Darien Lake - Looking Dated

Recently I went to Darien Lake in NY and have noticed they are not doing a very good job with maintenance of their rides. The "Ride of Steel" is dirty, extremely faded and now extremely bumpy. So sad to see a once amazing ride, look so unattended to. Under the loading area, there was trash that you could see has been piled up for years. All of their rides look tired. The "Predator" while it has always been bumpy, now has the addition of ripped seats, and a very dirty line.

Very sad to see this park struggle to keep up. Instead of new rides, they really need to keep up their old ones :(

koolcat1101's avatar

Yeah, I think the park has potential but it would have been better if SF left them with more than one good coaster.

(Insert funny signature here.)

Oh, don't get me started.
One of parks most filled with anticipointment for me was Darien. I tried my best to have a good time there, but it was a challenge. Weird layout, weird rides, weird crowd, chain link fence, and they had built these little operator dog houses for each of their flats that, no matter what the ride, looked like it should be in Camp Snoopy instead.
They did have some old, dog tired, but interesting flats. I gave them that. And now most of them have been retired, too.

I really enjoyed ROS, and I'm sorry to hear it's hit the skids. I waited all day for Predator to open, and when it finally did I was the first rider. Ouch. So by the time I got there it had already tanked.
Wasn't there plans to RMC the ride? What became of that I wonder. Lake Monster was it?

Word around the campfire is that CNL offers a very tight cap-ex budget, so Lake Monster was never given the green light. The hope was that Herschend (who managed the park for several years) would buy Darien Lake and offer the money needed to fix it up and add some new rides. But Herschend left after 2014. It was speculated that they were only interested in purchasing DL, while CNL wanted to sell their entire portfolio as a whole. But now in the News forum it says CNL just sold Elitch Gardens separetely so that kinda scraps that theory...

I've defended this park for years. SF left the park in ruins and CNL/Parc did nothing to fix or maintain infrastructure. Herschend seemed to be on the right path with the budget they were given, but the clock ran out on them. indont know what the future holds for Darien Lake. But I hope someone figures out how get this ship back on course.

Last edited by ShaneDenmark,

But then again, what do I know?

Rick_UK's avatar

koolcat1101 said:

Yeah, I think the park has potential but it would have been better if SF left them with more than one good coaster.

They left it with what it had when they operated it? They didn't go all "We're having Chang....laterz" on it.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

I was there in 2012. RoS was faded then but gave a good ride. Predator was jackhammering at the bottom of every drop. Viper was a pleasant surprise. The SLC was the second worst one I've been on. The worst one is at Wonderland in Canada.

bjames's avatar

Haven't been there in a few years but I never had a bad time there. How's the water park? It's the area that's received the most investment lately.

"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

The water park has a lot of potential (like the theme park) but it's being held back by operations and maintenance (like the theme park)...

Last year there was an issue with the little pirate dinghy at Hook's Lagoon that required some planks to be replaced. It was closed the rest of the season.

The 4 slide complex was ridiculous last summer. There are 2 lines & 2 sets of stairs going up. But there was only 1 attendant in the pool at the top. He would bring a slider or 2 from alternating lines into the pool and have them choose whichever slide they wanted. Then when that slider reached the pool at the bottom, he would bring people from the opposite line. So one tube would run at a time between 4 slides, resulting in unnecessarily long, slow moving lines (like the theme park).

The changing rooms were disgusting (like the bathrooms in the theme park). I had my son stand in the benches to change because I didn't want his bare feet to touch the floor.

But then again, what do I know?

bjames's avatar

^sounds like the park has nosedived since six flags ownership, which was the last time I was there.

"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

The nose dive started during Six Flags' tenure. Sure they added several coasters (some under the Premier name pre-flagging), but they completely ignored the infrastructure of the park and didn't maintain rides. CNL and Parc couldn't pull out of the nosedive. Herschend seemed to be on the right track; at least things were being fixed, but operations were awful under them and CNL gave them little to no cap ex budget. Now it looks like the new Premier management group is running the park the same way as Herschend. Sure they got a new water slide and a new ride but still single trains on the coasters, dirty smelly bathrooms, etc.

But then again, what do I know?

Isn't Premier management made up of old Premier Parks/Six Flags people? If so I wouldn't expect things to improve.

Yup! Kieran Burke & Gary Story...

But then again, what do I know?

Jeff's avatar

Gary Story died a couple of years ago.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

It's definitely Kieren Burke. I can't find any info online but remember reading somewhere that it was other old school Premier people like Rick McCurley and others. McCurley made his way around several parks but most notably was the GM at SFGAdv when they had all those flat rides that never ran. :(

jkpark's avatar

Maybe the current owners bought the park to close it. [Ducks to a avoid objects being thrown at me]

Can it be that the good people of Buffalo deserve better? I would think so.

Last summer we made a swing through central/western New York and then Pa. before heading back home to Ohio. I'd generally call that market medium to medium large. If it weren't for Darien the folks in that region would have Seabreeze, Martin's, and Waldameer, all nice enough parks, but small with limited menus. For the larger theme park experience they'd be stuck with the long trip to the northern burbs of Toronto.

By the way, on that trip we visited all three U.S. parks that I mentioned, but not Darien. I knew better.

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