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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Darien Lake: Our Day of Fun (Review)

Being part of US Family Guide we have the opportunity to check out new products and places and then share them with all of you. We recently got to spend the day at Darien Lake Amusement Park located here in Western New York! We normally head to the park at least 2-3 times each summer to get our fill of rides and fun!

We started off our day packing up the car with coolers of food and water, towels, bathing suits, hoodies and of course the kids! It's a little over an hour drive for us so the kids settled in with their tablets for awhile. We have a grocery store where we like to stop as our halfway point and grab anything else that we'll need for the day too. Then a few more hills and you can see the rides and we know we are there! 

Parking will cost you $9.00 to get into the park and often times you are lucky if you want to park up front close but we like to park near the little pavilions available so we can eat lunch later. Plus if you are there for the day chances are you will have a chance to move your car later on to someplace closer. Regardless it's only about a 10-15 min. walk to get inside of the gates. Once inside everyone makes a quick stop to the bathroom (long ride!) and then we head off to the water rides.

Grizzly Run is one of our favorite rides! On hot days you may have to wait in line for about an hour to finally get on the ride - but don't worry because everyone is guaranteed to be soaking wet when you get off the ride! I love how they have wooden cubbies available for you to leave behind your backpack or whatever you are carrying so you don't have to bring them with you. If we get lucky and the ride is short we hop back in line for a second go round, but today the line was actually longer so we moved onto the log ride. The log ride has a long line (almost all the time) and it's generally an hour wait time and the kids wanted to hit the Bobsleds so we rode that a couple of times because there was no line! Then we went and waited for our turn on the log ride and another favorite Shipwreck Falls. Here you also have the chance to leave your bags so they don't get soaking wet. If you don't want to do the ride but want to get wet be sure to stay on the bridge as the ride comes down! It's also a great spot to hop over to the bridge just to get wet throughout the day (when you tend to dry off in like 15 minutes in the sun anyways). Once we hit the big water rides we head to the water park. 

The water park is everything you would want. Water slides for everyone! We tend to stay off the slides as most of the time it's a ton of kids who are just budging their way to the front of the line and hitting you in the face with the tubes they are carrying. The kids went and tried out the new RipCurl and raced their way down to see who would win! We skipped the line over at the Lazy River and couldn't get a lounge chair at the Wave Pool so we headed to Hook's Lagoon. Including more water slides and every single water toy you can imagine. Buckets overhead for you to pour on someone below. Squirting toys that you can randomly shoot at people. And one of my favorites was the giant barrel of water filling at the top while you wait for the horns to go off to let you know it's gonna pour down and to get down there! (The barrel wasn't there on the day we went...not sure if it's still there and just removed for repairs or something.) Even for the little ones you don't just let go wild on their own there are little pirate ships in the wading pools nearby. They include little tunnels and slides for the kids to enjoy. Once we've finished there it's time for lunch! 

We always pack sandwiches and chips for a quick lunch at the park. Grabbing a nearby pavilion with picnic tables the kids take turns changing out of the wet stuff in the makeshift tent we've turned the car into. The pavilions are also equipped with grills so you can bring a little charcoal and do up hamburgers and hot dogs too! Once we've gotten a little food and changed it's back into the park! 

Because everyone just ate we tend to ride the Ferris Wheel next. The views from the top are beautiful as you have a chance to see the entire park. Be sure to stop back at night time to get an awesome view when everything is lit up! The bumper cars were next and the kids all threatened to team up and bump me around. They got lucky as I got the one car that wouldn't work so I had to sit there and get bumped around. I finally get near the employee running the ride and told her it's not working and she told me to push down the pedal. I looked at her funny and said pretty sure I knew that and showed her and my car sat there. She turned off the ride so I wouldn't get attacked by cars as she moved the car to the side. 

Then the kids get their wish. They have been begging to ride the Viper since we got in the car hours ago. I don't do roller coasters - well the upside down ones. You need someone to do a ride that spins and spins? That's me. The Viper includes huge hills and twists and turns and this mama isn't interested. But the kids head to get in line and then we walk over to meet them over at the exit. This is generally break time for the adults because they will ride it about 2-3 times in a row. Next it's off to the Motorcoaster for a few rides and the Boomerang. (Don't forget to find the hidden HUGE chair around this area and grab a picture!!) Of course the kids will want to ride anything in between heading to the bigger rides. The Lasso (swings), Carousel, Popcorn Popper, Pirate Ship. I think at the end of the day there was only 2-3 they didn't ride. 

Then it's time for one of my favorite parts. We head out to the car and grab our hoodies (as it tends to cool down a lot around here at night) and our blanket and we head to watch the Ignite the Night Laser Light Show and fireworks. The kids get to pick out a new light up toy as we sit and watch the amazing effects (including fire and water), the lights, the fireworks and sing along to the show (this year includes Uptown Funk and the Whip and Nae Nae). The show runs for about 30 minutes and begins when the sun goes down. It's a great way to snuggle with the kids and wind down after a fantastic day. Once it's over it's another bathroom break before we get to the car and settle in for the drive home.

We always love our day at Darien Lake! If we lived closer we would definitely invest in Season Passes. If you are planning on going be sure to check out the website for any specials going on. Sometimes you get cheaper for bringing a Coke can after a certain time. Right now there is a buy one get one free ticket offer online taking place. Plus you can always go to Tops and get a ticket a little cheaper before going to the park. They also have a great lineup of concerts each summer. Luke Bryan, Blink-182, Darius Rucker and sometimes even free concerts of upcoming new artists. 

A huge thank you to Darien Lake and US Family Guide for joining up and allowing us to do a review. We were given 4 tickets to attend the park for a day of our choice in return for a post. However I will only post what I truly believe to be a good fit for my readers. 

Leah Shumack is the voice behind Clair's Freebies. Born and raised in ski country Western NY where I still live today with my beautiful 8 year old daughter. When I'm not tending to her or out scoping deals I enjoy entering giveaways and trying out new things in the kitchen!

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