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Six Flags Darien Lake (SFDL) Discussion Thread

P. 408: Predator retracking under way!

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What i hears was that when SF rmoved it they didnt do it carefully enough and brought it to DL to try to add value to the park before selling it with no intention of ever putting it up here. i dont think they labeled any of the peices to be able to put ti together again, plus i heard some of the pieces were torch cut to be removed as opposed to actually removed properly, hence rendering it as virtually useless. Even if it was in good condition,do we really want a 20 year old stand up coaster that has been in three other parks that consistently got poor reviews? i am actually very surprised they have not sold it off for scrap money yet? scrapmetal is worth alot right now, and they cou.d use that money to make improvements...unless CNL is doing what SF did in trying to say the park is worth more with it on the property as they try to sell the park as well

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It really does puzzle me what CNL is still doing here. They have done only one thing that has really helped the park, and that was the waterpark expansion. I'm sure that Herschend would like to stick with the park, or they would've gotten rid of it like they did to Elitch Gardens. I have no idea what is going on behind the scenes, or how Herschend's contract works. I just hope that they stick around as long as possible.

 

I really think that they are trying, as we saw with the proposed ideas, and the recent projects. The only people to blame are CNL. Sadly they make the final decisions regarding budget. You have to believe that CNL is in it only for the money. They jumped on the deal that they got from the wounded Six Flags, because they could make a huge profit off the parks.

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It really does puzzle me what CNL is still doing here. They have done only one thing that has really helped the park, and that was the waterpark expansion. I'm sure that Herschend would like to stick with the park, or they would've gotten rid of it like they did to Elitch Gardens. I have no idea what is going on behind the scenes, or how Herschend's contract works. I just hope that they stick around as long as possible.

 

I really think that they are trying, as we saw with the proposed ideas, and the recent projects. The only people to blame are CNL. Sadly they make the final decisions regarding budget. You have to believe that CNL is in it only for the money. They jumped on the deal that they got from the wounded Six Flags, because they could make a huge profit off the parks.

I keep wondering this too. Most of the reviews I've heard since the park sold make it sound like it is still owned by six flags. Single train operation, bad customer service and excuses for problems throughout the park sounds very six flagish to me, yet the park is missing out on the only good part of six flags- RMC. So is the park better now owned by CNL or was it better with six flags? I've never been to the park but have wondered this over the past couple of years.

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In regards to B:TE, I would like to venture out and guess that it would actually be worth more as a banking asset than it would be for scrap steel, as now they can say for their loans that they own eight coasters, and it wouldn't matter whether one of the coasters is actually running or not.

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^^Actually, it's more like whiny enthusiasts that are just pissed because the park hasn't received a major coaster in years.

 

It's a medium-sized park located in an extremely rural area of WNY. One train operations are going to happen, just like they do at Waldameer (most of the time RFII is one train), Michigan's Adventure or any other small regional park in this part of the country - it just doesn't pull in #'s like the big chains (except for the concerts) so numbers probably don't justify running two trains on every coaster.

 

In the past few years, they have expanded the water park, added a few nicely themed kiddie rides, built a drop tower, added an Anchor Bar restaurant, a daredevil family stunt show featuring one of the world's best as well as major work to upgrade their campground.

 

How are all these things not good signs for the park? I believe that management had came out publicly and said that this was their mission in past and coming years...to revamp the quality of the park experience for families.

 

I believe that another coaster will come in the future, but just because they don't get one every other year like SF or CF doesn't mean that the park management is letting the whole place go to hell.

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I keep wondering this too. Most of the reviews I've heard since the park sold make it sound like it is still owned by six flags. Single train operation, bad customer service and excuses for problems throughout the park sounds very six flagish to me, yet the park is missing out on the only good part of six flags- RMC. So is the park better now owned by CNL or was it better with six flags? I've never been to the park but have wondered this over the past couple of years.

 

But with Darien Lake being run this way, it's unusual that Elitch Gardens is currently being run very well, with all the rides being run at max capacity except for Tower of Doom but that's it. The park has been doing very well fixing the rides when they break and they have also repainted every coaster in recent years. Elitches' customer service and general employee attitude has been great on every visit of mine, and the park itself looks very nice and well taken care of. Brain Drain is an excellent addition that looks very nice and natural at the park as well as being run and maintained well. It's sad knowing that Darien Lake has so many issues.

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^Getting off subject, but in the last two years Elitch Gardens has gone from a park I would never want to visit again, to being one of my favorites. On my last visit this summer the park was beautiful and all of the rides were running well. (Only downside was 1-train operation at Twister 2). Two years prior, I remember the park appearing dirty, rundown, and with terrible employees. Hopefully Darien Lake can improve in the same way Elitch's has been able to.

 

As for the 1-train complaints, isn't that common at almost every small park? Knoebels is known for their amazing operations - last time I was there both wooden coasters were running one train. At SFNE, Bizarro was the only ride running multiple trains. It happens everywhere. Yeah, it's annoying, but it really doesn't make sense to run multiple trains all of the time, especially on the shorter rides such as MotoCoaster and Mind Eraser.

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^I actually do remember one day were Twister 2 was running one train, and I had visited the park the day before and it had been running two. I haven't seen it do so since, and I've been to the park 8 times this year in total. I've only been to Elitches in the past 2 years so I guess I'm lucky.

 

EDIT: Along with the economy and Colorado's population increasing, I also noticed that locals and many Coloradoans have seen the park get better. Last year about 3 of my seven visits the park was almost completely dead on some weekdays in the summer, but this year every visit I've had, the park has generally been moderately full, even on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, with all the major coasters and attractions having at least 30 minute lines. I've heard my friends and their parents talking about how much better the park is now. Also, Brain Drain has been a big help to the park as well.

