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Six Flags Darien Lake (SFDL) Discussion Thread


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Looking back, PARC was not so bad as an operator. They did add two big things for us, and had very consistent operations with the rides. But I did not like their one year on, one year off pattern with attractions. While they couldn't add big things every year, I would trade it in for Premier's "every year promise"; even if they are smaller additions.

 

I'm still kind of torn between Premier and Herschend. I would love to see Herschend step in and start building big right away, but the 2014 season really worried me. Operations were pretty awful, they couldn't make up their mind what to do with the fall event, and the only new thing was the Nik Wallenda show (which I never even watched). Scrambler was "new", but even then it was a very late addition for the year. Of course, this could all could be because they knew that they were on their way out. If so, it doesn't concern me so much, but I believe to build the park back up, it will need yearly investment for at least a little while.

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I like the trend of adding a flat ride every year, I don't care if it's a used ride as long as it's a park model and not an obvious carnival ride. We had the same flats for forever until the addition of rowdy's and blast off. The next step is to remove ranger and place something in its spot. If they can keep the trend of replacing rides that is a good thing until all the half broken stuff is gone. This adds more rides and disperses the lines on crowded days. If the rides run better than the old rides there will be more uptime which in turn means less lines.

 

I think DL is a hit or miss park, if you can hit when the lines are relatively short you will have a great time. If you randomly hit a crowded day then your time will be miserable because you will spend most of your time in lines since the lines do not move fast in this park like they do in some others. If you happen to hit on a day when several attractions are closed at once due to failure then you won't have a good time because this means lines will be longer.

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I would not look at anything that happened for either PARC or HFE as they did not control the money investment part. if either of them controlled the investments, things may look different.

 

I do think adding new modern flats to replace some of the aging ones is an excellent strategy. Also, I think there are a few spots in the park that could benefit from a flat ride. Most notably, by ROS queue and Mind Eraser could really benefit from a flat ride for additional traffic.

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This isn't really big news, but Google finally updated their aerial view of the park. It is really interesting to see what the new sections of the park look like compared to the old ones. The Boardwalk, Rowdy's Ridge, and RT plaza really stand out and look a lot more modern/cleaner than the others. I hope that whoever gets control of the park continues to revamp areas like this and continues to do away with the blacktop.

 

Also, taking a look at the open plot where a certain slide complex used to stand (I won't mention a name ), It is very large, and could be a great size for a major expansion in the future. I would hope for a coaster, but a major plaza could do just as well. If the Slingshot were removed, that would open up even more possibilities.

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I looked at that empty space a few times during my recent visit and tried to envision what could go there. With the slight elevation change I'm not sure what could go there that wouldn't need expensive excavating to level it. A coaster does seem like a logical choice but for some reason I'd like to see something else there since Shipwreck Falls takes up a portion of it.

 

I agree that Sling Shot needs to be relocated. Stick it where Twister is now.

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So what happened with that Lake Monster thing? It would have been a fantastic addition.

I have no clue, but I think it's in limbo until Darien Lake gets new owners who are willing to either remodel Predator to "Lake Monster" or use said name for another ride.

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So what happened with that Lake Monster thing? It would have been a fantastic addition.

 

It was an idea from Herschend, but they no longer operate the park, so it is on hold until ultimately somebody buys the park and is willing to invest in an attraction like that.

 

Fortunately, I think time is on our side. Two factors that would make this happen are a) CNL is looking to sell the park and b) Predator won't last forever. I'm sure that soon, a decision will have to be made as the ride does not get any smoother and it is aging.

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So what happened with that Lake Monster thing? It would have been a fantastic addition.

 

It was an idea from Herschend, but they no longer operate the park, so it is on hold until ultimately somebody buys the park and is willing to invest in an attraction like that.

 

Fortunately, I think time is on our side. Two factors that would make this happen are a) CNL is looking to sell the park and b) Predator won't last forever. I'm sure that soon, a decision will have to be made as the ride does not get any smoother and it is aging.

 

The way the Scrambler is set up leads me to believe something is planned. Parts of it are clearly temporary.

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^Yeah, I was sure that after the offseason last year, that the quick, cheap fencing would be replaced. But it's still there so it could probably be taken down easier if machinery needed to be brought in. Many of the posts on the fence aren't even secured that tight, and somebody could get hurt if they really tried. So it's definitely a possibility.

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Darien Lake is the one park I wish SF would have held on to during the multi park sale. Even though SF isn't the greatest company out there, Darien Lake would still have a better future than its had since SF sold it. Just my two cents.

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Sometimes I think the exact same thing. Of course people bash SF all the time, and I'll agree that some of their decisions are questionable. But I believe that the following things would have happened if they stayed.

 

1) The park would receive steady additions every year. There would be no years off in the middle unless something BIG went in.

 

2) With Six Flags' relationship with RMC, "Lake Monster" would have likely been done by now or closer to happening.

 

3) The waterpark expansion would have likely still happened and possibly branded under the Hurricane Harbor name.

 

4) Motocoaster would have still happened, but maybe a Gerstlauer model instead, and the park would probably have built one more big coaster.

 

5) The Looney Tunes/DC theming would have stayed leaving the rides with not such generic names and themes. Most of the rides in the kiddie area would have looked a lot better.

 

6) Many of the older rides would still be retired and replaced by a SkyScreamer, Rolling Thunder, Aqua Twist, etc.

