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Six Flags Darien Lake (SFDL) Discussion Thread


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Six Flags is in no real financial state to buy any properties at this point. Even if they were, it wouldn't be worth it to them because Darien will likely cost a lot more money than it's worth. It's different for Herschend because they are in a great financial state, and they would be willing to invest all of the money needed to bring the park up to their standards. I just wouldn't be able to see SF investing in areas like the Boardwalk.

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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.

 

I did read somewhere that DL was one of their best performing parks when they had it, but that doesnt really mean anything now.

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^Money-wise, yes. Attendance-wise, no. DL was the only Six Flags park with a hotel, a campground, and a PAC.

 

When SF started selling properties, they were going for the lower producing parks by attendance. One reason why DL was dumped was because SF believed that the extra profit that they made off of the property would be taken away by the upgrades needed to the park. Many of the aging rides needed costly maintenance. Most buildings needed to be painted or refurbished. Many of the RVs in the campground were going to be replaced by newer models. Total infrastructure rework. Those are just to name a few.

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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...

 

(New) Premier Parks is managing the park currently. (Old) Premier Parks acquired Six Flags in 1998 and rebranded themselves as Six Flags

 

In 2011, Kieran Burke (former Six Flags CEO) founded Premier Attractions Management, which is now (new) Premier Parks.

 

So, the similarities have more to do with (Old) Premier Parks acquiring Six Flags, and less with any possible 2016 acquisition of Darien Lake.

 

Premier added a Larson Loops to Elitch Gardens in 2014 (prior to Six Flags installations) , Darien Lake in 2015, and Frontier City in 2015.

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If I was to guess...I would say it's probably Herschend who will be purchasing Darien Lake.

 

Herschend wanted to buy it (but not with other parks) and now that it is a sole park, they may go ahead with it.

Herschend has the right ideas in mind for this park and it has the financial background to support their plans. Again, not many know what their schedule of plans was but I believe whatever their plan was, it would only help DL.

 

*Come on Herschend, do it!*

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Do we have an estimated time as for when said sale will take place? I know for a fact this sale could impact new additions to the park next year. So I'm hoping the sooner the better. I keep seeing those Dollywood additions from Hershend and I get excited for the possibility that they could be the ones running DL. Now I wouldn't expect them to jump in and immediately create DLs version of Lightning Rod, but have you seen Firechaser Express? Wild Eagle? Minebuster? I know Wild Eagle is on the higher end of the price range but they know how to build awesome looking rides! I've personally never been there - but with Lightning Rod being added in 2016, I think it's about time I get out there! I'm just saying. I want to eventually have the same type of excitement at my home park. CP's 16/17 coasters (depending on the way you look at it) are awesome, but they're 4 hours away. DL is practically down the street. Though I get crazy excited for CP announcements, I want to one day feel the same about DL. I still remember the ultimate let down from last February or so where they amped up a "big announcement" and it ended up just being the Nik Wallenda show. Granted I did enjoy it, it wasn't something I'd go and see over and over again. And now yet again, the Galaxy Theatre is SBNO, along with ranger, twister is soon to be in the same place, corn popper - from what I've heard on here - is becoming a nightmare, boomerang is barely creeping up the lifts... I'm hoping there's at least some sort of bid placed on the park before the season ends.. They have been trying but with CNL still running the money show, these park operators can't do what they truly want to.. And it's affecting operations, additions, repaires and I'm assuming 2 train operations. Even though Doug did announce Viper and Predator are getting their second trains this season. That still leaves 3 applicable coasters without them, AND one of those happens to be the parks BIGGEST ride...

 

Based on this thread and personal experiences in the park... I feel that CNL selling the park to someone who knows what they're doing is DLs best chance at becoming more successful. The park has potential. But it can't be reached when CNL won't allow major investments...

 

#LakeMonsterRod2017 just sayin

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Do we have an estimated time as for when said sale will take place? I know for a fact this sale could impact new additions to the park next year. So I'm hoping the sooner the better. I keep seeing those Dollywood additions from Hershend and I get excited for the possibility that they could be the ones running DL. Now I wouldn't expect them to jump in and immediately create DLs version of Lightning Rod, but have you seen Firechaser Express? Wild Eagle? Minebuster? I know Wild Eagle is on the higher end of the price range but they know how to build awesome looking rides! I've personally never been there - but with Lightning Rod being added in 2016, I think it's about time I get out there! I'm just saying. I want to eventually have the same type of excitement at my home park. CP's 16/17 coasters (depending on the way you look at it) are awesome, but they're 4 hours away. DL is practically down the street. Though I get crazy excited for CP announcements, I want to one day feel the same about DL. I still remember the ultimate let down from last February or so where they amped up a "big announcement" and it ended up just being the Nik Wallenda show. Granted I did enjoy it, it wasn't something I'd go and see over and over again. And now yet again, the Galaxy Theatre is SBNO, along with ranger, twister is soon to be in the same place, corn popper - from what I've heard on here - is becoming a nightmare, boomerang is barely creeping up the lifts... I'm hoping there's at least some sort of bid placed on the park before the season ends.. They have been trying but with CNL still running the money show, these park operators can't do what they truly want to.. And it's affecting operations, additions, repairs and I'm assuming 2 train operations. Even though Doug did announce Viper and Predator are getting their second trains this season. That still leaves 3 applicable coasters without them, AND one of those happens to be the parks BIGGEST ride...

