La Ronde (amusement park)

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La Ronde
La Ronde Logo.svg
Location 22, chemin MacDonald
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
H3C 6A3
Coordinates 45°31′21″N 73°32′06″W / 45.52250°N 73.53500°W / 45.52250; -73.53500Coordinates: 45°31′21″N 73°32′06″W / 45.52250°N 73.53500°W / 45.52250; -73.53500
Owner Six Flags & Montreal
Opened April 1967
Operating season May – October
Area 146 acres (59 ha)
Rides
Total 40
Roller coasters 10
Water rides 3
Website La Ronde

La Ronde (Round) is an amusement park in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, built as the entertainment complex for Expo 67, the 1967 world fair. Today, it is owned and operated by Six Flags. The park is under an emphyteutic lease with the City of Montreal, which expires in 2065. It is the largest amusement park in Quebec, and second largest in Canada.[1]

It is on 146 acres (59.1 ha) located on the Northern tip of Saint Helen's Island. This is a man-made extension to the island in the space were the small Ronde Island had been.[2] The park hosts L'International des Feux Loto-Québec, a highly regarded international fireworks competition. La Ronde is one of two Six Flags parks not to be officially branded as a Six Flags park (the other being Great Escape in Queensbury, New York).

Park[edit]

The park opens from mid-May to late October, with peak admissions in July. Toddlers under the age of 2 receive free admission. Family rides require a height of 36 in (0.91 m), while 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 in the last weekend of October. To celebrate Halloween, in the month of October, the park hosts its annual La Ronde's Fright Fest. The festival includes four extravagant haunted houses and more than a hundred horrifically-costumed performers, who roam the park looking for new victims to thrill and scare.

The park has 40 rides, including ten roller coasters; among them is Le Monstre, a 40-metre (131 ft) high wooden double-tracked roller coaster which holds the record for highest double-tracked roller coaster in the world.[citation needed]

History[edit]

La Ronde logo used from 2001–2012

La Ronde was the entertainment complex built for Expo 67, the world fair held in Montreal from April 27 to October 29, 1967.[1] The exposition was located on 400 hectares (ha) of man-made islands in the St Lawrence River adjacent to Montréal, and comprised six “theme” pavilions, 48 national pavilions, four provincial pavilions, 27 private-industry and institutional pavilions, and La Ronde – a 54-ha entertainment complex with theatres, midway attractions, drinking and dining.[3] Visitors could experience the rides, restaurants and beer halls of La Ronde until 2:30 a.m. nightly. The rest of the Expo site closed down at 10:30 p.m.[4] After Expo 67 World's Fair, the City of Montreal continued to run the amusement park for the next 34 years.[5]

La Ronde's entrance renovated in 2002.

The City of Montreal sold La Ronde to Six Flags, an American theme park chain, in a deal completed on May 4, 2001. It acquired all of the assets of the park for $20 million USD and has 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 in new rides and improvements,[6] such as Le Vampire, Splash, Le Goliath and Ednör - L'Attaque as well as a new main entrance.

La Ronde had a Nintendo-sponsored video game centre with the latest Nintendo video games and attractions. Since 2009, the former 3D theatre has housed Nintendo DS and Wii consoles, advertisements and a Nintendo Store.

In May 2002, La Ronde announced the installation of a Bolliger & Mabillard inverted roller coaster called Le Vampire, which was the first major investment by Six Flags.[7] It is a mirror image of the "Batman – The Ride" roller coasters found at many other Six Flags parks.

View from the top of Le Monstre at La Ronde amusement park. The Goliath is the red, yellow and blue ride to the north

In May 2006, La Ronde opened its ninth roller coaster, Goliath (La Ronde), a 53-metre (174 ft) high Bolliger & Mabillard mega coaster. It reaches speeds of 110 km/h (68 mph), making it the third tallest and the third fastest roller coaster in Canada. 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. All of the pizza stands inside the park were renamed from Pizza Ronde to Pizza Pizza.

2007 was La Ronde's 40th anniversary. The park celebrated with Expo 67 themed events commemorating the world fair.[8]

In January 2009, La Ronde announced its intention to become a Six Flags branded park, using the rights to Warner Bros. and DC Comics trademarks under the licensing agreement with Six Flags.[9] Le Vampire, a mirror image of Batman: The Ride constructed in 2002, carries no association to the Batman media franchise because the licence with Warner Bros. and DC Comics is not valid in unbranded Six Flags parks.[10] It is yet unknown if Le Vampire will be re-branded to Batman: The Ride once the branding of the park commences.

