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Six Flags Darien Lake (SFDL) Discussion Thread


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^^ Sara, quick question. When was your visit when you encountered this 2.5hr line?

 

Last season, as per policy, we were notified over radio whenever Ride of Steel's wait exceeded 45 minutes. It was a rare occurrence, and it only happened on extremely high attendance days.

 

I'm not saying that Ride of Steel doesn't get a line at times, but I have never encountered a report of 2.5 hours through any of our social media, email inquiries, or in guest services.

Last year your ops would also lie and say the lines didn't get that Lon and the long line policy wouldn't be real and work as it's supposed to.

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Doug.... The best thing you guys at Darien can do is break loose the 2nd trains... I honestly think Ride of Steel should be running 3 trains actually..

 

Ride of Steel doesn't have a block system that can accommodate 3 trains. But I get what you are saying.

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Is season pass processing open Tues, Wed, Thurs at all? Or just when the park is open?

 

We have the ability to process Season Passes at our administration building in front of the park in Allegheny Rd. Stop in during business hours and we'll gladly get you processed.

 

However, you'll have to visit the park during an operating day to get your coupon book and mug after you process.

 

We also went pictureless this year with the passes, which eliminated the need for printing, and really quickened processing. We continuously tagged the back of the line on opening day, which was through the switchbacks and out to the parking lot, and we were still under a half-hour wait. So, if you waited until your first visit, you will not wait too long.

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Doug let me ask you another question. I noticed that The Silver bullet doesn't lift to a full 90 degrees anymore. I know that it did years ago. Is it just toned down, or is it due to the rides age? Also the Pirate seemed to swing higer than it does today...

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Doug let me ask you another question. I noticed that The Silver bullet doesn't lift to a full 90 degrees anymore. I know that it did years ago. Is it just toned down, or is it due to the rides age? Also the Pirate seemed to swing higer than it does today...

 

Unfortunately, I don't have the first hand knowledge to answer these questions. However, I don't remember silver bullet ever lifting to 90 degrees in my years as a guest since the late 90s. Perhaps I just didn't notice.

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^^ Sara, quick question. When was your visit when you encountered this 2.5hr line?

 

Last season, as per policy, we were notified over radio whenever Ride of Steel's wait exceeded 45 minutes. It was a rare occurrence, and it only happened on extremely high attendance days.

 

I'm not saying that Ride of Steel doesn't get a line at times, but I have never encountered a report of 2.5 hours through any of our social media, email inquiries, or in guest services.

 

I saw it happen, twice. Must have somehow been on the highest attendance days? Don't remember the exact dates of the visit but one was in August 2013 and one was in August 2012. It could have been 2 hours though, I don't remember exactly how much time it was but it was at least 1.5 to 2 hours. I do remember that the UB Bulls were signing autographs during both visits. Perhaps this contributed to higher attendance? I also know that it was not during any festival like kingdom bound. I didn't go last season. Both visits were on Sundays. I wasn't in the line for reasons I discussed but several members of our party reported the wait and I saw that the queue was overflowing onto the midway. Perhaps they just decided to get in line at a bad time...

 

I did also notice there were some rides down during my visits, the 2013 visit I think twister, corn popper were down and UFO was gone and the new ride was the drop tower. This could have contributed to the longer line because 3 rides were down.

 

I was however in the line during the fright fest 2000 or 2002 or so when they decided to add a second train mid day. I do not remember if I abandoned the line or not but I think I was pretty close to the coaster so I didn't abandon as I think the chaos was ensuing as more and more people got into the line. I don't think I wore my glasses on the ride, which means I left them with a non rider and went into the queue so details might be sketchy. I cannot see anything without my glasses so I have never actually seen the superman station even though I have been on the ride. I can barely get up and down the stairs without them but I can't afford to break them on a ride since they cost hundreds of dollars.

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Yeah 2012 was rough for the raging seas as well, when I was there at least half of the boats were down on the ride, then they removed it with good reason. 2013 was lacking twister, corn popper and UFO for me at least which not surprisingly contributed to longer lines around the park. Actually I don't think I was able to catch twister open on either visit. There was also no scrambler till last year to fill in for the rides that were down.

