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Six Flags Darien Lake (SFDL) Discussion Thread


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So I just got back from Canada's wonderland last night. Their operations totally put DL to shame. They run two or three trains on every coaster, and dispatch trains very quickly. What I found the most amazing was the fact that they were running two trains on one of their kiddie coasters, but DL is only running one train on their larger coasters. Darien Lake seriously needs to step up their game, as they soon will be losing visitors the way they are operating, it definitely makes me not want to go back to DL, as I now realize just how terrible their operations truly are.

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You know what other park is larger and could use a B&M capable of 3 train operation? Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Hopefully all NY amusement parks can open next season.

Most importantly, we'd have Moose on the Loose in December!

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^ To your point, I went once a couple years ago and won't go back again until they start getting two trains on everything. A major theme park only having 1 train is absolutely unacceptable. It's a shame because it is a pretty nice park..

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Wait a second! In less than 5 years, you got Moose on the Loose, an award winning ride, Hornet's Nest, the new Boardwalk area, Blast Off, a restored Scrambler, a new waterpark slide, Twister, now being restored, a new million dollar train for Ride of Steel, a revamped Laser show. Seems pretty awesome operations to me. My family is looking forward to visiting Darien Lake in August. My family loves Darien Lake, the atmosphere is second to none! No other theme park is as beautiful as Darien Lake. You should be very proud of what you have. Darien Lake is great!

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Wait a second! In less than 5 years, you got Moose on the Loose, an award winning ride, Hornet's Nest, the new Boardwalk area, Blast Off, a restored Scrambler, a new waterpark slide, Twister, now being restored, a new million dollar train for Ride of Steel, a revamped Laser show. Seems pretty awesome operations to me. My family is looking forward to visiting Darien Lake in August. My family loves Darien Lake, the atmosphere is second to none! No other theme park is as beautiful as Darien Lake. You should be very proud of what you have. Darien Lake is great!

 

Don't mean to nitpick but...

 

1) What awards has Moose on the Loose won besides most downtime and lowest capacity?

2) Technically Blast Off and Scrambler are used

3) Twister isn't being restored, it's being fixed so it can run for two weeks, then go down for another year.

4) The new RoS train won't impress me until I know we are getting another one for sure. Otherwise the status quo would have been cheaper

 

I'm glad that you love Darien Lake and find it beautiful, but even though I feel the same way, there are some huge sore thumbs sticking out right now. I think that they're on the right path, but some things really need to change with operations. If people continue to wait in 45-60 minute long lines for coasters, they're just going to go to somewhere else instead with better rides, like CP, Wonderland, or even Hershey.

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Yeah, I know what operations are all about. Operations, control what happens throughout a theme park, not just if a coaster has 1 train or 2 trains, and by the way, Canada's Wonderland does not operate any large coaters with 3 trains, 2 are the max. Now, if you want to say, the ride department, or the food department, or the admissions department, all those departments fall under park operations. To say that Darien Lake has bad park operations, because they only run 1 train on coasters, is just not true.

 

Coasterkid, don't think you will be getting on too many coasters at Canada's Wonderland with a less than 45 minute wait. At least you can enjoy the atmosphere at Darien Lake, or play Fascination for awhile, while you wait for the lines to shorten a bit.

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I'm glad that you love Darien Lake and find it beautiful, but even though I feel the same way, there are some huge sore thumbs sticking out right now. I think that they're on the right path, but some things really need to change with operations. If people continue to wait in 45-60 minute long lines for coasters, they're just going to go to somewhere else instead with better rides, like CP, Wonderland, or even Hershey.

 

That is one of the largest draws for Canadians to DL. CW is one of the top 3 busiest park in North America (Excluding Orlando, and Universal/Disney CA) their lines can become insanely long.

 

Canadian's like coming to DL because it's less busy.

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Yeah, I know what operations are all about. Operations, control what happens throughout a theme park, not just if a coaster has 1 train or 2 trains, and by the way, Canada's Wonderland does not operate any large coaters with 3 trains, 2 are the max. Now, if you want to say, the ride department, or the food department, or the admissions department, all those departments fall under park operations. To say that Darien Lake has bad park operations, because they only run 1 train on coasters, is just not true.

