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Six Flags Darien Lake (SFDL) Discussion Thread


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I thought I'd post to the forum because it's been a while since anyone has posted on here.

 

It doesn't look like any of the coasters are going to run two trains this year, and that's probably due to maintenance costs. Honestly, I think that the only time two train operations are necessary would be every Saturday and concert day. I remember when the park used to operate coasters with two trains more often, and one of the trains would be left on the brake run for as many as 2 minutes because the other train wasn't out of the station. Some of the guests probably grew impatient. Realistically, it only makes sense to run two trains if the operators are able to send guests off faster. On a few occasions the crew at the Viper would prevent this from happening, and that coaster used to run 3 trains at once. Overall, I think the park doesn't run two trains on every coaster (with the exception of Boomerang) because they probably don't draw enough people to be able to afford maintaining two trains on every coaster. If Cedar Fair or Six Flags take over in the future and made big additions, I'd like to think we'd see two trains running on the coasters.

 

Twister is back to operating on a regular basis, but the cycle doesn't include 4 backwards flips. I'm guessing that the flips were partially the cause of the mechanical problems in the past, and I'd imagine the Operations Department doesn't want to risk any more problems. I rode Twister back on May 31st as the park was open before the Chance The Rapper concert. It was interesting because the ride operator only let a certain amount of people go on the ride and there were plenty of open seats, so now it looks like the ride can't operate with a full capacity anymore. This shouldn't be a huge issue because there's never a wait for the ride, but I'd imagine that the Twister was more popular back when it first opened.

 

Silver Bullet has rarely been open this season. I work close to the ride and I remember seeing it open all day back on Saturday May 27th. It would stay in its tilted position for just a few seconds and then immediately come back down. I'm not sure if that's something the ride operators control, but it's usually supposed to stay in that tilted position for about 10-20 seconds. Silver Bullet was open again the following day for a short period of time before they closed it down again, and I'm pretty sure it's been closed ever since. I think the problem has to do with hydraulics.

 

Thunder Rapids is very likely going to be the next ride out. It hasn't been open at all this year and I'm not sure if it will open at all this year. Keep in mind that it was down for maintenance several times last year as well.

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It's sad to see the park is losing rides. When I walked past Thunder Rapids it was looking like the boats were missing, can you confirm this? And twister was open on the 26th a belive but no one was really riding it, I got on and it had that cycle where the brakes never engage, and the holding part at the end never happened, it just kind of tilted and then the brakes just gave out!

Edit: I corrected Ned to end because google chromes spellchecker is broken and it autocorrects words that have been spelled right into jibberish so I'll be trying to fix it.

Edited by ride of steel
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It's sad to see the park is losing rides. When I walked past Thunder Rapids it was looking like the boats were missing, can you confirm this? And twister was open on the 26th a belive but no one was really riding it, I got on and it had that cycle where the brakes never engage, and the holding part at the Ned never happened, it just kind of tilted and then the brakes just gave out!

 

If you ask me, it is indeed sad to see Darien Lake "die" as many old ride have left the park within the past five years (with the exception of Scrambler). But most of Darien Lake's flat rides are old and have been with the park since the 80s and Darien Lake has replaced two of their old rides; Raging Seas with a used Space Shot tower and UFO with Rolling Thunder.

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For Silver Bullet, I've been to DL 3 times this year so far, and SB hasn't been open once all 3 times now. I'm beginning to wonder if it will even open at all this year, or if it will be SBNO. On the topic of Thunder Rapids, I cannot confirm that the boats are not in sight, but I have noticed that as of last weekend, there hasn't been any water even in the ride, everything was totally dry.

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We've had maybe one day in the low 80's this year and I think that it was on a day that DL wasn't open.

 

How do we know that they aren't just waiting for our neck of the woods to get more than two days in a row above 70 degrees before they fill and operate Thunder Rapids? The boats missing could be a concern, I suppose...but don't they have a storage shed for them?

 

Has anyone asked park management about the ride or is anyone working at the park this year browsing the forum that could comment?

 

 

EDIT: Just found this on the DL website...although that is probably from last fall. But then again, as kids are not out of school yet, the same message could apply with a quick edit of the website.

 

"Due to low staffing levels as our team members return to school, we will be operating Thunder Rapids on a limited/rotating schedule."
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My guess regarding Thunder Rapids, is that Darien Lake is waiting until school's out so that they can have enough people to run it.

 

I have just one question has Thunder Rapids always opened when the water park opens for the season?

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Some parks don't open all of their water rides right away, especially the further North you are so most likely they are waiting for either more staff and/or better weather as it has been somewhat on the cooler/wetter side this season for NY.

 

As far as the rides being down and not running like they used too, just like any other mechanical machine things wear out over time. It may be time to retire rides like Silver Bullet and even Twister. Many of the rides the park added in the 80's were prototypes and early versions. Replacing them is a good idea as they did with UFO and Raging Seas. Hopefully the park bounces back and can do well. I remember the days of Six Flags and while it wasn't always perfect the park seemed to do better and attract more people. I think Darien Lake needs a national Chain to take them over and run them if they are going to survive in the long run. A real lack of competition is probably the only reason they have been able to remain around this long.

