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Travel WNY: Darien Lake Opens For the Season

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By Alicia Dziak

While last weekend was not exactly one that made you think of riding roller coasters and eating Dippin’ Dots, the area’s popular amusement park, Darien Lake, still opened for the season as planned, and there are plenty of reasons to get excited for the upcoming season, celebrating a “Year of Traditions.”

If it’s thrill rides you’re after, Darien Lake has you covered. Lose your stomach and turn upside down on a variety of coasters, including the Viper, which is turning 35 this season (a special anniversary party will even be held in honor of it in June.)

There’s no better way to cool off on a hot summer day than on some awesome water rides, and Darien Lake offers the most around. From the log flume to the Grizzly Run rafting ride, to the water park which features a giant wave pool, lazy river, twisting slides and much more, your wet and wild adventure is included with admission to the park. Splashtown opens for the season May 20.

Darien Lake isn’t just for big kids. Family rides, including the bumper cars, ferris wheel, merry-go-round, pirate ship and more, plus an entire kiddie area, will have even the littlest tots smiling from ear to ear.

If it’s games you like, choose from dozens, including the all-new Slapshot and Strike U Up. For even more competition, race your friends at the Go Kart track.

And don’t forget the food! Like any great amusement park, Darien Lake offers all the staples—pizza, popcorn, ice cream, subs, wings and everything in between.

Concerts are another staple of summer at Darien Lake, and this year is no exception, with the Amphitheater celebrating 25 years of live music. Upcoming shows include Chance the Rapper on May 31, Jason Aldean with Chris Young and Kane Brown on June 3, Florida Georgia Line with Nelly and Chris Lane on June 16, Train on June 20 and Zac Brown Band on June 25.

In addition, in-park concerts are free with park admission. This year’s lineup includes Sofia Carson and Jacob Whitesides on May 27, Forever In Your Mind June 24 and R5 on July 1.

The Color Me Rad 5K returns to Darien Lake on Saturday, June 10. If you’re looking to get covered in every color of the rainbow as you get your workout on, and rides the coasters afterwards, this race is for you. Register at www.darienlake.com.

Celebrate Father’s Day at the park June 17 with a Father’s Day Weekend Car Show & Beer Festival featuring classic cars, craft beer and entertainment.

Make a mini-vacation out of your stay and reserve a cabin, RV, camp site or glamping tent at Darien Lake’s campground. Or book a room in the hotel.

For more information about hours and rates, visit darienlake.com.

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