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Six Flags Darien Lake (SFDL) Discussion Thread


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That is true. The transfer under the station was used to store the third train if need be. From what I remember, it was similar to Loch Ness Monster's set up. They used to be able to winch the train up from under there, but now I believe that they use a crane to set them up each season. Last season they didn't have the second train ready until the end of July or August, so that may be their target again (makes little sense to me to run two trains for only one month though).

 

^^^DJ is one of the best ops at the park. He always makes jokes and is upbeat about his job. He reminds me of a Cedar Point operator because not only is he upbeat, but he keeps the line moving. I believe he also runs Haymaker, Lasso, and possibly Scrambler on some days. The Predator ops are generally happy too, but they could speed up the loading process. I think that I consistently have had the best operations at Viper. Always quick and jolly with everyone. I usually strike a conversation with them while waiting for the train to return.

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My bet would be that if they were planning on having second trains on any coasters, the target date woud be for kingdom bound week. That tends to be the park is most crowded.

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Quick question for those who are familiar with the park...

 

Is Ride of Steel running its new train this year? I remember seeing photos of it on Twitter a while back. If so, does it improve the ride at all?

Yes, that is the only train being used. It does make the ride much more comfortable! I also like the removal of the shin restraints!

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It definitely does improve rider comfort more, and the trains make the ride feel a tad quicker when it warms up. They seem to be more accommodating of larger riders as well. I haven't seen a "walk of shame" yet this season. In previous years, riders sometimes got kicked off nearly every other train. There is still a little rattle near the back of the train, but honestly it does not affect the ride much for me and many of the older Intamins are generating this issue anyways.

 

Out of the three Superman hypers, I would say that ours currently has the best trains. SFA is still running old stock with the bracket T-bars, and SFNE went second generation, but messed up the restraints.

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Good to hear. The new trains are identical to Xcelerator's restraints (which I'm very used to), and they are very comfortable. I don't particularly like the first generation T-bars (Millennium Force, Superman: Ride of Steel) as they dig into my crotch, and Superman the Ride's does the opposite and sits mid-thigh.

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Guess what broke down hard an hour ago today?

 

 

 

 

[attachment=0]IMG_5038.JPG[/attachment][attachment=1]IMG_5039.JPG[/attachment]

I was at the park earlier today too, I was in line when this happened, I'm lucky I wasn't on it yet!

Also, twister has hardly any restraints left on it now, ME was stuck on the brake run for a little while, rolling thunder broke, and predator was down for a small amount of the day. Still no second trains on any rides.

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It's early july and the park sounds like it is having major ride reliability issues. Either CNL needs to open the checkbook or sell to someone who will make the needed investments and repairs so this does not happen much more. I fear that attendance at the park is dropping quickly And that is never a good thing

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It saddens me to hear of the state of DL this year and how it seems to be going downhill rather quickly. It sounds like Twister is on its way out if pieces are continuing to be removed. RoS with only one train that seems to break down too often is an embarrassment given the fact that they don't have a second train to use as a backup.

 

I have no plans on visiting this year with hopes of returning next year but reading all these negative things going on makes me want to postpone any future visits.

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It saddens me to hear of the state of DL this year and how it seems to be going downhill rather quickly. It sounds like Twister is on its way out if pieces are continuing to be removed. RoS with only one train that seems to break down too often is an embarrassment given the fact that they don't have a second train to use as a backup.

 

I have no plans on visiting this year with hopes of returning next year but reading all these negative things going on makes me want to postpone any future visits.

 

I was going to post the same thing. I used to go at least once a year with my family when I was a kid. Many times we would go camping for the weekend there too. It was at DL that I first rode a looping coaster. A few weeks ago I was thinking of going down there for the day but after hearing what has become of the park I decided against it and went to Canada's Wonderland instead.

 

It saddens me to hear how bad the park has become. I wish some company would buy this place and bring it back to the way it was. It seems right now that who ever does own the park doesn't care much.

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It saddens me to hear of the state of DL this year and how it seems to be going downhill rather quickly. It sounds like Twister is on its way out if pieces are continuing to be removed. RoS with only one train that seems to break down too often is an embarrassment given the fact that they don't have a second train to use as a backup.

 

I have no plans on visiting this year with hopes of returning next year but reading all these negative things going on makes me want to postpone any future visits.

 

I was going to post the same thing. I used to go at least once a year with my family when I was a kid. Many times we would go camping for the weekend there too. It was at DL that I first rode a looping coaster. A few weeks ago I was thinking of going down there for the day but after hearing what has become of the park I decided against it and went to Canada's Wonderland instead.

 

It saddens me to hear how bad the park has become. I wish some company would buy this place and bring it back to the way it was. It seems right now that who ever does own the park doesn't care much.

 

You guys took the words right out of my mouth and I 100% agree on the fact that CNL should sell Darien Lake!

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/rant

 

CNL is a very hands off real estate investor.

 

I've said this before, operations of the park are handled by premier. CNL is only really involved in major capital expenditures (even then they still aren't that involved). CNL is a REIT. Like other funds, investors put their money in, and a group of people manage the money and make strategic investments. In the case, its real estate.

 

So you can sit an point a finger at CNL, but you sound ignorant.

 

Lastly, its not like the park "doesn't care". These maintenance issues have been plaguing the park years. The rides were seriously neglected in the late SF, and PARC years. (Not to mention Twister and ROS have always been nightmares) They are working with what the have, and cant just go and blow millions of dollars rehabbing every single ride. The train for ROS was over a million dollars, and that not really something they can advertise and generate more revenue from, so of course they didn't buy two in one year.

