Western NY, part 2--SFDL 7/18/01

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Tuesday, July 24, 2001 7:11 AM
My girlfriend has been telling me about Darien Lake for years. Her family would camp there every year for as long as she could remember. After a short hop on the NY Thruway from Rochester we arrived at the park and used our SFA season passes to enter the park.

The rustic look of the ticket booths and entrance, combined with the beautiful flowers just inside really amazed me. As we headed over to S:ROS, I was really impressed with the beauty of the park. The buildings were all colorful, there were flowers everywhere! The management at SFA should really come up and take some notes.

S:ROS had the longest wait of the day. They were only operating the red train, although the crowd certainly called for two-train operation. Apparently the blue train was having its lateral wheels replaced or worked on because they were lying all over the place. Anyway, it was still a great ride. I’ve been on S:ROS at SFA many times, but the dive towards the lake and the mist at the bottom of the first hill was a lot of fun.

We managed to make it back to S:ROS just before the park closed. The ride looks even more amazing at night when the first, second, and third hills are all lit up from below. I swear the ride goes twice as fast at night! My favorite part of the ride, both at SFDL and SFA is the third hill. After the helix and the straightaway, the third hill produces massive airtime. But the best part is how the train becomes silent as running wheels come up and only the upstop wheels are holding you on.

From there we moved past the Predator to the Boomerang. An employee told us that the Predator’s breaks were not working and that it had been closed for about two weeks. Does anyone know more about this??? There seemed to be some maintenance activity around it, but not much.

Anyway the boomerang, was your typical shuttle looper, except for the slow moving line. We practically walked on to this ride and sat in the front seat. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed it more than the Invertigo at SFA.

Next it was off to Twister, a Huss topspin. I am a little undecided about this ride. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun, but I thought it could spin us a little more. I am not a big fan of rides where you are hanging from your restraints. I prefer to be held in my seat by centrifugal force.

Next it was off to ride Viper. My girlfriend remarked that it recently had a new paint job from what she remembered. I think it is the SFDL website on Coasterbuzz that mentioned the new paintjob made it smoother. I don’t know what that person was smoking when they said that. I literally walked away with a very bad headache from that ride. That probably explains why it was a walk-on. Given the popularity of the Phantoms Revenge at Kennwood, maybe SFDL should look into turning Viper into their own Arrow-Morgan Frankencoaster.

We then spent a few hours at the water park. I especially liked their enclosed waterslides. They are completely dark except for a large, open drop. The "lazy river" (I can’t remember its name), was interesting. It seemed as if there wasn’t enough water in it. At ever set of falls, lifeguards had to push you and your inner tube down them as your butt scraped the bottom. I thought I heard one employee say that it was leaking water. Hook’s Lagoon simply fascinated me. I wish water parks had attractions like that when I was little.

We rounded our day on the Ferris Wheel (great views from the top!), the Ranger (I’ll stick to Aero 360 at Kennywood), the UFO (not your average Round Up), and MindEraser (IMO better than the clone at SFA!).

After the cool laser show at the end of the night, I walked out of SFDL and thought, "I really had fun today." I would give this park two big thumbs up. The employees were very friendly, they seemed to take their jobs seriously, and they were courteous. SFA could definitely take some lessons. The beauty of the park with it flowers, fountains, and lakes, was also amazing. I can’t wait to make it back there!
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Wednesday, July 25, 2001 4:08 PM
I LOVE Superman: Ride of Steel. Although i have only ridden the Six Flags America version. Nice Review!!

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Looping, Hyper, Giga, Standup, Inverted, Suspended, Flying: I like em' all!
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