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Six Flags Darien Lake (SFDL) Discussion Thread


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Looks like Viper is the only coaster to run two trains this season once again. I talked to the crew today about some basic things going around the park, nothing special to note besides they expect the second train to go on sometime this month. That's a good catch on Predator Steve. I never noticed that, but that pretty much rules out a second train this year. I wish that they would send the trains off to PTC this offseason so they can rehab the trains. It's a coaster that could use them.

 

Seems like most people have just been hitting Ride of Steel on a bad day this year. Every time I went, it has been suffering from minimal downtime. Sometimes there are just days where the computer doesn't want to cooperate. Today weather kept it and many other rides down for a bit. The wind got so bad at a point that it nearly blew one of Big Kahuna's rafts across the park. Only the conveyor's cage prevented that from happening.

 

I would be happy if next year's budget was used to finish paint on Mind Eraser and start RoS, get second trains for major rides running, and a small dry addition, maybe a Twister replacement.

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I agree with coasterkid. I woulc be very happy if next years budget was spent on paint on ROS and ME along with new trains on all costers except viper. A flat to replace twister would be great, but not necessary if the others could get taken care of.

 

Also, most things on Screamscape are pure speculation. They are much better than years ago, but most things are from people who email Lance with something that sounds relatively credible. I am sure that DL would not be fully closing down the path towards ME for construction at this point of the year. I do think that area of the park is in need of something else to draw crowds.

 

Also, if that really was posted to screamscape, it has since been taken down...

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My friend just told me that his co worker said that he was at DL a few days ago and said the same thing that screamscape said. I don't know if he send this news or not though.

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Update from Screamscape for those who may not have seen it...

Screamscape was asked by Darien Lake's PR to remove our last post that mentioned construction near Mind Eraser that was not true, as well as the rumor of a second train on Ride of Steel. While asking for clarification on the future of the Ride of Steel coaster, Screamscape was informed that while the park did buy "a new, upgraded train" from the ride's manufacturer this year "to give the riders a smoother experience", this will apparently be the only train the ride will have.

While the ride was originally purchased, back in the Six Flags days, with two trains for more efficient operations, Darien Lake sadly has "no plans to add a second [train] at this time." I'm sure this news is disappointing, as one train operation on any coaster able to run two is never good news for capacity on a busy day, but this also means that any time there needs to be maintenance performed on the train, the park's premier coaster will be closed for the day since there is no spare train to pick up the slack.

 

I find it amazing that for a park who just a few years ago wanted to fix operations, rides, etc. with their "Happiness Guaranteed" slogan now is cutting corners trying to get away with one train on all coasters. Maybe their excuse is the budget or "not enough riders". But Lance brings up a good point. With no spare trains, RoS will go down possibly for very long periods if something goes wrong. Also, for a park of this size there's no reason for lines to get up to 45-60 minutes on a busy day because of a lack of trains.

 

I was starting to like Premier, but stuff like this makes Six Flags look like Disney when it comes to operations. Plus with the half paint jobs and SBNO rides, the park isn't going anywhere. Whatever happened to the rumors that CNL was liquidating or got their investment back? I honestly just want a company to come in who will run the park right and invest a little into fixing it up.

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I think stating there are no plans to purchase a second train for RoS is a standard PR statement. This way they are not making any promises and if plans do fall through (whether such plans exist) they won't receive as much of a backlash.

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I find it amazing that for a park who just a few years ago wanted to fix operations, rides, etc. with their "Happiness Guaranteed" slogan now is cutting corners trying to get away with one train on all coasters. Maybe their excuse is the budget or "not enough riders". But Lance brings up a good point. With no spare trains, RoS will go down possibly for very long periods if something goes wrong. Also, for a park of this size there's no reason for lines to get up to 45-60 minutes on a busy day because of a lack of trains.

 

I was starting to like Premier, but stuff like this makes Six Flags look like Disney when it comes to operations. Plus with the half paint jobs and SBNO rides, the park isn't going anywhere. Whatever happened to the rumors that CNL was liquidating or got their investment back? I honestly just want a company to come in who will run the park right and invest a little into fixing it up.

 

What happened? Darien Lake used to be good and I think that CNL is letting Darien Lake go to "Hell" with their operations and thinking that they can save money by running one train on most of rides. Also not to mention putting more focus on the water park.

