What's going to happen at Darien Lake and Elitchs Gardens?

Now that Six Flags has sold off Darien Lake and Elitchs Gardens we would expect changes at both of these parks. What will these changes be?

Will there be new rides and other attractions soon? Will the new owners back off from the Six Flags food and drink pricing? Will Elitchs get new landscaping to make it more like the original Elitchs? Will Darien Lake expand to draw visitors over a wider area? Will the emphasis in the parks be on family attractions, thrill rides or both? What can be expected regarding theming and costumed characters?

I believe that the sale will be good for both parks. Six Flags should concentrate on larger parks where its policies make more sense. Mid-sized parks like DLk (my suggested acronym to avoid confusion with that southern California park) and EG need to be more like other parks of comparable size.

Arthur Bahl

Read this article.


The company that bought is looking to retheme it and make it a total family experience.


Whatever happens, I'm sure the parks will get better.
DawgByte II's avatar
You remember Geauga Lake when Cedar Fair purchased it?

Well, think of those parks as just like Geauga Lake during that transition year.

The final closings of the sale is in March. It's winter right now in both locations, so the ground is frozen and/or covered in snow, so work there is near impossible. What they're going to do this year is strip the park of all things Loony Tunes & all things DC Comics (not hard for Darien Lake since their only comic theming is the Superman logo on the station house & rollercoaster train).

...anyway, you can expect a bare kiddie section sans all Loony Tunes... no grand entrance, and just a little baren throughout where everthing will feel "lacking"... it's going to be a MAJOR transition year, and things won't kick into gear until 2008. It's ashame, but it's something you just gotta grin & bear for a year. Hopefully, they'll drop down the price to justify the cost.

Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
Maybe Twister II won't suck so much now. "We built it wilder the second time." Riiiiiiiight.

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

If you want the original Mr. Twister experience, the closet thing to it is at a certain park in east central PA.

I'm asking, why wasn't Twister II more like the original?

Arthur Bahl

rollergator's avatar
Apparently Twister II sucked worse for you guys, Matt. I got rides that were *relatively lackluster* but certainly not nearly as bad as what I was hearing (and expecting) after you guys rode. I'd have given it a D+/C- after a couple rides later in the weekend. Like (almost) all woodies, the ride has different aspects...

Then again, I was giddy all weekend from the *big credit lap* on Lakeside's Cyclone, hehehe.

On to the TOPIC... ;)

My best guesses - DL will become a BIG player in the market, and together with Waldameer, that part of the country is "on the rise".

Elitch's....we'll have to see. TFC and Halfpipe, to my way of thinking, were NOT the best choices - but they're there now. The potential is there, Denver certainly looked like it's a growing market. If I were in charge of the park, I'd be knocking on the mayor's door asking the city for *favors* in terms of taxes, infrastructure, everything. "So you say you want this to remain a theme park? Work WITH us to keep one here."... ;)

*** Edited 1/22/2007 2:45:49 PM UTC by rollergator***

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

I agree with Gator on this one. DL will probably become a major player in the theme park market in teh next ten years or so. That park has tons of land to work with, all of which was included in the sale. So that means tons of room to expand and add coasters and thrill rides. Not to mention that they already have the onsite hotel and camping facilities, they could draw tons of people. EG has very little room to expand, but you can always make the park experience a better one. With a little creativity, anything is possible.

I have to admit that the thing I am most impressed and happiest about is the fact that they are talking about re-themeing the parks. I have never been to EG, but DL has one major theme, which is western or frontier town. There are no real true themed areas there, but they do have the room to make it happen, and apparently the new owners really want to make it happen.

DawgByte II's avatar
Darien Lake's "theme" is actually more of a colonial theme, as that's how the hoses for the games & souvineer shops are kind of based off of.

...but honestly, it's more of a "style" and less a theme.

The fact that Darien uses one theme throughout the park is a bonus, IMO. It fits in with its location. I say don't change the theme but expand upon it.

