From The Vault recently featured some materials from Darien Lake's 1996 season and I just came across items from 1997 and thought it would be fun to look at those as well. The park was in mega-expansion mode back then and each season saw plenty of new stuff to check out.
In 1996 a brand new kids area was added to the park - named Popeye's Seaport - and that allowed the park's older kiddie area to be demolished for new water park stuff. But wait I'm getting ahead of myself. The point is that Premier Parks, before they purchased Six Flags, had bought the park and immediately started expanded. 1996 was almost a prep year for future expansions, specifically needing to get rid of the old kiddie area.
New York's New SuperPark is a pretty bold name for yourself, if you ask me. Adding a brand new $8.5 million inverted roller coaster doesn't hurt with that claim, though. The addition of Mind Eraser was similar to that at other Premier Parks across the country, and the chain had great success with them - even if the rides they provided are less than... comfortable.
Mind Eraser allowed the park to advertise four coasters, including Nightmare (indoor coaster added the year before), Predator and Viper.
The previous year's Hook's Lagoon water play area was just a taste of bigger things to arrive in 1997 - namely Crocodile Isle, a million-gallon wave pool. The wave pool was placed where the former kiddie area was. See? This is all starting to make sense.
The Popeye kiddie area was a hit the year before, and it probably helped guests to forget about the old kiddie area that was now a wave pool. Darien Lake needed more space to grow their water park, and even with the new wave pool in a large open space an awkward bridge was still needed to connect guests to the existing slides.
Concerts are still a pretty big deal for Darien Lake today, and it appears as though they had some big names (for the time) playing at the park. I mean Celine Dion, really! And don't forget to bring the camper to the park so you can relax a bit and make the trip a weekend long adventure.
Just for good measure I wanted to include the park's map from 1997 as well. You can see the new wave pool over on the left, extending the grounds of the water park. I'm not sure what was going on with the purple blotches on all the rides, it almost makes the property look a bit sickly!