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Six Flags Darien Lake (SFDL) Discussion Thread


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Yes we stopped by the movie. Nice turnout and nice idea. Unfortunately my son is 5 and teen beach movie did not hold his interest long. He is however excited for lego, nemo and frozen.

 

I will say that all the concessions were open and staffed well to move people along very quickly which was nice to see

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So how is the whole Larson Superloop situation working out...?

 

And also, when do WE get OUR timeline of roller coasters announcing the new Aquatrax named Barracuda Bay's Revenge?

 

I don't think that with the way Darien Lake's being treated, I don't we'll see a brand spanking new coaster, but a used coaster. Maybe Kings Dominion is going to sell Shockwave to Darien Lake and put in "Barracuda Bay".

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...Sarcasm doesnt seem to work very well with you, @DarienLaker...

 

We need to have some sort of counter on this thread that shows how many times you mention anything to do with Barracuda Bay though, That would definitely give me a good chuckle every time I get on this thread.

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I was at the park today and rolling thunder was testing for a good portion of the day. There were a bunch of guys in white shirts around the ride so I'm assuming it was getting inspected by Larson today. Should be back up and running soon. Aside from that and the Ranger, the only ride that was down was the Giant Wheel. In addition I was pleased with how efficiently trains were being dispatched on the coasters, it kept wait times at a minimum. I managed to get through the whole park in 3 hours. Seems like now that summer is in full swing the bugs have been worked out.

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I was at the park today and rolling thunder was testing for a good portion of the day. There were a bunch of guys in white shirts around the ride so I'm assuming it was getting inspected by Larson today. Should be back up and running soon. Aside from that and the Ranger, the only ride that was down was the Giant Wheel. In addition I was pleased with how efficiently trains were being dispatched on the coasters, it kept wait times at a minimum. I managed to get through the whole park in 3 hours. Seems like now that summer is in full swing the bugs have been worked out.

 

If it was raining that would be why the Giant Wheel was closed.

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I was also in the park yesterday and I have to agree on how amazing the dispatch efficiency was. I have a few things to note and then a question or two..

 

Ahead of time - I apologize for how long it is, I wanted to get as much detail as I could into this (unfortunately) pictureless TR

 

Notes:

--The parks gates were opened at around 10, but at the front of the fountain there was a string closing off the rest of the park. When it dropped, it was almost like a mini Cedar Point style "running of the bulls" to the ride of steel. Some folks didnt get the memo however and they got into Predator's line by mistake...

--Ride of Steel had CRAZY amounts of airtime in the front of the train compared to the rear. My personal experience with the ride has usually been the opposite though so I found that interesting. Also worth noting a ride in the front of the train is MUCH less shaky than the back. Which I found odd on an Intamin coaster. Usually its pretty smooth throughout...

-- Viper was running absolutely amazingly yesterday! Even during the rain! I was shocked at how smooth it was. We sat in the back seat, front seat and second last car by the time the night was over. My personal note was that the back was smoother and more comfortable. Maybe it's just me though... VERY minimal head banging!

-- Predator - Didn't even consider it. Not worth the headache...

-- Boomerang - Though yes, the catch car was moving really slowly... It was almost like it made the ride more suspenseful for the GP and honestly for me as well. The entire way up I was just listening for the station brakes to release, but everyone else on the ride was going insane waiting to get to the top of the hill. They all seemed to really enjoy it. We sat in the 4th car and I had No head banging issues which I was shocked about. Again, considering it had rained, and also that its a Vekoma. It was a pleasant surprise.

-- Motocoaster is a fun little ride. When we went on it was a small-er child's first time and he was freaking out which was... interesting (I only say that because his outbursts were "GET ME OFF OF THIS THING" and "OH MY GOD I'M GOING TO DIE") But it was so much more satisfying to see that same little kid with a huge smile on his face saying it was his favorite ride in the park as he got off! I'm glad his parents had him still ride the coaster. Aside from that though - my only comment on the coaster is that the lights are in need of replacement. Here's a joke - How many ride mechanics does it take to screw in a light bulb? According to enthusiasts, one, but s/he should have taken care of it MONTHS ago GAHHH THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR WHY THEY AREN'T FIXED AND THERE AREN'T 5 TRAINS ON EACH COASTER IN THE PARK! - reference for that joke? THIS THREAD! (Just a joke - don't take it seriously please - Thinking of getting offended? Please check the TPR disclaimer at the bottom of the home page!)