The Serial Thriller, a Vekoma Suspended Looping Coaster that used to be located at the now defunct Six Flags AstroWorld, has been shipped to La Ronde from the Great Escape, another Six Flags property where it lay in storage since 2005. The roller coaster, which 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.[11] It features special effects and theming from an alleged sea monster that was reported to have appeared in the Lac des Dauphins.[12]

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.[13]

On January 19, 2012, Six Flags announced Vol Ultime at La Ronde; it is similar to the SkyScreamers and it is 45-metre (148 ft) tall.[14][15]

In 2013, the park opened a water-themed attraction, Aqua Twist.

On August 29, 2013, Six Flags announced the addition of Demon, a top spin ride, for the 2014 season.[16] As a world premiere, Goliath was the first roller coaster equipped and exploited with virtual reality headset.

On August 28, 2014, Six Flags announced Maison Rouge, a haunted house, for the 2015 season.[17]

On September 3, 2015, Six Flags announced Avenue Aventure, a section of the park which includes Bateau Pirate, Condor and two new rides ; Phoenix, a Larson flying scooters and Gravitor, a Chance Falling Star from Six Flags St. Louis.[18]

On September 1, 2016 Six Flags announced Titan, a Zamperla Giant Discovery. It is the park's second pendulum ride. It is identical to the Riddlers Revenge at Six Flags Over Texas.

Features[edit]

Roller coasters[edit]

Ride Name Opened Manufacturer Model/Type Notes
Boomerang 1984 Vekoma Rides Boomerang
Dragon 1994 INTAMIN Worldwide Indoor/Family Roller Coaster
Ednör – L'Attaque 2010 Vekoma Rides SLC (689m Standard) relocated from Six Flags Astroworld
Goliath 2006 Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) Hyper Coaster
Marche du Mille-pattes 1967 Arrow Dynamics Mini Mine Train
Le Monstre 1985 William Cobb & Associates Wooden Roller Coaster
Super Manège 1981 Vekoma Rides MK-1200
Toboggan Nordique 2003 Zamperla Zig Zag Coaster
Le Vampire 2002 Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) Inverted Coaster

Thrill rides[edit]

Le Vampire (yellow) with the now shut down Cobra (green) in the background, as viewed from the Grande Roue
Name Installation Year Manufacturer Ride Type
Bateau pirate 1988 HUSS Maschinenfabrik Pirate Boat
Orbite 1999 S&S Power Space Shot
Vertigo 2003 Zamperla Hawk
Manitou 2003 Zamperla Discovery
Vol Ultime 2012 Funtime Star Flyer
Demon 2014 Mondial Roll Over
Maison Rouge 2015 Acmé Immsersif Haunted House
Gravitor 2016 Chance Falling Star
Titan 2017 Zamperla Giant Discovery

Family and children[edit]

Vol Ultime in operation.
Name Installation Year Manufacturer Ride Type
Le Galopant 1967 Bairolle Carousel
Joyeux moussaillons 1967 Arrow Dynamics Boat ride
Tchou Tchou 1967 Arrow Dynamics Train ride
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
Aqua Twist 2013 Mack Rides Teacup ride
Phoenix 2016 Larson International Flying Scooters

Intermediates[edit]

Toboggan Nordique roller coaster.
Name Installation Year Manufacturer
Disco Ronde 1986 HUSS Maschinenfabrik
Condor 1990 HUSS Maschinenfabrik
Dragon 1995 Intamin
Autos tamponneuses (Bumper cars) 2003 RDC Bumper Cars
Tour de Ville 2003 Zamperla
Splash 2004 Intamin

Panoramic[edit]

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

[edit]

Name Installation Year Price
Sling shot 2002 $20 per person
Catapulte 2008 $20 for 1 person, $15/person for 2 people, $10/person for 3 people

Former rides and attractions[edit]

