Showing posts with label Darien Lake. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Darien Lake. Show all posts

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Opening Day at Six Flags Darien Lake.

I was the fourth person in the park! There was a family of 3 in front of me and they fired off a bunch of confetti cannons to mark the new sign.

I haven't noticed too many changes from last year. Skyscreamer has replaced the Vomit Log or whatever it was called. Good. 

The Preditor was out of action, I saw some workers on the tracks making adjustments or repairs. 

I stopped at the camp store and lounge. The only change I noticed was an uptick in beer prices at the camp store, which is still cheaper than everywhere else in the park and the fact that wifi is having problems in the lounge. Not too bad for opening day under a different brand.

Corfu, NY

I find myself traveling in Genessee county all the time for camp and vacationing. On of the better stops is on Route 77 and 5. This Tim Hortons has a nicely appointed sitting area, bathrooms and free wifi. They have an outdoor sitting area and charging stations inside at the big wooden table. When I need a coffee, breakfast or just a break this is my go to place. It's about 10 minutes from Darien Lakes State Park* and Six Flags Darien Lake.

*Did you know the lake at Darien Lakes State Park is called Harlow Lake?

Sunday, April 21, 2019

13 days to go

Hello campers. It is 13 days until the opening of Darien Lake Six Flags Theme Park. This is the second time that Six Flags has taken ownership of the park and I can't wait for some changes and fear others. Only time will tell.

Whether you are camping, staying at the hotel or just riding the rides, it really is a beautiful place. I cannot wait for May 4th. I believe the water park will open May 18th. I hope to see all of you there. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

Breakfast at Darien Lake

Ah, the things you notice when you aren't looking.

The Beaver Brother's Lakeside Cafe at Darien Lake has a breakfast special. $12.99 buffet for adults, $9.99 for kids. The Lakeside Cafe is the best restaurant at Darien Lake for any meal. The breakfast buffet has to be great, too.

I could totally picture myself running here while camping. It is so close to the cabins and so much easier than cooking yourself.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Tantrum Preview

     This evening, I saw them testing the Tantrum at Darien Lake. When the action stopped, I remember to take out my phone and snap some pictures. Oops.

     This coaster holds 8 riders in two row of four, is about 100 feet tall and features 90 degree climb to a more than 90 degree drop. It looks amazing.

    A little research on this model revealed that it was made by Gerstlauer and has the moniker "Euro-Fighter". It reminds me of the Motocoaster because the small footprint. This one seems more solid as it has it's own foundation rather than a frame base.

     I like these small footprint coasters, as the gee forces and excitement are crammed in a small space. They are a blast from end to end. The downside of such a system is the powerful mag brakes at the end to bring the cars in safely. As quick as they are, the ending is always rough. Don't get me wrong, I've ridden the Motocoaster at least six times this year because I love it. I can't wait to ride this one.

     It is opening Memorial Day Weekend but I not exactly sure on which day.  As you can see from the images, they have tripods and such around for construction and will likely add some nice landscaping as the season goes on.

Panorama of Darien Lake Water Park

It's few days from opening but the Water Park at Darien Lake is looking good.

Darien Lake Meal Plan and Dining Tips

Two taco meal.
     It seems they updated the meal plans again. The bacon burger is off the menu and there is choice of basic hamburgers and cheeseburgers. I tried the cheeseburger the other day and it was good. Unfortunately for the counter people, the signage is now wrong, which probably annoys them to no end.

Bacon Cheeseburger and Chicken Sandwich.
     In the picture to the right, you can see a cheeseburger with bacon next to the chicken sandwich. While the BBQ sauce in the dispenser is ok, I bet it would be better with hot sauce. They have removed the bacon burger from the menu and replaced it with a choice of hamburger or cheeseburger. Both are ample and come with great fries. Don't forget to try them with ketchup and vinegar*.

     While there is always an inclination to suspect that a company is downsizing servings by removing bacon, it seemed to me that the option of a burger with bacon but no cheese was simply a silly option. My son managed to order it with cheese with no problem. Twice. The issue with that is, he did the classic "I'd like burger with bacon. Could I have a side of cheese on that?" to which the cashier said, "Yes" instead of "The bacon cheeseburger is not a valid choice". That sort of stuff causes headaches with customers, cost and service. It is better that they don't offer it at all.

     There are two other options which aren't obvious. The BBQ sauce is great, but sometimes hot sauce is better. If you ask they will give you a cup of it. That's good to know, because it isn't offered and doesn't appear on any signage. The other thing is you can also ask for blue cheese, which is always better with hot sauce than the Ranch dressing that is the standard option. I can see the blue cheese going away because on one occasion they sold it to me for $1.50 up charge and then the very next day they gave me 3 at no charge. Weird. Again, they need to update which way they want to do this and stick to it. I am sure it was a training issue that will bite one of the friendly counter people.

     In the images above, you'll notice my Tim Horton's coffee. It isn't just a Canadian thing, it is also a Buffalo thing. You can get that at Sweet Tooth or the Tim Horton's booth near the front gate. While the booth is full service, the Sweet Tooth requires you to assemble your own coffee. About 4 sugar packets in a large is equal to a single-single. If you are counting calories and carbs, that is 64 calories and 16.8 grams of carbs not counting the cream. Add another 120 cals and 2 grams of carbs for cream. It's heavy cream and yummy in moderation.

     When stopping at Sweet Tooth, they have great (but expensive) popcorn. It's $5.99 a bag and so far I like the cinnamon over the coco flavored. The complete list of flavors are:

Cinnamon, Maple, Cocoa, Sweet Chili, White Cheddar, Herbal Bliss, Sea Salt and Vinegar, Jalapeno Cheddar.

