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Sunday, May 15, 2005 10:15 PM
Today was the one day tha we'd be able to head out for a coaster trip in May so we decided to take our usual early season fix to Darien.
My dad took me, my brother Kevin (8 years old), and my cousin Molly (14). After the 2 hour drive from Syracuse we got there 10 minutes after the park opened. We drove by as Superman went down the hill. That's a good sign.
After paying for parking, we pulled right up to the fron there were 16, yes 16 cars parked in the parking lot. Another good sign. After a quick bathroom break from all the Pepsi I drank on the way we jogged to Superman to 'miss the crowds'. What crowds? The station was empty. There was 2 people waiting for the front seat. No one else. The red train is still sitting naked on the transfer track.

So we walked right on to the back on the train, hopped on, and after a quick check by the ride ops we were off. The first ride was a great way to start off the new season. Second ride we got stuck about 175 feet up and my cousin starting freaking out. 10 minutes later the good old buzzer that goes off on a daily basis did it's think and we went over the top.

Rather than giving a Play-by-play for day let me just sum it up:

Rides Down:
Tornado (new proslide)
Wave Pool,
Hook's Lagoon,
Floodgate falls,
Viper,
Rodeo Roundup
Grizzly Run

Superman:
Like I said it was a great ride, running fast too. Gets bumpier every year, it's no Millennium Force but we'll live. I got 8-9 rides without getting off the ride. I was great. I had 20+ rides throughout the day. The crew was bookin' and it was a blast. The leg shackles don't hurt but I'm always "claustrophobic" when I can't move me legs. Oh well, doesn't really take away from the ride. Other's have said this but there is a new computer system on the ride which allows specific cars to be unlocked and senses when lapbars are far enough down.

Predator:
It was actually open! Black train running, it broke down for about 15 minutes in the afternoon and then was fine. Running bumpy as always still fun. This one operator was sprinting trying to get the lapbars checked and looked like she was going to have heart failure. Why don't they do this when there's actually a line?

Boomerang:
Zero wait,I rode it 3 times. It's a fun smooth ride, but it's not as intense as I remember it. Still a good coaster though. A very smooth boomerang. Imagine!

Viper:
Closed who knows what's happening with it it's been closed all season so far.

Twister:
Zero line running the usual 2 cycles per group of riders. Good programs good fun.

Mind Eraser:
Smoother than last year and tons of fun. After riding superman so many times and having that be so predictable, it was nice to be thrown around in every directio possible. The crap crew from last year is GONE and replaced with 4 people who kept saying "how are you?" "enjoy your ride" "Do you want me to push it one more click or is that ok like it is?" Also rode Mind Eraser tons of times and it was a blast. Great ride.

Very good.

Shipwreck Falls:
2 boats running. If the ride a transfer track it would be one. Didn't get soaked but it really cooled us off. The 55 degree heat killing me.

Sleighride:
Other than I got a little dizzy, nothing to write home about.

As far as ride go, pretty much just did the coasters.

Positives:
No Lines - the longest I waited all day was 2 trains for the front seat on Superman ( I wish I bought my fast pass ;) )

Most coasters open

Friendly and quick employees

Negatives:

This place is going under. They're business is diminishing year after year. I had a blast today simply because there were no lines. That no lines mean's they aren't making much money.

Although the guest service today was exceptional, they've made some bad moves.

Six Flags Darine Lake has THE WORST water park. Aside from the new tornado there are 4 tube slides, Hook's Lagoon and a wave pool.

Seabreeze park rock's compared to this. It has body slides, tube slides, kids slides, family raft slides, everything. Six Flags really needs to catch up.

Does this hurt the popularity of the water park? Absolulety not but people are waiting upwards of an hour to ride an average tube slide or jammed like sardines in the wave pool.

Yes, of course the people will still visit the water park but it makes the park look bad when that's all they got and people have such a negative experience in the water park.

People are going to start saying, why not just go to Seabreeze? They have a few coasters, and they have a great water park. Besides it's $14.00 cheaper!

I guess you can say SF has realized this and put in the Tornado. What a dumb decision. They should have put a few slides in. Tornado looks like a blast and will work out well but they also need a lazy river, a body slide complex, and a family raft slide to round out the water slide issue and make it actually look good on the park.

There is a lake/pond that Superman's 3rd ejector airtime hill goes over. If there's anyway have of that could be filled and have water slides built over it it would be a prime spot. I'm sure they could just build it over the water if need be.

I know some of you think that I'm always on here saying how darien lake need's something new but trust me, for my personal "amusement park experience" today couldn't have gone better.

I mean who would want them to add a new thrill ride or coaster that could boost attendance and make the lines filled again? ;)

Each year I go the same time in May and it gets less and less crowded. I've never seen the crowds as light as they were today.

We decided to get a season pass for $29.99 more. We weren't going to after how disapointed we were last year and we were thinking about gettin getting a CF pass and going to Dorney but we may end up just going to SFgadv.

BTW as far as prices go they are getting desperate. $33.99 for admission, $7.59 for a large dippin dots, $2.89 for a 16 oz soda?

They were even giving out $14 off coupons to beg people to come back.

What's this park coming too? The only thing that's cheap are the $54.99 season passes.


Overall great day at a unsuccessful and poorly operated Six Flags Park.

