TR: Six Flags Darien Lake 8-15-02 “The land of unique Huss flat rides.”
Ok, this is a Six Flags Park, so I was considering the worst when I went to this park, I was also prepared for the worst. It turned out to be not all that bad, it wasn’t a great park, but it was acceptable. Did I also mention that I had free tickets because my mom won them from work, so im sure that this severely distorted my perception of the park, as we did not have to pay over 60$ just to walk in the door. Parking is 7$ on the weekdays at least, which is not all that bad I guess because I have heard horror stories about 12$ parking fees. I think I have heard way too many horror stories about six flags in general! The metal detectors weren’t really a hassle as I expected them to be, the bag check was also very quick. I didn’t see anyone stopped for wearing the wrong shirt, but this park apparently does have the policy where the shirt has to touch the waist on your pants and you cant wear a swimsuit outside the water park, although I don’t think these policies were followed as I saw many half-shirts being allowed on the rides.
If I had to pay to go to this park I don’t think I would have been very happy. The park really isn’t worth the money, I went on a Thursday, and the lines for the roller coasters were horrendous, I guess this is due to the six flags one train operation policy. I can understand the one train operation on the predator since I have heard the second train is in pieces, but this coaster really needs a second train as the line was way too long. They were running 2 trains on the SROS which greatly sped up the line. There wasn’t massive line jumping or smoking in the Q’s thank God as I am allergic to smoke. They just need more of everything in this park, the flat rides are good, but there aren’t enough of them, and the cycles are way too short on them as well. Lines weren’t long for the flat rides though, which was good, cause I rode mainly flat rides all day. I am also not a fan of water rides, and I cant swim, so I don’t go to water parks at most parks, I will go on an occasional log flume or water ride where you don’t have to swim.
The first coaster I rode was predator, it was a very boring ride, it was also rough, I didn’t like this coaster anymore. I would rather ride the silver comet at MFI any day, but since this is the only wooden coaster in the park, I had to make due with it. The long wait for the ride probably added to the fact that I didn’t think it was very good. There is also a huge gum wall in the Q and I found this to be rather appalling.
The other coaster I rode was S:ROS, of course. I had never been on this coaster before. I really liked this ride, the drop was probably the biggest drop I have ever experienced on a coaster, and the trains are really comfortable and open style. They were not stapling on this coaster, I was able to get a couple inches between the lap bar and my legs. Ok, to date I have not yet been stapled on a coaster, yay! This coaster also isn’t really painful to ride like some other coasters I have been on; it’s just a nice smooth ride. I do think this coaster has too much straight track for some reason, and the bunny hills at the end provided some nice airtime. Did I mention that I actually like airtime now, airtime is fun! These are the only 2 coasters I was able to get on because of the long lines and one train operations, I really hate this policy.
For the rest of the day, I rode flat rides, because I’m a flat rides person! The first flat I rode is the Raging Seas or Sea Storm. I believe this ride was made by Huss. Darien Lake has many interesting and unique flat rides, I really like them, a lot of them are made by Huss, so if you like Huss rides, this is the place to go!. The loading for the Sea Storm seemed to take a very long time. Also, this ride probably has the shortest cycle in the park, or at least it seems that way. The seatbelts on this ride are very flimsy (fold over plastic buckles) and open almost as soon as the ride starts. You need the seatbelt more if you are riding alone on this ride, it doesn’t seem to open nearly as much when you are riding with 2 people in the car. I was very thankful I remembered to bring my binder clips on this ride and promptly stuck one on the seatbelt before the ride started. If you guys have any problems with seatbelts opening on rides, I would recommend getting some binder clips and using them when necessary because they work pretty good. (When I say binder clips, I mean those black clips that are used in many offices to hold papers together; you can also buy them if you don’t have access to them). This and the Tin Lizzy’s are the only rides in the park that have these kinds of seatbelts, and you don’t need the belt on the Tin Lizzy’s too much so you don’t have to worry about it on that. I remember really liking the Sea Storm before, but for some reason it ceased to impress me this time, I have also heard that this ride had a complete overhaul 1-2 years ago so im sure that affected the ride some, although some cars on the ride were still roped off. The ride looked great though, fresh coat of paint, and all the cars were in alternating colors, brighter colors too, instead of pastel colors like before. I was a little worried I wasn’t going to see this ride running and was very relieved when I saw it running.
I was also very happy to get on the Enterprise ride as I heard this ride has constant maintenance issues, and is down sometimes. I don’t know if this is a high-maintenance type of ride but from what I’ve been hearing it sure sounds like it! This was a much better enterprise ride than the one at the Erie county fair, it went much faster and there was more gravity to hold you in the car, I did not feel scared at all and opened my eyes for the entire ride. This is an absolute must-ride if you ever end up at SFDL, I really enjoyed this ride.
I think the Tin Lizzy’s is a very nice antique car ride. The cars are Arrow Flyer cars as that was the name written on the front of them. I have not seen cars like this anywhere else. These cars have the flimsy seatbelts but it’s not a problem on this ride. Some people here have been complaining the entrance to this ride is hard to find, its behind the batting cages next to the Go-Karts and next to Twister, the Top Spin ride.
The Lasso is a wave swinger ride. I hadn’t been on a wave swinger in a very long time and since it was raining a little I figured trying the wave swinger in the rain would be kind of fun. This ride is a very tight squeeze for me, but I did fit in it, so larger people might have trouble fitting into it. I don’t like the way the cars hit your legs when you are getting into the car and when the ride is stopping, you have to fend off the empty cars with your feet.
