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Six Flags Darien Lake (SFDL) Discussion Thread


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Did you try the test seat, there was a guard at the entrance of ROS and the test seat is right there so I really didn't want to bother with all of this in front of a lot of people which would have been really humiliating especially since I have lost over 40lbs, then if I couldn't fit I would probably end up on a starvation diet which would be impossible for me and bad for my health. I did see a photo of ROS recently and it looks like the belts are totally different than they used to be, though I can't say for sure if I even remember how they used to be and my last ride on ROS was well over 10 years ago.

 

I did not try the test seat even though it is there for a reason I'd feel awkward trying it. I feel like people are staring at me.

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^I bet the wind was a major factor as to why the screen collapsed. Most banners nowadays have wind slits so they don't move around as much. A movie screen I would imagine doesn't have slits.

 

I was under the impression that you couldn't go into the line unless you are skinny enough to fit for sure since there was a guard there who I assume was there to stop people who clearly won't fit from getting in the line.

 

The attendants at the entrance are there only to check heights, answer questions, and inform anyone if the ride is closed. Anybody of any size can wait in line as long as they are tall enough.

 

Couldn't help but notice how overgrown the old mini golf area is (did they just let it grow like that or did they actually remove the remnants of the old golf course?)

 

They removed some of the little props, but other then that it has all been growing over. Demolition would require jackhammers and other equipment because all the holes and ponds were concrete. The entrance to it has been turned into a shaded seating area, which is nice.

 

The only rides closed were Ranger, Twister, and Corn Popper, which may have been open for a short time before going down for the day. Thunder Rapids was closed but they had the water running through it later in the day but nothing no logs were going through it. I think it's quite obvious that Ranger is on its way out but I also think Twister may be on the chopping block soon.

 

Not sure what Twister's problem is, but it's been down for a couple of weeks now with no repairs being made. I am aware of the few minor issues it had before, but I think this has to do with the ride's age as well. Top spins don't age too well, and many parks have started to remove them; even Twister at SFNE.

 

Corn Popper is another ride that has many bugs. Every year it seems to go down for a while for the same recurring issues. It could be one of the next up to leave too. It is a unique ride, but maintenance can never get the hydraulics to go right.

 

Thunder Rapids had a problem with the smaller lift. They removed some of the logs and had the ride drained before starting the water back up.

 

Glad to hear you had a good visit despite your headache. Seems like most people who have visited the park this year have seen a lot of improvement from last year, so that's a good sign of things to come.

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^ In all honesty, the only thing I really "like" about Twister is the little plaza in front of it. Of course, I'm not sure if it's the same as it was the last time I was really near the ride and paying attention to it... But I loved the scenery in front of the ride - the waterfall and the other fountains. I also enjoyed the big rock with the ride's name on it, It looked somewhat professional. Maybe it still does, Like I said, I dont usually focus on that part of the park anymore. And it seems to be a favorite spot for smokers to do their thing... Is that plaza a smoking area now? Or is that just a typical case of people being arrogant?

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I have definitely seen a lot of improvement from my last visits as I already stated. The new ride makes a lot of difference to the park and brightens things up. I love the corn popper so I hope it doesn't go. The return of the scrambler is also a good thing. The top spin at the Erie county fair has been gone for a couple years now so it doesn't surprise me that twister is not fairing well.

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^I bet the wind was a major factor as to why the screen collapsed. Most banners nowadays have wind slits so they don't move around as much. A movie screen I would imagine doesn't have slits.

 

I was under the impression that you couldn't go into the line unless you are skinny enough to fit for sure since there was a guard there who I assume was there to stop people who clearly won't fit from getting in the line.

 

The attendants at the entrance are there only to check heights, answer questions, and inform anyone if the ride is closed. Anybody of any size can wait in line as long as they are tall enough.

 

Couldn't help but notice how overgrown the old mini golf area is (did they just let it grow like that or did they actually remove the remnants of the old golf course?)

 

They removed some of the little props, but other then that it has all been growing over. Demolition would require jackhammers and other equipment because all the holes and ponds were concrete. The entrance to it has been turned into a shaded seating area, which is nice.

 

The only rides closed were Ranger, Twister, and Corn Popper, which may have been open for a short time before going down for the day. Thunder Rapids was closed but they had the water running through it later in the day but nothing no logs were going through it. I think it's quite obvious that Ranger is on its way out but I also think Twister may be on the chopping block soon.

 

Not sure what Twister's problem is, but it's been down for a couple of weeks now with no repairs being made. I am aware of the few minor issues it had before, but I think this has to do with the ride's age as well. Top spins don't age too well, and many parks have started to remove them; even Twister at SFNE.

