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Shane's Amusement Attic


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We had to walk by the old Grizzly River Rampage area to get to the hotel. The entire ride still exists.

 

Guy "Next time I go over there, I will take pictures." Koepp

 

Better make that sooner than later. I was there over Christmas and some hotel staffers said that the hotel is expanding into that area soon and what remains of the ride will be bulldozed.

 

Maybe not as reliable as the lemon chill guy, but if the employees have gotten wind, it's at least been discussed.

 

Here's some pictures of the remains

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I recently read something (albeit not on a very reliable site...wikipedia) that going into the 2000's much of upper management at Gaylord left the company and that in 2004 new management was questioning why the park was closed. Apparently there was nothing documented as to the exact reason and no feasibility studies had been done.

 

Did they sell that land to the mall developer or do they pay rent? It seems that the new thing in the retail world is these new faux-urban villages with condos and shops mixed together and made to look like a village. Most malls I know of are not doing very well.

 

It seems odd to replace something that is fairly unique within a five-hour radius with something that will be old news as soon as a newer development opens elsewhere in the area. That's like replacing a Zoo with a Walmart.

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I recently read something (albeit not on a very reliable site...wikipedia) that going into the 2000's much of upper management at Gaylord left the company and that in 2004 new management was questioning why the park was closed. Apparently there was nothing documented as to the exact reason and no feasibility studies had been done.

 

That is true.

 

We've beat this dead horse a lot in the Opryland forum. Cruise over and read what's been said if you want more specific information about the history of this fiasco (as well as some nice memories of Opryland .

http://www.themeparkreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=40134

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  • 2 weeks later...

Darien Lake "FUN COUNTRY"

 

FUN COUNTRY??? Anyone remember when Darien Lake was Fun Country? Well that is the way it was back in the early 80's. Here is a look at the park in 1981 as they were about to do a HUGE $21 million expansion thanks for a unique partnership with Arrow/Huss.

 

This park became a showplace for all HUSS rides: Enterprise, UFO, Ranger, Swing-A-Round. Not sure why they did not receive the Tri-Star or Troika. They also debuted a first class Arrow multi-loop coaster. "Viper" was one of the biggest in the world at that time and the one of the first rides to feature 5 inversions and the second ride to use the boomerang element.

 

You can read all the other details here and see photos and marketing material in this update. I will add super 8 movie of the Viper shortly from it's opening year.

 

-Shane

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WOW! Thanks for the revisiting on MY childhood! I totally remember that second commercial...heck, I'm even old enough to remember the olden days before Predator got rough! I visited Darien Lake almost every summer between 1982 (age 8) and 1991 (age 17). I remember that my family had experienced Hydro Force when it was still at Geuaga Lake and we were thrilled when they brought it to Darien. I also remember a trip we took with school when several of the kids spent the entire day at "the beach." Its funny how in those old maps you can fully see the current layout of the park, which even back then seemed a bit odd (Its basically a giant "H" and you have to walk up the one leg of the H before you get to anything.

 

I remember that whether you took I-90 out or US 5 or 33 you ended up on 77 north of the park and you would pass through Corfu (where 77 & 33 intersected) and I swear that entire town's economy is based on giving speeding tickets to people headed to Fun Country. Many of the residents which still live within 5 - 10 minutes of the park still call it Fun Country- including my cousin's Aunt & Uncle who live on a hill nearby (from their living room window you can see the Giant Wheel and one of Viper's Loops). Anyways...you would come down out of Corfu and the first thing you would see were Bison grazing in an open field on your left which is how you knew you were getting close to the park's entrance.

 

Especially for its time, Viper's queue was unique (and still is)- it follows a winding trail around the inside of the coaster's layout. There were no switchbacks- just a meandering path bringing you to the station. Of course this uniqueness made re-rides difficult as you then had to walk all the way around the coaster to get back in line again. If I remember correctly there is now a mini golf course under park of Viper, but for a long time I was just grass and bushes and the queue path. Even in '93 and '95 (the two different summers I worked out there) Viper was still able to pull in enough people to fill its queue.

 

In around 1985 my family went out to the park two hours before the park opened because we were going to be in that year's commercial. They were going to just film us riding the rides from a distance and we got park admission, lunch, and unlimited rides as our pay. Unfortunately it was cloudy all day and they told us they were not going use any of the footage. I just remember riding Viper for almost an hour without getting off!

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Wow...this is also a blast from the past for me! Yes, I definitely remember when it was called Fun Country and seem to remember another commercial where it went something like, "Darien Lake Fun Country....where countries fuuuuunnnn!"

 

Viper was my first coaster with inverts and I still remember being terrified out of my mind on that and the Ranger!

 

They used to air the Predator commercial all the time on local (Buffalo) tv here - I still remember me and friends always imitating the "it'll trow you high!" part

 

Thanks for sharing, Shane!

