Behind the scenes tour of Darien Lake [Photo TR]

Lift walks, drop towers, and rain, oh my!
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Behind the scenes tour of Darien Lake [Photo TR]

Postby Tanks4me05 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:31 pm

So, over the past few weeks, I have been organizing a private behind the scenes tour with the park's director of maintenance and construction, and I was able to go last Saturday. I'm seeing the effort being put into renovating the park and they are doing a really good job so far.

New stuff:

-Viper's getting new train decals and I have seen them, but I am not at liberty to say anything more other than they are quite cool. The queue and entrance will also be changed.
-Skycoaster is getting renamed/rethemed as part of the Waterfront Boardwalk renovations, though I can't say anything about said name.
-The carousel's renovation consists of adding an organ sound system, repainting of the building as well as all the horses and the entire inner drum of the ride, and the entrance will be on the other side of the building, facing all the other Waterfront Boardwalk attractions so it's a more cohesive "zone" of the park.
-A new restaurant will come into the Waterfront Boardwalk section. I can't say what it is, but the food should be quite good as well as being a recognizable name; I saw plans of the theming and I am quite impressed. The press release for said restaurant should be next Thursday (4/25) so you'll find out soon enough.
-Other cool stuff is being planned, but I cannot mention what that stuff is either.

And, onto the pictures! Note that the weather was complete crap today, so I did the best I could with what horrible lighting there was.




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First thing today was a lift walk of Viper.





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Never having done a lift walk before, I was having a field day at the minute, even if it was ridiculously cold.




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Say what you will, I actually kind of enjoy these.




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And you have to admit, they are often quite pretty.





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And no, it's still quite popular so it's definitely not going anywhere.





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I just realized that I seemed to have framed Skycoaster in Viper's loop. Also note Blast Off's completed structure.




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Honestly, I love Viper. Most Arrows IMO are like the Shelby Cobras and Ford TBirds of roller coasters in how they are fun classics and all. It's a pity the line is often so short on this, it deserves more love from the masses.




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I'm not the kind of guy who tries to put random captions under the photos just for the sake of it.




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LEEDLEEDLEEDLEEDLEEDLEEDLEE




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I would sell a lung, kidney, and half of my liver to get this shot again with Viper going through the loop and a trio of people being hauled up on Skycoaster at the same time.




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*drools.*




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Okay, this was my fault. I had difficulty seeing the camera's screen at the time so I accidentally set the exposure way too low. When I tried salvaging the photos, they actually didn't turn out that bad. Definitely not my best work, but I actually kind of like the incidental gritty feel, so I kept it in the end.




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Grainy photo series, Part Zwei.




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I think that crane might be for the remaining air compressor systems that have to be hauled in place for Blast Off.




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I wish I realized that the exposure was so low. This shot could have been so much better.




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Next up was a lift walk of RoS.




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So beautiful.




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I kinda like how Darien Lake is kinda in the middle of nowhere. Driving by, it's farm, farm, small town, farm, ROLLER COASTER, farm farm....



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x(t) = 32.5cos(t), y(t) = 32.5sin(t), z(t) = 0.02(t) Now you know the equation for the center of a helix in R^3 Cartesian space.




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Predator was actually the coaster that started my obsession back when I was nine. And hey, Voyage's trains do help and it's actually pretty good now and has a nice amount of airtime. The bunny hops leave a bit to be desired, but my guess is that the train loses too much kinetic energy from the collisions thanks to the design of the trains and the condition of the track.




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We were going to do a track walk, but the rain made it too slippery, so these pictures will have to suffice.... for now.




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A bit more complete of an overview.




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Looking back across the park towards Mind Eraser.




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New facebook profile pic.




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Closeup time.




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Some more overview for y'allz.




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Tired of Intamin hyper coaster pictures? Yes? Too bad.




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I've got a sickness, and the only prescription is more macro.




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Dont.... look.... down!

Oh. Wrong park. Whoops.




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One of my friends decided to join along as well; I thought I'd be the only other person in the University who is in love with the amusement industry, and I found two in just my classes alone.




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Every year I spend a crap ton of money by printing out my best photos onto high quality paper with max quality ink, and this will make it for the 2013 cut to be plastered in my campus apartment this year. It may be expensive, but the effect of OMG WALL OF COLOR is totally worth it, and I got a bunch of compliments from attractive women for the photos this past year.




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Walking back down the lift (it was starting to rain and it was taking probably four or five times longer than usual to operate my camera because I could barely move my hands because they were so cold, even with gloves) and I decided to post some pictures of the latest addition to the family.




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Water park.



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See that metal strip next to the antirollback teeth? It's an electrically conductive strip that generates eddy currents that raise up the antirollback dogs via induction, which is why the lift is so quiet. When the motor hauls the train upwards at a slow enough speed, the velocity of the train does not generate enough of an eddy current to keep the antirollback dog up, so it falls into place to keep the train from falling backwards. [/nerd.]

For the next hour or so I went inside and saw stuff in the maintenance sheds and some plans for upcoming stuff as I was warming up and waiting for the rain to pass. Unfortunately I was not allowed to take pictures of any of the cool stuff inside.