 

Corn Popper is another ride that has many bugs. Every year it seems to go down for a while for the same recurring issues. It could be one of the next up to leave too. It is a unique ride, but maintenance can never get the hydraulics to go right.

 

Thunder Rapids had a problem with the smaller lift. They removed some of the logs and had the ride drained before starting the water back up.

 

Glad to hear you had a good visit despite your headache. Seems like most people who have visited the park this year have seen a lot of improvement from last year, so that's a good sign of things to come.

 

Do you have any idea why they only load on one side of Thunder Rapids now?

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^Most likely staffing issues. Thunder Rapids requires more operators than most rides in the park, even the coasters. To run one loading dock, you automatically need three operators. One loading, one unloading, and one who works the main panel and dispatches boats. Then you need two operators to stand on the lifts and stop them if something happens. To open another side of the station, that would require 2-3 more ops (one loading, unloading, and possibly one for crowd control).

 

I would prefer the park to move some of the operators around, possibly adding more to RoS, like they have at Millennium Force to expedite the restraint checks. Some days, however staffing is bad. You notice this if Mind Eraser only has 2 ops as opposed to 3, and Swirl City has only one attendant at the top working all 4 slides.

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I have definitely seen a lot of improvement from my last visits as I already stated. The new ride makes a lot of difference to the park and brightens things up. I love the corn popper so I hope it doesn't go. The return of the scrambler is also a good thing. The top spin at the Erie county fair has been gone for a couple years now so it doesn't surprise me that twister is not fairing well.

 

I knew the Top Spin left the Fair, but I didn't think it was because of age... that almost makes me feel better. I thought it was because the fair was losing funds of some sort and they couldn't afford to have as many rides. I enjoyed the Top Spin over at the fair WAY more than I did the Twister. The fair crew always had that thing flipping like mad! the last year they had it my sister was riding it non-stop (It was her favorite ride there - mine is personally the "not Larson super loop" Fireball ride) and one time it literally flipped 9 times in a row. What's the average flips per cycle done on Twister anymore...? If it's even open, that is.

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I am pretty sure the top spin was removed because the ride was aging. I think that ride was from 1993 or early 90's at least. Definitely not a money issue, if the fair couldn't afford it then they would have removed the zyklon coaster and the enterprise which are the other big rides there. Strates is the operator there and they just renewed their contract with the fair so they must be doing pretty well.

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I am pretty sure the top spin was removed because the ride was aging. I think that ride was from 1993 or early 90's at least. Definitely not a money issue, if the fair couldn't afford it then they would have removed the zyklon coaster and the enterprise which are the other big rides there. Strates is the operator there and they just renewed their contract with the fair so they must be doing pretty well.

 

Strates brings the rides too, so if Strates got rid of it then they wouldnt have it at the Fair of course.

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I am pretty sure the top spin was removed because the ride was aging. I think that ride was from 1993 or early 90's at least. Definitely not a money issue, if the fair couldn't afford it then they would have removed the zyklon coaster and the enterprise which are the other big rides there. Strates is the operator there and they just renewed their contract with the fair so they must be doing pretty well.

 

Strates brings the rides too, so if Strates got rid of it then they wouldnt have it at the Fair of course.

 

I was curious about it and I checked the Strates website - They still have the Top Spin listed. The copyright date on the site is only 2014 though... Maybe they removed it towards the end of their 2013 season and just haven't updated the site yet. Which by the way, Their site is actually really nice. I was not expecting anything like it! Good on them for that awesome site!

 

Also - Another curiosity question, when did the laser show switch from being sponsored by Wegmans and Labatt Blue to being Sponsored by Tops? Was there a reason behind it? Or was it a just because thing?

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Another curiosity question, when did the laser show switch from being sponsored by Wegmans and Labatt Blue to being Sponsored by Tops? Was there a reason behind it? Or was it a just because thing?

 

I think that in 2013 Darien Lake decided to end their partnership with Wegmans in favor of going back to having a partnership with Tops hence why Wegmans no longer sells discounted tickets to Darien Lake and no longer sponsoring the laser light show.On a related note, in the 1990s Darien Lake had a partnership with Tops.

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I am pretty sure the top spin was removed because the ride was aging. I think that ride was from 1993 or early 90's at least. Definitely not a money issue, if the fair couldn't afford it then they would have removed the zyklon coaster and the enterprise which are the other big rides there. Strates is the operator there and they just renewed their contract with the fair so they must be doing pretty well.

