If you’re looking for something to do this summer and you don’t want to break the bank, then you might want to give La Ronde a try. With record-breaking rides and rollercoasters that will have your heart jumping right out of your chest, it’s a great way to spend the weekend. But before you decide to go, here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about Montreal’s resident theme park.
1. La Ronde Holds Guinness World Records
Not only is Le Monstre old as hell, but it has an international reputation. As per its La Ronde publication, Le Monstre is the largest two track wooden roller coaster in the entire world. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also the largest wooden coaster in the nation. The Goliath also used to hold a record for being the largest and fastest roller coaster in Canada, but the Behemoth from Canada’s Wonderland beat the record in 2008.
2. Your Season Pass Gets You Into Other Six Flags Theme Parks
If you were thinking of going to other Six Flags parks in the States this summer then it might be worth your while to buy a gold season pass for La Ronde. Although it costs approximately $130 per pass, it gets you free admission to the other Six Flags parks (plus, they’re on sale until the end of May).
Video cred - La Ronde
3. Ednör’s Not From Montreal
Although Ednör only opened in Montreal in 2010, it was originally part of Six Flags AstroWorld, down in Texas. It made its first appearance under the name Serial Thriller in 1999 and was put in storage in 2005 until its re-launch at La Ronde. Oh, and its new name Ednör? It’s just “Ronde” backwards with an added umlaut. There was also a cool video launched with the opening of the ride as part of a social media campaign to generate interest in Ednör when it first came out in our city.
4. La Ronde Is A Monument To Expo ‘67
When Expo ‘67 rolled around to Montreal, there were several venues where the event took place: Place des Arts, Automotive Stadium, Expo Theatre, Place des Nations and, of course, La Ronde. However, La Ronde was intended to stay for Montrealers, and the world, to enjoy long after the exposition was finished. So if you were thinking that La Ronde was built solely for entertainment, think again.
5. Their Ferris Wheel Is Old. Really Old.
The Ferris Wheel isn’t exactly a new ride at La Ronde. In fact, it’s one of their oldest rides. Their Ferris Wheel has been around since 1984 and will be celebrating its 31st birthday this year. Although it’s no rollercoaster, it’s definitely one of their most breathtaking rides.
6. They Got In Trouble For Scanning Visitors’ Fingerprints
La Ronde was at the center of a huge controversy last year when it was found out that they’d been collecting visitors’ fingerprints. Although it’s standard issue at most theme parks for season ticket holders, La Ronde needed to seek permission from the Quebec government to collect the sensitive data… something they never did.
7. The Vampire Isn’t An Original Ride
When La Ronde announced the inception of their ride called the Vampire, they couldn’t stop talking about how innovative it was. Unfortunately they forgot to mention, while they were bragging about it, that it’s also a clone of Batman - The Ride, which is a feature at every other Six Flags theme park.
Photo cred - Charles Lemieux
8. They Kept A Piece Of Expo ‘67
La Ronde isn’t the only thing left over from Expo ‘67 at the park. Their ride, Le Galopant, is also a ride that was featured at the huge event. Although it was removed from the park after the expo, it was re-installed in 2007 to celebrate the park’s 40th birthday. It’s also the world’s oldest galloping carousel. So think about that the next time you think about skipping it for something faster.
9. They Have A Brand New Ride
If you’re thinking the only time La Ronde is remotely scary is during their Fright Fest (which takes place during the month of October), then think again. Recently, La Ronde announced a new ride called the Maison Rouge, which is a year-long horror labyrinth, that’s set to open this spring. So now you can get your scare on year 'round.
10. People Have Died There
Ever since Final Destination 3 people have been wary of roller coasters, and in 2012 La Ronde turned everyone’s fear into a reality when a 67 year-old park employee died. However the man wasn’t thrown off a coaster, nor did a cart come free from the track, but rather he was hit by one of the carts on La Ronde’s Vampire when he entered a restricted zone on the ride. His death sent the park into media chaos, and caused the ride to close down pending an investigation into his death.