For most of us here in Western and Central New York, Darien Lake is the place to be if you're after a thrill-seeking ride. Darien Lake is New York's largest water & theme park with rides, thrills and coasters after all!
This past weekend my family was given free tickets to the theme park in exchange for our honest review! Darien Lake has gone through many owners over the past few years, so I was excited to see what was new? What changed? Was it going to be the same thrilling place it was back in my youth? Here are the things we observed over our visit :)
Backwards or forwards, you won’t know which direction you are going on Boomerang Roller Coaster! Get thrown for a loop or 4 in Darien Lake’s suspended coaster, Mind Eraser! Or Hop into the tallest and faster roller coaster in New York State, Ride of Steel!
Visiting with little ones? That was us on this trip! My daughter is 5 and had a blast! So many family rides and a whole kiddie ride section. My husband and I were actually shocked at how many rides Darien Lake has for little ones. We would have brought my daughter a lot sooner if we had known the place was little kid friendly. Families of littles, don't let the coasters scare you off.
Take a dive into the 600,000 gallon wave pool, Crocodile Isle. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the park and relax on the heated Lazy River. Or take your kids to the ultimate kiddie water park attraction Hooks Lagoon!
Darien Lake also introduced a brand new racing waterslide, a six lane insane water slide racing complex in 2016 for those looking for a thrill!
We were at Darien Lake on a pretty hot day, so we were happy about the water park! Best way too cool off before hitting up those coasters again.
Locker rentals are available for $10 for a regular locker, $15 for a large locker and $20 for a jumbo locker.
When we decided to cool off at the water park in the middle of the afternoon, we took advantage of the locker rentals. The lockers do sell out on busy days. When we rented ours around 1-2pm, the only locker left was a small. So if you're visiting with a large group, you will want to rent one before you visit! BUY NOW!
Lockers can be found by Hook’s Lagoon, Big Kahuna, Haymaker, and at the Main Gate.
Suprisingly, Darien Lake is home to quite a few dining options! Everything from Western NY famous Anchor Bar wings, Tim Hortons coffee,fast food pizza, burger, fries and air conditioned restaurants such as Maria's Italian Kitchen!
One of the killer deals we spotted was a mega cup you can purchase for $25! Free refills all summer long when you purchase that cup!
Wagons and wheelchairs are available at Darien Lake. My daughter is 5 and walks perfectly fine, but when it comes to places like large theme parks, we are all about the stroller rentals! So wagon rentals were right up
• Wagons $20 for a single day and $10 for each additional day
•Wheelchairs $15 for a single day and $14 for each additional day (must be consecutive)
A picture ID (drivers license) of the renter will be taken as deposit for your rental. Wagons can be rented at the Main Gate or at the General Store. Save time, rent your wagon before you visit! BUY NOW
Darien Lake is definitely a total blast! Fun for everyone regardless of your age. There are rides for little ones, roller coasters for the more adventurous and even a water park to cool down in!
My one tip of advice would be to definitely get to Darien Lake early. If you happen to be planning your visit on a weekend or during a concert, there will be a crowd. Our visit was on a Sunday AND a country concert was going on so people galore! Arriving at the park early will guarantee a convenient parking spot AND shorter lines since concert goers aren't at the park yet.
Darien Lake Theme Park Resort
9993 Allegheny Road
Darien Center, NY, 14040
Have you been to Darien Lake? What was the last amusement park you had the pleasure of visiting?
"Thank you Darien Lake for sponsoring this post. Regardless, all stories, opinions and typos, 100% mine."
The first week of July, my family had the opportunity to visit National Harbor, Maryland. While on this fun filled family adventure, we had the opportunity to live like pirates one afternoon thanks to Urban Pirates! Who doesn't love pirates?! We were all pretty stoked for this excursion that's for sure! It was definitely a pirates life for us!
Urban Pirates in National Harbor offers Family Cruises with sailings with families at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, and 6pm.
Visiting National Harbor child free? Urban Pirates offered BYOB Adult Cruises as well!!
Since this was a family occasion, we opted for the Family Cruise :)
What Does The Family Adventure Cruise Include?
Family Adventure Cruises include interactive pirate activities for the whole family; games, songs, blasting the water cannons, and a hunt for stolen treasure departing up to six times per day.
The Captain will welcome you aboard the ship where you and your mates will be dressed up like pirates: vests, tattoos, they even offer drawn on facial hair if you're child is up for it!
Once you set sail, the Urban Pirate swashbuckling crew transforms everyone aboard the pirate ship into pirates! They will teach you how to talk, sing, dance, and play games like a true salty dog.
You will definitely want to be prepared to man the water cannons and spray down any evil pirates that come near the ships treasure. Prove yourself worthy and you get your choice of booty from our treasure chest.
This voyage is ideal for children ages 3 - 10 years old, but everyone on board will be encouraged to get involved in the Family Adventure. Honestly, I had just as much fun as my daughter, even though the jokes and games are 100% geared for elementary school children. I'm definitely a kid at heart that's for sure ;-)
How Long Is The Cruise?
Each cruise boards from the Capital Wheel Pier in National Harbor and includes roughly 30 minutes of boarding activities and 60 minutes of sailing out on the water. You will definitely want to bring your camera and even DSLR's if you own one since the views of National Harbor from the ship are simply breathtaking!
Will you get wet on the ship?
For some reason this has been a very popular question I have received from those of you that have spotted my social media photos of the Urban Pirate Cruise.
No! The water cannons on the ship only point off the boat, although there may be some spray from the wind. No worries about your hair getting wet!
Is There Food On Board?
Urban Pirates does not sell food or drinks aboard the ship, but passengers may bring drinks and snacks aboard. So definitely toss a bag of crackers and a bottle of water in your purse!
Like this is even a question!!! We LOVED Urban Pirates!!!! It was one of the highlights of our whole National Harbor trip! The whole crew was just incredible and made the whole experience feel real! You definitely felt like you were on a real live pirate adventure since the crew talked, walked and dressed like pirates. I'm going to guess the crew are legit actors since they were 100% in character the whole time. Not just dressed the part, but full blown pirate personalities the whole cruise.
If your kiddos are on the super young side like my daughter, they will really believe they are on a real pirate ship and that they are indeed really helping pirates on an adventure! It's beyond adorable to watch the little ones get so excited thinking they really helped catch a "bad pirate" by squirting him with a water cannon! Definitely recommend Urban Pirates for every family with children under 10! It will be the thing your child talks about for weeks after!
Family Adventure Ticket Prices
$22 each for All Riders 3 y/o and over
$12 each for Children 2 y/o and under
Learn more about Group Ticket Rates
& Birthday Adventure Discounts
Book Urban Pirates National Harbor
Connect With Urban Pirates Online
"Thankyou Urban Pirates and National Harbor for sponsoring this post. Regardless, all stories, opinions, 100% my own."
CourtneyLynne is former model turned mommy & wifey! When not blogging all things foodie, fashion, travel, mom life & straight up fabulousness to the masses, she can be found chasing her toddler around in 6in stilettos & laughing at her own jokes her glass of wine told her to tell.