 

Also, why would they take a couple pieces off twister at a time if it were going to be removed? It's being repaired or overhauled most likely.

 

The continuous misinformed bitching in this thread is worse than talking about Cuda Falls every single post.

 

/end rant

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After all the accidents on the ROS clones there were many safety trip features added, so let's say the train leaves the station and starts up the hill, while that train is chugging along up the hill the computer is constantly checking things like restraints, pneumatic pressure in the restraint system, total weight load, making sure the other train(if there is one) is back in the station, etc. if the computer find s ANYTHING that it considers the slightest bit off it trips a safety switch and stops dead in its tracks. Haven't you ever noticed when ROS gets stuck on the lift its always in the same place? There are certain points that every safety feature is verified by the computer. With the accidents on all the ROS' the sensitivity of these checks are crazy. So to prevent this you either open up the sensitivity of what the computer considers an error or you're gonna have this happen constantly. All the breakdowns aren't mechanical its computer safety trips. Once the computer locks it down it is a long process to re boot and re check everything, and then figure out what the problem is. If you're riding and start wiggling in your seat and the restraint moves an inch, the ride will shut down because that restraint came out, even if it's an inch. Going through a restart checklist and troubleshooting the problem can be a long process. Honestly that computer system is probably really out dated, I don't know how they could even fix the errors because you have to keep the safety trips in place, I guess either knock the sensitivity down a bit or get a new computer system. Mechanically the ride is fine, it's just the little things that are annoying.

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^Would you mind pointing out to me where on the lift all of these things are checked? From what I've heard this year, the only time a one train ROS has been stopped on the lift is when the operator has manually lift stopped the ride after it starts making a loud clacking sound like viper (anti-rollback issues?)... Being that ROS at DL has only run one train for the past few years, I can't speak for 2 train operations but it doesn't seem practical to have unnoticeable sensors added to the entire 200ft lift to monitor restraint systems when a 1 meter bar in the station can do all that. And weight? I'm not trying to call total BS but some sourcing for these claims would be nice.

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Dark maxim, I understand that CNL is an investment firm that owns the park and has Premier manage it for them, but doesn't CNL still control the cash flow Premier recieves to operate the park with? This is where I believe the problems are at. CNL has allocated funds for the park, just not enough for when things like this come up. I think they started painting ME last year near the end of the season as they had some leftover money in the budget, and then ran out of cash. Now it looks silly with painted supports and old and faded track. A true owner who operates and manages the park would fork over the money for the entire job to be done right. Same would go for some of the other issues the park is facing right now.

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^^^^While you are right about the computer being extremely sensitive, it can only check restraints in the station. Most of the faults I remembered that would shut the ride down related to sensors, air pressure, and the occasional "ghost fault". This is what we called it when something strange or unknown shut the ride down and the system just needed a reset. Unless a restraint is broken, the ride really only monitors how tight they are. It isn't just RoS, all Intamins have these issues.

 

In regards to CNL, they don't control operations, but what they do control is the budget. The blame really does go back to them because they aren't ever looking to invest. Darien Lake isn't an amusement park to them. It's a property number and a statistic. They want to see how much revenue they are making off of it and want to spend as little as possible.

 

I bet Premier does want to run multiple trains. Doug alluded to it last year when he said that it was a moving goal. But if they are only given x amount of dollars each year in maintenance, they cannot overspend unless any additional funds are approved by the owners. How can they be expected to fix things up when they just aren't given the funds to?

 

The Six Flags blame game isn't relevant either anymore. They have been gone for 10 years now. And when they were running the park, things weren't in the greatest condition, but at least they kept multiple trains running and rides weren't SBNO all year. If asked, they did give the park the resources needed to keep rides working.

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No CNL does not control the operational budget. Period.

 

Premier makes revenue based rent payments to CNL. Premier makes operational budget, and I believe most of the capital budget.

 

 

And yes Six flags has been gone 10 years, but the damage done 10 years ago is why rides are SBNO. If you don't upkeep a machine early in its life, it will run like shit for the rest of its life.

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That doesn't change the fact that CNL doesn't want to invest though. They do control capital investments because they technically own the land and the rides.

 

From a corporate press release:

In the last few years, CNL Lifestyle Properties has invested significant capital to expand and strengthen these attractions, investing in new rides and other guest amenities

 

Premier likely doesn't want to use their operational budget on new trains and repairs and such, because they won't end up owning any of it if they terminate their lease. It's very likely that CNL were the ones that had to purchase the new RoS train this season or risk losing it to Premier if they left.

 

This whole joint operation just doesn't work. CNL doesn't like putting in large attractions, and the operators of the park don't feel the need to fix rides that aren't theirs because in the end they have to make profit too. CNL isn't exactly totally at fault in every situation, but the park would be in much better hands with a company that could control all aspects of the budget and investment.

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Wow! One thing that nobody talks about on this thread is the revenue that comes from the campground and hotel. I don't know if they are operated separately from the park, but is profit from the campground/hotel being used toward the park?

 

My 1 year anniversary of being a member of Theme Park Review, tomorrow! Yay me!

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Wow! One thing that nobody talks about on this thread is the revenue that comes from the campground and hotel. I don't know if they are operated separately from the park, but is profit from the campground/hotel being used toward the park?

 

My 1 year anniversary of being a member of Theme Park Review, tomorrow! Yay me!

 

Probably a combination. Alot has been done to replace old trailers and a lot of cabins have been added over the years.

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