 

Strates brings the rides too, so if Strates got rid of it then they wouldnt have it at the Fair of course.

 

I was curious about it and I checked the Strates website - They still have the Top Spin listed. The copyright date on the site is only 2014 though... Maybe they removed it towards the end of their 2013 season and just haven't updated the site yet. Which by the way, Their site is actually really nice. I was not expecting anything like it! Good on them for that awesome site!

 

Also - Another curiosity question, when did the laser show switch from being sponsored by Wegmans and Labatt Blue to being Sponsored by Tops? Was there a reason behind it? Or was it a just because thing?

 

Looks like its the last year of the agreement, so it probably up for bid next season:

http://www.topsassociates.com/stores-and-associates/tops-partners-with-darien-lake-and-live-nation-exciting-associate-discounts-included/

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So the fact that your friends don't know anything yet tells me a few things. First, whatever is being planned is under wraps by only a select few, possibly including a sale of the park. Second, there are no plans fully set out at this point, or not yet finalized. Third, the people you are asing just are not high enough up on the chain of command to get the information

 

About not being up high enough in the chain of command... One of my sources is a water park supervisor. The other is a dry rides director, who oversees a certain zone of the park to which they are assigned. So i'd say the director would know whats going on, in the past he has given me spot on info, I really just think he doesn't know of anything, which means not to expect too much. Usually there is info to be known by now, or at least rumblings from within.

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I still think that the park has ben sold to a party that is not Premier. Remember when CNL sold Elitch Gardens and announced who they sold it to, as the new owners were going to keep Premier on for management. At that time it also came out that they sold two other parks, but no announcements on those. My guess is that the new ownership would be making the announcement, and since they are not in plcace yet, no official announcement.

 

All I can say is that something as large and intensive as Rowdy's Ridge was announced in February and open by May. I would not expect a new coaster, but a new flat or two with a new themed area could easily be pulled off. Then in 2017 once new ownership is fully in place, a new coaster could be installed.

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Yeah it'l be interesting to see who the new owners are. The best thing about Darien is that it virtually cannot be closed down. The land it sits on is pretty much worthless, located in the middle of nowhere and the dirt is too sandy for farming. Plus since the park is so low key my bet is that if CNL HAD to sell it, and they couldn't find a buyer for the price they were asking, they'd sell the park for cheap just to rid themselves of it. Would'nt it be crazy if the Pegula family purchased the park LOL, yeah right. I feel like if a single person buys the park it wouldn't do as well as if cedar fair or premier or a company like that bought it, one person really couldn't have enough money to invest and turn around the park as much as a large company or group could. I just hope this coaster drought ends soon, and it doesn't look like that will happen in 2016. But like my one source said, the plan was to add at least one new ride each year, and I think that will happen, like you said SK610. It's been 16, going on 17 years since a new, real coaster ( Motocoaster doesn't count fools!), this has got to end eventually right...?

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Why exactly doesn't motocoaster count? Is it not good enough for you people that Darien received a first of its kind attraction? Is a unique launching coaster not good enough for you? If motocoaster doesn't count because it's too short or because it's zamperla, then maybe Boomerang and Mind Eraser shouldn't count either because they were just off the shelf models. Seriously. I get it isn't a major coaster but it's still a coaster! "Fools!"

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Why exactly doesn't motocoaster count? Is it not good enough for you people that Darien received a first of its kind attraction? Is a unique launching coaster not good enough for you? If motocoaster doesn't count because it's too short or because it's zamperla, then maybe Boomerang and Mind Eraser shouldn't count either because they were just off the shelf models. Seriously. I get it isn't a major coaster but it's still a coaster! "Fools!"

I agree motocoaster is one of the better coasters there in my opinion

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I would hope that if the park has been sold that it will be announced sooner than wait until the next season is about to start and that it will be the end of having different owners putting their hands on the property. While the park did look good on my recent visit you can obviously see where too many people have put their footprint on the park and it doesn't flow evenly across the park.

 

PARC - Just plop Motocoaster in the most unusual spot where the old swimming pool used to be and do nothing around it to enhance it.

 

HERSCHEND - Rowdy's Ridge and the Boardwalk look great but at the same time making the other areas around them look a little more worn down.

 

PREMIER v2 - Can't fault them as they just took over this year but they at least filled in an open hole with Rolling Thunder.

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I agree with all three above statements. Motocoaster is surprisingly good and definitely unique. And the ownership announcement would probably happen similar to the management change did last year, after the operating season is over and the current management team has time to move out, hence smaller additions for next year if the park is sold. I think a flat or two would be the max, maybe a waterslide.

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