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The biggest problem is that CNL alwyas looks at the bottom line and want to turn a profit. Plus, I am ure they are payingmPremier to manage the park. If they sold the park to a company like HFE, they would invest into the park in order to bring things up to where they need to be. CNL would never do this for fear of losing money

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I can remember the one time last year where I waited 65 minutes for ROS. They need the second train badly. I've Ben to the park 5 times this year, and every time, ROS has been down for at least half the day with a train related issue, and they don't have a spare train to use.

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We are planning on going up for my company picnic in a couple of weeks and will look to stay at the campground for a couple of nights. Will look to grab some photos and do a full trip report with regards to our experience.

 

Hopefully there will be no 65 minute waits for RoS!!!

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I'm going to vote with what the park has said, and say that it is a new train.

 

As for two-train operation, I wouldn't put money on the idea for this year. If they purchased a train that seems very similar to the original trains, this indicates the old train(s) had reached the end of their usable life. More than likely the chassis probably started developing cracks due to stress over many years of use (common Intamin issue learned through seminars) that were beyond reasonable to repair cost-effectively or able to continue to pass NDT or state inspection standards.

 

As for 2017 and beyond, it is all up in the air. My confidence is that those in power at Darien Lake are not O.K. with the limitation to one available train for the long term.

 

 

i know a guy real high up in Darien lakes management that told me that Darien lake has already put in the order for the train for next year

 

^^

 

The Screamscape thing is PR babble, probably just talking about this year.

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Whatever happened to the rumors that CNL was liquidating or got their investment back? I honestly just want a company to come in who will run the park right and invest a little into fixing it up.

 

Who would buy all the parks that CNL owns? None of the other "big names" are currently buying parks, and the smaller companies likely don't have the money available that it would require.

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HFE wanted to buy DL, but wanted only DL and at the time CNL wanted to package all the parks. Seeing that they sold Elitch last year on its own, there may still be hope. My personal hope is for HFE to buy and invest in the par. They know what the park needs, and have the money to make the needed upgrades and additions.

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I don't know what all has changed with CNL, but HFEC has a new CEO and with that a new strategy that doesn't seem to include buying any more theme parks for the time being.

 

CNL is very boring as an owner. They've been investing a bit into these properties, but just enough to fix them up from being complete dumps - not enough to actually fulfill their potential. They just want to keep everything running, and when a new ride is needed they go with cheap over quality. The Larson rides are OK, but they were bought because they are cheap. They seem to be getting into the ride rotation concept as well, with Magic Springs and FC swapping rides this year. I assume DL will be included soon.

 

It seems like they just want the parks to maintain equilibrium until they are ready to sell, which could take years.

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The last two times I went to Darien this year I rode ROS early and the platform was flooded both times. Do they hose it out every morning or was that due to rain or something else? It's fairly annoying having to wade through near ankle-deep water to reach the queue for the front seat. It also makes riders who step on the seats to exit the train that much more infuriating.

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The last two times I went to Darien this year I rode ROS early and the platform was flooded both times. Do they hose it out every morning or was that due to rain or something else? It's fairly annoying having to wade through near ankle-deep water to reach the queue for the front seat. It also makes riders who step on the seats to exit the train that much more infuriating.

I've noticed the same thing almost every time that I'm there. The one day, it was about ankle deep, but it hadn't rained for about a week. They must hose it down.

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I went to the park this evening and wanted to post a few things.

 

First off, we did not go until 4 pm and left by 7 pm. Second, we went with my son, who is 6 and is not tall enough to rideany of the coasters. Here is a few things I did notice though. I did not see ROS running at all this evening. All coasters were running just one train, except ROS which Idid not see run at all. Just about every flat other than blast offwas a walk on. Twister has just about every one of its restraints off it now. Grizzly run was not operating.The park looks like it could really use some landscaping work. Lot of weeds, sone 2-3 feet high.

 

Now onto the juicy part. There seemed to be an executive at the park. When i took my sonon the antique cars, there was two people on the closed bridge pointing towards twister and the open area to the left of it. Later, I also saw them over by moose on the loose.The dl guy was definitely Chris Thorpe. The other guy hadanotepad and a beard. He was clearly writing things down. Not surewhat they were doing, but I would keep any eye out towards the area between twister and darien square for possible future development of a flat ride.

