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 Review of Predator, The @ Darien Lake
1 Rating Posted by: PhantomNik on 4/25/2008 2:32:00 PM
I first had the chance to ride Predator during a trip to Darien Lake in its first season under Six Flags, and I thought it was a really good wooden coaster. It had some pops of air, and great laterals to go along with a nice layout. The speed was decent, and although it wasnt glass-smooth, it seemed to just have some "shifty" or "bumpy" moments that actually added to the fun. I returned to the park with some friends of mine who had moved to Rochester, and I happily told them how cool this little woodie was. After that ride some 6 years after my initial ones, 4 simple words came to mind - What the HELL happened?!?!?! It became sadly apparent that Six Flags did nothing short of totally neglecting this coaster. How else would you explain it? I was stunned how a ride could deteriorate that much in so short a time frame! Needless to say, the looks of death I got from my friends when we returned to the station were quite priceless! LOL That most recent ride on Predator goes down in infamy as the worst roller coaster ride I have EVER experienced. If that were my only ride on this abomination, it would get a 1 by far. However, knowing what it could (and used to) be, I will give it some credit and keep the rating at a 3. The way I look at it, its an average of my rides on it. The first was about an 8-level ride, while the more recent one literally was about a negative-2!! And for the entertainment value alone, the review that follows is based on my most recent ride on Dairen Lakes Predator, when I discovered that there actually can be some roller coasters that make me wretch.

You really cannot deny that Predator looks awesome! The layout is intriguing, and it looks gorgeous sitting alongside one of the parks many lakes. You think from the ground, "wow, what a nice little 1-2 punch of Ride of Steel and this woodie". Well, thats partially correct, as Predator is a punch all right.....more like a sucker punch to the skull and lower back though! We strolled right up to the station, amazed how short the line was for a coaster I said was "solid and real good". Apparently the rest of the public knew what was up with this pile of trash. The crew, to add insult to injury, was pathetic on this ride, as even though we strolled up to a basic 2-train wait, it took us 15 minutes just to finally board the train! They were extremely slow and uninterested, although I cant really blame them for being stuck working this coaster. I can only imagine the vile looks they are given from returning riders. After dispatching, the train slowly rolled out to the lift hill.

On the plus side, the lift was exactly as I had remembered it, as it offered a nice view as the train steadily climbed to the top. Little did I know that hell on earth was about to ensue! Did you ever wonder what a pothole on a roller coaster would feel like? Well then, youve come to the right place! As the train headed down the first drop, it was like we had transported into the middle of a pinball machine. The train literally bounced, slammed, and shook down the drop. I was getting thrown around like a rag doll, and my lower back then got obliterated at the bottom of the drop as the train felt like it hit a pothole. The train had managed through all of that to actually gain some decent speed, and now went into "dryer" mode over the next few hills. I say this in that the forces and pain delivered to riders was about on par with what a rock would feel like if thrown into the dryer. Does this thing have cinder blocks for wheels?!? The first turnaround was equally awful, as the "nice laterals" I remembered were now replaced by violent slams into the side of the train throughout the turn. At this point, profanity flung back from many other riders, but none as loud as those directed at me from my friends seated 3 rows in front of me! The next series of hills were even worse than the first few, as my skull now throbbed from the rattling my brain was receiving. I wanted to get off th

Review Comments

psu_dude on 6/27/2008 11:34:18 AM said:
This was a great review that actually made me laugh several times. It sounds like this thing is pretty terrible too, which is a shame. If I ever do make it to Darien Lake, I will surely hop aboard this at least once for the credit, but after reading your review I will not necessarily be looking forward to the ride at all.
PhantomNik on 6/27/2008 5:25:11 PM said:
Oh believe me, this thing is a definite clunker. What kills me is that it used to be so much better. But you just cannot sit and leave a wooden coaster without much attention and expect it not get rough, especially these ones from Dinn/Summers. I had heard that the new owners have started to do some track replacement on it, so perhaps that is a good sign. Although, unless it's a complete track replacement, you won't be finding this rider on Predator, especially with the very large blue and red airtime machine right next door!
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