Darien Lake

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Niagara Frontier : Genesee County (New York) : Darien Lake
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Darien Lake

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Darien Lake Theme Park Resort [1] is an amusement park and campground in the Niagara Frontier region of New York. Considered the roller coaster capital of the state, Darien Lake is a very popular summertime destination for families throughout Western New York, and beyond.



Darien Lake started in 1964 as a park centered on a small lake, with boating, camping, and picnicking facilities. The first rides were added in the 1970s, and by 1980 the area had grown into a full-fledged amusement park, named Darien Lake Fun Country. The park added a marquee attraction in 1982: the Viper, the first roller coaster in the world with five inversions. In 1983, the park was sold; "Fun Country" was dropped from the name, and the new owners acquired the Giant Wheel, a 165-foot (50m) Ferris wheel, from the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville.

The park continued to grow and add attractions, although it wouldn't get its second roller coaster—the wooden Predator—until 1990. The same year, a small water park was added in the middle of the park. In the late nineties, the owners added a new roller coaster each year, increasing the park's total to five and making the park the roller coaster capital of the state.

In 1999, the park was rebranded as Six Flags Darien Lake to reflect its ownership by the mega-chain, and several licensed Looney Tunes and DC Comics characters made appearances in the park. The parent company soon fell into financial trouble due to overextension, however; Darien Lake was among seven properties put up for sale in 2006, and in 2007 the park was bought and "Six Flags" dropped from the name.

Although the new owners added another coaster in 2008, the Orange County Choppers MotoCoaster, the park endured a couple of lean years as it struggled to reestablish itself. By the end of 2010, however, it was clear that the park was thriving again, as the year saw the expansion of the water park areas and new ticket packages, along with a new paint job for the venerable Viper.


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