    You can ask for a sample before you buy. They also have cookies, baked goods and fudge. Typically, there is a deal on the fudge, buy a pound get an extra quarter pound free. If you are sharing a sugary snack, Sweet Tooth is fine. If you want some to take home, get it in the shop near the main gate.

     In the back of the store, they have displays of candy and giant bags of popcorn. As tempting as it was to buy a giant bag of cinnamon popcorn, I suspect it is only a display, the bags are not priced or otherwise marked for sale and has no nutritional information. Oh, well. I can dream.

     One bonus item about Sweet Tooth is the tables with park maps set under glass. This is not an obvious place to sit down and eat, but you can do it. The area is only set up for 8 people at two tables, but in the ran or heat it will do nicely. They also service iced coffee and iced tea, which seems to have replaced the hot cocoa. Once the season is in swing, this shop is often the only place out of the information office with maps available for the taking.

     Everything about this shop screams "overpriced junk food" but it is actually kind of helpful for getting out extreme weather. Be kind and buy a drink.

*Although the vinegar is meant for fries, in a pinch it will immediately remove anything sticky or greasy from skin better than the less than hot water in the bathrooms. Remember, it is a mild acid so don't get it in your clothes, eyes or hair. Wash up with plan soap and water. It's good at removing sun screen so be careful of that, too. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Allure of Theme Parks

There is something alluring about theme parks. I never miss a chance to go to one. I spend most of my summer at Darien Lake. There is something captivating about massive machines in a a natural setting, metal and electricity, the blue skies and voltaic lamps.

The Viper at Dusk

Fountain at dawn

Loops around the sun

Artificial Palms

Arc against the sky

Jade and Steel

Swing in green

Swing in red

empty abandon 

Anyone can snap a photo

Black and white wheel


This image series was taken a Darien Lake Amusement Park.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Darien Lake Meal Plan (Updated)

     We picked up the Darien Lake meal plan this year. At $69.99 per person on top of the season pass, my wife objected strenuously. Normally, I would agree but we've been to the park 3 times in the 4 days they have been open and ate dinner. At park prices, we haven't made back out money yet. If we go 7 times and eat, we will break even.

     Unlike a Disney Dining plan, the menu of items is limited and does not include drinks. Your options are:

Roast Beef Sandwich w Kettle Chips
BBQ Pulled Pork
Spicy Crispy Chicken
Sahlen's Dog & Fries
Sahlen's Italian Sausage & Fries
Chicken Fingers & Fries
Personal Pan Pizza (Pepperoni or Cheese)
***Cheeseburger/Hamburger & Fries*** This option replaced the Bacon Burger mentioned below.
Chicken Caesar Wrap & Fries
Buffalo Chicken Wrap & Fries
2 Tacos (Chicken or Beef) w/ Nachos
Chicken Caesar Salad

     I've had the chicken fingers twice and the bacon burger once. Both were excellent. I am a sucker for chicken fingers, so I can see doing that a lot. The BBQ sauce is ok, but if you ask, they will give a cup of hot sauce, which is very good. I dressed up my bacon burger with the standard mustard, relish and ketchup but next time I will try it with the BBQ sauce.

     One of the best things about this meal deal plan is my wife and I can send these 3 goofballs out on their own with a little spending money and they can order whatever they want, when they want. They've had the bacon burger, tacos and chicken fingers.

     There are some downsides to the plan. It takes about 7 visits per person to break even. It is not often that a visitor from elsewhere would ever be able to use the plan effectively.

     Also, we encountered a problem ordering our season passes and meal plans online. You end up with 2 sheets of paper per person and when my son got his picture take for the pass, he thought the deal plan was a duplicate and put in his pocket. Oops. No meal plan for him.

     It was easy to correct at the service desk, but somehow they registered that one of us (me, I think) had already had a meal for that day when we hadn't. They would have sent my on my way without correcting the issue if I hadn't thought to ask. If you have this problem make sure they double check everything.

     Right now, the menu choices seem ample. But if we really go 2 times a week, every week I am sure the variety will not be enough. This can also spin to a positive. I hope the salad is really good, because I always like a good salad. My son has also confirmed that he will have hot dogs or tacos every visit, so this plan is a dream for the picky eater.

    Update 05-18-2018 - It seems they have replaced the bacon burger with a choice of cheeseburger or hamburger. I like these options better than the bacon burger, I prefer my bacon burger with cheese which was not an option.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Darien Lake 2018

Darien Lake has new rides for 2018. It´s my mission to hit every one of them. Here is my list broken down by area.

Lakefront Boardwalk:
The Giant Wheel
Blast Off!
Grand Carousel

Midway Marina:
Silver Bullet
Rock Climbing Wall

Ride of Steel

Darien Square:

Fun Zone:
Bear Valley Bumper Buggies
Tin Lizzy’s
Grand Prix Go Carts

Thunder Road:
Mind Eraser
Corn Popper
Thunder Rapids
Shipwreck Falls
Rolling Thunder

Main Gate:


The Tantrum isn´t on the list, it will not open until May 25th. Also missing from the list is kiddie rides. I´m too tall for many of them. :)

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Opening Day at Darien Lake

May will be cold and rainy, but that has never stopped us from going to the park opening day. May 5th, 10:30-8 will be the hours. 69 days from today.

The water park opens a few weeks later. We have our season passes and this year we picked the food option. Last year, we spent over 22 days in the park and it seemed to make sense to add in a meal plan. I figured five people dining 22 times a year vs. the $69.99 price tag, that works out be less than 20 bucks a visit. I can't feed a family of five for $20 at McDonalds. We'll see how it goes. 

Today, I am posting some of the nicer images I took over the years. I should create an album for this sort of thing. 

Giant Wheel

The Predator