They may have the land but I can't see Darien Lake getting too much bigger than it already is. It's a comfortable sized park. My only question is why was Twister built so far from the rest of the park?

Six Flags added the more colonial-style buildings at the front of the park like the Looney Tunes Emporium.

I wonder what will become of the Batman Thrill Spectacular building.

matt.'s avatar
DL is screaming for all the things a nice, mid-sized park should have been adding for the past 10 years.

Namely, a new, good woodie, a couple of mid-tier flats, a spinning coaster, a Sally dark ride of some sort, etc.

I know I'm pretty much rattling off the most cliche enthusiast wish list imaginable but I really think this sort of formula works for a reason.

I wouldn't count on a spinning coaster at DL. Martin's Fantasy Island already has a Crazy Mouse and Seabreeze has a Maurer Sohne spinner. I'd agree with the rest of your suggestions though. DL could certainly use some more current flat rides and a good wooden coaster.

Schwarzkopf shuttle loops...The most possible fun in 36 seconds.

matt.'s avatar
Right, but I'm working on the premise that every park in the world should have a good spinner and apparently you're not. :)
Waldameer also has a spinner and they are within daytrip range of Buffalo. They will probably start advertising in Buffalo (and Cleveland and Pittsburgh) once they finish Ravine Flyer II next year.

Arthur Bahl

rollergator's avatar
New trains and some relatively major overhauling of the trackwork....and DL could have a good wooden coaster again....it's not like they have Psyclone or anything.

Dark ride, and a *family* coaster would be wonderful (all existing DL steel coasters either have inversions - SLC, 'Rang, Viper, or are "threatening" due to height/speed)...the more *timid* adults can't even ride Brain Teaser with their tykes....

For a thrilling flat, I'd go with something along the lines of the KMG Afterburner....flashy, NICE lighting for the lake, and not quite so pricey like the larger versions by Huss or even Chance...they don't need a capacity monster.

Just PLEASE please please, not one of those God-awful Vekoma junior inverts! ;)

Lord Gonchar's avatar

What's going to happen at Darien Lake and Elitchs Gardens?

The same thing that happens at any park when SF gets out and someone new comes in - years of frustration trying to figure out how to fix what SF screwed up so badly. ;)

I wouldn't exactly compare it to the Geauga Lake transition year only because we aren't losing a whole slew of things (ie: animal park)
^...how do you know what DL will or won't be losing?
What SFDL dude was trying to say was that when CF took over Geauga Lake they had an entire animal park that was sitting there not being used and they had to do something with it. They had to do all of that on top of all of the work they had to do to get the ride part of the park up and running also.

DL will not be loosing any rides most likely. They will however, have to be renaming a number of rides and put all new signs up around the park and things like that.

It's a similar situation to what GL went through, but on a much smaller scale

CoasterDiscern's avatar
Ba Ba Ba Ba Ba I'm lovin it.
DL "will" bring lots of people to its park following new changes. I guarantee that. There are alot of people in Ontario that would like the conveniency of having a big park close to there hometown that offers the best in thrill rides. When were dealing with money, the new passport requirements and long distance driving, parks that are far away are not in the question. You should see how long the lines are at PCW for Italian Stunt Job. I'm not going to get into that one. If big changes come to DL lake, there going to see many more visits from me I'll tell you that. I pretty sure others feel the same way to. It's three hours from where I live. When you work Monday to Friday it means alot. Leaving at 4 on a frinday afternoon to arive at around 7:00 get booked in and settled for inbetween eight and nine, spend all day saturday and then return home sunday is serious trip planning for me. This is big news for me and I'm really excited.

On the other hand, look at from my point of view trying to set up the same kind of trip for Cedar Point. Six hours there, spend saturday ridding coasters and then return home on sunday, WOW! Kick the ba-ges-us out of me I'll tell ya.

This is all in a good days response. I feel better now.

*** Edited 1/23/2007 7:48:50 PM UTC by CoasterDiscern***

Ask not what you can do for a coaster, but what a coaster can do for you.

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