Darien Lake 08/25/13 - Triple Triple Digits and The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

Monday, August 26, 2013 12:56 AM

With 299 coasters under my belt, I wanted to hit three hundred in style. I'd been planning it out pretty much since the start of the season, and I decided that as numbers one hundred (GL's Big Dipper) and two hundred (Georgia Cyclone) were wooden, I wanted a good steel coaster to be my third triple-digit milestone.

So it was that Ride of Steel was picked to be the milestone coaster, which, as I would later discover, would also happen at the 50th amusement park I'd visit.

I got to the park a little before three and immediately headed for Ride of Steel. It took about a half an hour until I jumped into the front row.

I've ridden SFA's Superman roughly a hundred times, but man, every lap in the front row is great. I like how the Darien Lake original's first turn skims the water, but from start to finish, that ride is a rush. It may not have the most artistic layout, but it hits all the right notes with blistering speed (and maneuvers that highlight it), great airtime, and some solid positive g-forces.

I left the ride and walked over to Boomerang. It was as they all are, but I try to get a lap on each one I come across. I liked the location of this one especially, right up on the lake.

I kept going at it, making Predator the third ride of the day. I went with the front row for safety reasons (seeing Dinn and Summers on the little manufacturer plate never puts me at ease). As it would turn out, it wasn't a half-bad ride. Even up front, nasty shuffling ruined one of the ride's airtime moments, but it was still a pretty good ride. I can't speak for my fellow riders further back, but I found a decent amount of enjoyment in it.

At this point, I went to check out the OCC Motocoaster and Viper, but the lines were longer than I felt like standing in at the moment, so I snapped a few photos and moved over to Mind Eraser. The line over there wasn't too long, but the weather was great, so I opted to continue taking photos instead.

My search for good shots would take me all over the park. It was during this time that I came to understand just how massive Darien Lake Amusement Park really is. The rides are scattered over a very wide area, but there's also the walkway from Boomerang over to the Lodge on the Lake and the campground. I checked to ensure that no tighty-whitey twister was going on, and verifying that no awkward situations were likely to occur, I walked around looking for good photo opportunities. To my surprise, there was a branch of the pathway around Predator's far turnaround that took me down to the base of Ride of Steel's drop. It seemed like an abandoned employee area of some sort, but there were no signs or fencing anywhere indicating that it was a restricted area. There was the gate by the ROS entrance a little up the way, but again, nothing indicated any sort of restrictions. Still, I snagged a few photos before leaving, but I would come back later after the temporary cloud cover broke.

I continued to walk all over the place, eventually swinging back to the Motocoaster. I was about one train from riding when it broke. As it had been the ride's fourth breakdown, they just decided to close it for the night. I was a little surprised, but the park literally only had one train on the entire track for every coaster. Seriously. The transfer tracks were all empty. I don't know if they're planning on bringing back the other trains for the busy Halloween season, but that had to be pretty much my only complaint about the day. Well, the Ride Ops weren't the best out there, but I've seen far worse, so it didn't bother me too badly.

I moved on to Viper. The wait was about the same, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought. Besides, I'd gotten the photos I wanted, so it was time to experience my photographic subjects.

Viper itself was surprisingly good. It lacked much of the not-Arrow-design-style-friendly maneuvers of other Arrow loopers, so the neck-snapping was kept to a minimum. The sequencing of the elements was good and it had a more gradual feel to it. I legitimately enjoyed my ride on it.

Mind Eraser came next to wrap up the list of new credits I'd get for the day. I liked the over-water location, but other than that, well, it was a Vekoma SLC.

Darkness was falling and the time to wrap up the evening was approaching, so it was off to Ride of Steel to close out the day. I got a night ride in the back row.

My friends...that ride really goes, lol. The darkness enhanced the sensation of speed, and that ride is stupid fast anyways. It felt like being strapped to a maniacal rocket, and getting whipped over the hills was crazy fun.

I made my way out after that, extremely surprised by how greatly I enjoyed my visit. Planning ahead when all I had to go on was the ride lineup led me to think it would be a credit-grabbing trip and nothing more, but the park was much more than a collection of rides. It seemed much more like a large city park or something like that that just happened to have rides in it. The whole area behind Predator and Boomerang offered an area of quiet seclusion from the bustle of the midways, and even in the park, everything was so spread out that it never seemed congested or overly busy.