 

Some rides also have very short lines, like hornet's nest, that was a walk on each time for me. Most of the flats are a very short wait like 10-15 min or a walk on. Some other good things about the park are that they have one of few fascination parlors left at parks and they do have 2 arcades, and I did see games like Outrun 2 that I have literately never seen in arcades, and I have seen a lot of games in my time.

 

I did notice there was significantly more people in the park on my 2013 visit than my 2012 one. The parking was already into the overflow lots early in the day when we arrived, but that actually turned to work out in our favor as I believe we ended up closer to the gate than we would have if we had a further back section of the regular lot.

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Slamming Cedar Point, and getting nasty to others on this thread is hardly necessary. We are only here to offer suggestions to make Darien Lake a better place. If you think about it in a certain light we (The guests) do pay for upkeep of the rides, and park. Every time we visit the park, and spend money there. I don't think adding the 2nd trains to the coasters on really busy days is a unreasonable request. It may even take pressure off the ride operators.

 

 

 

It doesn't matter if they're busy or not, they should always run two trains. If not 2 trains then at least train your ops better to send trains out faster.

 

I now know where to send the bill for replacement parts and daily preparation labor costs. Oh and I know who I would like to promote to operations manager.

 

Training efficiency is difficult. You really need to your staff to buy into the philosophy as to why efficiency is important. Even more difficult is convincing teens and young adults who are there simply for a paycheck to work efficiently when there is no direct benefit for them. There is the correct Human Resource way of doing it, and there is the Cedar Point way of doing it. One of them involves positive reinforcement, the other involves fear for losing a job or making a work experience a living hell. I imagine Darien Lake's location prevents them from having a large base to build a staff from, so threatening job security or making a hostile environment that causes employees to quit is not the way to develop efficient operations. Inspiring and motivating efficiency, the correct HR way, is not an easy feat. Hopefully, Darien Lake can work to improve efficiency and friendliness of their staff.

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I was also going to say that when guests are stuck in long lines then the time of their visit is more constrained. When they are stuck in the line then that means they are not moving around the park, which means less guests to spend money on other things in the park. DL has a fair amount of shops, games and food and if guests are stuck in a line they are not spending money in other areas of the park. For this reason alone I would think that it would be beneficial for the park to keep the lines and people moving. For example if I have to spend half of my visit in lines or a very long time in one line (over an hour and a half again for example) then I might not spend the $10 in the arcade or on games simply because the line will hold me up and I won't have time to play games or visit the shops. If I become angry during the visit or I am not having a good time, I will be more likely to stick it to the park, and say I am not spending money here. A better experience leads to more money spending by the guests. A lot of people not having a good time and a lot of people stuck in lines and that is a lot of lost income for the park.

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Very true Sara.

 

I was also going to say that when guests are stuck in long lines then the time of their visit is more constrained. When they are stuck in the line then that means they are not moving around the park, which means less guests to spend money on other things in the park. DL has a fair amount of shops, games and food and if guests are stuck in a line they are not spending money in other areas of the park. For this reason alone I would think that it would be beneficial for the park to keep the lines and people moving. For example if I have to spend half of my visit in lines or a very long time in one line (over an hour and a half again for example) then I might not spend the $10 in the arcade or on games simply because the line will hold me up and I won't have time to play games or visit the shops. If I become angry during the visit or I am not having a good time, I will be more likely to stick it to the park, and say I am not spending money here. A better experience leads to more money spending by the guests. A lot of people not having a good time and a lot of people stuck in lines and that is a lot of lost income for the park.
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While the point of being stuck in line and not being able to move around and spend money is valid, I'm convinced the reason they don't operate two trains boils down to this:

 

The park is on the smaller side, especially for rollercoaster lovers. If you run two trains you are "done" the rollercoasters in possibly 1-2 hrs. I think they intentionally slow your experience down. While true you are stuck in lines and temporarily not able to spend money while in line, being at the park longer makes you span more meal times. If someone is forced to buy lunch and dinner at a park they are going to make more money. Not to mention the number of people camping or staying on site. I think they believe if someone is able to do ride of steel 20 times in one day they might not stay as many days.

