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Six Flags Darien Lake (SFDL) Discussion Thread


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What kind of strange world has this thread become when we have a GM from a park who registered almost TWELVE years ago making his very first post an advertisement for a park that this thread isn't even about?

 

Fi doesnt have (or need) its own thread that I know of

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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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What kind of strange world has this thread become when we have a GM from a park who registered almost TWELVE years ago making his very first post an advertisement for a park that this thread isn't even about?

 

Fi doesnt have (or need) its own thread that I know of

 

Correct, it doesn’t, and as it has in the past and likely will in the future, when news from that park comes up it’s typically shared here as most everyone familiar with Darien Lake is familiar with Fantasy Island

 

Like many other Western New Yorkers, my childhood summers were very much enjoyed at Martin’s Fantasy Island. Keeping in mind back 10-15 years ago that place was getting new thrill rides every single year. Crazy Mouse, Nitro, Full Tilt, Mega Disk’o, Music Express, Devil’s Hole, Mind Warp, the short lived Over the Falls - the list goes on and on. For a young child up through middle school, and on to now as we have little ones getting to the age to want to go to places like FI, it was and still is cool to have a place like Fantasy Island not too far from home.

 

Fantasy Island’s Silver Comet for example was my first “big” coaster. The first year I tried to ride it I was too short, so when my family came back the next year I was beyond excited to be let on. And of course no trip to FI was complete without at least one ride on the train!

 

I also had my fair share of music events there, and of course those trips are fond memories for me as well. Who doesn’t love performing at a park as a kid? Especially when it got me the ability to march down Main Street USA in front of the Electrical Parade in 2016. (Support Music in Education!!!!)

 

Lastly, when I was a sophomore in high school I got pretty sick, losing almost 40 lbs in less than 3 weeks, always incredibly tired, nauseous, dizzy and weak. I remember not even being able to get to school, let alone get to a theme park. After around 3 months of testing and medicating and hoping for the best, we ended up going to Fantasy Island to support a family friend and her school at the music festival, and it was the first time I felt better to the point where I wanted to try riding something. It by no means was some sort of miracle that it happened at FI, but the fact that it did was something I was really happy about. Riding Mind Warp and then Silver Comet after months of feeling like I’d pass out if I stood up was something I’ll never forget.

 

I even remember the era of the Hawaiian shirts all the ride ops would wear. It was a unique and fun uniform that I always enjoyed.

 

For me Fantasy Island has always been a special place, and I’m sure that’s the case for other folks too. I’m glad the GM stepped in to right wrongs that have been shared and I wish the best for the place as it continues to grow and update. As a true WNY classic I’m glad to see a once family owned theme park (that did incredibly well for its over 50 year run) now has opportunities to improve for future generations!

 

Sincerely,

 

Steve “The guy who supports WNY theme parks WAY more than the average bear” Zehler

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We have a Fantasy Island trip report on the way (PS; Hi, Chris!), but in regards to the price I think it's worth pointing out that day tickets (if the season pass doesn't make sense for you) are also available on Expedia for just $31.

 

This also means (since it's Expedia) that it's bookable through Chase Ultimate Rewards so anyone with a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Ink Preferred can book with points and if you have a Sapphire Preferred or Reserve you get increased value. CSR earns 1.5 cents per point so you're basically paying like 20 bucks worth of points.

 

That's what we did and it's a crazy deal. If you have a Chase card, book through Chase.

 

When comparing it to other parks in the same price range I don't get why people are so critical of this place. The park isn't perfect but it's quite nice, and it's only $20. We paid more in Wildwood last weekend for two people to ride one ride (and yes, it was the Log Flume).

 

Despite having an included waterpark, when booked in the way that I just mentioned it's much cheaper than Fun Spot Orlando, it's cheaper than Fun Spot America Atlanta and that place is terrible, it's cheaper than ZDT's and they only have like 2 rides in the dry park worth riding and it's the same price as Conneaut (assuming you do the waterpark) and that place is a dystopian disaster zone. Plus, the season pass is an even more insane value.

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^Conneaut's not great, but it's way better than it was a few years ago, I truly thought it was going to be torn to the ground at any moment (which let's be fair, still may happen)

 

I've never been to Fantasy Island, but I did camp in the KOA next door to it a few years back, can't we all just be grateful to have two affordable parks in close proximity to one another?

