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At Darien Lake, in with 98-foot roller coaster, out with the log flume

It won’t be the biggest roller coaster at Darien Lake. It won’t be the fastest or the tallest, either. But the Tantrum is sure to give park patrons a thrill, the amusement park said.

The ride is just 98 feet high at its tallest peak, but is filled with steep climbs, drops, loops and twists that set it apart.

“People say, ‘That’s not super tall,’” said Mary Loliger, a Darien Lake spokesperson. “But wait until you see what it does.”

The Tantrum replaces the 35-year-old log Thunder Rapids log flume, which was retired. The site is considered prime real estate, since it’s visible from the parking lot.

On the new roller coaster, eight passengers, tucked inside with lap bars and seatbelts, will creep up the first vertical climb before plunging the “beyond-vertical,” 97-degree drop. From the passenger’s vantage point, the track below will disappear.

Passengers will then speed through a “pretzel” inversion, a bunny hop and a half-loop, half-roll Immelmann turn, before ending with a tilted loop. The ride lasts a total of one minute and 26 seconds.

It’s that initial, breath-catching drop that sealed the deal for Darien Lake as it shopped for its first new roller coaster since 2008’s Orange County Choppers Motocoaster.

“We wanted something unique,” Loliger said. “We’ve always seen ourselves as the coaster capital of New York State. This is our seventh coaster, so it’s like our seventh wonder.”

The new roller coaster features a 98-foot vertical lift at a 90-degree angle to the top. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)

Though the model already exists in other markets, including Texas and New Jersey, it’s the only one of its kind in New York State and Ontario, Loliger said. Its name, voted on by corporate employees, and its colors, bright orange and green, are unique to Darien Lake.

The roller coaster is being shipped in pieces from Germany, with sections grouped together in separate containers for easier construction. The sections, including 1,246 feet of track, are being pieced together by a construction crew from Maryland-based Ride Entertainment.

The ride came fitted with lap bars that wrap around and hug riders, but Darien Lake opted to add seat belts for additional security, Loliger said.

“It will be nice and secure and very thrilling,” Loliger said.

Several riders received minor injuries last fall when the park’s Silver Bullet ride began to swing wildly as it was coming to a stop, jostling passengers inside.

The ride has a shorter-than-average, 48-inch height requirement, the same as the Viper. The Viper is often the first roller coaster young thrill seekers can ride, and the Tantrum will open up another option.

Though the park opens Saturday, the Tantrum is not expected to open until May 26.

Darien received $360,000 in sales tax breaks from the Genesee County Industrial Development Agency for the $5 million project. The theme park was purchased in 2016 by EPR Properties, a Missouri-based real estate investment trust, from CNL Lifestyle Properties. It was sold by Six Flags to CNL in 2007. 

The park got a new water slide, the RipCurl Racer, in 2016.

Here are some of the Tantrum's vital stats:

• Height 98 feet
• Track length: 1,246 feet
• Cars: 3
• Passengers per car: 8
• Required height to ride: 48 inches
• Max speed: 52 mph
• Hourly capacity: 700 people

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