The bumper cars are interesting. These are Duce cars that have been fitted with Majestic lap bars. I like the lap bars much better than seatbelts on bumper cars, so this was a welcome. These cars are nice and fast, and you can hit pretty hard with them too, the cycle also isn’t overly short, the building is also nice and roomy so there is plenty of room to drive.
I have also never seen a ride like the Haymaker anywhere else. I would have to compare this ride to a paratrooper that loads on the ground and then raises up during the ride. The cars are square and have cloth umbrellas not like your conventional paratrooper though, these cars seem like they could hold about 4 people each. There is a small metal plate on each car with the name of the manufacturer on it; it was not a manufacturer I recognized. Sounded like a weird Italian manufacturer to me, if anyone knows the actual manufacturer of this ride, please let me know.
The carousel is from 1964; again I have no clue who manufactures it. It seems like some of the horses are very different from others, maybe some horses were replaced somewhere along the line, I did not think this carousel went very fast either, some of the horses were rickety and there was a lot of cruddy stuff on the top where the pole rotates.
The Ranger is another unique ride by Huss. I have heard many stories about how rare the huss ranger is, and I don’t know if they are true or not but it’s a cool ride that always seems to be operating at Darien lake, I have not heard of many problems with this ride. The lap bars get very tight on this ride, no ostr’s. For those who don’t know what the Ranger is it’s a kamikaze/patriot type ride except for it doesn’t have the ostr’s, just padded lap bars. I heard the ride op telling some kids that it goes upside down 6 times, and you want to make sure you watch the loose articles in your pockets on this ride, several people on the ride lost change and stuff and it almost hit me in the face.
The Scrambler is a typical Eli Bridge scrambler. I have heard this is a common thing but I found the restraints to be way overkill on this ride. There is the big lap bar that says Scrambler on it of course, then attached to that is a metal lap bar that digs into your stomach or at least it dug into mine. Third there is an After Burner Cockpit type seatbelt. The seatbelt was also wet on this ride due to the thunderstorm that had just occurred (more on that later). This was a decent scrambler and the cycle wasn’t that short, but I don’t know why there are all these restraints on it, but im assuming there is a reason.
Right before I was about to get on the rodeo round up (this is a weird ride by Huss, I don’t know the common name for it, but it is definitely by Huss, because there was a worn off Huss sticker on the ride), there was a massive thunderstorm that prompted the shut down of all the rides, I was actually on the rodeo round up when they booted us off because the thunderstorm was about to hit. The ride op did a very good job with this; she was actually running to get the ride closed down in time for the thunderstorm. I was very glad I wasn’t on this ride when the storm hit because it was a massive storm with a lot of lightning. The storm lasted about an hour and then the rides started to reopen, which I was glad because I hadn’t got my ride on the rodeo round up yet. (BTW I like the old name “Corn Popper” for this ride better as I still haven’t figured out what this ride has to do with rodeos yet). I did get my ride on the rodeo round up after the storm, I was glad because this is one my personal favorite rides there. The ride is like a hurricane, but it doesn’t have the 4 person hurricane style cars, they are smaller cars, which can only hold 2 people, it also doesn’t go as fast as the last hurricane I rode.
The Sleighride is yet another unique ride, again I don’t know the manufacturer, so if anyone knows, please tell me. This is a flying bobs style ride; it took me a long time to get a ride on this because it took a while to get it reopened after the thunderstorm. This ride is partially in a tunnel with snowflakes painted on the inside of the tunnel, also has some nice lights both on the cars and the ride. This is a good ride, I am really starting to love these flying bobs style rides.
The UFO is a round-up style ride, but like an enclosed round up, with silver enclosed cars. I do not like round up style rides but I figured I would mention it as its another of the unique flats at SFDL. I did not get to go on the go-karts due to the thunderstorm, but they looked better than last time I went, last time they had these really small carts and they didn’t go real fast, these carts seemed larger and better.
All in all, I had an OK time at SFDL, but I would not pay money to go back to this place, its not really worth the money they rip you off for, there are many parks in the area that are much better than this park.
*** This post was edited by SaraAB on 8/19/2002. ***
*** This post was edited by SaraAB on 8/19/2002. ***
*** This post was edited by SaraAB on 8/19/2002. ***
1.Fire Dragon 2.Ice Dragon 3.Raptor 4.Batman Knight Flight 5.Kraken
Excellent TR, I was at the park that same day, first off, Predator had been down to one train for about a week because the red train was broken. The one thing that really boggled my mind was Viper only running one train when they have three and plus the fact that the ride had been running good lately and IMO is the second best coaster in the park. A strange thing that happened, was that, during the storm, they were actually cycling the tin lizzys through. I could see this because I was stranded in the chicken restaurant behind raging seas overlooking the lake.
I kinda got lucky in the sense that they closed predator, which i was in line for, about 5 min before the rain started coming down hard buying me enough time to get back with my group. Also, I heard an unconfirmed report that superman was down to one train because it got stuck on the lift hill earlier on in the morning, which isn't surprising because I've seen it get stuck earlier this year. The lines are pretty bad on weekends but not on weekdays usually. Thursday was a rare day because usually viper has two trains and predator has two trains running making all coasters except for superman a 2-4 train wait max.
*** This post was edited by wnycoaster on 8/21/2002. ***
Viper is a great arrow/huss looper, glad you enjoyed the superman though. I do agree predator is soooooo rough it is nothing like when i rode it back in the early 90's.
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