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Update: Silver Bullet was closed yesterday for most of the day but they opened it for the last hour the park was open and I saw a lot of people riding it. Haymaker also shut down for some weird reason, but it's been running very well for most of the season.

 

I've learned that the reason the ride operators don't run cycles with flips on the Twister is because the motor burns out faster in the process and the park isn't planning to invest in a new motor if it breaks. Keep in mind that Twister installed back in 2000 so it isn't as old as some of the other flat rides in the park. I think the reason why there aren't a lot of people who ride it is because it's placed in an area that contains more relaxing attractions including the bumper cars, antique cars and go-carts. The ride doesn't seem to got in with that area but I can't imagine the ride being in another area of the park.

 

Thunder Rapids will either open in August or else not open at all this year. Regardless, the plan is to remove it after this season. Clearing out Shipwreck Falls as well would give more than enough space for multiple rides and attractions including a brand new roller coaster. However, Shipwreck Falls hasn't been around for more than 20 years (I believe it was added in 2002) and has been running very well throughout the season. I wonder if it would be possible for the park to build a coaster that could occupy the area currently occupied by Thunder Rapids as well as the vacant Barracuda Bay area (this includes both Cuda Falls and Floodgate Falls). I'd have to look at a map to see how much space there would be.

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Update: Silver Bullet was closed yesterday for most of the day but they opened it for the last hour the park was open and I saw a lot of people riding it. Haymaker also shut down for some weird reason, but it's been running very well for most of the season.

 

I've learned that the reason the ride operators don't run cycles with flips on the Twister is because the motor burns out faster in the process and the park isn't planning to invest in a new motor if it breaks. Keep in mind that Twister installed back in 2000 so it isn't as old as some of the other flat rides in the park. I think the reason why there aren't a lot of people who ride it is because it's placed in an area that contains more relaxing attractions including the bumper cars, antique cars and go-carts. The ride doesn't seem to got in with that area but I can't imagine the ride being in another area of the park.

 

Thunder Rapids will either open in August or else not open at all this year. Regardless, the plan is to remove it after this season. Clearing out Shipwreck Falls as well would give more than enough space for multiple rides and attractions including a brand new roller coaster. However, Shipwreck Falls hasn't been around for more than 20 years (I believe it was added in 2002) and has been running very well throughout the season. I wonder if it would be possible for the park to build a coaster that could occupy the area currently occupied by Thunder Rapids as well as the vacant Barracuda Bay area (this includes both Cuda Falls and Floodgate Falls). I'd have to look at a map to see how much space there would be.

 

Just out of curiosity. Where are you getting this information about Thunder Rapids from? It seems like everyone is flipping out over a ride not being open when we haven't even reached daily operations yet. And if anything that's just adding fuel to the fire.

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Update: Silver Bullet was closed yesterday for most of the day but they opened it for the last hour the park was open and I saw a lot of people riding it. Haymaker also shut down for some weird reason, but it's been running very well for most of the season.

 

I've learned that the reason the ride operators don't run cycles with flips on the Twister is because the motor burns out faster in the process and the park isn't planning to invest in a new motor if it breaks. Keep in mind that Twister installed back in 2000 so it isn't as old as some of the other flat rides in the park. I think the reason why there aren't a lot of people who ride it is because it's placed in an area that contains more relaxing attractions including the bumper cars, antique cars and go-carts. The ride doesn't seem to got in with that area but I can't imagine the ride being in another area of the park.

 

Thunder Rapids will either open in August or else not open at all this year. Regardless, the plan is to remove it after this season. Clearing out Shipwreck Falls as well would give more than enough space for multiple rides and attractions including a brand new roller coaster. However, Shipwreck Falls hasn't been around for more than 20 years (I believe it was added in 2002) and has been running very well throughout the season. I wonder if it would be possible for the park to build a coaster that could occupy the area currently occupied by Thunder Rapids as well as the vacant Barracuda Bay area (this includes both Cuda Falls and Floodgate Falls). I'd have to look at a map to see how much space there would be.

 

Just out of curiosity. Where are you getting this information about Thunder Rapids from? It seems like everyone is flipping out over a ride not being open when we haven't even reached daily operations yet. And if anything that's just adding fuel to the fire.

 

Yes I too would like to know the source of this information? I can see them removing Thunder Rapids especially if it is truly showing it's age (look at La Ronde), however I cannot really see them taking out Shipwreck Falls as well. Otherwise we probably shouldn't speculate too much unless we have an actual reliable source saying what will happen. It very well could just be a lack of staff to operate it, and the weather hasn't exactly been Log Flume type weather either so far, so why open it if no one would ride yet.

