux Loto-Québec, a highly regarded international fireworks competition.

Contents

History

La Ronde in 1967, Gyrotron at top left.

La Ronde was opened in 1967 as the midway of the Expo 67 World's Fair.

The park opens from mid-May to late October, with peak admissions being in July. As of summer 2011, entrance costs $44.99 CAN for people measuring 1.37 m (54 in) or more and $32.50 CAN for people under 1.37 m (54 in). A toddler under the age of 2 has a free admission. Family rides require a height of 36 in (0.91 m), most intermediate rides require 44 in (1.12 m)) and high-thrill rides require 52 or 54 inches (1.32 or 1.37 m).

La Ronde closes its season the last weekend of October. To celebrate Halloween, in the late couple weeks of October, the park hosts its annual La Ronde's Halloween Fright Fest. The festival includes an extravagant haunted house and dozens of horrifically-costumed performers, who roam the park looking for new victims to thrill and scare.

Today, the park features 40 rides, including ten roller coasters; among them is Le Monstre, a 40-metre (131 ft) high wooden double-tracked roller coaster which currently holds the record for highest double-tracked roller coaster in the world.

La Ronde's entrance renovated in 2002.

La Ronde was owned and administered by the City of Montreal until it was sold to Six Flags, an American theme park chain, in a deal completed on May 4, 2001. They acquired all of the assets of the park for 20 million USD and have a long-term contract to lease the land from the city. Before the announcement of the Six Flags purchase, the city had considered offers from other bidders including Paramount Parks, Cedar Fair, and Parc Astérix. Since then Six Flags has invested around 90 million dollars in new rides and improvements,[1] such as Le Vampire, Splash, Le Goliath and Ednör - L'Attaque as well as a new main entrance.

La Ronde also includes a Nintendo-sponsored video game center. Inside are the latest Nintendo video games and attractions. Since 2009, the former 3D theater housed Nintendo DS and Wii consoles, as well as advertisements and a Nintendo Store.

Since the takeover by Six Flags, prices of admission as well as on-site food and beverages have skyrocketed. Some prices of beverages are precisely three dollars per bottle. One of the most popular restaurants at La Ronde is the McDonald's in the center of the park due to its relatively low prices compared to other franchises in the park.[citation needed]

In May 2002, La Ronde announced the installation of a Bolliger & Mabillard inverted roller coaster called Le Vampire and was the first major investment by Six Flags.[2] It is a clone of the "Batman - The Ride" roller coasters found at many other Six Flags parks.

In May 2006, La Ronde opened its 9th roller coaster, The Goliath, a 53-metre (174 ft) high Bolliger & Mabillard mega coaster. It reaches speeds of 110 km/h (68 mph), making it the second tallest and the second fastest roller coaster in Canada. It was surpassed by Canada's Wonderland's Behemoth in 2008, which will also be surpassed in 2012 by Leviathan, a giga coaster currently being constructed in Canada's Wonderland as well.

For the 2007 season, La Ronde painted its iconic observation tower bright orange to advertise Pizza Pizza, an Ontario pizza chain that, at the time, was just emerging into the Quebec market. As well, all of the pizza stands inside the park were renamed from Pizza Ronde to Pizza Pizza.

As well in 2007, La Ronde celebrated its 40th anniversary. As a special event, Le Galopant, the oldest merry-go-round in the world was installed in the park. It was also featured at Expo 67.[3]

The Serial Thriller, a Vekoma Suspended Looping Coaster formerly located at the now defunct Six Flags Astroworld, has been shipped to La Ronde from the Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom, another Six Flags property where it lay in storage since 2005. The roller coaster, which originally opened in 1999 at Six Flags Astroworld, has been installed over the Lac des Dauphins at the park for the 2010 season and is named Ednör - L'Attaque.[4] It features special effects and theming from an alleged sea monster that was reported to have appeared in the Lac des Dauphins.[5]

On March 9, 2010, La Ronde announced that Terminator X: A Laser Battle for Salvation, an interactive laser-tag attraction themed around the Terminator series, will also be featured in the park for the 2010 season.[6]

Every year at La Ronde, they present audiences with a pyjama day fireworks show.

In January 2009, La Ronde announced its intentions to become a Six Flags branded park, thereby using the rights to Warner Bros. and DC Comics trademarks under the licensing agreement with Six Flags.[7] Le Vampire, a mirror image of Batman: The Ride constructed in 2002, carries no association to the Batman media franchise because the license with Warner Bros. and DC Comics is not valid in unbranded Six Flags parks.[8] It is yet unknown if Le Vampire will be re-branded to Batman: The Ride once the branding of the park commences.