 

Based on this thread and personal experiences in the park... I feel that CNL selling the park to someone who knows what they're doing is DLs best chance at becoming more successful. The park has potential. But it can't be reached when CNL won't allow major investments...

 

#LakeMonsterRod2017 just sayin

 

Wow. Thank you. I believe you have said all of my thoughts in one post...I have Canada's Wonderland too.

I would have to say though that the new owner may come into place before next year and this year would be even better. I would like to think that Darien Lake is closing earlier this year (no October at all) to prepare for change. But I hope operation into October resumes next year.

 

UFO gone, Ranger will be gone, Twister soon to be, Herschend will likely have all the right plans made for the successors of those rides. Corn Popper may be in line too. If so happens that Premier 2.0 stays, they will likely improve much more slowly than possible by Herschend, but each year, there would be a guaranteed new attraction...which would replace the aforementioned rides. Ranger of course first, maybe next year. Rolling Thunder is a good start, but now more changes will have to be made. I would also love to have this hype for my own home park too, but it doesn't seem to want to be right now. As for 2Ops, Viper done, Predator asap. I would of suggested the Ride of Steel first, but at least Viper got its second train. Mind Eraser is next year definitely alongside Ride of Steel (or at least one could hope). Same for LED lights for the Giant Wheel, which one could hope comes soon too.

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^ Well, nobody is exactly sure that Twister is on the way out yet. A big difference between this ride and some others is that parts are still being made for this model. Top spins have a lot of parts that wear out, just like parts on a car. Bearings need to be replaced every 7-8 thousand hours of use. I know that our model has had braking issues. The brake caliper struggled trying to hold the gondola still. That could be from a leaking pneumatic line or worn parts in the caliper.

 

There are other severe problems that models have been plagued with, and finally may be affecting ours. Corrosion and cracking has been known to happen.

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Absolutely agree with all above posts. Also, dont forget CNL announced that three of their parks have already been sold, and only one has announced the sale. If DL has been sold it will not be announced until after the operating year is over. On the flip side, any maintenance and possible painting could be done before the operating year is over if the new owner was allowed access to the park and funded the work. This is how I think ME painting is getting accomplished along with visible parts for ME trains

