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Six Flags Darien Lake (SFDL) Discussion Thread

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Hey everybody!


This thread is simple! Rather than having a million little threads about everything that goes on at Six Flags Darien Lake, this thread is designed to consolidate it all into one user-friendly thread. Feel free to use it to post updates, trip reports, questions, comments, and of course, general discussion. For pictures and videos of the park as well as past updates, see TPR's Park Index Page.


Official Park Website



Below are some links to past updates from the park, you may be interested in. Enjoy!






August 8th, 2006 - Park to close eary in 2006 due to financial issues - SEE BELOW!



January 13th, 2008 - Zamperla Motocoaster to be built



July 25th, 2009 - F1 Tornado touches down near park



February 19th, 2010 - $7 million waterpark expansion 'Pirates Cove' proposed

March 13th, 2010 - Darien Lake gets tax exemption for water park & owners

March 30th, 2010 - Darien Lake announces SplashTown, new cabins & suites

May 3rd, 2010 - Viper is back in black! New paint, old color scheme!

June 19th, 2010 - The European Coaster Club visits Darien Lake



July 8th, 2011 - Man dies on Ride of Steel



January 11th, 2012 - Darien Lake updates park logo with new look!

January 17th, 2012 - Park gets new VP/general manager & marketing director

March 2nd, 2012 - 3 new family rides announced for 2012

April 5th, 2012 - Park to get $5 million investment in rides & shows

September 21st, 2012 - Blast Off S&S Space Shot & Ignite the Night for 2013!



August 4th, 2013 - rUNDEAD Zombie Run announced for 9/28/2013!



February 12th, 2014 - Nik Wallenda to perform daily in the Galaxy Theater this summer

October 2014 - CNL to sell Darien Lake



January 10th, 2015 - Super Loop announced for 2015



November 3rd, 2016 - CNL sells park to EPR, Premier will control to manage Darien Lake



November 3rd, 2017 - Gesrtlauer Eurofighter to replace log flume



May 22, 2018 - Six Flags planning to operate Darien Lake again

August 30th, 2018 - SkyScreamer (242 feet) announced for 2019 season as park is rebranded as Six Flags Darien Lake



August 29th, 2019 - Wahoo Racer added to waterpark for 2019



May 12th, 2022 - Predator retracking under way!



Original Post:







Darien Lake ending season early because of financial troubles


DARIEN CENTER, N.Y. The state's largest theme park says its season will end four weeks early as its corporate parent continues to suffer financial



Six Flags Darien Lake, located halfway between Rochester and Buffalo, is one of six properties being considered for sale by Six Flags Incorporated.


The amusement park is one of Genesee County's biggest employers, with about two thousand workers. The new closing date is October 1st.


As of July 31st, the park had already reduced operating hours five out of seven days a week and closed two rides, including a major roller coaster.


Its Batman Thrill Spectacular stunt show was also abruptly closed after its Sunday evening show.

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At this point, I would not be shocked to see them close down SFMM for part of January and February! I know Shapiro mentioned it in the interview we had with him, and seeing other parks change their schedules mid season...could be interesting!

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In my opinion, it is only a matter of time. This park WILL be sold.


Of course, I might be alone, but I think that it is a mistake. In my eyes, Darien has a good bit of potential.


SFMM makes a LOT more sense to me. That park is a logistical nightmare and far from a quick and easy turnaround (which is what SF needs)


// Pave Magic Mountain

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I would imagine that it would remain a theme park if it is sold. The land can't be worth much to any kind of commercial development. Maybe some $1,000,000 homes (waterfront property anyone), but that is about it.


I could be completely wrong, but I think I remember reading somewhere that the original owner was very much interested in re-purchasing the park.


// Edit: Added some Wiki data


The park first opened as just a campground without any amusement rides. In 1964, a pair of water slides called "Hydro Force" were added to the campground. Eventually, rides were added to the mix when investor Paul Snyder invested amusement rides into the park and called it "Snyder's Darien Lake." At first, the park had a country theme, earning it the nickname Darien Lake Fun Country. During the Fun Country years, the park became the showcase for Huss' flat rides. The park's first Roller Coaster, The Viper, was built by Huss and the now-defunct Arrow Dynamics and opened in 1982. At the time, it held the record for most inversions on a coaster. "The Ranger", another Huss ride, was added in 1982 as well. Eventually, in 1983, Snyder sold the park to Funtime Parks. The "Fun Country" theme, along with Snyder's name were dropped and the park operated as simply Darien Lake. The Funtime era brought the park numerous improvements, including the Vekoma-built "Fun Wheel" ferris wheel in 1983, which was the showcase of the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee. At the time, the largest ferris wheel in the world. Other improvements of the late 1980's include a Kids' Area called "Adventureland" in 1987 and the Grizzly Run Rapids in 1989. The 1990's brought more improvemends such as the addition of the the Barracuda Bay waterpark and the wooden roller coaster The Predator in 1990. In 1995, Funtime Parks was purchased by growing park chain Premier Parks (now Six Flags). Throughout the Premier era, the park experienced the most additions. Upgrades included three new coasters: the now-defunct Nightmare at Phantom Cave in 1996, Mind Eraser in 1997, and Boomerang: Coast to Coaster in 1998, along with the Popeye's Seaport themed kids area, and two major waterpark additions (Hook's Lagoon and Crocodile Isle).


