La Ronde (amusement park)
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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.
|Location||22, chemin MacDonald|
|Owner||Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (since 2001)|
|Operating season||May – October|
|Area||146 acres (59 ha)|
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 where the small Ronde Island had been. The park hosts L'International des Feux Loto-Québec, a highly regarded international fireworks competition. La Ronde is one of three Six Flags parks not to be officially branded as a Six Flags park, Great Escape in Queensbury, New York, and Frontier City in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma being the other two.
The park opens from mid-May to late October, with peak admissions in July. Toddlers aged 2 and under 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 has four haunted houses, and many costumed performers who roam the park.
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.
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La Ronde was the entertainment complex built for Expo 67, the world fair held in Montreal from April 27 to October 29, 1967. 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. 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. After Expo 67 World's Fair, the City of Montreal continued to run the amusement park for the next 34 years.
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, such as Le Vampire, Splash, Le Goliath and Ednör - L'Attaque as well as a new main entrance.
The amusement park was used as a backdrop in the Are You Afraid of the Dark? episode "Laughing in the Dark" (season 1, episode 2) and was given the fictional name "Playland". The episode featured the park's iconic giant roller coaster, haunted house with a dragon on the front and its old-fashioned carousel.
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. It is a mirror image of the "Batman – The Ride" roller coasters found at many other Six Flags parks.
In 2003 La Ronde opened 6 new rides including Auto Tamponneuses, Tour de Ville, Manitou, Vertigo, Grand Carrousel, and Toboggan Nordique. Some rides were replaced for these new rides.
In 2004 La Ronde opened Le splash a Shoot the Chute ride with another ride Spongebob 3D
In May 2006, La Ronde opened its ninth roller coaster, Goliath, 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.
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. 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. 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, was 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. It features special effects and theming from an alleged sea monster that was reported to have appeared in the Lac des Dauphins.
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.
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. 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.
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.
In 2017 Le Monstre had only one track open for mainly the whole season while the other track was retracked
In May 2017, on its 50th anniversary, La Ronde announced the permanent closure of one of its original rides, La Pitoune. The water log ride dated back to the days of Expo 67, and had its final season in operation in 2016. It has since been dismantled.
On Saturday, May 19, 2018, Six Flags La Ronde has opened its newest ride—a spinning, rising-then-dipping platform thrill ride called Le Tourbillon, a Larson International GX5 model (Waltzer-style) Tilt-A-Whirl, residing along L'Avenue across from the Phoenix. This thrill ride addition was supposed to have been amongst the proposed featured rides for a new family section, called Carnaval En Folie (the newly-added ride was to have been named La Torsade).
On Saturday, May 18, 2019, Six Flags La Ronde opened its new ride Chaos, a Fire Ball ride by Larson International, which previously was in Six Flags Great Adventure from 2015 to 2018 and was named El Diablo. By the end of 2018, the ride was relocated to La Ronde and has been re-painted from red to black on the top of the ride. The ride also has new trains. Chaos is located in the former place of the ride Le Moulin de la Sorcière, which is located between the rides Manitou and Boomerang.
On Sunday, August 25, 2019, Super Manège closed. It was scheduled to close at the end of the day, but was abruptly closed when a rider's restraint failed. On August 29, 2019. Six Flags announced its new ride for La Ronde, Vipère, formerly Green Lantern: First Flight (from Six Flags Magic Mountain).
