Darien Lake 9/8/12: Predator Stole the Show

Monday, September 10, 2012 2:56 AM

Darien Lake 9/8/12

Weather: Heavy rain and thunderstroms in the morning, conditions improving throughout the day. However, I was actually supposed to be going to Hershey on this day, but their forecast was even more severe all day, so I decided to swap Saturdays at each park.

Attendance: Light (Parking lot started to get packed for a concert)

The Coasters:

After a couple rides on Mind Eraser combined with my experience with SLCs in the past, my opinion on this coaster has solidified. Of course, this ride is a headbanger. However, there are certain seats that minimize the pain. Near the back on the left side seat has the least amount of headbanging and shuffling. The layout, despite being a cookie-cutter, is good, and Darien Lake has a nice setting for their SLC. Once in row two, and once in the more comfortable row 10 (6/10).

Viper is looking sleek in its fresh, all black, and orignal color scheme. The ride itself was also very good for this kind of coaster. Transitions were tolerable, and my head didn't smack into the OTSRs ever. Stuff like only cutting the trees near the corscrews as little as possible make this fairly typical coaster memorable. Even better, this Arrow looper has a nice underground helix finale to cap it all off. Two rides (7/10)

Yes people, I love Boomerangs! Now they aren't in the catagory of elite coasters, but they are tons of fun. The initial release from the lift feels similar to a drop tower. However, the crazy moment is going through the vertical loop backwards. Somehow, every time I ride the loop in reverse, it really disorients me (in a good way). Two rides (7.5/10)

I'm priviledged to have Ride of Steel only 2 hours from home. On this visit, I have found my money seat: 1:2. This is the money seat because of, one, the ejector air on the bunny hops, and secondly, it never has a line due to the impractical setup of the station. I don't need to wait the excessive amount of time for that supposedly "perfect" view. Some may say this coaster is flawed because of the straight sections of track as well as the extreme size of the helices. However, I think the location of this ride makes it work. For instance, the straight section of track over a pond gives a great sensation of speed and perhaps flight. Also, the first drop into a banked turn over the pond is very underrated. Excellent ride all three times (10/10).

Predator, hands down, was an amazing surprise. I took the risk, and sat 6:2 for my first ride. I do not know if it was due to the recent rain, installation of the former Voyage trains, or better track maintenance, but this woodie was running excellently. Airtime was a plenty, and of the "ejector" type especially in 1:1. The trim on the first drop was OFF all three rides. In terms of comfort, it wasn't perfect, but it was by no means painful. Only the section going up the hill after the descending turn had a moderate jolt. No Predator hate to be found here! Took four incredible rides (9/10).

Darien Lake as a park experience is not as bad as some like to say. I really enjoyed msyelf. The park is well kept, and offers a variety of attractions for the whole family. Their work on Rowdy's Ridge was excellent. However, their ride operators were not the best in terms of professionalism. Examples included a lot of flirting and chatting with the guests when they could have been a little more aware of what their ride was doing. On three coasters, I saw the operator on controls having conversation with guests while operating at the same time. Despite the ride operators, the rest of the park staff was very friendly. I appreciated how the woman selling tickets was kind to inform me on the weather policy before making a purchase (Even though I was well aware of how parks operate in bad weather). She even was kind enough to give me a ten dollar discount because she felt bad that I didn't have any promotional discount coupon/ticket on this less than perfect day (I didn't even ask!).

Last edited by AJFelice, Monday, September 10, 2012 11:19 PM
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