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Just curious...How are the operations at this park on a Sunday. I have about 3 hours at park opening next Sunday to try and ride every coaster. Possible? If not, I may just go to Waldameer instead.

 

Assuming you mean Darien Lake, operations suck 24/7, 365

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Just curious...How are the operations at this park on a Sunday. I have about 3 hours at park opening next Sunday to try and ride every coaster. Possible? If not, I may just go to Waldameer instead.

 

If your options are Waldameer or Darien Lake, pick Waldameer and don't look back. Waldameer is a charming park and Ravine Flyer II is better than anything at Darien Lake. Plus you have a great flume, a terrifying drop tower, and two classic dark rides.

 

I would say the major coasters could be done in 3 hours though at Darien Lake if you get there at opening.

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Just curious...How are the operations at this park on a Sunday. I have about 3 hours at park opening next Sunday to try and ride every coaster. Possible? If not, I may just go to Waldameer instead.

 

If your options are Waldameer or Darien Lake, pick Waldameer and don't look back. Waldameer is a charming park and Ravine Flyer II is better than anything at Darien Lake. Plus you have a great flume, a terrifying drop tower, and two classic dark rides.

 

I would say the major coasters could be done in 3 hours though at Darien Lake if you get there at opening.

 

 

Yeah, both are on the way home from Niagara Falls. I was gonna pick Darien Lake since I have a Six Flags Membership...But that's not too important to me. Ravine Flyer is a bucketlist coaster for me...I can't say Darien Lake has a bucket list coaster I can think of. Waldameer it is.

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According to the membership newsletter I got, which I can't seem to find the details of it right now, the park opens a few rides (3 coasters? Don't quote me) at 10am (1/2 hour early) for those with membership... but they don't announce what they are until day of. This early entry applies to hotel guests as well.

 

Just throwing that out there as well, sorry I can't find the exact wording.

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If your admission is covered, you might as well stop at Darien Lake. You can knock out the coasters and a few flats in 3 hours. Ride of Steel, Tantrum and Viper are decent enough.

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I gave Ravine Flyer II about 4-5 chances when I went, and I came off every ride (different rows too) with a headache, it's so awful.

 

Even front car? I rode it with Predator as my baseline and I thought it was fantastic

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I've ridden Ravine Flyer a ton of times... I've had a few bad rides on it, but not in the past few years, I pretty much only ride it in the back anymore though. There was some retracing on Ravine Flyer a few years back that made it more enjoyable to me.

Personally I found Predator in the front rougher then Ravine Flyer is in the back, but that's just based on my experiences.

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^^ Yeah, Front, middle. very back, it was all the same, it was terrible, I didn't like it whatsoever. Walked off with a headache every time. It was recent too, last year.

Hmm.. that stinks I'm sorry to hear that. I want every ride to be enjoyable, stinks that it wasn't for you.

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Trip Report Darien Lake:

 

I've been going to Darien Lake every year since 2008 so I've seen it go through a lot of changes. I was curious how the rebranding of six flags would impact the park, so I thought I'd share my thoughts. Wonderland is my home park in Toronto, but I've been to most parks in North America.

 

Good:

 

-We stay on site in a cabin. Normally over $300/night but having a diamond elite membership cut the cost in half. That's HUGE. I wish Cedar Fair would do that for their platinum members. Discounts on accommodations are a huge perk.

-The two skip a line passes are good for 4 people. That was surprising to me and a nice perk.

- Much better communication before the trip with their camping office via email. You get assigned someone who makes sure you are happy with your trip.

- Discount does work at most restaurants including their best restaurant IMO Beaver Brothers (but only there from 12-5pm as they exclude the buffet).

 

Needs some work:

 

- I asked 4 different people if Beaver Brothers was covered by 50% member discount. Got 4 different answers (yes, no, sometimes, not sure).

- Two train operations are needed on ROS.

- The "General Store" is listed in their app but doesn't honour member discount. It should as it's also not listed as an excluded store.

 

Terrible:

- We tried to use our skip the line pass on Ride of Steel around 9:15 last night. 15 minutes before closing. There was a wait of about 20 people up the exit ramp and maybe 100 people in the station? We waited our turn until about 9:40 and were the final two in the fast pass area and then were told they aren't taking any others. That's pretty brutal. Why let someone wait that long and then turn them away especially when they are the final two (there will still people in the regular line).