Redhawk - Such an awesome ride. I think my favorite thing involving it is that you can ride slingshot half off after you've ridden the redhawk. I wonder if its the same the other way around? Still, AWESOME deal! If we would've went on Slingshot it would've only been $10 per person! That's a steal!!

-- Mind Eraser - IMPORTANT - The coaster itself, was a bit of a head banger as I expected. It was raining - as I've probably said 50 times already. And it is an SLC so what else do you expect... Nevertheless I loved it. The nice shiny supports (that are painted) look stunning! It's gonna look beautiful when it's done! And as for something us coaster enthusiasts have been talking about... and i regret not taking a picture... but I saw some pallets down by the storage track's supports... and on those pallets were MInd Eraser train parts. don't get too excited though, it seemed to be just the main wheel/body of the train, no fiberglass and no seats to be seen. Maybe Doug has some info on it? That would be awesome to hear about!

--Haymaker - I'm only mentioning this because while in line, some kid cut his finger, like a bad-ish paper cut sized "wound" - and when he got off his mom freaked out and the ride operator had to call first aid and then shut down the ride so they could see what actually happened. A lot of people waiting in line were very angry, I was upset but at the same time, protocol is protocol

-- Boardwalk - The registers were moved into the little restaurant windows instead of out before the seating area Grocery Store style. I feel like it makes much more sense for people to pay for their food when they get it versus on their way to the seating area. Because then we're on the honor system in my opinion and I know for a fact some people aren't honest. But again, that's just my opinion. My issue today was I ordered a Bacon Cheeseburger combo, which isn't that hard to make. But this kid who was clearly not trained or just didn't care decided he was going to take over making all the food and not let employees do their jobs. he took 15 minutes to prepare a burger and when he tried to give it to me I had to tell him it was BACON - which normally isn't a huge deal but when you pay so much extra - you want to get what you paid for AND He did the SAME THING to the guy before me!!! Seriously! After I told him that, he decided to just give that to the people behind me, then proceed to finish filling their order and he literally took 10 minutes to put some fries into some trays and get two hot dogs in buns. Finally the seemingly team leader got him to cut his crap and leave the station, he apologized to me for the inconvenience and another employee hopped right in, made my food in under 3 minutes and actually gave me double the fries as a way to right the wrong of his coworker. Thank god for GOOD EMPLOYEES! Not to mention sir slacks-a-lot seemed to be sniffly so he was constantly wiping his nose and scratching at it. Quite disgusting. The food the other employee made though seemed to at least be efficient and SANITARY. It's a shame how one person can ruin something like that so quickly...

-- Rolling Thunder -- was indeed testing for the mid portion of the day. in the morning before the park opened the train was at the top of the loop and throughout the first half of the day you would catch glimpses of the train at the top, and at the bottom, but you never really caught it moving until around 7 PM when they OPENED THE RIDE for about an hour or so. because as irony has it, the second I got on the ride, it broke down. More or less, the train wouldn't allow for a gain in speed and the ride wouldn't go higher than about half way... and we were asked to leave the train and then they closed the ride yet again. Which was a shame I have to admit. At Cedar Point, if a ride goes down they let you go back into the queue at least and then say you're welcome to wait if you'd like. But here, before they even said they would just close it for the night, the operator made everyone leave. I was upset by it. and also upset by the fact that 3 jerks skipped in front of about 3/4 of the line because their friends wouldn't do the right thing and go wait with them, and even though a ride operator was looking RIGHT at them when they did it, she didn't say anything to them. It's against the policy and I'm positive she knew that but she did nothing. The least she could have done is yelled at them or ask them to leave the line. It ticked me and everyone else behind them off and after that they had an entire line of people complaining about their arrogance. Not the best reputation to have on for new ride in a seemingly struggling park..

-- Ignite the Night - I loved it in 2013 when it first debuted, but was underwhelmed by the show in 2014. It was very repetitive and seemed to me that the park was giving up.. the laser show has been a childhood favorite though so I was really hoping it wouldn't continue on that path to self destruction... this year I was pleasantly surprised to see NEW content - minus the rocket ship thing, "if you're happy and you know it" and the usual ending - but hey, I like the ending - It was energetic, had some fun songs for kids, and it had the weirdly cool "TMNC" song that I shall not ruin for those who haven't seen the show yet. The lasers seemed to have been updated, last year they seemed out of sync, shaky, and dim...also, the regular projector seemed to be much brighter, and some of the laser projector effects were absolutely stunning compared to Laser Show's past... like the wind in "Let it Go" and the ending of "Break Free", they were awesome! All in all the show was great and I'm glad they saved it after last year.. because come on, two years is WAY too soon for a show to die!