Access

The site is accessible by automobile via a special exit off the Jacques-Cartier Bridge. On-site parking is available at a cost of $15 per day for regular parking, $20 on days when there are fireworks presentations, or $25 for VIP parking. A seasonal parking pass is available for $85 ($115 for a seasonal VIP parking pass).[9] [10]

During the months when the park is open, the Société de transport de Montréal runs a free shuttle bus (known as route 167) between the park and Jean-Drapeau metro station on Île Sainte-Hélène. That station is on the yellow line. Additionally, route 169 connects La Ronde to Papineau Metro station, in eastern Montreal.[10]

Finally, La Ronde operates a private marina for access to the park by boat.[10] The daily rates are as follows: $20-$25 for a half-day and $35-$45 for a full day. The lower number represents boats 24' and under, the higher represents boats 25' and over. Overnight, weekly, monthly and seasonal rates are also available. Septic-emptying and boat launch services are offered on-site.[11]

Features

Thrill Rides

Le Vampire (yellow) with the Cobra (green) in the background, as viewed from the Grande Roue
Name Installation Year Manufacturer
Le Super Manège (La Ronde) 1981 Vekoma
Le Boomerang 1984 Vekoma
Le Monstre 1985–1986 William Cobb & Associates
Bateau pirate 1988 HUSS Maschinenfabrik
Cobra 1988 (initial construction), 1995 (relocated from Skara Sommarland) Intamin
Orbite 1999 S&S Power
Le Vampire 2002 Bolliger & Mabillard
Vertigo 2003 Zamperla
Manitou 2003 Zamperla
Goliath 2006 Bolliger & Mabillard
Ednör - L'Attaque 2010 Vekoma

Cobra

Cobra is a steel roller coaster. Passengers ride the roller coaster standing-up.

The roller coaster was relocated in 1994 from the Skara Sommarland amusement park in Sweden, where it was known as the Stand Up. In 2007 it was announced that a colony of Townsend's big-eared bats had settled in the ride's engine room. Le Cobra is a clone of the Shockwave coaster that was at Six Flags Magic Mountain, Six Flags Great Adventure, and later at Six Flags Astroworld as Batman: The Escape. Cobra only has one inversion (a loop), a turnaround dive hill, and a helix through the only loop.

Unlike B&M built stand-up coasters, this ride is considered rougher then most roller coasters of its kind. The ride is over 20 years old (originally built in 1988) which has led to it becoming rough over time. However, most Intamin stand-up roller coasters are considered rough. The two Intamin engineers of this ride and Shockwave, the ride Cobra is a clone of, went on to found B&M a few years later.

Family and kids

Taken from the top of Le Monstre at La Ronde amusement park. The Goliath is the red, yellow and blue ride to the north
Name Installation Year Manufacturer
Le Galopant 1967 Bairolle
La marche du mille-pattes 1967 Arrow Dynamics
Pitoune 1967 Arrow Dynamics
Joyeux moussaillons 1967 Arrow Dynamics
Tchou Tchou 1967 Arrow Dynamics
La grande envolée 1990 Zamperla
Grand carrousel 2003 Chance Morgan
Air papillon 2005 Zamperla
La danse des bestioles 2005 Zamperla
Monsieur l'arbre 2005 Zamperla
Marais enchanté 2005 Zamperla
Ourson Fripon 2005 Zamperla
Pommes d'Api 2005 Zamperla

Intermediates

Toboggan Nordique roller coaster.
Name Installation Year Manufacturer
Disco Ronde 1986 HUSS Maschinenfabrik
Condor 1990 HUSS Maschinenfabrik
Dragon 1994 Intamin AG
Autos tamponneuses (Bumper cars) 2003 RDC Bumper Cars
Toboggan Nordique 2003 Zamperla
Tour de Ville 2003 Zamperla
Splash 2004 Intamin

Panoramic

Le Monstre and La Spirale from across the lake.
Name Installation Year Manufacturer
Minirail 1967 Von Roll Habegger
Spirale 1967 Von Roll
Grande Roue (Ferris wheel) 1984 Vekoma

Name Installation Year Price
Rock Wall 2001 $5
Eurobungy 2002 $7 for 3 minutes

$10 for 5 minutes

Sling shot 2002 $20 per person
Catapulte 2008 $40 for 1 person, $30 for 2 people, $20 for 3 people
Go-Kart 2008 $15 per person for 5 min