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So i spent 3 nights and 4 days at Darien while camping last week. I live not too far from the park, but its something we like to do each year. We stayed in a lakeside cabin, which was EXPENSIVE, even with the seasons pass holder discount. I believe for 5 people in this cabin for 3 night it was about $1,200. The cabins aren't really cabins, they have wheels, and are more like a pull through trailer, but nicer, not as long, and a little wider. The cabin had 2 queen size beds right when you walk in, a nice flat screen and fireplace, which we did use either of. It had a full size fridge, a stove top,microwave, and toaster all in the same room as the beds. There was no dining area so you had to eat on the porch. There was a back bedroom with a set of bunks, and a nice bathroom with a full size shower. There was also this loft/attic type space, meant for little kids to stay in sleeping bags on. No way an adult could fit up there. I do like the campgrounds at Darien, one thing I did not like was that after the Florida Georgia Line concert, the PAC decided to funnel concert traffic out through the campground, so until 3am there were cars back up for miles through the campgrounds, honking, fighting, yelling, all night.I think the sheriffs had set up a DWI checkpoint at the campground gates, so in order to exit the concert you had to go through their checkpoint, but i'm not positive. Now everyday we stayed the park was PACKED. Yes one day there was a concert, but the other 3 there wasn't, and at 10 am when they open the gates and stop people at the fountain till the rope drops at 1030 there was a full parking lot already, all 4 days. I haven't seen the park like that in quite some time, and one of the days was even a monday. As for the rides, everything was one train, except viper. Rides closed : Twister (been closed for going on 2-2.5 seasons now), Ranger (again, been closed for 2-3 seasons), and honestly that was pretty much it. if something broke down, it was up within an hour, kudos to maintenance. Somebody I went with had a broken wrist, so we were given an exit pass for all the rides, youd essentially go to the "guard" at the entrance to a ride, they'd write what time to come back (however long the line is) and you'd just go up the exit at the right time. What complicated this was the fact that the park has a new game called plinko. You pay 5$ and drop your puck. it lands in one of 5 categories, Food, Games, Attractions, Merchandise, or Rides. You then spin a wheel with colors on it, each category has prizes assigned to each color, there are more yellow spots than green, more green then red, and there is only one black and one orange spot on the whole wheel, those are the big ticket prizes. So whatever color it lands on you then match up to the chart on the wall. Food prizes were a free popcorn for a yellow spot, and at the highest black spot there was 4 free meal vouchers, for games prizes there were just stuffed animals, and whatever color you landed on indicated how big of a stuffed animal. Attractions prizes were free rock wall climb for yellow, and free red hawk (skycoaster) ride for 3 for the black spot. (there are more prizes in between these for each category, just don't feel like typing them all lol). Merchandise ranged from a free postcard, to free antique photo for 2, to a free darien lake hoodie. And now the ride category, so whatever color you land on indicates how many cut the line passes you get, all the way up to 4. A LOT of people win these for some reason. The issue is so many people win these that at each ride the line up the exit of people with these passes was almost as long as the actual ride line. and then you have these people cutting the people who waited all at once. At ride of steel the exit pass line was all the way to the gift shop, and to make things worse, the ride attendant was only taking one party at a time, and then making the exit passes skip every other ride to be fair to the guests who waited in line. Darien needs to figure this out and fast, I thought there was gonna be a brawl in some of these lines, people were MAD. The biggest complaint that I heard was that "I payed 5$ and won this line cutting pass, and i'm waiting in line for 30 minutes to even use it", which is childish because the regular line most of the time was at least an hour and a half for some things. I have a feeling this game wont be around next season, on the bright side I did win a sky coaster ride for 3! Moving on, whoever buys this park really needs to take care of ride of steel, it needs paint BAD, change the colors scheme, re theme it, it looks pathetic. I was on the Ferris Wheel and I was taking a look at the old lazy river floodgate falls, carved out into the hill where cuda was, and its sad to see it in such bad shape. I used to love that thing as a kid, but its unfortunate even more so that the empty plot from cuda may not ever be usable because of floodgate falls. When I worked at the park we decided to ask maintenance when they planned on ripping out the old thing, come to find out they cant rip it out. This thing is actually embedded in the hill, and taking it out would actually compromise the structure of the hill. So to even put anything in that area you have 3 options, leave it and let it be an eyesore, somehow fill it in with concrete and add some dirt and grass over it, or rip it out and pay out the behind to level the hill. Also, WTF is up with this park not replacing the lights on the giant wheel yet. its been a good 6 to 7 years now, cmon people!!! The girlfriend and I always spend a lot of time and money in the old fascination parlor every time were at the park, for those of you who don't know, fascination is a rare game now days, darien's parlor is one of only about 20-30 left in the world. It's kind of like I Got It, and it only costs 25 cents. I took home a keurig machine and kan jam set, so I think we did good. Unfortunately I did not see any markers or signs of anything to come for 2016 yet, but if anyone has any questions just ask!

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Just a little tip for future posts. Try and break up your posts into smaller paragraphs to make it easier to read. I kept getting lost in the post because I was skipping over lines a lot.

 

I am glad to hear that the park got Plinko. I saw it earlier this year at Cedar Point and thought it would be a cool addition anywhere. Where exactly were the exit pass people seated? Hopefully not in the front or back, because that will cause a lot of issues and angry customers. I like that the park got the game, but they need to find a medium as to how many of each prize can be given out.

 

Also, yes, Floodgate Falls cannot be removed if the park wants to preserve the hill. They cannot just fill in the hole with dirt, because it would be too unstable. But luckily, if the park decides to use the plot for expansion, they would most likely remove the hill anyways. There isn't really much that can be built over/around the hill.

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Just a little tip for future posts. Try and break up your posts into smaller paragraphs to make it easier to read. I kept getting lost in the post because I was skipping over lines a lot.

 

I am glad to hear that the park got Plinko. I saw it earlier this year at Cedar Point and thought it would be a cool addition anywhere. Where exactly were the exit pass people seated? Hopefully not in the front or back, because that will cause a lot of issues and angry customers. I like that the park got the game, but they need to find a medium as to how many of each prize can be given out.

 

Also, yes, Floodgate Falls cannot be removed if the park wants to preserve the hill. They cannot just fill in the hole with dirt, because it would be too unstable. But luckily, if the park decides to use the plot for expansion, they would most likely remove the hill anyways. There isn't really much that can be built over/around the hill.

Ok sorry about the block of text then everyone. I was kind of half asleep this morning too while writing this so sorry for possible bad grammar as well. They would take one party of the exit passes and let them sit wherever they wanted, then do no exit passes the next ride, then take another party. I was thinking they should maybe close one row specifically for these passes considering there is always somebody in the exit pass line, they used to do this with the "Flash Pass" in the SF days.