 

Coasterkid, don't think you will be getting on too many coasters at Canada's Wonderland with a less than 45 minute wait. At least you can enjoy the atmosphere at Darien Lake, or play Fascination for awhile, while you wait for the lines to shorten a bit.

 

PATTYCAKES, I am not too sure where you are getting your information in regards to Canada's Wonderland only running a maximum of two trains on their major coasters. I visit Canada's Wonderland every two weeks and ever since the last week of June, they've been running all three trains on Behemoth and Leviathan, as the transfer tracks were empty. I know on busy days they don't run three trains but on busy days they do run three trains on Behemoth and Leviathan. It does seem bad at the moment that Darien Lake is running only one train on their coasters right now but, I am sure that’ll be different next year as Darien Lake seems to be improving annually since Six Flags owned the park, which was a decade ago.

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I was just at Canada's Wonderland yesterday, and I know for a fact that Behemoth and Leviathan were both running three trains the entire day, transfer tracks empty.

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By large coasters, I meant coasters that are the same size as Darien Lake's coasters. Darien Lake doesn't have a Leviathan or Behemoth. I will be going to Darien Lake more times than Wonderland this year because Wonderland is just getting to darn busy all the time! Hour wait for the Fly, hour wait for a pizza. Be careful what you wish for. One day Darien Lake might get too busy too. You all are complaining about 1 train operations not being enough. What happens when 2 and 3 train operations is not enough. Well, then you've have yourselves an overcrowded DL just like CW is now.

 

 

Canadians LOVE Darien Lake!

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Because the B&Ms are literally the only coasters capable of running three trains? What are they going to order more trains to break the control system and try to improve capacity by disregarding block sections?

 

Bottom line is that Canada's Wonderland runs as many trains as possible on all their coasters (Ride of Steel is the size of Behemoth, it just has fewer blocks and runs two fewer trains) while Darien Lake runs one almost all time on almost every ride. It's great to love a park but it's stupid to defend a park for something when they're obviously in the wrong.

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Okay, so, let's make a list, and this is just the minimum.

 

Ride

1 new train for Viper

1 new train for Predator

1 new train for Mind Eraser

1 new train for Motocoaster

 

You can fill in the costs.

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You can fill in the costs.

 

1 new train for Viper

$0. Why does Viper need 3 running trains?

 

1 new train for Predator

$0 Predator can only run two trains. I would suggest the park sends both for winter rehab at PTC

 

1 new train for Mind Eraser

1 new train for Motocoaster

$0. Both rides don't need a new train. They need repairs for their current second trains that Herschend lied about (they actually did) and said they were going to fix them, when it's been 5 years since we heard anything.

 

The only ride that actually needs a new train is RoS, and you failed to mention that.

 

It's great to love a park but it's stupid to defend a park for something when they're obviously in the wrong.

 

This. I love Darien Lake myself, but I have been one of the most critical people of them here for a few years. Some of the things that the park does are just plain dumb, and whenever someone calls them out on it, the blame somehow goes to Six Flags. They've been gone for 10 years now. They didn't leave things as bad as some people say they have. The l;ong term vision of the park was going the right direction.

 

A perfect example is Predator. The park ordered 2 trains from Holiday World in 2010. Less than 5 years later, the trains were already shot. Instead of doing what most parks do, and send them for rehab once every few years, DL just let them operate as is.

 

Now unless Jim Reid Anderson snuck into the park and tore the trains himself, in an elaborate scheme to sabotage the park, how is Six Flags to blame about that?

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I have never blamed Six Flags and never will. All I am saying is this. Okay, so are you saying the second trains are actually still at Darien Lake but not in a good state of operation? If that is true, let me ask this. If Darien Lake took the money they spent on RipCurlRacer and Rolling Thunder, and spent it on bringing back 2 train operations, then how would they advertise that to Canadians? They have been advertising RipCurlRacer, Rolling Thunder and Ignite the Night through commercials, in Canada, all season long. They are actually getting 25% more from Canadians than Americans this season. The same goes for Wonderland, where our season pass has not gone up in years, however, our day rate is now just $5 dollars less than a season pass. If Darien Lake invested in just second train refurbishment, they would actually be losing out on our very weak Canadian dollar. Second train operations alone would not have encouraged Canadians to come and spend our extra 25% on your great park. Our +25% might actually be helping Darien Lake get those second trains up and running for next season. Canada's Wonderland has actually put off buying anything large, for now, as it would cost 25% more than it would normally.