Folks, if you haven't been, go to Darien Lake. It's a lovely park that combines a large-park attraction lineup with a quiet park feel.

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Monday, August 26, 2013 2:13 AM

You know, it was my former home park and I never really realized it before, but you're right, every coaster there except Viper goes over or is next to water.

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Monday, August 26, 2013 6:26 AM

Comgratulations on your 300th Coaster.:)

Here are my "Milestones"

100 Grand National - Blackpool Pleasure Beach

200 Viper- Six Flags Magic Mountain

300 - Dania Beach Hurricane - Boomers

400 - Wild Mouse - Dorney (I had intended to have a "Double Milestone" with Talon being both my 400th Coaster and my 100th Steel Looping Coaster unfortunately the ride was down.

100th Wooden Coaster Twister - Knoebal's (On my 40th Birthday)

100th Steel Looping Superman - Ultimate Flight- Six Flags Great Adventure

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Monday, August 26, 2013 10:09 AM

Here are my "Milestones"

100 No Clue

200 Huh??

300 I need to get a real life

I've only been to Darien Lake once in 2007 but found it to be an enjoyable little park. Ride of Steel is a very fun ride that I could ride all day - loved it - although it was having mechanical issues the day we were there and could only ride it twice. I made the mistake of riding Predator towards the back. I think I punctured my spleen. One of the most painful rides I've ever been on.

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Monday, August 26, 2013 1:25 PM

I took a couple laps on DL's Predator three years ago, and I don't recall them being overly horrible...which I guess is a left-handed compliment.

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Monday, August 26, 2013 1:26 PM

So you're on a coaster enthusiast site mocking coaster enthusiasts for not having a life? Messed up sws.

Last edited by Tyler Boes, Monday, August 26, 2013 1:26 PM
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Monday, August 26, 2013 1:44 PM

It was self-deprecating, and most of us make those jokes every now and then. Chillax. If he was making fun of anyone other than himself, it was the few of us who mentioned our milestones, and frankly, it didn't bother me, and therefore you have no business letting it bother you.

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Monday, August 26, 2013 1:57 PM

It didn't bother me very much either. I'm just worried it offend some of the super riders on the site.

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Monday, August 26, 2013 3:03 PM

Regulus said:

Here are my "Milestones"

100 Grand National - Blackpool Pleasure Beach

200 Viper- Six Flags Magic Mountain

300 - Dania Beach Hurricane - Boomers

400 - Wild Mouse - Dorney

What was 1?

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Monday, August 26, 2013 7:17 PM

bjames said:

Regulus said:

Here are my "Milestones"

100 Grand National - Blackpool Pleasure Beach

200 Viper- Six Flags Magic Mountain

300 - Dania Beach Hurricane - Boomers

400 - Wild Mouse - Dorney

What was 1?

My first Coaster was a steel "Kiddie Coaster" at the Virginia Beach Boardwalk in 1966. A year later Cedar Point's Blue Streak was my first Wooden Coaster.

I'm already looking ahead to my 500th Roller Coaster. I want it to be an overseas Wooden Roller Coaster, I have narrowed my choice down to four "Candidates". They are:

Montezum- Hopi Hari, Brazil

Hullamvasit- Vidam, Hungary

Scenic Railway - Luna Park, Australia

Cyclone - Nicco, India

Last edited by Regulus, Monday, August 26, 2013 7:37 PM
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Monday, August 26, 2013 7:45 PM

^if you end up choosing India, don't go to the bathroom there.

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Monday, August 26, 2013 8:27 PM

And don't drink the water!

The Brazilian Coaster is my first pick, since my Church has a Mission Trip there every year (I've been on four of them.) If it becomes imminent that my coaster total will top 500 I purchase my own tickets, when the Mission Trip ends I'll fly home on a later flight, after "Bagging" No. 500. <G>

Last edited by Regulus, Monday, August 26, 2013 8:30 PM
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Monday, August 26, 2013 8:56 PM

Tyler Boes said:

It didn't bother me very much either. I'm just worried it offend some of the super riders on the site.

If it didn't bother you then don't bother. Why do you concern yourself with everything posted? Go outside and play for a little while.

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Monday, August 26, 2013 9:31 PM

bjames said:

^if you end up choosing India, don't go to the bathroom there.

And whatever you do, don't shake anybody's left hand!

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