Astronef thrill ride closed in 2002
Name Manufacturer Operating Years Replaced by
Flitzer 1967–1974
Les Parachutes 1967–1980
Gyrotron Von Roll 1967–1981 Le Monstre
Calypso 1967–1982
Traban Chance Rides? 1967–1983
Turbo 1967–1984
Spider 1967–1985
Grande roue 1967–1986
Sky Ride / Le Téléférique 1967–1990
Mont Blanc Reverchon 1967–2000
Les Bagnoles Arrow 1967–2004 Air Papillon
Pitoune (Log flume) Arrow Dynamics 1967–2016
Wild cat / Les Montagnes Russes Schwartzkopf 1968–1984 Le Monstre
Le Moulin de la Sorcière Pinfari 1969–2005
La Course Zierer 1972–1976
Le Rotor Chance Rides 1972–?
Zipper Chance Rides? 1975–1982
Cinema 180 1978–1984
Mille et une nuits (Salem Aleikium) 1978–1985 Le Monstre
Le Mont Blanc Reverchon 1978–2000
Troika / Le Diablo HUSS Maschinenfabrik 1978–2003 Le Splash
Entreprise HUSS Maschinenfabrik 1982–1988
Arc en ciel HUSS Maschinenfabrik 1983–1987
Les Autos Tamponneuses Reverchon 1983–2002 Le Toboggan Nordique
Carrousel Volant Zierer 1983–?
Les Astrobolides Sartori 1984–2004 Le Marais Enchanté
La Petite Roue Sartori 1984–2004 Pommes D'api
Le Chat et la Souris Sartori 1984–2004 La Danse des Bestioles
Astronef (Sky Flyer) Vekoma 1985–2002 Le Manitou
Le Palais des Glaces 1985–2003 Le Splash
Le Twister Heintz Fahtze 1985–2008
Maëlstrom Mack 1985–2008
Aqua-parc 1985–?
The Flying Carpet / Le Tapis Volant Zierer 1986–2002 Les Autos Tamponneuses
OVNI HUSS Maschinenfabrik 1986–2006
Mini Rallye Sartori 1993–2004 Monsieur l'Arbre
Hydroid '94 (Sub-Oceanic Shuttle) Iwerks 1994–1995 Volcanozor (Dino Island II)
Volcanozor (Dino Island II) Iwerks 1995–2004 SpongeBob 3D
Cobra (La Ronde) Intamin 1995–2016
La Tornade Huss 1997–2010
Rock Wall 2001–2010 Phoenix
Eurobungy 2002–2011 Gravitor
Tasses Magiques Zamperla 2003–2009 Ednör – L'Attaque
SpongeBob 3D Iwerks 2004–2007 Experience Nintendo
Experience Nintendo (Cyberzone) Ubisoft, Nintendo 2008–2011
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Sudden Impact! Entertainment Company (SIEC) 2009 Terminator X: A Laser Battle for Salvation
Terminator X: A Laser Battle for Salvation Sudden Impact! Entertainment Company (SIEC) 2010
Le Marteau ?

The Flash Pass[edit]

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 and reduces your waiting time by 50%. Platinum reduces your waiting time by 90%. The Flash Pass is purchased separately from normal park admission. The flash pass prices increase as they reduce your waiting time.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "EXPO 67: THEN AND NOW – Tourisme Montréal Blog". 2012-05-09. Retrieved 2016-08-10. 
  2. ^ "Expo 67 La Ronde:". expo67.morenciel.com. Retrieved 2016-08-10. 
  3. ^ Brown, Thomas C. "Music at Expo 67". Retrieved 2016-08-10. 
  4. ^ "1967: Expo 67 dazzles at night on opening day – CBC Archives". Retrieved 2016-08-10. 
  5. ^ "La Ronde Amusement Park in Montreal – Attractions | Frommer's". www.frommers.com. Retrieved 2016-08-10. 
  6. ^ "Six Flags invests around 90 million dollars in new rides and improvements". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2010-03-15. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Vampire – La Ronde (Montréal, Québec, Canada)". Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2013-08-03. 
  8. ^ Hustak, Alan (May 4, 2007). "Spirit of Drapeau makes appearance to launch La Ronde's 40th season". The Gazette. 
  9. ^ Cloutier, Laurier. "La Ronde prend le virage famille" (in French). La Presse. Archived from the original on 2010-06-18. Retrieved 2009-07-30. 
  10. ^ "Montreal-based theme park". Amusement Business. BPI Communications, Inc. 115 (9): 6. March 3, 2003. ISSN 0003-2344. 
  11. ^ La Ronde. "Ednör L'attaque". La Ronde. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  12. ^ La Ronde. "La Ronde unveils fast new roller-coaster". Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on 2010-04-18. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  13. ^ La Ronde. "Terminator X, the ultimate laser battle at La Ronde!". La Ronde. Retrieved 2010-03-15. 
  14. ^ "Vol Ultime". La Ronde. Archived from the original on January 25, 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2012. 
  15. ^ La Ronde (January 19, 2012). "La Ronde will set the limit in 2012 with its upcoming new extreme tower ride" (PDF). Press Release. Six Flags. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 2, 2014. Retrieved January 19, 2012. 
  16. ^ "New for 2014". August 29, 2013. Archived from the original on September 1, 2013. Retrieved August 29, 2013. 
  17. ^ "New for 2015". August 28, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014. 
  18. ^ "New for2016". September 3, 2015. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 

External links[edit]