 

I don't agree with that logic, but I'm convinced they use this strategy. That combined with less staff being needed to man 1 train.

 

Anyway this park has a lot of potential. I feel like if they installed 2-3 more unique coasters they would draw many more from the GTA. Wonderland has really invested in their park and Darien Lake has not touched their coaster lineup for quite some time. What makes it worse is two of their coasters are direct clones of ones already at Wonderland. A maverick type ride or a really good flyer would do the park wonders.

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Technically 3 Coaster's in the park are clones.. I think you forget Ride of Steel is also a clone.

 

 

While the point of being stuck in line and not being able to move around and spend money is valid, I'm convinced the reason they don't operate two trains boils down to this:

 

The park is on the smaller side, especially for rollercoaster lovers. If you run two trains you are "done" the rollercoasters in possibly 1-2 hrs. I think they intentionally slow your experience down. While true you are stuck in lines and temporarily not able to spend money while in line, being at the park longer makes you span more meal times. If someone is forced to buy lunch and dinner at a park they are going to make more money. Not to mention the number of people camping or staying on site. I think they believe if someone is able to do ride of steel 20 times in one day they might not stay as many days.

 

I don't agree with that logic, but I'm convinced they use this strategy. That combined with less staff being needed to man 1 train.

 

Anyway this park has a lot of potential. I feel like if they installed 2-3 more unique coasters they would draw many more from the GTA. Wonderland has really invested in their park and Darien Lake has not touched their coaster lineup for quite some time. What makes it worse is two of their coasters are direct clones of ones already at Wonderland. A maverick type ride or a really good flyer would do the park wonders.

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Technically 3 Coaster's in the park are clones.. I think you forget Ride of Steel is also a clone.

 

 

While the point of being stuck in line and not being able to move around and spend money is valid, I'm convinced the reason they don't operate two trains boils down to this:

 

The park is on the smaller side, especially for rollercoaster lovers. If you run two trains you are "done" the rollercoasters in possibly 1-2 hrs. I think they intentionally slow your experience down. While true you are stuck in lines and temporarily not able to spend money while in line, being at the park longer makes you span more meal times. If someone is forced to buy lunch and dinner at a park they are going to make more money. Not to mention the number of people camping or staying on site. I think they believe if someone is able to do ride of steel 20 times in one day they might not stay as many days.

 

I don't agree with that logic, but I'm convinced they use this strategy. That combined with less staff being needed to man 1 train.

 

Anyway this park has a lot of potential. I feel like if they installed 2-3 more unique coasters they would draw many more from the GTA. Wonderland has really invested in their park and Darien Lake has not touched their coaster lineup for quite some time. What makes it worse is two of their coasters are direct clones of ones already at Wonderland. A maverick type ride or a really good flyer would do the park wonders.

 

Sorry I meant clones of Wonderland rides.. I think as a vacation getaway resort they need to target people from their biggest market in nearby regions.

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^Which they do. Canadian traffic in the campground and hotel is a huge revenue stream for the park. Your average person has no idea what rides are the same, so that's really not much of an issue between the parks.

 

A big reason Canadians come to DL is it's a less busy escape. CW is so busy people come to DL to get away from that chaos.

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^Which they do. Canadian traffic in the campground and hotel is a huge revenue stream for the park. Your average person has no idea what rides are the same, so that's really not much of an issue between the parks.

 

A big reason Canadians come to DL is it's a less busy escape. CW is so busy people come to DL to get away from that chaos.

 

I agree with this.. just think they need something unique and new to draw even more from the GTA. I remember one summer when ROS went down for most of the summer I cancelled my trip to Darien Lake.. they need a backup ride of the same caliber.

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^I think we all agree that the par needs a secondary ride of the caliber of ROS. Hopefully the park will use the large open plot of land where cuda falls used to be for just that in the next few years.

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