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Six Flags Darien Lake (SFDL) Discussion Thread

P. 408: Predator retracking under way!

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A few things from my short visit to the park today:

 

With this threads current interest in the state of Thunder Rapids (and to my knowledge, still without a credible source on the rumor of it's demise), I figured I'd check it out, and I did see all of the logs in the backstage area to the right of the entrance ramp, for proof I did snap a picture. There wasn't any water flowing through the ride but there were cute ducks so they made it into this mini-update. I know earlier there was mention on here as well that ride ops were only operating twister on a one flip cycle due to motor issues, which I can now verify is not true. They were running a 4 and a half flip cycle app throughout the day (4 full flips followed by a flip that didn't quite make it all the way). The ride was spinning fast and flipping 4 times more than what was mentioned on here as the rides capacity for flipping, which i believe is good news! In other park news, silver bullet was up and running, which I know is another point of interest. Though it is true that the arm was only fully extended for a brief period of time, the ride was still running which I believe is what's most important there. As for closed rides the list is as follows: Brain Drain, Big Kahuna, Giant Wheel, Thunder Rapids, Motocoaster. I have a few pictures below as well that relate to some of the things I mentioned above. Enjoy!

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Silver Bullet in action!

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Logs logs everywhere!

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Still no water but if you look closely you can see the ducks!

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This thread is hilarious. Thunder Rapids is likely closed for budget. It's an expensive ride to run and maintain and this park has a history of leaving rides closed for long periods of time because they can't afford to run / fix them. We all know this so why are people acting as if they now have it in the budget to demolish a log ride and replace it with a large, brand new coaster?

 

They already have a ton of empty space for a coaster if they want to build one between the splash boat ride and the main midway. Thunder Rapids isn't closed for future expansion, it's closed because they can't afford to run it and therefore DEFINITELY can't afford a coaster.

 

Am I making more assumptions here than I'm generally comfortable with? Maybe. But if you think this park has it in the budget for a coaster you're delusional. They can't even afford to run a log flume or buy another train for their hypercoaster.

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With Motocoaster and Giant Wheel, I am wondering if they are having mechanical issues. I was at the park on Sunday and both rides were closed then, too. Was Redhawk open? That was also closed Sunday.

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This thread is hilarious. Thunder Rapids is likely closed for budget. It's an expensive ride to run and maintain and this park has a history of leaving rides closed for long periods of time because they can't afford to run / fix them. We all know this so why are people acting as if they now have it in the budget to demolish a log ride and replace it with a large, brand new coaster?

 

They already have a ton of empty space for a coaster if they want to build one between the splash boat ride and the main midway. Thunder Rapids isn't closed for future expansion, it's closed because they can't afford to run it and therefore DEFINITELY can't afford a coaster.

 

Am I making more assumptions here than I'm generally comfortable with? Maybe. But if you think this park has it in the budget for a coaster you're delusional. They can't even afford to run a log flume or buy another train for their hypercoaster.

 

The park could certainly add a coaster in the future (I'm not saying a $20+ million coaster, but a coaster of some kind), they've had multimillion dollar capital expansions every other year. Which is an important distinction, capital and operational budgets are very different. Not to mention the park's financial situation has changes greatly this year with the change of ownership and lease structure.

 

And i'll repeat It again, ride closures are generally staffing. You have high schoolers who cant work during the week up until about 6/21 usually, then the older crowd starts leaving for college starting 8/1.

 

Staffing seems like it is the biggest problem for this park, its isolation means they have a smaller pool of potential employees. You tie that with low wages, causing them to have constant shortages year after year as people simply don't want to commute/work there. Unlike many other parks they have a hard time attracting a stable older workforce.

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capital and operational budgets are very different

 

Sure, but you should probably reallocate capital if you're at the point where it takes you YEARS to fix your top spin ride. I highly doubt a park with enough money to demolish a flume unnecessarily since there's an empty plot of land right next to it and replace it with a brand new multi million dollar coaster (even if it's a cheap one) wouldn't have allocated some funds to that a lot sooner if they were available at all.