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Maybe it's because they received a massive coaster like Ride of Steel, but I always thought they were a much larger park than Waldameer and MA even though I haven't seen attendance numbers for the park. I'm glad to hear it's not as bad as I've heard though.

 

Michigan's Adventure reminded me a lot of Darien Lake. Even though it is Cedar Fair, the parks appear quite similar with MA having Shivering Timbers and DL having Ride of Steel. After that, it's a couple of okay to rough coasters, some decent flats and a pretty nice water park.

 

DL also has the attached campground, hotel and a good firework show to end the night that seem to give it the edge over MA.

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Darien should have two train ops no exceptions. It is the only major theme park within the WNY, Rochester, and Niagara Falls area. Hopefully this is the last year we have to worry about this issue. Viper's two trains have been rehabbed, and RoS and Predator's trains should be ready to go next year.

 

The park hasn't let anyone know why they aren't running both, and keep boasting their front of the line passes. There is no reason for a park of Darien's size to have 45 minute waits. I have only gotten on the Viper about 3 times this year because I refuse to wait an hour for a ride that used to be a walk on.

 

Not only have waits been longer than usual, but ride crews have been even slower. As Knoebels have been able to dispatch in less than a minute, it takes 6 minutes for the RoS crew to dispatch. I understand that the park wants to be safe and thorough, but 6 minutes is just crazy.

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At this point, ROS must have two train operation. If viper's line is an hour, then that needs two trains as well.

 

On the flip side, 45 minutes is not that long to wait for a major thrill ride in a major theme park today. if you go to CP i bet all the major coaster waits are 2 hours + and even the older rides are in the 15-45 minute waits. botom line is that we are spoiled with relatively short waits across the park

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Ideally, RoS, Viper, and Predator should have two. This is what I have noticed from all my visits this year. The longest I've seen Viper was half the queue this season.

 

If we ever get Lake Monster, I would imagine that it would run two trains. Even for now, it wouldn't hurt to keep a spare on the transfer for Predator.

 

For next year:

 

Viper should have two ready

Predator's trains came from Holiday World and are still in good condition. I expect those to be ready as well.

RoS's trains both have seen a full year of rehabbing, so those should be good as well.

 

I have to say that Viper has some of the coolest looking trains that I have seen. Everything from the decals to the repainted insides.

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For everyone wondering about ranger, it's being taken out. It failed a safety inspection

 

I heard that Herschand has until December 31st to buy the park. They've been talking about buying it for two seasons now.

 

Thanks for the info, and welcome to the forum!

 

I am pretty sad to see Ranger go, much like UFO, but it is what's best for the future. Think of all the times during the last four seasons that it's been down for an extended period of time. This may be another possible spot for a Frisbee ride.

 

Hopefully Herschend decides to buy the park. CNL has m=no business still belonging in the amusement industry. Darien fits into the chain like a glove. It has that wilderness/backwoods theme, and it has great potential to suit their family aspect. I don't think that Herschend will let this fall through, because even the accommodations alone can make a lot of money.

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If CNL is ready to offload the park, HFEC will absolutely make an offer. They want the park. It does indeed fit into their line of properties and they probably won't get another opportunity to pick up a property like this anytime soon. The "Lake Monster" project would be a sure thing by now if HFEC had sole ownership. Maybe if the deal goes through by the end of the year they'll get it ready for 2016.

 

By the way though, Kennywood is owned by Parques Reunidos, a Spanish company, so they won't be buying anything.

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Don't know what you all are talking about but the last 2 times I have been to the park, in 2012 and 2013 ROS has had no less than a 2 hour or longer wait each time.

 

I am not in a physical position to wait over 2 hours for a single ride anywhere nor will I ever be. I max out on about 30-45 min of standing before I start feeling pain in my legs and that is on a good day. Plus spending over 2 hours in line for one ride.... That's like half my day at the park... No matter which way you look at it.. It's not worth it.

 

A 45 min wait would be a huge improvement.

 

I could understand if it's the newest and hottest thing but this coaster has been around forever and shouldn't have that long of a line.

 

There is NO excuse for not having 2 train operation on busy coasters like ROS. I have been to Waldameer twice now and they run 2 trains on the comet and ravine flyer and multiple cars on the mouse coaster. You wouldn't believe the difference it makes in ride experience and guest experience in general. Wait times top off at 15 min even the premium seats at peak time. You only have to wait like 2-3 cycles which is nothing on ravine flyer even for the best seats. If you want any seat it's almost a walk on. Waiting too long makes people frustrated and angry and short wait times drastically improve the guest experience so much so in ways that I can't even describe. So much so that I am willing to drive the 2 hours to Erie and pay for a hotel to go to Waldameer rather than the 45 min it takes to get to DL.

 

Especially since DL promised in an email that was posted here that there would be 2 train operation. Making false promises is THE WORST!! This is obviously a park that does not care about guest experience in the least and just wants to make money off families starving for entertainment since they are the only game in town if you want to go to a big park and there is little to do in the WNY area.

 

With all these rides they have to take out now they should at least make a point of replacing each flat with a new flat even if it's a used flat from another park for the following season. Scrambler and the drop tower are a start but DL can't really afford to be down a ride. Even though I have barely seen anyone ride ranger due to the fact that no one even knows it's there since it's location is so out of the way of everything else. Did they actually take out the ranger or just shut it down for good? Seems like it would take a long time to actually remove the ride.

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