 

 

These are just what I believe what SF would have done. It really isn't all that different to what other operators have done/would do, just with different branding is all. Would the park be better off with SF still? Maybe yes, maybe no.

 

But SF does really get a bad rap when in reality they could be worse. People complained about the "maintenance" of the park back then, but actually the rides ran very well and almost always 2 trains, even on off days. I would know, I used to work there in the late SF days in maintenance, and believe it or not, a lot of the maintenance guys from the SF days stayed after the park was sold because their job was year-round. The current manager of maintenance actually worked for the park in the SF days.

 

If I had to choose between Herschend and SF I would still have to go with Herschend, but SF definitely gets a worse rap than they deserve.

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Hi guys!! I'm planning a trip to Darien Lake! I have a few questions:

 

1) Are there any ride that only run 1 train?

 

2) How should I hit the park? Like which rides first?

 

3) Are there any 'must rides' besides RoS?

 

4) Is the food any good?

 

Thanks! I'm planning on having a blast there!

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^

 

1) Every Coaster is currently running one train, save for Viper, which runs two when it is busy.

 

2) There is always a mad dash for Ride of Steel, so you can either try to do that and beat the line, or take advantage of the short lines elsewhere.

 

3) SkyCoaster is a must do for me, it really depends on what you are into.

 

4) Maria's was fantastic last year, haven't eaten there this season.

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^^Hope you enjoy your visit!

 

Try to hit the water park early too, because lines pick up in the afternoon. Don't skip over Motocoaster, it is a surprisingly fun ride for its size. Viper and Predator are also underrated. Try to rid near the front of the Predator. I like the back better but it is extremely rough. The Anchor Bar, I believe, has the same prices as the actual restaurant, so that could be a good choice.

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Sometimes I think the exact same thing. Of course people bash SF all the time, and I'll agree that some of their decisions are questionable. But I believe that the following things would have happened if they stayed.

 

1) The park would receive steady additions every year. There would be no years off in the middle unless something BIG went in.

 

I'm not sure I can agree with that. Six Flags didn't invest in DL much, or at least it seemed like they didn't, during their tenure there. In the years after the "flagging" that included Superman (which is sort of funny that people still call it that after all these years) DL only got Twister, Tornado and Shipwreck Falls (help me if I'm missing something) but those three seem to be the only big additions and not much in between. Now that was the old regime and maybe the new regime might have done more with the property but it's still Six Flags.

 

A Skyscreamer and Rolling Thunder would have been a given, and maybe a Tsunami Soaker, but I doubt the RMC makeover of Predator would happen. I doubt a Rowdy's Ridge or Boardwalk makeover would have ever happened. I doubt the park would have changed much from what it was. I think Herschend was the "God send" for the park, if that is the right term, and I don't mean that as a knock against Premier v2 since they haven't had a chance to really make their mark. Herschend and the atmosphere of Darien Lake seemed to be a perfect match and the few investments they did make showed they had a grand vision for what the park could be.

 

^

3) SkyCoaster is a must do for me, it really depends on what you are into.

 

BTW, what is up with the $50 for a single rider? I haven't seen a skycoaster priced that high even at CF and Six Flags parks. I like Skycoasters, would like to try Darien's, but that is a bit outrageous.

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^ Big Kahuna was added in 2006, and I know that these are upcharge but the Slingshot and a Turbobungy were added in 2002.

 

There were a few major additions that were always in discussion while SF was in the picture. A drop tower was always being discussed, as was a water park expansion after the success of Big Kahuna and Tornado. I've also heard rumors of more DC branding when I worked at the park years ago.

 

I do believe that an RMC Predator would have happened, because even the smaller parks in the chain are getting them. SF was constantly pumping money into retracking it, and even shut it down for the end of the 2006 season before they left to do work. The articulated trains don't do as much damage because they don't shuffle side to side, but they are also a lot heavier and that is taking a toll on the track currently.

 

If I had the choice between Herschend and SF I would still pick the former hands down. I just hope that they still have interest in the park.

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I agree that SF really just milked the park for revenue to send elsewhere. The additions SF made other than S:ROS were minimal and cheap, while the campground brought in tons of extra cash. SF wants to run mega-parks like SFMM, SFGAm and SFGAd, DL is not in that category and never will. The park owns tons f land, but the amusent part is pretty land locked withouth either moving parking lots or taking out camping areas, which are pretty much free money.

 

I do also think Hershend had the right vision for the park, and would create/build the best overall park experience. I too hope they still have interest, as I can see an awesome true theme park in about 5 years with a good mix of family and thrill rides just like their other two major parks, Dollywood and Silver Dollar City. I just hope they still have the interest to buy the par.

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Did anyone see the most recent TV commercial for Darien Lake? It seems to use the same slogan that many other Six Flags parks have used "The coaster capital of (insert state/area)". Considering that this year's additions were a lot like many of the additions that were sent to a few Six Flags parks, it made me think. Is Six Flags buying back Darien Lake by any chance? My preference for a new park owner would be either HFE or Cedar Fair because, as the post before this one said, Six Flags will probably invest very little as they have done before.

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^I doubt that Six Flags would buy back one of their ex-parks, but if Six Flags was planning on buying back Darien Lake from CNL, not only would the Looney Tunes and DC Comics superheroes would return, but Six Flags would probably make Darien Lake the new Great Escape park.

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