Specific Type: Wooden, Racer, Twister
La Ronde was a quiet Canadian park for its early years. Started at the World’s Fair in 1967, it didn’t make the international spotlight until 1985. It had been slowly building up to this for a while now, with a Vekoma corkscrew with bayerncurve (La Super Manege) in 1981 and Boomerang, a Vekoma Boomerang, in 1984. But the park’s revolution was not a Vekoma, but another type of coaster altogether.
In 1985, two big things happened. One was that a fireworks competition began, the most prestigious in the world, began. But the second was a very large wooden coaster known as Le Monstre, or The Monster.
It opened as and still is the largest two tracked wooden coaster in the world. Oddly enough, however, the second track actually opened a year after the first, as if one track wasn’t scary enough. It was designed by William Cobb, who had earlier designed Rolling Thunder at Six Flags Great Adventure, which shares several characteristics with this coaster.
There are two tracks- red train and blue train. The track takes it on a left turn leaving the station. It hits the lift, and climbs the nearly 131 foot lift hill. After cresting the hill, there is a surprisingly short drop for its height, only going about two-thirds of the way to the ground, but still hitting 60 miles per hour. It sharply turns to the right at the bottom, before both tracks then take a wide, tall left turn, providing nice views of the lake and the first crossover. With the red track now left of the blue track, the blue side dives back down underneath the red placing the red back on the blue’s right. Both sides dive down into the lift hill’s supports and undergoing some nice airtime hills.
Then it really gets crazy. The tracks elevate for a left turn before circling back around into a helix. But with two tracks both occupying the helix space, it is a constant mess of track and supports, complete with bunny hops during the helix.
The ride bursts out of the turn, taking a right turn on a bunny hill, crossing under the tracks twice. Both tracks dive under the lift supports again before taking a long left hand turn underneath the original fan curve after the first drop. It pulls out of the turn and takes another right hand turn with some bunny hills before pulling into the break run.
La Ronde’s skyline was forever changed, and the ride still remain a stunning racing coaster. The tracks are never together, and one can get a completely different riding experience from either track. William Cobb did this several times, with the aforementioned Rolling Thunder. However, these were the only racing coasters Cobb built, though the idea is still alive with rides such as Lightning Racer and Joris en de Draak opening this decade. But the groundwork was laid in this coaster, that is still thrilling, after the 1985 fireworks competition, and the 2010 one.
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