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Six Flags Darien Lake (SFDL) Discussion Thread


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I also believe maybe the biggest factor is they actually want the lineup to take a long time. The longer people are in the park, the more tempting to spend money. With a smaller park with fewer coasters such as DL, they don't want you to be finished in a couple of hours and leave. My thoughts anyway.

 

They aren't spending money while they are standing in line. People get frustrated when they stand in lines all day.

 

Also, do you think Six Flags would purchase another RoS train, considering the age gap there would be between the two trains? There would be a 3 year gap between the ages of them.

 

One train on The Raven at Holiday World is 10 years older than the other train. Knott's recently acquired a third train for Silver Bullet which opened in 2004. While not Six Flags parks, it has been done before.

 

THIS! People who get stuck waiting in a line for 2-3 hours are not spending money in the park, they are standing there getting frustrated and angry that they are wasting their time in the line for a ride that lasts all of 2-3 minutes at the most and sometimes as little as 90 seconds. Frustrated guests also do not return to the park (bad for DL as they rely on a lot of local business) and tend to leave early because they see the waits at every ride and simply do not want to stay in the park because it becomes not worth it to wait in another 3 hour line for a ride. This is a park that fails hard on super busy days and is fine on days when there are not massive crowds.

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Hopefully all NY amusement parks can open next season.

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Exactly! The one train ops are absolutely unacceptable for a park of DL’s size. For example, when I visited the park on Saturday, I arrived early, so crowds would be minimal. It was great, short waits for everything! Once it hit around 4 PM, the park gained some crowds, but nothing much, still appeared pretty light. I brought family that lives out of town. They didn’t realize DL only runs one train all the time. They figured earlier when it was empty, they would only run one, so they didn’t think much of it.

 

When the crowds came, it was a total change of attitude for them. They were shocked that there weren’t second trains to be put on when crowds began to build. Even a three ride wait for Viper took forever in their eyes, because they are so used to multiple trains running on coasters. They said that they wouldn’t mind never returning because of the crappy, cheap operations of DL’s rides.

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Think there's any chance of them getting a Joker 4-d? I loved the one at Great Adventure though I'd like to see one about two minutes longer. It'd be a good fit for the park, too. That or an RMC treatment of the Predator would mean an instant season pass purchase for me.

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^ THIS! Same thought process I have, those would both be awesome additions.

 

They could possibly do both, as 4D free fly's (someone back me up here, but I don't know if it's true) are cheaper than other coasters Six Flags adds, so in a span of 3-5 years they could add that and RMC Predator.

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In all honesty, although a new ride would be awesome, aren’t there bigger issues that need to be taken care of? I wouldn’t mind putting off a new ride for even 5 years if it meant that we can see two trains running on all coasters, and new paint on the falling apart buildings and awful looking coasters (RoS and ME).

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Yes please lets not get ahead of ourselves with the additions of new coasters and even rides. Darien Lake needs rehab and care before even more rides are added. And the second train is a big one if they are to become a full fledged Six Flags again. I remember the days of Six Flags running the park and while back then it wasn't always great at least rides like Mind Eraser, Predator and Superman always had two trains running. This is a park that could be one of the biggest and best in the region, especially since the next major parks nearby would be Canada's Wonderland and Cedar Point which are at least 2-4 hours away, and not everyone in the USA has the ability to go to Canada anymore as easily now that you need special licenses or passports. Lets focus on fixing up the park and getting back too two train operations, they added Tantrum this year so that should be enough for a year or two, and then maybe a small addition before anything major. Even some re-branding would be nice like going back to Looney Tunes or D.C. Comics.

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Here is a mini trip report from my day at the park.