Former rides and attractions

Astronef thrill ride closed in 2002
Name Manufacturer Operating Years Replaced by
Terminator X: A Laser Battle for Salvation Sudden Impact! Entertainment Company (SIEC) 2010
Tasses Magiques Zamperla 2003–2009 Ednör – L'Attaque
La Momie : La Tombe de l'empereur Dragon Sudden Impact! Entertainment Company (SIEC) 2009 Terminator X: A Laser Battle for Salvation
Le Téléférique (Chairlift) 1967–1990 Ceased operation in 1990 but ride was only removed in 2006
Salem Aleikum Grand Orient-Les Mille et une nuits  ?-1984 Le Monstre
Hydroid '94 (Sub-Oceanic Shuttle) Iwerks 1994–1995 Volcanozor (Dino Island II)
Volcanozor (Dino Island II) Iwerks 1995–2004 Bob L'Éponge 3D
Bob L'Éponge 3D Iwerks 2004–2007 Experience Nintendo
Le Twister Heintz Fahtze 1985–2008
Maëlstrom Mack 1985–2008
OVNI HUSS Maschinenfabrik 1986–2006
Le Diablo (Troika) HUSS Maschinenfabrik 1978–2003 Le Splash
Le Tapis Volant (The Flying Carpet) Zierer 1986–2002 Les Autos Tamponneuses
Les Autos Tamponneuses Reverchon 1983–2002 Le Toboggan Nordique
Astronef (Sky Flyer) Vekoma 1985–2002 Le Manitou
La Course Zierer 1976-1976
Les Montagnes Russes Schwartzkopf 1968–1984 Le Monstre
Les Astrobolides Sartori 1984–2004 Le Marais Enchanté
La Petite Roue Sartori 1984–2004 Pommes D'api
Le Mont Blanc Reverchon 1967–2000
Gyrotron 1967–1981 Le Monstre
Le Moulin de la Sorcière Pinfari 1969–2005
Le Palais des Glaces 1985–2003 Le Splash
Mini Rallye Sartori 1993–2004 Monsieur l'Arbre
Les Bagnoles Arrow 1967–2004 Air Papillon
Le Chat et la Souris Sartori 1984–2004 La Danse des Bestioles
La Tornade Huss 1997-2010

The Flash Pass

The 2007 La Ronde Season Pass in hand allows entry into La Ronde and every Six Flags theme parks (excluding water parks) for the 2007 season.

With the introduction of the Flash Pass in 2007, visitors can “hold their place in line” electronically allowing them to go elsewhere in the park while waiting for an attraction. They will be alerted by the Flash Pass device when it is almost their turn to ride. Three types of Flash Pass are available: Regular, Gold, and Platinum. A regular pass simply holds your place in line. Gold holds your place as well as reducing your waiting time by 75%. Platinum reduces your waiting time by 90% and allows you to ride twice and only wait once. The Flash Pass is purchased separately from normal park admission. The flash pass prices increase as they reduce your waiting time. There is only a restricted number of Flash Passes available for purchase on a given day.

See also

References

  1. ^ . Montreal Gazette. http://www.montrealgazette.com/columnists/Ronde+unveils+fast+roller+coaster/2910638/story.html. Retrieved 2010-03-15. [dead link]
  2. ^ . http://www.rcdb.com/1567.htm?dt=126&d=62. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  3. ^ . La Ronde. http://www.laronde.com/larondeen/galopant/history.html. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  4. ^ "Ednör L'attaque". La Ronde. http://laronde.com/ednor/en/fiche.html. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  5. ^ "La Ronde unveils fast new roller-coaster". Montreal Gazette. http://www.montrealgazette.com/Ronde+unveils+fast+roller+coaster/2910638/story.html. Retrieved 2010-04-15. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Terminator X, the ultimate laser battle at La Ronde!". La Ronde. http://www.laronde.com/terminatorx/en/information.html. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  7. ^ Cloutier, Laurier. "La Ronde prend le virage famille" (in French). La Presse. http://lapresseaffaires.cyberpresse.ca/economie/200901/06/01-681118-la-ronde-prend-leviragefamille.php. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  8. ^ "Montreal-based theme park". Amusement Business (BPI Communications, Inc.) 115 (9): 6. March 3, 2003. ISSN 0003-2344. 
  9. ^ La Ronde. "Tickets & Prices". La Ronde. http://www.laronde.com/larondeen/tickets.asp. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c La Ronde. "Directions". La Ronde. http://www.laronde.com/larondeen/directions.asp. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 
  11. ^ Marina La Ronde. "The Rates". Marina La Ronde. http://www.marinalaronde.com/en/tafifs.php. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 

External links


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