Darien Lake 5/18/03

Associated parks:
None

Tuesday, May 20, 2003 12:20 PM
First Darien Lake trip of the season. Great weather - 70 to 75 degrees or so. Very empty park, although I wasn't really surprised. I arrived late, around noon, headed straight to Superman, of course! 5-10 minute wait, rode it again, both times in the middle. No complaints, smooth as always. (I'd never ridden in the front before - man, that first drop feels like you're going to flip head over heels out of the train and into the lake).

Next to the Predator. Man, I rode this thing mid-season last year and it nearly pulverized all of my innards. Now, I'm usually quite tolerant to rickity woodies, but last year (at least mid-season last year) the Predator was a killer, way too rough to be enjoyable. This time, however, it was much more tolerable, but it felt a bit slower than I remember it; perhaps it felt smoother because it was earlier in the season or its slower speed mitigated the shaking.

Everything was a walk on, or near walk on, so I got plenty of rides in on Boomerang, Mind Eraser, and Viper, and back to Superman and Predator. Nothing unusual or interesting to report - Viper felt smoother than it did last season, but again perhaps that's because it's not far into the ride season. Viper was stopped for a while because apparently a ride operator hurt her back after bending down to check the restraints (I always wondered about that - wouldn't bending down to check ride restraints hour after hour, day after day take a toll on one's back?), and superman stuck at the bottom of the lift in the late afternoon and was apparently closed for the rest of the day.

All in all, a good trip, but mainly because the crowds were so thin that there was virtually no waiting.

Good things:

1) The park was relatively clean. Again, few crowds, early into the season, I'm sure this will change.

2) All coasters had two trains running, which they didn't have to do given the lack of crowds, but was nice nonetheless.

3) The park was very pretty! Lilac bushes in bloom, trees in blossom, I've never been to Darien this early in the season to enjoy the beauty of the blooming vegatation.

Which leads to...

Bad thing:

1) The trees in blossom drew an incredible number of yellow jackets in numerous locations across the park. Grizzly Run had generally short lines, but I think this was due to the queue's proximity to blossoming trees and hence dozens of yellow jackets swarming around the queue. I did see a number of yellow jacket traps hanging in the trees, but DL should really try to do more to limit the number of bees near queues. It's an unfortunate drawback of the large amount of blooming vegetation, but I wish they would do more. I purposely skipped a second ride on Grizzly Run in order to avoid a trip through a gaunlet of yellow jackets.

I'm going to visit again post memorial day, but once the crowds pick up at Darien Lake and the lines lengthen, I find it much less enjoyable (who wants to wait in a half hour to hour line for anything other than Superman or the Predator?)

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Tuesday, May 20, 2003 12:38 PM
Great Tr Report! That's surprising that the park was that empty on a nice day very unusual.

It will be very busy post memorial day.

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Your Park only has 1 good coaster! That's too bad!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2003 6:48 PM
Nice TR,if SFDL's S:ROS is anything like SFA's (which it is) then you're always getting the best seat in the house by riding up front.

On SFDL's S:ROS does there appear to be a lateral shuffling of the train as it crests the 2nd hill? on SFA's version there is always a violent lateral shuffle which occurs as the train crests the 2nd hill.

Perhaps there's some sort of imperfection in the track on SFA's S:ROS that is causing that & I hope they fix it soon.

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Thursday, May 22, 2003 4:43 AM

BATWING FAN SFA said:

On SFDL's S:ROS does there appear to be a lateral shuffling of the train as it crests the 2nd hill? on SFA's version there is always a violent lateral shuffle which occurs as the train crests the 2nd hill.

Perhaps there's some sort of imperfection in the track on SFA's S:ROS that is causing that & I hope they fix it soon.


I have ridden Darien Lake's S:ROS at least a half-dozen times and have never noticed the "lateral shuffle" you mentioned, but that doesn't mean there isn't one. I'll be sure to check the next time I ride, which should be next Friday night when I attend the park's media gala.

I checked the specs on the coaster at SFA and there appear to be minor variations (but then again, no two websites seem to agree on what those variations are...that's one of the things I'm hoping to achieve with this book, by the way...sorting out discrepencies), but overall, I'm sure the rides are quite similar. I'll be sure to give you my comparison when I visit the Maryland park probably sometime in August.

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Writing a book about roller coasters sure has it's ups and downs...

Man, do I have a long way to go...75 parks in under 5 months...I must be insane!!!

Coaster Count -- 1

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