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Hersheypark currently closes off the middle cars of their coasters for their Fast Pass. Even if Darien just closes off one middle row, it would work a lot better. I personally would be mad if I waited over an hour for a certain seat, then had to wait longer for people who won some game. I like the Plinko idea, but the amount of exit passes needs to be distributed better then.

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To address some things:

 

Going to look into the Exit Pass claim at Ride of Steel. I pass Ride of Steel whenever I enter the park (from my office) and have never seen a significant exit pass line. Looking at redemptions, our highest daily redemptions on Ride of Steel was 56 for the day on 8/13, which was the Jason Aldean Concert. I'll keep an eye on it.

 

I do apologize about the concert traffic. Bandwidth is the name of the game when directing 20,000 concert goers off property. Because of this, we must use all avenues possible to direct traffic onto Allegheny and Sumner Rd.

 

I believe removing Floodgate Falls was of concern because of 'Cuda Falls. I do not believe it is of concern now, as 'Cuda Falls has been removed.

 

Giant Wheel lighting package - we hear you, not in the cards quite yet. Two train operations higher on the list of priorities. Expect more 2 train operations in 2016.

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To address some things:

 

Going to look into the Exit Pass claim at Ride of Steel. I pass Ride of Steel whenever I enter the park (from my office) and have never seen a significant exit pass line. Looking at redemptions, our highest daily redemptions on Ride of Steel was 56 for the day on 8/13, which was the Jason Aldean Concert. I'll keep an eye on it.

 

I do apologize about the concert traffic. Bandwidth is the name of the game when directing 20,000 concert goers off property. Because of this, we must use all avenues possible to direct traffic onto Allegheny and Sumner Rd.

 

I believe removing Floodgate Falls was of concern because of 'Cuda Falls. I do not believe it is of concern now, as 'Cuda Falls has been removed.

 

Giant Wheel lighting package - we hear you, not in the cards quite yet. Two train operations higher on the list of priorities. Expect more 2 train operations in 2016.

 

Can't wait for the new gen trains on Ride of Steel..

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^Agreed. If Vekoma could find any way to retrofit trains w/ lap bars like on their family models, the SLCs would be rather fun. I found out that ME is not as bad in the front seat as it is in others. I had a pretty enjoyable ride a few weeks ago in the very front car.

 

As for RoS, I don't see second gen trains coming any time soon. I have heard rumors of the 2 sister models of RoS getting them, but it really isn't needed. If maintenance tore both trains apart over the offseason and gave them some TLC, they could ride like new. Re-mold the seats and restraints, adjust the wheels and assemblies, and remove the side brackets from the restraints. If the park got the double locking seat belts like Dragster and MF have, the ride could probably do without the painful brackets.

 

Edit: To add to that Viper's trains are about double the age of RoS's and I believe they still run very smooth. With good maintenance, trains can stay smooth for a very long time.

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To address some things:

 

Going to look into the Exit Pass claim at Ride of Steel. I pass Ride of Steel whenever I enter the park (from my office) and have never seen a significant exit pass line. Looking at redemptions, our highest daily redemptions on Ride of Steel was 56 for the day on 8/13, which was the Jason Aldean Concert. I'll keep an eye on it.

 

I do apologize about the concert traffic. Bandwidth is the name of the game when directing 20,000 concert goers off property. Because of this, we must use all avenues possible to direct traffic onto Allegheny and Sumner Rd.

 

I believe removing Floodgate Falls was of concern because of 'Cuda Falls. I do not believe it is of concern now, as 'Cuda Falls has been removed.

 

Giant Wheel lighting package - we hear you, not in the cards quite yet. Two train operations higher on the list of priorities. Expect more 2 train operations in 2016.

 

Can't wait for the new gen trains on Ride of Steel..

 

Getting warmer!

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^Agreed. If Vekoma could find any way to retrofit trains w/ lap bars like on their family models, the SLCs would be rather fun. I found out that ME is not as bad in the front seat as it is in others. I had a pretty enjoyable ride a few weeks ago in the very front car.

 

As for RoS, I don't see second gen trains coming any time soon. I have heard rumors of the 2 sister models of RoS getting them, but it really isn't needed. If maintenance tore both trains apart over the offseason and gave them some TLC, they could ride like new. Re-mold the seats and restraints, adjust the wheels and assemblies, and remove the side brackets from the restraints. If the park got the double locking seat belts like Dragster and MF have, the ride could probably do without the painful brackets.

 

Edit: To add to that Viper's trains are about double the age of RoS's and I believe they still run very smooth. With good maintenance, trains can stay smooth for a very long time.

 

vekoma_zugg.jpg.ff8e9ef2819715ac492f82c21602a194.jpg

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Yes, these are what i was talking about for ME. Didn't Kentucy Kingdom just retro fit T2 with these? I totally think it would make ME much more rideable as the coasters layout is pretty decent, its just the shaking that kills it

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