La Ronde (amusement park)
La Ronde is an amusement park in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It is the largest in Quebec, owned and operated by Six Flags. The park is under an emphyteutic lease with the City of Montreal, which expires in 2065.
It is on 146 acres (59.1 ha) located on the Northern tip of Saint Helen's Island. 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).
The park opens from mid-May to late October, with peak admissions in July. In the summer 2011, entrance cost $44.99 CAD for people measuring 1.37 m (54 in) or more and $32.50 CAD 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 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.
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. 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.
La Ronde has 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 clone of the "Batman - The Ride" roller coasters found at many other Six Flags parks.
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.
Also in 2007, La Ronde celebrated its 40th anniversary. As a special event, Le Galopant, the oldest galloping merry-go-round in the world, was installed in the park. It was also featured at Expo 67.
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, 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. 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.
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.
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 equiped 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 Vampire running backwards and two new rides ; Phoenix, a Larson flying scooters and Gravitor, a Chance Falling Star from Six Flags St. Louis.
The site is accessible by automobile via a special exit off the Jacques-Cartier Bridge. On-site parking is available at a cost of $20 per day for regular parking, $22 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).
During the months when the park is open, the Société de transport de Montréal runs a free shuttle bus (known as route 767) between the park and Jean-Drapeau metro station on Île Sainte-Hélène. That station is on the yellow line. Route 769 connects La Ronde to Papineau Metro station, in eastern Montreal.
La Ronde operates a private marina for access to the park by boat. 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.
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% 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.