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I went to the park again today, and I can confirm that Grizzly Run and RoS were both down for a decent chunk of time today. I was at the park from about 4pm-Close and as soon as I got to RoS, at about 4:15, it was down for maintenance. It looked like they were having trouble with the restraints on the first car. I believe they were focusing on the front right T-bar, but I could be wrong, since I was in the very back of the station. They asked us all to file out of the station house after about 20 minutes, and the ride was back up by 6:00, when I came back, we rode it twice and though there is a bit of a rumble in the back of the train, it still gives one heck of a ride with the MAJOR improvement of that new Intamin awesomeness we were blessed with this year! As for Grizzly run, apparently the water elements on it stopped working, as we were waiting in line, I saw people get off and when I asked if they had rode, they told me they did, but they got off bone dry, which apparently isn't common for that ride! Who would've thought?

 

Other things I noticed this time around, the RoS crew was hauling to the best of their abilities with the one train operations, especially compared to last week! Boomerang is really having a hard time getting up that reverse cable lift hill, I can't believe they haven't fixed that yet. The hydraulic room has both doors open at all times (which I noticed last year too). I wouldn't be surprised if it runs into some more serious issues by the end of this season with the way it's acting. The Mind Eraser's second train is still on pallets by the cherry picker. Nothing new there, yet I wonder where the actual seats are. It looks like all they have on sight is the chassis and wheels. I thought it was possible that they have the rest of the train stored in that big garage type thing in the exit, but it's anyone's guess at this point! Vipers second train is nowhere to be seen, still. And I know it's a very minuscule detail but I find it weird that even though they pretty much salvaged the yellow train for parts, they still have the blue train labeled as train number 3. There's only one other functional train that we know of, which makes me wonder why they didn't just call it train number 1 or 2. Towards the end of the night, right before the laser show started, they made a very unorthodox announcement saying "if there's an emergency, the lights will return to normal, please listen to announcements for instructions" which in my 8 or so years of viewing this show, I've never heard them make an announcement like that. I tried to look to see if something was wrong but I couldn't see anything out of the ordinary. I'll be at the park tomorrow too though so I'm gonna see if they do it again before the show tomorrow night. If they do, I won't be as worried as to why they said it tonight. Lastly, twister seemed to be missing more of its over the shoulder restraints, upon quick glance it looked like it only had about 8 of them left. Too bad they didn't announce any sort of removal yet. They could probably generate a lot of publicity by announcing things like that. Create some sort of buzz CP style! A man can dream right?

 

One more thing actually, I really have enjoyed the experience that the Ride Ops this year have been creating. In past visits to the park, I've always thought the ride ops were very sub par and all acted like they hated being where they were. But this year, they all seem to be having a TON of fun doing their jobs! Specifically, at Blast Off, a guy named DJ was making silly comments to riders from the start of the ride to the end of it, everyone always laughing and leaving with smiles on their faces, on predator, there was another Guy who kept making all the announcements in a high pitched voice, the other ride ops would laugh at him, as would the riders. And there's another op at Viper with purple hair whom I've seen the past 3 times I've gone there that's always smiling and really booking it to get that train out of the station ASAP, and she always does it with a smile on her face! Of course, though I only mentioned 3, there were many more that really did help make my visits more memorable and fun! As I said in reference to DJ towards my buddies that I went with, nothing makes a ride better like an enthusiastic and fun ride op!

 

Anyways, here's a few pictures from today's visit!

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Gotta love that clean look of the park entrance! How nice of them to keep welcoming me back!

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They have these new "combo meals" at the park now. I'm not actually sure if they're new, it's the first time I've seen them at least. This is the Lasso burger. Angus beef, American cheese, onion rings and BBQ sauce! Good stuff! And for a price of only $8.99!

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I can't believe the Predator was once voted 9th best wooden coaster! Times must have changed!

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I know, it's 8 years old, and people want a "real" coaster addition in the park, but I personally really enjoy Motocoaster! I can't believe it's almost 10 years old!

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Nothing beats a sunset!

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Same with RoS... I'd love some new paint on that thing.

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Boomerang looks pretty awesome. I know it's a cookie cutter model but I do enjoy how it looks! Especially from the giant wheel!

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RedHawk also does look pretty nice from up in the sky

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Viper also looks great from up high

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Mind eraser looks nice from a distance. When you get closer and you see the Nasty unfinished paint job, it isn't as nice...

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The only time you'll see Viper's second train is when its in use, the transfer track is under the station.

Actually, last year, when viper's second train wasn't in use, it was not stored under the station, it was stored next to the brake run, easily visible from the queue and the station.

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