 

As for my questions.. I only have 3

 

1) When did the paddle boat/kayak area get water bikes? They looked pretty cool!

2) Since there is now finally train #2 PARTS, on site for Mind Eraser, is there any guess to when they will actually be re-assembled and installed?

3) Last year the park gave out little coupon booklets as you left the park, and a friend of mine also got them a little over a week before I went. Does Darien only give those out on certain nights? Or do you stop as the masses start to trickle down? Because we were close to the end but we definitely were not the last people out of the park... They had $19.99 "Bounce Back" tickets on them! What a great deal that would've been!

 

As you can tell, I did have a fantastic time in the park - I thank the rain for the short lines, and the few spots of clear skies and 80 degree weather for dry grass during ignite the night. It was good to see parts for a second train by one of the coasters, and I'm sure when the park is busier it can become an issue that some rides don't have all applicable trains on them... but hopefully seeing one with parts by it is a sign that those second trains are on their ways back... Seriously, I think for the most part, the hate this park receives on this thread isn't needed. Go out and visit the park on a slower day and see what it actually has to offer. A "smooth" boomerang, an AWESOME hyper coaster, A smooth Arrow-huss coaster, and a lot of other fun things to enjoy while you're there. Plus they upgraded their shirts to look more Cedar Fair esque, I walked into the emporium and for a split second thought Darien Lake was secretly bought by them.

 

My trip rating? After the jerk-faces in line at Rolling Thunder and the poor service from the one employee, I give the day a 9/10 rating. I will most certainly be riding again - Even if rain is involved! Thank you for a fantastic day Darien!

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To answer your questions.

 

1) Paddle Boats were new for 2014.

 

2) Two train operations had been a moving target. I have no ETA to give unfortunately.

 

3) Our front gate staff usually start bounce back coupons around 6:00pm. Not sure why they were not being handed out when you left. I'll look into this tomorrow.

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Edit: Doug beat me to the punch here. So just ignore my answers. I will still post this to bring light of the line jumping issues.

 

I'll answer SbSteveZ's questions and then I would like to make a few comments of my own based on other people's observations.

 

1) The water bikes were added either this year or last I can't remember, but they are new. I have steered clear of the paddle boats for the last few years, as the lake has no fountains or circulation, and the water seemed semi-stagnant.

 

2) Don't expect two train ops at all this year. Those were probably just spare parts for ME's current train. There would be no reason to waste time and assemble second trains at this point, when there are other things to worry about mechanically.

 

 

Also with Rolling Thunder, I have seen some problems as well with line jumping and rowdiness. People try avoiding the mandatory switchbacks but hopping or going under them, often cutting people in line. I've probably had 8-10 people skip me this year because they cannot follow the rules. The operators seem to be more worried about loose articles then anything for RT. I cannot blame them but I would like to see action taken on rowdy guests as well.

 

Viper is another popular ride for line jumpers. They tend to run through restricted areas to avoid the long snaking queue. Operators even catch people doing this and all they say is "Don't do it again". Well there is a good chance that they will not ride the same thing over again anyways, at least not right away. The people will just keep doing it unless being punished.

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[youtu_be]

[/youtu_be]

 

Figured I'd also post this. I love the show - as I may have mentioned. So I record it on my ventures out to the park. The laser projections sometimes dont cooperate but it still looks cool! Enjoy!

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Went to the park tonigh, and everything except Ranger was up and running. Rolling Thunder was fully running as well. I have to say that the park has done a super job with the lights on the rides. The last time I was at the park at night, most rides were missing lights, or most were burnt out. Needless to say, it was less than spectacular. Now if they could just do the same on the giant wheel and get predator back as it used to, it would be great at night. Either way, it is significantly better than it was

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Quick little TR...

 

Went to the park last night for the first time in 3 years. I thought upgraded Boardwalk and Rowdys Ridge areas looked great, you can really tell Herschend spearheaded the renovations in those areas. All of the rides were operating except for Ranger, I asked a couple employees about it and didn't get a solid answer on if it will ever reopen, most said more than likely not.