 

That's all I'm saying.

 

My Canadian family loves Darien Lake so much, that we are actually going to spend 25% more money to go to your great park even though we know it has been 1 train operations for a few years now. What does that say about Canada's Wonderland? It says that 2 and 3 train operations are still not enough at our park as it is busy all the time. It will be nice to wait only 30-45 minutes for a coaster. I just can't wait!

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This is my first post but I wanted to add my 2 cents. I'm going tomorrow so I'll see if anything has changed. My issue with the park is the overall condition. For instance, last year the awning for the viper leaving the station was so rotted the one support arm was almost gone forcing to lean to one side. You just know one day it will collapse and hopefully will not be on someones head. The trash is out of control. Just piles of it in the grass everywhere. Looks like weeks worth. Then you got sections just abandoned like the min golf under the viper or the old vendor booths in the line. It looks super trashy. The railings all have no paint left. Simple fixes and changes like that goes a long way. Also I remember as a kid the viper having 3 trains, yellow blue and red. Is that no longer the case?

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Guess who took another impromptu trip to Darien Lake today?! None other than ME of course!! It's truly fascinating to be able to go back to the park and see how things change as the season progresses and being my 6th time, the place has definitely made some changes. One of the big changes of course, has to do with a certain ride in the back of the park that we've been talking about recently... So first, some comments. Then some pictures!

 

1) the "DL Sharp" sculpture is already cracking. while it was new and looked durable, it was a really cool thing to go and see and show gullable friends. Now that it's broken, it looks kind of shameful. If I put that sculpture out and saw it was damages id want to fix it ASAP because I'd personally be ashamed. But I realize money is a thing. I just hope they do something about it before it gets too bad, it's a pretty cool thing to go and see that you don't see in many parks.

2) it looks like Darien Lake personnel weren't big fans of people walking across the grass as a shortcut from the exit to the midways, they took care of that in a way that I will show off in the pictures. Very sneaky of them.

3) today, my favorite ride-op was the guy at the Lasso! I want to say his name was Parker. He was challenging all the riders to scream louder than he could while using the megaphone, the riders for the most part were playing along and it made the experience of a typical swing ride a LOT more fun! Props to him!

 

Now let's get into some details with some pictures:

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I can't personally remember, but I think they recently took down the "welcome back" sign from the park entrance. What's up with that?

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It is true, there are more restraints on the twister now. Maybe it will operate this year

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Man! I love the interactivity! Good job DL!

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New theming by boomerang...

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Yes. This is actually at the front of the park. Welcome to 2016

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Viper exit now comes with a new fence!

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Totally not ashamed that I went on moose on the loose.

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American Rock is a really fun show! I reccomdend it to anyone!

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I leave you with a fun picture of the Ferris Wheel! Until next time, it's been real Darien Lake!

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He even has a plump squirrel friend, same price!

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Anybody remember when they tried to make the new logo work and they decided to not do it? Well, there still are traces of it in the park. Interesting

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Look, at this amazingly plump bunny. Only $16

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Nice report. I actually wish people would start new threads for Darien Lake reports because most people avoid this dumpster fire of a thread like the plague but in the process might miss the occasional interesting thing like an actual trip report. Then again I'm no mod, maybe it's just me that feels that way.

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^ your assumption is correct. Nothing on the transfer, and nothing in plain sight otherwise. All I know for sure about second trains is that Mind Eraser's is still on pallets by Grizzly Bear Run. If anything, it seems like they've moved them back a little bit. Otherwise, nothing.

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Why do so many people on this thread care so much about double train operations? The park management knows what they're doing. Potentially spending millions to refurbish or replace trains for all of their coasters would not draw in more crowds and would prohibit them from investing in new attractions that will actually draw in crowds.

 

I get it that it sucks to have to wait a bit longer for rides but it shouldn't ruin your experience. Grab a beer or ice cream or something and enjoy the time in line with your family and friends.

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