 

Anyway, there is a learning curve with this stuff. Most staff don't seem trained very well with how the new six flags features work but hopefully that will improve. Overall there is more value in staying here than there used to be (with a membership) so that's never bad.

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Trip Report Darien Lake:

 

I've been going to Darien Lake every year since 2008 so I've seen it go through a lot of changes. I was curious how the rebranding of six flags would impact the park, so I thought I'd share my thoughts. Wonderland is my home park in Toronto, but I've been to most parks in North America.

 

Good:

 

-We stay on site in a cabin. Normally over $300/night but having a diamond elite membership cut the cost in half. That's HUGE. I wish Cedar Fair would do that for their platinum members. Discounts on accommodations are a huge perk.

-The two skip a line passes are good for 4 people. That was surprising to me and a nice perk.

- Much better communication before the trip with their camping office via email. You get assigned someone who makes sure you are happy with your trip.

- Discount does work at most restaurants including their best restaurant IMO Beaver Brothers (but only there from 12-5pm as they exclude the buffet).

 

Needs some work:

 

- I asked 4 different people if Beaver Brothers was covered by 50% member discount. Got 4 different answers (yes, no, sometimes, not sure).

- Two train operations are needed on ROS.

- The "General Store" is listed in their app but doesn't honour member discount. It should as it's also not listed as an excluded store.

 

Terrible:

- We tried to use our skip the line pass on Ride of Steel around 9:15 last night. 15 minutes before closing. There was a wait of about 20 people up the exit ramp and maybe 100 people in the station? We waited our turn until about 9:40 and were the final two in the fast pass area and then were told they aren't taking any others. That's pretty brutal. Why let someone wait that long and then turn them away especially when they are the final two (there will still people in the regular line).

 

Anyway, there is a learning curve with this stuff. Most staff don't seem trained very well with how the new six flags features work but hopefully that will improve. Overall there is more value in staying here than there used to be (with a membership) so that's never bad.

 

Cedar Point does allow you to save money being a SPH. I just booked Hotel Breakers for August and saved money.

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Trip Report Darien Lake:

 

I've been going to Darien Lake every year since 2008 so I've seen it go through a lot of changes. I was curious how the rebranding of six flags would impact the park, so I thought I'd share my thoughts. Wonderland is my home park in Toronto, but I've been to most parks in North America.

 

Good:

 

-We stay on site in a cabin. Normally over $300/night but having a diamond elite membership cut the cost in half. That's HUGE. I wish Cedar Fair would do that for their platinum members. Discounts on accommodations are a huge perk.

-The two skip a line passes are good for 4 people. That was surprising to me and a nice perk.

- Much better communication before the trip with their camping office via email. You get assigned someone who makes sure you are happy with your trip.

- Discount does work at most restaurants including their best restaurant IMO Beaver Brothers (but only there from 12-5pm as they exclude the buffet).

 

Needs some work:

 

- I asked 4 different people if Beaver Brothers was covered by 50% member discount. Got 4 different answers (yes, no, sometimes, not sure).

- Two train operations are needed on ROS.

- The "General Store" is listed in their app but doesn't honour member discount. It should as it's also not listed as an excluded store.

 

Terrible:

- We tried to use our skip the line pass on Ride of Steel around 9:15 last night. 15 minutes before closing. There was a wait of about 20 people up the exit ramp and maybe 100 people in the station? We waited our turn until about 9:40 and were the final two in the fast pass area and then were told they aren't taking any others. That's pretty brutal. Why let someone wait that long and then turn them away especially when they are the final two (there will still people in the regular line).

 

Anyway, there is a learning curve with this stuff. Most staff don't seem trained very well with how the new six flags features work but hopefully that will improve. Overall there is more value in staying here than there used to be (with a membership) so that's never bad.

 

Cedar Point does allow you to save money being a SPH. I just booked Hotel Breakers for August and saved money.

 

I could be wrong, but I think it's only on breakers and not the cabins. Worth checking though. Thanks

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^ I wonder if that general store issue is because it’s not technically part of the park, it’s part of the campground. Especially considering what that place sells, I’m not surprised that it isn’t included

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Camp store prices are rather comparable to a typical convenient store you'd see in your home town. They are already crazy low prices for a theme park

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