 

The recently renovated waterpark was also a pleasant surprise! The wave pool area with the Big Kahuna, Tornado, Brain Drain, and Swirl City slides was all very well landscaped and clean. Cleanliness is my biggest pet peeve in watermarks and I will say they did a great job here. The restrooms and changing room were all clean as well in this area. Also, Brain Drain might be the first time I've ever been slightly scared on a waterslide, there's no feeling like it when the floor drops out. The only negative to the water park was Hooks Lagoon, the children's area, it could use a little refresh. I don't thing a full reno is needed but some paint would really go a long way.

 

The dry rides portion of the park was also not as bad as I was expecting. Granted, single train ops on all the coasters but we never waited more than 20mins in line, and that was only for Ride of Steel. Speaking of ROS, still an airtime machine and delivered big time. Predator, rode in the very last car, was rough but not unbearable and it def had some serious speed in the back. Motocoaster was fun, a great family ride. However, the placement of this ride is bizarre, it's technically not even in the park? Mind Eraser was a typical SLC, however headbaging wasn't very noticeable. The supports look freshly painted, asked an op about the track and said itd be off season if it gets painted, take it fwiw. Viper was smooth, fun Arrow looper, not many of these left. Boomerang was typical, but the newer style trains really reduced headbanging and brought out the intensity in the ride.

 

Overall the park impressed me more than I thought it would. The lighting on the rides at night was excellent throughout the park, minus the Giant Wheel. Food service was efficient, had wings at the Anchor Bar in the park, excellent! Walking through the park I got the feeling there are some dead areas though, specifically the area back by Twister/Motocoaster and the area adjacent to ROS. A couple small flats would go a long way to bringing more foot traffic to these areas. If they can get a solid addition next year, a couple flats or maybe even a small coaster l think the park will be well on its way back. Having a massive campground and an on-site hotel are perks that not many other seasonal parks offer. Also, the performing arts center seemed to drive park attendance as well, last night Kelly Clarkson was performing which might've been the reason for the crowds between 5-7p in the park. From a sign in the park it stated they also have Incubus, Jason Aldean, Deftones, Luke Bryan, Van Halen, Chris Brown, Slipknot, and a couple more I can't remember all coming to the park this summer. Might go back and spend the night and hit up the Incubus show later this summer.

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If you do go to a concert, make sure you get actual seats rather than the lawn tickets. Although cheaper, the lawn seats don't have a good view and that's typically where the most trouble occurs. Also, have something to drink before entering. The drinks in the concert are almost $10 and they don't let you bring anything in.

 

For last year's Motley Crue concert, I had a full bottle of pop that I bought in the park, but I had to ditch it to get let in. I wouldn't say if I was trying to smuggle in drinks, but I did buy it in the park and even had a receipt to prove it.

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Good to see that maintenance is trying as hard as they can to push for two train ops. Less and wait times = Boosting guest satisfaction and more time to experience other things. Out of all the coasters, these two were the most likely to be ready this season. RoS is probably more of a target for next year, as the trains haven't seen refurbishment in a while. Hopefully during the offseason we will see them serviced.

 

As for ME and Motocoaster, last I've heard was that they were in need of parts a few seasons ago. The park has decided to keep them off because the ride cycles are quick, and the wait times aren't too bad. But for now, to get two big coasters back up to full operation is a very big step forward.

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^I totally agree that getting two train operation back on at least some of the coasters is a big step. Obviously ROS is the ideal coaster for two train operation as it tends to have the longest waits. I am hoping that next year they focus on that.

 

Also, i think they are doing what they can now, as this week is Kingdom Bound week at the park, and it tends to have the most attendance and longest waits on just about every ride. If they can get at least two coasters running two trains, they can cut down some of those waits. I would fully expect the park to go back to one train operation next week

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Setting up trains isn't something that a park does for a week then puts them away. It takes hours and hours of labor. The cars need to be lifted on transfers via crane, then the cars need to be connected and everything needs alignment and tweaking. Then hours of testing and adjusting need to occur before passengers can board.

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Viper only running one train this morning. Twister was also closed when I walked by and had a lift behind it.

 

Viper could be for two reasons.

 

A) The train still needs more testing if it was just put on.

 

B) A Thursday morning is not real busy so the train doesn't necessarily need to be put on.

 

 

As for Twister, I have mixed feelings about the loss. It used to be something I rode every visit, but now I have not been going on as much. They haven't been running a good cycle on it, there's hardly anyone on the ride, and it is far away from all other big rides. They need something back there so it isn't as much of a dead end.

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