In May, 1999, the park opened for the first time under the Six Flags name after the numerous upgrades from the past few years. Millions of dollars were spent on adding Looney Tunes and DC Comics themed attractions. The most notable addition was Superman: Ride of Steel, the world's first Intamin Hypercoaster. A criticism of the Six Flags years at the park though were the lack of rides being added and poor customer service. However, with new management, the park will be adding a new family water slide and a Intamin/Giavinola Stand-Up coaster that previously operated at the defunct Six Flags Astroworld. Recently, Six Flags has announced that they may put Darien Lake, as well as five other theme parks, up for sale. It is unsure at this time who the buyers would be, although in a radio interview on Buffalo, NY radio station WBEN on June 26, 2006, the park's original owner, Paul Snyder, told the interviewer that he has been in contact with Six Flags and would like to bid on the park if Six Flags decides to sell it.


The park is the second largest in the Six Flags chain, along with the only on site campgrounds, and one of only two in the chain with their own hotel on site. The park also holds concerts at its performing arts center, the "Darien Lake Performing Arts Center".


With the new management annoucing that the park may be sold the original owner Paul Snyder looked into buying the park.

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I also heard mention of certain rides closing early at some of the parks, along with the early closing dates.


Any links to a source that lists info for all the parks? Or is SFDL the only one specified yet?


In particular I'm curious about La Ronde, as I'm working on tentative plasn to go to that park in the fall.

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"Screamscape did some more digging into our spy network about the changes taking place at Six Flags and it seems these are part of a massive cost cutting project to ensure that they have enough money in the budget to go ahead with plans for Fright Fest. Our sources tell us that almost all of the Six Flags parks should be closing an hour earlier starting this week or next, and the budgets for Entertainment at all parks has also been scaled back with the removal of virtually all costume characters, parades and more. It also seems that select rides at certain parks may also be shut down early for the rest of the season. So far the list include rides like Freefall and Chiller at SFGAdv, Predator and Grizzly Run at Darien Lake, Typhoon SeaCoaster at SFA, and so on."


The funny thing is ... most of these rides (with the exception of Predator) wouldn't be running anyway.

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^ It sounds more like that Six Flags is in such bad money position that they can't afford to open the parks now, regardless of what kind of income they are expecting.


Like they could have figured out that they are not going to have cash to pay their employees if they open the parks.


Regardless this news sounds like SF is in extremely bad shape. Not that it's any surprise.

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It actually kind of reminds me of a game of monopoly.


Kind of like Six Flags is that dieing player who just landed on someone's property, and is now froced to mortgage and sell of whatever they can just to keep from going totaly bankrupt and losing the game.

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So when all is said and done it makes me wonder if the Six Flags chain will end up being about the same amount of parks as it was before Premiere bought them.


What were the parks back then?


Magic Mountain

Great America

St. Louis

Over Texas

Fiesta Texas


Over Georgia

Great Adventure


Did I leave any out? The chain seemed to do pretty well with just 8 parks. Better than they are doing now. It's no wonder they are trying to scale back to a manageable level again.



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I have to give them some credit. At least they updated their online calendar and listed the rides affected as "closed for renovation".




Maybe they'll just leave the website as is and just put a moose out front of the parks saying "parks closed".


Now with Photoshop goodness.


The moose says you're closed ... but I say you're open!

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Sad to say it, but it looks like the beginning of the end for old Darien Lake. I don't see any way this park can be saved at this point, and I know SF wants nothing to do with it anymore at this point.


A park just can't work in New York State, I've decided...it's part of the reason I've been planning on leaving this area soon. People can't afford to come to them up here, cause there are no jobs, and the state legislature can't come to a decision on anything regarding new attractions. There's too much talk, and not enough action.


As for the SF chain...I can think of one other factor that's hurting their business right now...high gas prices. people near the parks in less prosperous areas, like the Rochester/Buffalo region, are going to be less and less likely to make the trek, because it's just too pricey now. I don't know how it's affecting CF at the moment, but having all those parks in a time of energy inflation can probably only be a hinderance.

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