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Sunday, May 15, 2005 11:11 PM
My secert is drag a friend along have them pay for parking, as I did the driving ;), But i got a SP so its kinda works out well for me. The only thing I spend money on is typically 1 icce per visit as well as a few games in on the MTV Drum Machine. I normally get bored within a few hours and decide to head home after. Kinda impossible IMO to spend a day, open to close day at the park (unless ur a first time vistor) when you've gone every year since you been born things get kind of old over time, if you know what I mean. The fact that we havn't recieved to many new rides either over the past few years don't help the cause. *** Edited 5/16/2005 3:13:57 AM UTC by SFDLdan***
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Monday, May 16, 2005 5:56 PM
I can't believe the leg supports don't bother you on Superman. I think they are terrible. They give me red marks on my legs and I had pain in my legs for the whole day because of it. No matter how I sat either. Pretty soon there gonna handcuff you into the train just so you don't fall out. But let me tell you, it is well worth it cause I do love Superman.

This park is in desperate need of a new coaster. Like a small floorless or a version of Storm runner. Something that isn't a 1 trick pony but won't blow the bank. They haven't got anything new since 1999. 1999!!!!.


Or they could get those one click lap bars for superman, like on old wooden coasters like big dipper at GL or Phoenix at knobels. Like thats gonna happen though.

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Monday, May 16, 2005 7:13 PM
I remember going VERY very often in 2001... almost every weekend in May & June sometimes both days

I spent a lotta money on parking because they didn't have a Season Parking Pass back then... but each week, it had a decent crowd!

There were lines for the swings, lines for Predator, Mind Eraser, and even close to an hour wait for Superman... this wasn't just one weekend... this was nearly every weekend during May & June. I remember even when it POURED out one weekend, there were STILL lines for the rides after the rain let up.

After hearing about your TR... and others who've been to the park this year thus far... I really think that this park is just getting so denied, it's not even funny.

They got nothing to market anymore. A Tornado slide? That only appeals to the crowd who actually uses the waterpark... and is willing to wait an hour to slide down one waterslide which requires at least 2 peeps on the 4 person raft!

This is the first year since 1996 that I did not get nor renew my Season Pass to the park... and unless I plan on hitting other Six Flags properties, I have no intention on visiting the park... especially upon hearing early stories at the park.

On one hand, I'm glad nobody's really going... maybe it'll give Six Flags a big kick in the ass and realize how much they've declined this park some much needed TLC & attention.

On the other hand, Six Flags might look down upon this park even more-so and say "it's not doing that well, so we'll let it sit out another year".

Catch-22, ya know?

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Monday, May 16, 2005 9:37 PM
14 cars? hahahahhahahahahahah

-- alan "it's only a matter of time until the park crashes and burns" jacyszyn

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Monday, May 16, 2005 10:19 PM
Yes Alan, I'm not lying it was 14 cars in the parking lot. I looked over to the employee lot which had 10X that.

I was all worried that we weren't going to get there in time and that the lines would be awful, you know the usual 1 train op on Sros with a 30 minute wait, but superman's station was EMPTY and so was the station's of all the other coasters as well.

Now that Geauga Lake is open and tickets are $24.99 I guarantee you that people are driving from Buffalo to there, or to Cedar Point.

SFDL generates revenue mainly from Buffalo, the Niagara area, and Syracuse, and everywhere in between.

Why are they failing?
They have 2 mighty small parks MFI and Seabreeze which are putting up a fight by building new coasters, new slides, etc.

And also, Cedar Fair now dominates the Ohio region. How do they expect to do well now? At least with SFWOA they had people from Buffalo going to a Six Flags park, SFWOA or SFDL no matter what, but now their only choice in the region is SFDL which compared to GL and CP stinks, and you can't beat the value of MFI and Seabreeze. BTW Seabreeze has an excellent water park and free parking.

They really need to take advantage of the hotel and campgrounds and give people a reason to stay there for more than a day. This includes a new coaster, thrill rides, and an updated water park, not just a tornado ride.

If they decide not to do this, I could care less. Yesterday was one of the best days at an amusement park I've had in years because everything was a walk on.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2005 10:25 AM
Nice TR. SFDL has a lot of potential, but it has lost some of the wow factor it had when S:RoS was new. It used to have a pretty big draw from Hamilton-to-Toronto region, but the local compeition is fierce: PCW has new attractions every year as well as a very good waterpark.

I didn't think that it was losing too much attendence until I realized that it's one of my local parks and I didn't make an effort to visit last year. I literally visited every major park around it in 2004 (PCW, SF La Ronde, SF Great Escape, Seabreeze, Geuaga Lake, Cedar Point), but I haven't been to SFDL since 2003.

Hopefully, the powers that be are paying attention. SFDL is one of the newest park in the region. SF should be making good money in the Buffalo market, but they have to understand their competition, and market themselves as a multi-day attraction to capitalize on their camping facilities.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005 3:44 PM
^ what you said.

Only reason i'm going this year is because I am going to a concert, and a friend is paying the extra $8.00 or whatever to go to the park.

-- alan jacyszyn
*** Edited 5/18/2005 7:44:41 PM UTC by SFDL_Dude***

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Wednesday, May 18, 2005 4:17 PM
It is a shame, the campground has been fun in the past but the park is falling apart. I never quite understood them adding a hotel, does it book well? My experience this year was buying a season pass to use in other Six Flags parks. I may take my nephew with a bring a friend free ticket at the end of the year, but I really dont like the park much. All that blacktop gives me a headache.
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