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Some more Viper, as I'm walking to the Waterfront Boardwalk.




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DIRT! OMG DIRT! AND GRAVEL! I'M IN LOVE.




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Here's the new paint on the carousel building (it's already been posted to their facebook, which is why you guys get to see it.)




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Some new boardwalk has been put in leading up to Boomerang. It looks quite nice.




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A closer view of Blast Off.




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If you look closer to the Giant Wheel, you can see the new concrete paths being put in for the area. I really like what the park is trying to do to make this place prettier, it really makes a difference.




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It may have been painted a few years ago, but I really like the colors, so I decided to add it in.




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Grizzly Run's trough needed some fairly extensive repairs, and they are doing just that. (Yes, I got to walk the trough for a few minutes as well.)



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I also got to see the back view of Mind Eraser.




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Some nice views you don't get to see every day.




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Even when the weather was horrible, I still ended up with some pretty good shots.




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As a finale, I got to take pictures around RoS from outside the property. While this is not normally a restricted area, there are usually a ton of cars because this is where the entrance to the park is so I would have to end up playing Frogger with all the traffic to get these shots.




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I'll probably try to come on a day that the park is open and the weather is nice so I can take a better picture of this, as this one also has potential to make it onto my dorm wall.

Well, that's all I have. Hope you enjoyed.
Last edited by Tanks4me05 on Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:15 pm.

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Re: Behind the scenes tour of Darien Lake [Photo TR]

Postby Coaster Cow » Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:44 pm

Thanks for sharing! Always nice to see Darien Lake getting some love, I can't stress enough to those who haven't been there in recent years how the little things that Herschel has been doing are working wonders.
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Re: Behind the scenes tour of Darien Lake [Photo TR]

Postby DougMJr » Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:56 pm

I'm really jealous! Being a WNY local I'd LOVE to have this kind of tour. If you end up doing it again and are open to others joining you let me know!

p.s. What University are you at?

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Re: Behind the scenes tour of Darien Lake [Photo TR]

Postby robbalvey » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:03 pm

2 things....

1. Really nice trip report. If the photos were uploaded to the TPR server instead of hot linked, I would consider putting it on the front page, or at least Tweeting it and FB Posting it.

2. While I understand that it was really cool for you to walk up a lift hill and stuff, I think rubbing it in people's faces by posting multiple times how jealous they should be was kind of off-putting to me. (just being honest.) Remember, we have a lot of people on TPR who work at parks and walk lift hills every day, and it's not that big of a deal. And many parks offer tours where you can also do this.

If anyone wants to walk up a lift hill, you can take one of the behind the scenes tours at Busch Gardens Williamsburg or Tampa. Or you can always get a ride op job at your local amusement park...I'm sure they are hiring! =)

But overall, nice report. Thanks for posting! (And please consider uploading the pics and I'll blast it out to our social media networks!)

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Re: Behind the scenes tour of Darien Lake [Photo TR]

Postby Tanks4me05 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:08 pm

robbalvey wrote:2 things....

1. Really nice trip report. If the photos were uploaded to the TPR server instead of hot linked, I would consider putting it on the front page, or at least Tweeting it and FB Posting it.

2. While I understand that it was really cool for you to walk up a lift hill and stuff, I think rubbing it in people's faces by posting multiple times how jealous they should be was kind of off-putting to me. (just being honest.) Remember, we have a lot of people on TPR who work at parks and walk lift hills every day, and it's not that big of a deal. And many parks offer tours where you can also do this.

If anyone wants to walk up a lift hill, you can take one of the behind the scenes tours at Busch Gardens Williamsburg or Tampa. Or you can always get a ride op job at your local amusement park...I'm sure they are hiring! =)

But overall, nice report. Thanks for posting! (And please consider uploading the pics and I'll blast it out to our social media networks!)

--Robb


I totally forgot that TPR has their own image uploading service; I've been addicted to reddit recently so the first thing I thought of was imgur. I'll change that.

I'll be changing the captions as well, didn't realize that.

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Re: Behind the scenes tour of Darien Lake [Photo TR]

Postby robbalvey » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:14 pm

^ No worries. I mean, it's a good TR. I just wanted to give you some advice just to make it a bit better, that's all...

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Re: Behind the scenes tour of Darien Lake [Photo TR]

Postby Jew » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:41 pm

I agree with Robb. An otherwise good report with some unique views is ruined with the captions about being on a lift hill.
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Re: Behind the scenes tour of Darien Lake [Photo TR]

Postby Tanks4me05 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:36 pm

All caption changes have been made, and all photos have been more properly uploaded.

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Re: Behind the scenes tour of Darien Lake [Photo TR]

Postby chadster » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:43 pm

It's great to parks improving themselves.

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Re: Behind the scenes tour of Darien Lake [Photo TR]

Postby Geauga Dog » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:19 pm

Very nice report! Thank you for posting. I have been a fan of Darien Lake since my first visit in 2000 and after seeing what Herschend has done in their short time of running the park you can't help but see a very bright future. The cosmetic changes being made are going to give the park a different look and feel when all is completed. I am very happy to see that blacktop being ripped out for the new boardwalk as well as the new concrete around the Giant Wheel.

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