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capital and operational budgets are very different

 

Sure, but you should probably reallocate capital if you're at the point where it takes you YEARS to fix your top spin ride. I highly doubt a park with enough money to demolish a flume unnecessarily since there's an empty plot of land right next to it and replace it with a brand new multi million dollar coaster (even if it's a cheap one) wouldn't have allocated some funds to that a lot sooner if they were available at all.

 

Well that's the thing. Previously CNL allocated the capital budget, and Premier allocated the operational budget. So unlike other parks you had two parties controlling the finances. There was also much uncertainty as CNL was preparing for the sale of the park. Now, with Premier taking on a triple net lease, they control everything (and now the maintenance budget, assuming the previous lease was double-net), in turn Premier will pay lower lease rates.

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My friend who works at Darien Lake told me that they've been having problems with shipwreck falls lately. He said the water just keeps shutting off at random times and then the boat just sits there at the bottom. I would not be disappointed if they got rid of shipwreck falls and thunder rapids.

My friend said that they just don't have enough people to run thunder rapids right now, which is why there is no water in it. He said hes seen the paper work for it along with all the other rides, so it should open soon.

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TR isn't down for staffing right now, it's the time and budget made available to the maintenance dept. that has been keeping rides down for longer than usual. Last I knew, they were working on internal components of the GW's drive tires, probably a significant mechanical component based on the downtime. Moto has been having issues all year with random crap, which for a Zamperla prototype, is nothing new.

 

I see all the $#it that everyone is giving the maintenance department and it's just blowing me away... If you guys seriously think that a trained mechanic would opt for a fix that will need to be replaced within the next few weeks, you're crazy. This is a park that is choosing not to install anything new this year and leave the viper station house in severe disrepair despite a huge anniversary... When you're limited in staff and budget, there's not much else to do than patch things up if you're in the position of the DL mechanics.

 

You don't see these issues at big parks that are well staffed and have a reasonable budgets because the understand the importance of preventative maintenance. What makes you think it's the staff's fault? All issues should be raised with the upper management of the park, in addition to the individuals in charge of the budget for the maintenance department, not the grunts doing the work. This is like being mad at a store clerk when his computer dies, even though he's been telling his managers and IT department there's an issue for weeks.

 

Go after the people giving maintenance their budget, find new people for these positions, take notes from all the mechanics and find a way to prevent major downtime during the season. If a ride has to open a week late to prevent a month of downtime, isn't that the cheaper more practical option? Hire extra mechanics for peak seasons so that you can fix these minor issues and maybe refurbish the viper station house.

 

Rant over.

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My friend who works at Darien Lake told me that they've been having problems with shipwreck falls lately. He said the water just keeps shutting off at random times and then the boat just sits there at the bottom. I would not be disappointed if they got rid of shipwreck falls and thunder rapids.

My friend said that they just don't have enough people to run thunder rapids right now, which is why there is no water in it. He said hes seen the paper work for it along with all the other rides, so it should open soon.

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I will say that this year may be a special case with the ownership change taking place. CNL was not going to invest in the park since they were selling it. The new owners in EPR are not sure of a budget to give the park yet. I do think this is why we did not see a lot of investments this year. Next year should be a different story, hopefully

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Good to hear that the Twister is actually flipping riders like it did in the past. Hopefully, that happens the next time I ride it. I wish I started riding the Twister back when every cycle consisted of flips, but I was always afraid of that ride. I finally had the courage to go on it during the 2013 season and I think that was when they started to alternate between cycles with flips and cycles without flips.

 

I honestly don't know for a fact what will happen to Thunder Rapids this season. From now on I'll just post about my observations instead of relaying the information people tell me since it doesn't always sound believable.

 

As far as any other rides that are closed, I think the biggest issue is either a lack of employees or just a small mechanical problem.

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Hello everyone,

 

First time posting, long time reader.

 

Not sure if anyone else saw this, but Screamscape posted they heard a rumour that DL may be planning for a new coaster for 2018/2019.

 

"

icon_STOP2018/2019 - New Coaster - Rumor - (6/21/17) Screamscape was sent an interesting rumor about the future of Darien Lake this week. According to our source, the park may finally be working on building a new steel coaster for the park, to open as early as the 2018 season. If the rumor holds true, I’m told that the coaster would come from a German manufacturer (which more than likely points to Mack Rides or Gerstaluer), feature 3 inversions, and possibly take on some kind of niche-record. Anyone know more?"