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If you look on a satellite map of the park, if they were to remove thunder rapids, they could add a huge coaster in a U shape. They could also take the handicapped parking lot for additional space as well. The best part is that they would not need to remover Shipwreck Falls. I do think they do not need both water rides, especially right next to each other.

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If you look on a satellite map of the park, if they were to remove thunder rapids, they could add a huge coaster in a U shape. They could also take the handicapped parking lot for additional space as well. The best part is that they would not need to remover Shipwreck Falls. I do think they do not need both water rides, especially right next to each other.

 

Can't Darien Lake just relocate either Shipwreck Falls or Thunder Rapids to another part of the park in order to make room for a new coaster, if they ever get one?

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If you look on a satellite map of the park, if they were to remove thunder rapids, they could add a huge coaster in a U shape. They could also take the handicapped parking lot for additional space as well. The best part is that they would not need to remover Shipwreck Falls. I do think they do not need both water rides, especially right next to each other.

 

Okay but here's the thing with your last statement. Shipwreck Falls is constantly sending out trains with 8 or less people on it throughout the season. I've never had to wait for more than 2 cycles for a ride on that thing. Whereas Thunder Rapids? Even on slower days, it has a line. They rarely have less than a 10 minute wait and when it's hot out? The entire queue house is full. Why would you take out a ride that was just refurbished 4 years ago, that always has a line and is great for families? To add some rollercoaster that likely wouldn't appeal to the same demographic? I'm as much of a fan of the idea that Darien Lake gets a big roller coaster as the next guy but at what cost? Certainly not the cost of a beloved log flume. Something that not many major parks have at the moment (if you look locally, MFI removed Old Mill Scream in 2012 I believe, Seabreeze has their old school Log Flume, MarineLand to my knowledge doesn't have one, Canadas Wonderland doesn't have one, Cedar Point lost theirs to Maverick etc). If it were up to me, I'd say there's other land they can work with elsewhere on the property. Leave Thunder Rapids alone and don't fix what's not broken! They could add a nice thrilling compact coaster in Cuda Falls'a old space, and lord knows those go-karts can't last much longer, they can put something over there. Besides, that section of the park needs some love as it is. Which for the record, I believe them taking the time to get Twister back up is a step in the right direction. They're making do with what the have for the season and I think that's great!

 

In other news, I am looking forward to the Viper 35 anniversary celebration later this month. I'm curious what they have on tap for that day. One things for sure, I'll be there to find out! (And of course a TR may be included if anything interesting happens)

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Also, I had forgotten to mention something quite worrisome about Rolling Thunder. I went on today, and the ride didn't make one complete rotation around the loop, or even come close to it. It was basically a faster version of the Pirate. The operator claimed that the load was "too heavy" and that the motor couldn't get it to the top. This ride is 2 YEARS OLD, and 3 rows were left empty. It wasn't at full capacity, and it couldn't make it to the top! DL seriously needs to take an in-depth look into its maintenance department. Also, at one point, about half of the rides were down: Slingshot, Redhawk, Twister, Motocoaster, Viper, Mind Eraser, Thunder Rapids, Rolling Thunder, and Ride of Steel. It seems as if, from a maintenance standpoint, the park is getting worse each year.

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Why would you take out a ride that was just refurbished 4 years ago, that always has a line and is great for families?

 

Because it may be very expensive to operate and maintain? Think about how many employees, water pumps, etc are required to operate that ride?

 

I don't have the exact data, but it's not like parks remove rides to be Scrooge McDucks for the fun of it.

 

Or do they?

 

 

 

566b16d4cf32ff1ae3808dddfd1e90a6.jpg

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Why would you take out a ride that was just refurbished 4 years ago, that always has a line and is great for families?

 

Because it may be very expensive to operate and maintain? Think about how many employees, water pumps, etc are required to operate that ride?

 

I don't have the exact data, but it's not like parks remove rides to be Scrooge McDucks for the fun of it.

 

Or do they?

 

 

 

566b16d4cf32ff1ae3808dddfd1e90a6.jpg

 

Also Arrow went out of business in 2002, so that kind of plays role in the Thunder Rapids issues since replacement parts of an old Arrow log flume are hard to find and expensive, but are there other companies that still make log flume rides?

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Why would you take out a ride that was just refurbished 4 years ago, that always has a line and is great for families?

 

Because it may be very expensive to operate and maintain? Think about how many employees, water pumps, etc are required to operate that ride?

 

I don't have the exact data, but it's not like parks remove rides to be Scrooge McDucks for the fun of it.

 

Or do they?

 

 

 

566b16d4cf32ff1ae3808dddfd1e90a6.jpg

 

Also Arrow went out of business in 2002, so that kind of plays role in the Thunder Rapids issues since replacement parts of an old Arrow log flume are hard to find and expensive, but are there other companies that still make log flume rides?

 

Yes, companies such as Intamin, Mack Rides, and Hopkins (White Water West) still manufacture log flume rides.

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