I was at the park Friday and there was a large group of about 20-25 from six flags corporate (I know this because I asked one of the group) taking pictures, notes, video and asking a lot of questions to the hosts showing them around. There were no coasters even cycling until about 10:45 and those two were viper and pos scl eraser. One in the group noticed and asked why, the host kind of responded with a shortage of maintenance answer, he just shook his head. I followed them for a while to see if I could overhear anything and got to the fountain near the games midway and I noticed a lot of head shaking from the group. They noticed, as did I that even the planted flowers and such were not even put into the ground, just kind of dug down and left in the original nursery pots and clearly no mulching for a long time. I followed them down the midway with only about 2-3 games even open (it was about 10:20) and more head shaking. I went over to tantrum where my family had gone only to find out that they were not even close to running cycles, probably at least an hour the ops said (Tantrum did not open until 12:45), so we took a quick break from not being able to do anything. A few minutes later, the six flags group was at Tantrum and asked the host a lot of questions. I only overheard a couple questions from the group and the one that stuck out was if they were done with the theming, which the host responded that she thought so (There is little to no theming.). Then the group went towards the giant wheel so I followed due to nothing better to do yet. A question about no lights or theming came up and more head shaking. I followed them until about 11:45 when Ride of Steel finally started testing and remember a lot of questions followed by head shaking. This to me, pointed to Six Flags having their hands full just to bring the park up to standards. I only saw the group once later at about 3:30 down by Ride of Steel which of course had no line but 30 minute wait do to one train ops. I believe their heads were sore from shaking them so much. On a brighter (or sadder depending on your viewpoint) note, the park was totally empty at 5:30 due to the school groups leaving and we were able to walk on everything. I, of course I do not know what capacity this group was for six flags, I can only report what I personally heard and saw. It is my opinion that they were there to build a preliminary report for corporate, but what do I know, I can only hope for the best, right?

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I can just picture you following this group around trying to be all slick... lol... maybe they were talking amongst themselves about why you were following them the whole time and that's why they kept shaking their head... "Oh, there he is again... *shakes head*"

 

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I do like the fact that SF corporate people were asking about theming and about overall operations. This tells me a few things.

 

1. They plan on investing in the park, and most likely making changes for the better

 

2. They probably plan to convert the park to a SF park in the near future

 

All are good things for the park

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Or they were surveying it for what they could ship to other parks when they close it.

 

JK I know they don't own the park.

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^ NO!

 

In other news, some stupid kid (most likely) stole my free refill cup at the park Friday. Like why? It's covered in my germs, rinsing it in water won't do anything.. I'll most likely give in and buy another one, but like come on.

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^ NO!

 

In other news, some stupid kid (most likely) stole my free refill cup at the park Friday. Like why? It's covered in my germs, rinsing it in water won't do anything.. I'll most likely give in and buy another one, but like come on.

I feel your pain, someone did that to me last year, but at least it was the $1.25 refill cup I got for free anyways, but it was still annoying having to buy one when I shouldn't have needed to. People are really something sometimes.

 

Also, I visited the park tonight, only one difference in the park caught my eye...RoS HAS A TEST SEAT AGAIN! I rode it 3 times today and didn't see any "walks of shame". Made the line move noticeably faster given that the ride ops only had to check the restraints once, instead of needing to re-tighten them a million times!

 

On another note, Pirate was still closed. It hasn't been open once this year, it appears to be the Twister of 2018, now that Twister is back open. Oh well, I never ride it anyways.

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The group asking about lights on the Giant Wheel warms the cockles of my heart... the coaster paint can fade to oblivion, just give me some got dam lights on the wheel! Its great ambience at night while around the campfire

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The group asking about lights on the Giant Wheel warms the cockles of my heart... the coaster paint can fade to oblivion, just give me some got dam lights on the wheel! Its great ambience at night while around the campfire

 

The dark Giant Wheel hasn’t bothered me anymore, I guess I’ve just gotten used to seeing it like that. I honestly could care less about lights or paints as long as two trains run on Ride of Steel again. Two trains is honestly all I care about at this point.

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Most likely the Six Flags people are trying to get a handle on the situation and see some things in person that need work. They also most likely wanted to see how the day to day operations are including all aspects not just rides. Maybe they will want to shake up the current management at the park with people who will maybe have fresh ideas and want to make some good changes. Gets the basics first then add the big stuff down the road. Of course Darien Lake will never be a top tier Six Flags park even down the road. It will most likely relegated towards the middle like a Six Flags New England where they get a some big attractions every so often but most of the rides are average.

