Darien Lake, Darien Center, New York, USA
So we decided to head up to Darien Lake, I was curious to see the park sans-flags, and I needed to try out OCC Motocoaster. We arrived around noon, and were pleased to see the parking lot not too full. After heading to guest services to pick up my e-tickets (that wouldn't print at home) we were off and ready to start riding.
Our first coaster of the day was Viper, which doesn't open with the rest of the park, and when it did (around 12:30) it was one train. We waited about 20 minutes, and were off, sitting in 2.2. Nice ride, smoother than some, and still as fun as I rememebered. Needs paint, but so does just about everything.
We did some of the Huss flats, was finally able to ride Ranger. Ok ride, better that the Intamin looping starships IMO, but I still like Zamperlas Hawk more.
Next up was Mind Eraser. I was prepared for the worst, and I am glad I did so. Still as rough and shuffly as I remembered, but still a great layout, and worth at least one lap a trip. And that is all we did do.
Lunch was next, we decided to go to Beaver Bros. I immediately noticed food prices were drastically less than in years past. Service was sub-par, but on level with what expect anymore. Portions were good, but the side of chips was like half a pound! More than I could eat, and for two of us with drinks the meal was under $25. Plus who can pass up great views of coasters while dining?
After some casual wandering, and a ride on the Giant Wheel, which no longer has any lighting at night, we went to the big surprise of the day, Predator. I warned my partner that this can be a ride that is simmilar in tracking to Hercules. Just to be safe we took our place in 1.2. BOY WAS I WRONG! I know they have been doing some work off season, but mainly was the complete lack of trim on the drop, and the trains have definitely received some much overdue TLC. This was again the thrilling, raging, out of control coaster I remembered from my youth. The back however... now that was another story. That reminded me of why I stopped riding Dinn/Summers coasters! LOL
Next up was the shock of the day, Ride of Steel. On the walk down to the queue we noticed the blue train sitting in pieces out in the distance. This meant one train operations (something I am not too keen on), but still not a terrible wait time. Frist ride was in the back, as the partner though air would be better there. All I can say is OUCH! I know this is the 10th birthday for ROS, but come on... for its birthday send its trains out to intamin for updating and a complete overhaul. I used to love ROS, still a great ride, but never felt that much shaking and rattling on a hyper. Trains look like they need some work too. I hope the blue train being in pieces means this is happening already.
After a bunch more flats, some funnel cake we were off to OCC Motocoaster. Have to say I think the actual ride placement is great, but what is up with the queue? You have to leave the park and head out to the camping area, Darien Square. I have to say I did not expect much from this coaster, but the launch packs a punch, and there are some great pops of air and laterals. Great ride, lots of fun, and would love to see more of these at mid sized parks. Do beware of the kidney crush when you hit the final breaks.
We hit Boomerang... nothing special, was there and the last coaster, so we did it. LOL. The rest of the day was just hitting some of the flats, redides on ROS (front, smoother, but still not what it used to be), Predator (front, great ride again), and OCC Motocoaster. We stayed for laserblast, liked it more when it was 3-D, though the graphics are better than in years past.
Overall, nice park, great place to spend a camping vacation. I do wish that "Batman" across the street would get assembled, as then their coaster collection would be even better. Guest service was better than in years past, and I would definitely reccomend a visit if you are near by.
I was told on Saturday that their was an issue with the blue train and while waiting on the parts to arrive they scavenged it to keep the red train running and now have to wait for the replacement parts that they took off of it.
As to Preditor, we found it too rough to do more then 2 laps on.
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