|Boomerang||1984||Vekoma Rides||Boomerang||Repainted to dark blue|
|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||In 2017 track 2 was closed for mainly the whole season|
|Toboggan Nordique||2003||Zamperla||Zig Zag Coaster|
|Le Vampire||2002||Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M)||Inverted Coaster|
|Vipère||2020||Intamin||Zac-Spin Coaster||Formerly Green Lantern: First Flight at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Set to open: 2020|
|Name||Installation Year||Manufacturer||Ride Type|
|Bateau pirate||1988||HUSS Maschinenfabrik||Pirate ship|
|Orbite||1999||S&S Power||Space Shot|
|Vol Ultime||2012||Funtime||Star Flyer|
|Maison Rouge||2015||ACMÉ Immersif||Haunted House|
Family and childrenEdit
|Name||Installation Year||Manufacturer||Model/Ride Type|
|Joyeux moussaillons||1967||Arrow Dynamics||Boat ride|
|Tchou Tchou||1967||Arrow Dynamics||Train ride|
|La grande envolée||1990||Zamperla|
|Grand carrousel||2003||Chance Morgan||Carousel|
|La danse des bestioles||2005||Zamperla|
|Aqua Twist||2013||Mack Rides||Twist & Splash/Teacup ride|
|Phoenix||2016||Larson International||Flying Scooters|
|Tourbillon||2018||Larson International||Tilt-A-Whirl G5|
|Disco Ronde||1986||HUSS Maschinenfabrik||Placed In Splash before moving near Vol Ultime|
|Autos tamponneuses (Bumper cars)||2003||RDC Bumper Cars|
|Tour de Ville||2003||Zamperla|
|Minirail||1967||Von Roll Habegger|
|Spirale||1967||Von Roll||In 2019 this ride closed down for the season.|
|Grande Roue (Ferris wheel)||1984||Vekoma|
|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 attractionsEdit
|Name||Manufacturer||Operating Years||Replaced by|
|Gyrotron||Von Roll||1967–1981||Le Monstre|
|Sky Ride / Le Téléférique||Von Roll||1967–2000||Dragon|
|Les Bagnoles||Arrow||1967–2004||Air Papillon|
|Pitoune (Log flume)||Arrow Dynamics||1967–2016||Place 1967|
|Wild cat / Les Montagnes Russes||Schwartzkopf||1968–1984||Le Monstre|
|Le Moulin de la Sorcière||Pinfari||1969–2004||Chaos|
|Le Rotor||Chance Rides||1972-1984||Astronef|
|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|
|Super Manège||Vekoma Rides||1981–2019||Vipère|
|Arc en ciel||HUSS Maschinenfabrik||1983–1987||Bateau pirate|
|Les Autos Tamponneuses||Reverchon||1983–2002||Le Toboggan Nordique|
|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||Phoenix|
|Maëlstrom||Mack||1985–2008||Zone du bonhier Coca-Cola|
|The Flying Carpet / Le Tapis Volant||Zierer||1986–2002||Les Autos Tamponneuses|
|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 Maschinenfabrik||1997–2010|
|Rock Wall||2001–2010||Aqua Twist|
|Tasses Magiques||Zamperla||2003–2009||Ednör – L'Attaque|
|SpongeBob 3D||Iwerks||2004–2007||Experience Nintendo|
|Experience Nintendo (Cyberzone)||Ubisoft, Nintendo||2008–2011||Season pass processing center|
|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|
- "EXPO 67: THEN AND NOW – Tourisme Montréal Blog". 2012-05-09. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
- "Expo 67 La Ronde:". expo67.morenciel.com. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
- Brown, Thomas C. "Music at Expo 67". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
- "1967: Expo 67 dazzles at night on opening day – CBC Archives". Retrieved 2016-08-10.
- "La Ronde Amusement Park in Montreal – Attractions | Frommer's". www.frommers.com. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
- "Six Flags invests around 90 million dollars in new rides and improvements". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2010-03-15.[dead link]
- "Vampire – La Ronde (Montréal, Québec, Canada)". Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2013-08-03.
- Hustak, Alan (May 4, 2007). "Spirit of Drapeau makes appearance to launch La Ronde's 40th season". The Gazette.
- Cloutier, Laurier. "La Ronde prend le virage famille" (in French). La Presse. Archived from the original on 2010-06-18. Retrieved 2009-07-30.
- "Montreal-based theme park". Amusement Business. BPI Communications, Inc. 115 (9): 6. March 3, 2003. ISSN 0003-2344.
- La Ronde. "Ednör L'attaque". La Ronde. Retrieved 2010-04-15.
- La Ronde. "La Ronde unveils fast new roller-coaster". Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on 2010-04-18. Retrieved 2010-04-15.
- La Ronde. "Terminator X, the ultimate laser battle at La Ronde!". La Ronde. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
- "Vol Ultime". La Ronde. Archived from the original on January 25, 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
- 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.
- "New for 2014". August 29, 2013. Archived from the original on September 1, 2013. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
- "New for 2015". August 28, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2014.
- "New for2016". September 3, 2015. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
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