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Does anyone remember the DL commercial with the jingle "If you've got rides and slides and surprises- It must be Darien Lake//If you hear more laughter than you ever heard- It must be Darien Lake," I think it would have been mid-to-late 80's (not long after Fantasy Island's infamous Fun! Wow! campaign).

 

Ray "Who finds its interesting that his computer knows that Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan are spelled right but thinks that Darien is spelled wrong" Izard

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I do remember that Darien Lake DID HAVE A TROIKA....it was my favorite ride there as a young boy....It was located on the site of the Switchbacks for the line of the Predator( Same concrete is still used ....check it out the concrete is round to this day...The HUSS TROIKA was called the THRILLBILLY (which I think would make an awesome coaster name at Dollywood).

 

The water slides were at the time considered huge they have since been replaced with new ones..the one in the photo was called the KAMAKAZI I believe ...They were filled with seams and you would bumb along on you giant color coded mat...when your colors time was up you had to leave the slides ... I remember being pissed cuz my buddies snuck up for an extra run and the attendant stopped me cuz my mats time was up...

 

They also had the Easts 1st skateboarding park...Skateboard city...filled with cones and concrete on small hills..you were given a plastic narrow skateboard and told to rip it up....I was like 7 or something so i would sit on the board and scoot down the small concrete hills.

 

Ill also never forget carring the 50 pound plastic yellow sleds up the Hydroforce..the were half filled with water and i could barely carry the things....But the skimming across a real lake was worth it...no sucky pools at DARIEN lake ...right into a bacteria infested lake untill you sank

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I loved the World of Sid & Marty Krofft! I have a few things from the park. I am going to put the amusement park map up this weekend on eBay. I have a really cool postcard, I'm just not sure I can part with it yet! I wish someone had a video of the inside of the park. I remember loving the carousel. It was beautiful! I wonder whatever happened to it??

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I loved the World of Sid & Marty Krofft! I have a few things from the park. I am going to put the amusement park map up this weekend on eBay. I have a really cool postcard, I'm just not sure I can part with it yet! I wish someone had a video of the inside of the park. I remember loving the carousel. It was beautiful! I wonder whatever happened to it??

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I visited Darien Lake for the first time in 2008 and just about instantly loved the park. It really does feel like a bunch of rides in a state park, which reading those press releases, is exactly what they were aiming for. It also helps that it reminds me of Geauga Lake, both built-up by Funtime.

 

And although no one's going to believe me, I had some FANTASTIC rides on Predator (in the front seat) on closing day this past October. Ejector airtime on every hill, aggressive (not to be confused with rough), and FAST. Yeah, I was confused too. But if the ride's running like that this year, its going to move up my list very quickly, it seriously was that good.

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I've ridden the Predator many times; the most air time I have ever experiences was just a little bit of floater in the third seat. As long as you sit in the front seat of any given car, your experience won't be too painful. I do remember riding with a friend in the back seat for two circuits in a row without getting out. The op thought we were insane! Her assumption was probably true.

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I loved the World of Sid & Marty Krofft! I have a few things from the park. I am going to put the amusement park map up this weekend on eBay. I have a really cool postcard, I'm just not sure I can part with it yet! I wish someone had a video of the inside of the park. I remember loving the carousel. It was beautiful! I wonder whatever happened to it??

 

Well thanks for joining the party. Better late than never. I think I did the update on the World of Sid & Marty Kroft a couple of years ago and maybe a hundred pages back. It certainly was an interesting concept for a park, but then again Sid & Marty were a couple of interesting guys..Lidsville, H. R. Puff-n-stuff??? Some one please pass the pipe!

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Yes, my avatar is of Lightnin' Loops that used to be the major attraction at Six Flags Great Adventure. I have always been a fan of the original shuttle loop models (Arrow and Schwarzkopf). With the closing of Kentucky Kingdom it seems that the Arrow versions have outlasted the Schwarzkopf versions here in the States 2 - 1. Worldwide, Schwarzkopf is still up by one.

 

Which version do you prefer?

 

Lightnin' Loops was such a great concept for the time and to this day I don't think there is a better coaster visual that two trains passing through interlocking loops at the same time...talk about the "money shot!" Here are a few more pictures of Lightnin' Loops:

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from Great Adventure souvenir book

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From Arrow's ride brochure

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From Great Adventure brochure

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Postcard from the park

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From the park map

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OMG! Shane! You've got footage of the Darien Lake Viper running three trains! The first summer I worked at Darien Lake was the first summer the park started making the major rides co-ed and so I was the first male Viper B!tch (as the female ride ops on Viper were called- even by the crew members themselves). Somewhere in a box at my parents' house I have my training manual for Viper and in the History Section it talks about how the coaster opened with three trains "but as this proved to be too hard for ride hosts to handle" it was reduced to two. I always thought that this was funny because CP Corkscrew is much shorter and runs three trains (granted they always back up- which defeats the purpose of having more trains).

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