Darien Lake Performing Arts Center

Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
9993 Alleghany Rd
Darien Center, NY


With outdoor concert season fast approaching. My next review is of Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. As accessibility goes this venue could use some changes. Having a parking lot that is paved would make things a lot easier for those with mobility problems, having the concourse a little wider would also make things easier. The handicap seating overall at this venue was a disappointment. In many of the sections that have handicap seating, it was very hard to see anywhere near the stage for various reasons. Using the newer decks as handicapped seating would be a big improvement for those who want to see a great show as well as hear it. My rating for Darien Lake Performing Arts Center is 2  out of 5 Wheelz.

Parking: The parking lots at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center (PAC) are all gravel. Luckily, handicapped parking is in the front right by the gates. It is a short distance to get from a parking spot to the gate. Leaving a concert is a bit different. Sometimes you are better off, leaving a song or two early to avoid he crowds going to the gate. Also, if you wait until the end of the concert plan on waiting for a long time after the show to get out of the parking lot, just like the rest of the concert goers.

Entrance/Exit: Once entering the gate there is a slight hill going down to the covered portion of the amphitheater. The tricky part is contending with the crowds all over the place. You really have to keep an eye out for people coming from all directions. Overall, getting to your seats is not difficult besides dealing with the crowds. Leaving the venue is a different story. Staying until the very end could potentially take a very long time because everyone is rushing out at once and there is nowhere for someone in a wheelchair or with mobility constraints to go. To avoid the crowds the best option for you may be to start leaving during the last song or two. This will make it easier to get back up the hill going back to the gates.

Seating: The seating in the amphitheater does have multiple handicapped sections. The difficulty from a lot of these locations is that it is very difficult to see the stage. There are many factors that cause this, including where the seats are located, if anyone is standing up in front of you, and sometimes it has to do with supporting pillars holding up the tent. Many of the problems with not being able to see the stage are because of people who stand and block the view during a show. This is very frustrating because I also want to be able to see the show and not only hear it. I have also been seated in the back section “party decks”. The party decks are the best location for handicapped seating at this venue. These areas are typically used for VIP seating or party decks, but are fully ramped and accessible. The decks have the best view of the entire venue including a clear view of the stage and the screens on each side. There is also a large lawn section at Darien. It is on a hill and very difficult to maneuver because of the large crowds. There are no actual seats on the lawn and many people bring blankets to sit or stand on. It would be very difficult with someone with mobility issues or in a wheelchair to be on the lawn because of how packed it does get. Weather can also be a factor if you are brave enough to try going on the lawn.

Bathroom facilities: The bathroom at Darien Lake PAC is located just inside the gate and also has a slight hill to negotiate. Once inside it is very narrow to get to the handicapped stall and usually with a line this can be difficult. Most people will move out of the way as they see someone getting to the handicapped stall. The stall is very manageable and easy to turn around and get out of. The sinks, soap dispenser and paper towel dispenser are all at a height for anyone to reach.