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I too would love to see the Giant Wheel with lights on it again. It was such an icon to see the Giant Wheel all lit up at the end of a great day at the park.

 

On a similar note, I was trolling around YouTube earlier, and came across a podcast where they said they think DL will get branded back to SFDL next year and put in a clone of the Harley Quinn Crazy Cooaster at SFDK. It's that new Skywarp from Skyline Attractions. All I can say is that if they do this and add two trains to all coasters that can run them, I would be extremely happy

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The interesting thing about that is the similarity of that ride and Rolling Thunder. Not that I would at all be against seeing that ride at Darien Lake, I just wonder how the two really compare to one another at the end of the day. Not that most anyone would care, but it is still an interesting thing to think about

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The interesting thing about that is the similarity of that ride and Rolling Thunder.

 

Since Discovery Kingdom has a Larson Super Loop as well ride experience must be somewhat different enough for Six Flags to put both types of rides in one park. While I wouldn't be against Darien getting the Harley Quinn type ride I have to agree with everyone else that the park needs more basic TLC before any new attractions are added.

 

If I could have one ride added to the park it would be the Zamperla Giant Discovery like Magic Mountain's Crazanity or New England's Harley Quinn.

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I can agree that the park needs some new flat ride. I’ve always thought DL seems to be lacking a bit in a good collection of thrilling flat rides.

Edited by rjr19
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Another very interesting thing I forgot to mention...remember Strike-U-Up from last year? It appears to have been sent to Fantasy Island! I went there with the family last week, and sure enough, near Mind Warp and Silver Comet, there it was!

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The group asking about lights on the Giant Wheel warms the cockles of my heart... the coaster paint can fade to oblivion, just give me some got dam lights on the wheel! Its great ambience at night while around the campfire

 

Giant wheel and a number of coasters were supposed to get new lights and paint years ago under PARC funded by CNL. The lights got cost cut pressured to death and the supplier eventually just never delivered at all which is why the lights were all taken down as the new ones were supposed to come Any Day Now. A few hundred thousand for repainting ROS and ME disappeared into the finance black hole that PARC corporate was becoming. Viper at least eventually got a repaint and ME most of the aquamarine track supports redone.

 

Flats might be more doable than a coaster unless SF actually is in works to buy now that they've secured a lease. Otherwise I don't know how much they're willing to throw down without the property in their name. Really, there's been plenty of flat/water ride installs since Motocoaster. Tantrum was a minimal budget coaster install because the clamor at every flat install was 'yeah, but what about a coaster?' and now people are itching for more flats?

 

A tourbillon to upgrade Twister (which has had age issues with its water tanks/bladders) might make sense. That or replacing one of the other oldies like Silver Bullet, Haymaker, or Lasso whose hydraulics have been nearing UFO levels of troublesome. Grizz, Big K, and Hooks are also pretty terminal. I don't know how much lifespan Rolling Thunder has for that matter. It's something of an engineering design turd and has had cracking issues year after year (including at present). Or they could dust off the idea of RMCing Pred which was surveyed a few years back but CNL wasn't in a mood to drop capital cash with the place for sale.

 

That said word is to expect price hikes and much more security requirements next year.

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You may also want to add Pirate and Corn Popper to the list of troublesome DL flats. Corn Popper sees a decent amount of downtime with the pneumatics each year, and Pirate has been down all year so far for unknown reasons. I think the issue with the flat Ride selection at DL is the fact that every flat Ride here is old and inconsistent. At this point, it would definitely be cheaper in the long run to just replace them, but nobody has wanted to fork up the cash to do so.

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I too would love to see some new flats at the park. I love what Canada's Wonderland did with those flat rides. I am pretty sure that the reason for the Harley Quinn coaster clone is that they only cost $2 million, which is about the cost of a new flat ride, if not less than a flat ride. It would allow them to say they are adding a coaster for drawing crowds and still have money left for other capital expenditures

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