Darien Lake - Sunday, July 27, 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014 7:46 AM

Woke up early and drove up through PA and NY en route to Darien Lake. Passed through a Reduced Gear Zone, Icy Pavement Zone, and Fallen Rock Zone....old-school Sonic, anyone?

Arrived shortly before park opening. When the rope dropped (literally for once!) the crowd veered left towards Ride of Steel. I veered right. Did Boomerang on my way back to Moto Coaster, another ride I'd been anticipating due to the unique seating style. Boarding is more straightforward than I thought -- just sit down and lean forward. The launch isn't extreme but has a good kick, moreso than Backlot Stunt Coaster, for example. The layout is compact and goes through lots of banked turns and a couple quick drops. Fun! Re-rode before the line got too long, there's only one 12-person train. Actually, everything here only had one train, with no second trains to be seen on transfer tracks, etc. But crowds were pretty light, especially for a Sunday.

Next was Predator, rode towards the front. Moderately rough, but not unbearable, an average woodie with a couple decent pops of air. Would have rerode, but nearby was Ride of Steel, moderate wait of 20-30 minutes. Having ridden the SFA version many times, I only rode once. Still a very solid coaster, better visuals on this version, the first drop here goes over the lake. The violent forces dropping into the second helix is my favorite element here.

Walking around the park, most of the flats were standard fare, so I went to the other side of the park for Viper. Surprisingly good with a couple unexpected elements for an Arrow looper, and not a lot of headbanging. Some tree branches hang pretty close to the corkscrews, and the underground helix at the end is nice. Speaking of headbanging, there was Mind Eraser, the SLC. Didn't do much else, but then I saw this...

Moose On The Loose! The moose gallops, there's audio as it travels through some scenes, and it's about....well, a moose on the loose. And maybe some other stuff? The audio was a bit hard to make out. I was quite amused. I also rode the log flume, Thunder Rapids. (confusing name huh?) The course is unfortunately out in the open (no trees), except for a small tunnel. I finished with another ride on Predator, thought about trying the back but the balance of people waiting for front vs. back spoke for itself. Got lucky and paired with another single in the front row instead.

Uniquely, this park has a Fascination parlor. I'd never seen one before this trip (go figure I see two of them in two days! Knoebels also had one) It's sorta like Skeeball, except you roll balls one-by-one towards a 5x5 Bingo grid, trying to get a straight line (across/up-down/diagonal). You compete against everyone else playing in the room, whoever gets a line first wins. A fun game. 25 to 50 cents per play adds up fast though....

Overall, this is a decent regional park with a couple signature attractions. The lake creates some nice views on many rides. The ride portion of the park is surprisingly small in area, only a few minutes' walk from the main gate to Moto Coaster in the far back corner. Didn't eat in the park -- saved my appetite for some Buffalo wings afterwards.

Last edited by VTFanatic330, Monday, July 28, 2014 7:51 AM
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Monday, July 28, 2014 7:59 AM

Interesting TR. I'd still love to see this place since its expansion and sale from Six Flags. I liked it when I was a kid, but it was a much different park back then.

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Monday, July 28, 2014 11:02 PM

Hmmm... Don't have the Moose on the Loose credit yet....

I've been meaning to return to this park and first visit Seabreeze for some time now. Thanks for the TR. Good to know ROS is as good as ever. They didn't put OTSR's on it like SFNE, did they? Does SFA's have them?

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Monday, July 28, 2014 11:37 PM

Whoa....they did what? Hadn't heard about that. I last visited three years ago and Bizarro/ROS still had the T-bars (with extra ankle bars). No OTSR's on ROS at Darien Lake or SFA.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014 2:02 PM

I'm glad you experienced Predator in the front rather than the back. My experience in the front made Predator one of my favorite coasters while my experience in the back made it one of my least. Just awful.

I'm curious to know why none of the coasters have a second train, not even in sight. Just odd.

Was the Scramble on site? I was there a few weeks ago and it wasn't to be seen, despite the banner stating its return this summer.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014 2:44 PM

I saw the Scrambler banner too, but that was all, didn't see any parts or anything as I walked past.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014 6:07 PM

Well, looks like I was mistaken. I knew they made a bunch of changes that were not well liked, but I guess OTSR's was not one of them. Phwew. Bigger seats and more restrictive leg supports I see in pics.

Here's a pic from Darien Lake showing the same or similar newer style restraints. http://rcdb.com/541.htm#p=12441

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014 6:44 PM

Didn't get to ride the Moto Coaster at DL, it never opened for us (did have mechanics on it for a few hours). For fans of sponsorship discussions, it was originally Orange County Choppers MotoCoaster.Did ride the same Zamperla model at Knott's, thought it was kind of a yawner (would have been better with my *secured* glasses).

The Vekoma bike....wayyyyy better ride IMO. Much faster, and seemed more forceful in the acceleration. I think if we'd seen a couple of the Vekoma products in the US, we might have seen more of the genre. Not that it's necessarily dead, either. Just didn't really catch on the way I hoped it would - there is no "replacement" for an actual steeplechase ride, but...

The Moose is definitely a kids' version of it, and there is a very similar ride (with a knights' theme, IIRC) at Legoland, FL. Sadly, after checking out the rider restrictions, I was too big...

Last edited by rollergator, Tuesday, July 29, 2014 6:46 PM
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014 7:59 PM

People were complaining all off season on Facebook about 1 train operation and the social media person kept saying they will run rides to full capacity. So much for that promise... EVERY coaster has been 1 train operation during each visit this year. I don't think I've ever seen 1 train operation on Viper prior to this season... And apparently running a total of 8 cabins on Giant Wheel is now considered "full capacity."

Still no sign of Scrambler's return. I had also heard rumor that UFO had been dismantled a couple years ago for refurbishment with plans to reopen it, but no signs of life there either.

And I agree with gator about MotoCoaster... Those Vekoma versions look pretty awesome. Not only because they are quite a bit faster, but because they actually look to simulate a ride on a crotch rocket. And for all the talk about Six Flags and their parking lot coasters, at least they don't build coasters over a SWIMMING POOL! You can still see the depth markers and where they filled the pool in to build MotoCoaster!

Last edited by ShaneDenmark, Tuesday, July 29, 2014 8:00 PM
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