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NY Amusement Park for May

The Herbster

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Hi (from the UK)


My wife and I are coming to New York in May for our wedding anniversary. We'll be staying in NYC for a few days then driving to Niagara Falls for a few days, then back to NYC. We were hoping to stop off at an amusement park in between for a day to ride some coasters.


Anyone have any reccommendations for parks between NYC and N Falls (or not more than a couple hours detour) that would be open before the 25th of May.


Thanks in advance.


Herbster + Mrs Herbster

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I'll jump in for R&E since I live in the area and know these parks.


There is nothing major directly between NYC and Buffalo.


The best option on the drive between the two cities is Seabreeze in Rochester, NY about 60 minutes round trip from the major highway, but I'm not sure of their opening date.


Darien Lake is along to way but closer to Niagara Falls.


When you get to Niagara Falls you will have a couple of options, although none are GREAT parks, Darien Lake (formerly Six Flags), Martin's Fantasy Island and Marineland (in Canada). Again not sure of opening dates.


Seabreeze has a good spinning coaster (like Spinball Whizzer), Darien Lake has a Superman: Ride of Steel and Martin's Fantasy Island has an excellent wooden coaster in Silver Comet.


Seabreeze and MFI sometimes have discount tickets for the evening only which is reasonably priced and each park only takes a couple of hours.


a stop at Great Escape would increase the total drive by approx 4 hours.


While in NYC, Six Flags Great Adventure and Rye Playland are each 90 minutes away by car and Astroland is a 90 minute subway ride from Manhattan.


hope this helps but you should check the websites of each park for operating schedules and discounted specials

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Finally, I can put my knowledge of Sylvan Beach to good use! I very well know almost all of the parks in upstate New York, and Sylvan Beach is of high importance to visit. It is a very small park, and their only coaster is an SDC Galaxi, but it is fun, nonetheless. The park has a very classic 1950's feel, with several extremely rare flat rides, including an Eyerly Roll - O - Plane, an Eyerly Rock - O - Plane, a Tip Top, a Pretzel Dark Ride, an Eli Bridge Scrambler, (I'm not sure if it's rare or not, but this is the only one I have seen in the region, and it is WILD) and more. I suggest going on a Wednesday if possible, where there is pretty much no crowds, but I only go in July, so the crowds may be different. However, the park does not have a Pay One Price System; each ride still requires individual tickets. Wednesdays are "Bargain Wednesdays", meaning the ticket requirements for each ride is reduced by 1. (Galaxi need 3 tickets instead of 4, etc.) The flat rides run very long cycles, and are all surprisingly intense, but I suggest to ride Bomber (the Roll - O - Plane) alone, as the rapid Barrel Roll style movements are quite painful against the metal doors, but if you hold on really tight, and ride alone, it is a really fun ride, and I tend to ride it several times in one trip. Since there are very little crowds, you can ride everything multiple times in about 2 or 3 hours, but I recommend staying from about 5:00 PM to closing, as the place looks amazing at night with all the Fluorescent Lighting. Laffland, their Dark Ride, is as classic as you will be able to get on this trip. Below is a link to an article regarding Laffland which I stumbled upon a few years ago.




The park also has a variety of kiddy rides, a Bumper Boats arena, Bumper Cars, a Crazy Daisy, even a Carousel that was made in 1898 I believe. If possible, try to go to Sylvan Beach; it is essentially the half way point between Great Escape and Darien Lake. Also, about 300 or so feet away from the park, there is a nice restaurant called Eddie's, which also delivers the classic feel of the 1950's, not to mention the food is good.


- Tanks "Full Fledged Sylvan Beach Enthusiast" 4me05.

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As aforementioned, there's isn't too much in between the two locations. If you're only looking for one park, I'd say either SFGAdv while you're in NYC or Darien Lake while heading towards Niagara. I haven't been to any parks in Eastern NY, but I can tell you that Darien Lake is just off the I-90, which you'd be taking a lot of the way to Niagara Falls. Although we don't really know what's going to happen since it was sold by Six Flags, it is a pretty good stop with 5 coasters (when all are operational) including the Intamin Hyper (the original) Superman: Ride of Steel.


Martin's Fantasy Island and Marineland will be the closest to Niagara Falls (the former is on the way, the latter is in NF on the Canadian side), but they don't offer much in the thrills department. Marineland might be a nice side trip anyway, you know, if your idea of a romantic getaway is looking at beluga whales or something...



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Thank you Larrygator, Tanks4me05 and BuffaloCoastin for your priceless advice.


I've been checking out the parks on rcdb.com and on their individual websites (for opening times). Then cross referencing that with a map of New York State.


I've narrowed it down to either Darien Lake or Great Escape (I love my coasters and the wife her shopping [Woodbury Comon factory Outlet]). I need to do some more research about dates.


I would love to go to SFGAdv again (I was there last August) to ride KK, El Toro and Nitro but it's in the other direction.


Thanks again for the info.

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Our pleasure to help, Herb.


Just to look at it with a thrill seeker's mindset, I'd think DL has a slight advantage ride-wise. Great Escape has more coasters, but only 5 real ones in Bobsled, Boomerang, Comet, Crack Axle Canyon, and Steamin' Demon. Boomerang and Demon have equivalents at SFDL, the Boomerang and Viper. Comet would be the only worthwhile reason to pick Great Escape I'd think because it's probably way better than DL's woodie, Predator. Crack Axle was actually moved from DL to GE because it wasn't very good and still had huge lines, and Alpine Bobsled is, I assume, a typical Bobsled coaster. Compare those last two to Mind Eraser (a Vekoma SLC) and S:ROS. The nod clearly goes to Darien.


But again, it depends if thrills is all you're looking for. There isn't much shopping anywhere near Darien (it's surrounded by farms, if you were unaware), but it does have a very nice hotel (haven't stayed there but my dad was on the crew that built it).


Glad to be of service, and I hope you have a good time in NY.



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