 

Interested to hear everyone's thoughts about this and idea's about where they might put it.

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New Coaster - Rumor - (6/21/17) Screamscape was sent an interesting rumor about the future of Darien Lake this week. According to our source, the park may finally be working on building a new steel coaster for the park, to open as early as the 2018 season. If the rumor holds true, I’m told that the coaster would come from a German manufacturer (which more than likely points to Mack Rides or Gerstaluer), feature 3 inversions, and possibly take on some kind of niche-record. Anyone know more?

 

Thoughts? Or was this some random thought from a certain person on here....

 

Also, a random tidbit from the at 4/17 planning board meeting. The park is going to merge all its tax parcel into one.

Darien Lake: It was discussed now that the sale of Darien Lake Theme Park has been completed, they intend to merge all parcels within the recreation park into one.
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I actually read about this and posted about it as well. If true I think it would be a much needed improvement to the park since the last coaster the park added was motorcoaster (I personally don't consider rolling thunder to be an actual coaster).

 

I'm just curious as to where it would be built. They have a great deal of space to put it, such as the old cuda falls area. I wonder if something will be removed for it.

 

I will be at the park Saturday and ask around for details.

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Or was this some random thought from a certain person on here....

 

Probably not, because that certain person certainly would have mentioned how it would fit perfectly into the old 'Cuda Falls area.

 

Errrr wait...someone else got here first. ^

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New Coaster - Rumor - (6/21/17) Screamscape was sent an interesting rumor about the future of Darien Lake this week. According to our source, the park may finally be working on building a new steel coaster for the park, to open as early as the 2018 season. If the rumor holds true, I’m told that the coaster would come from a German manufacturer (which more than likely points to Mack Rides or Gerstaluer), feature 3 inversions, and possibly take on some kind of niche-record. Anyone know more?

 

Thoughts? Or was this some random thought from a certain person on here....

 

Also, a random tidbit from the at 4/17 planning board meeting. The park is going to merge all its tax parcel into one.

Darien Lake: It was discussed now that the sale of Darien Lake Theme Park has been completed, they intend to merge all parcels within the recreation park into one.

 

I'm probably just totally clueless, but what is the benefit of "merging its tax parcel"? What does that even mean? I assume it has to do with their land but like I said, I have no idea what that even means because I'm clueless.

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New Coaster - Rumor - (6/21/17) Screamscape was sent an interesting rumor about the future of Darien Lake this week. According to our source, the park may finally be working on building a new steel coaster for the park, to open as early as the 2018 season. If the rumor holds true, I’m told that the coaster would come from a German manufacturer (which more than likely points to Mack Rides or Gerstaluer), feature 3 inversions, and possibly take on some kind of niche-record. Anyone know more?

 

Thoughts? Or was this some random thought from a certain person on here....

 

Also, a random tidbit from the at 4/17 planning board meeting. The park is going to merge all its tax parcel into one.

Darien Lake: It was discussed now that the sale of Darien Lake Theme Park has been completed, they intend to merge all parcels within the recreation park into one.

 

I'm probably just totally clueless, but what is the benefit of "merging its tax parcel"? What does that even mean? I assume it has to do with their land but like I said, I have no idea what that even means because I'm clueless.

 

Right now they have 24 individual pieces of land, it appears they purchased them over time. I'm not sure what benefit they get for combining them. However, this means they have no interest in selling off pieces of their property currently.

Untitled.thumb.jpg.8c22bb5be64ceed0b506b9f67650b4fb.jpg

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^ Thanks for explaining! I do think it's interesting that they own so much land on the other side of Route 77, but I wonder if they plan on moving some stuff over there aside from just old rides. Maybe like how Cedar Point has a maintenance shop on Cleveland Drive? Or maybe it'll just stay the old Ride cemetery. Who knows

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Screamscape does report a lot of wild rumours. They are not as bad as they used to be, but I would still take what they say with a grain of salt. If they are doing this, look for survey marker flags in open areas. Parks are announcing 2018 coasters already, so it could happen.

They9 could use a new coaster and could use to boost attendance.

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