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Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (SFDK) Discussion Thread


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My family went on Black Friday (11.28.14). Here is a brief trip report.

 

-Six Flags opens the gate at precisely 2:00pm for annual passholders...and not a second before! (Typically, they open the gates 30 minutes prior to the posted opening and that gives you time to get a show schedule, take kids to the bathroom, browse the shops, see the dolphins, and scope out a spot for rope drop.)

 

-Our family was only about 20 people from the front of the turnstyles...but it took close to 10 minutes to enter. The computers were having an issue scanning cards (SHOCKER!) and it was Bring-A-Friend-Free Day...which was a genuine surprise. I thought BAFF was only Sundays for Holiday in the Park.

 

-Only TWO restaurants in the entire food court were open at 2:00: Paddle Handle Corn Dogs and Panda Express. Everything else opened at 3:00. I wasn't very happy about that...but at least now I know.

 

-Boardwalk Bumper Buggies ARE operating now.

 

-Park was crowded but manageable. Some rides had shorter than normal waits (Roar) and other rides had longer than normal waits (Monkey Business). I assume that's because a lot of families with small children show up for Holiday in the Park.

 

-Macho Nacho took the usual 45 minutes to get our food. BOTH sides were open (which I have never seen) but my hopes quickly faded away when they announced they were serving...(wait for it)...baked potatoes? Seriously? You have a 45 minute wait for burritos and nachos, and their answer is to open the other side and server baked potatoes that no one wants? (Yes, I am a little bitter.)

 

-It seems like there are a lot more lights this year...but that could be my memory playing tricks on me. I loved the Christmas tree forest along the walkway (behind Cirque Dreams stadium) between Taz Devil and the steps. I call them the M&M steps...even though the way-cool M&M ads are gone.

 

-Some reindeer walk-around characters were hanging out by Johnny Rockets (the main one across from Toyota Stadium) for photos.

 

-Some mouse characters (a male and female) were posing for photos at the meet-and-greet spot near the entrance to Loony Tunes Seaport.

 

-It was colder than I expected. I brought a lightweight jacket and I wished I brought something a bit heavier.

 

See you at the park!

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Yes, they close the bumper cars for a Fright Fest walk-through attraction. The good news is that the bumper cars should now be open until late September 2015. I like to make it our first or second attraction of the day, but many times it doesn't open right at rope drop. It's more like 15-20 minutes later. During our last visit, the ride operator was giving her spiel and said something along the lines of "Don't intentionally bump the other cars." What?? It's the BUMPER cars!! LOL. I had to give her a hard time about that...and she was a good sport about it.

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Yes, they close the bumper cars for a Fright Fest walk-through attraction. The good news is that the bumper cars should now be open until late September 2015. I like to make it our first or second attraction of the day, but many times it doesn't open right at rope drop. It's more like 15-20 minutes later. During our last visit, the ride operator was giving her spiel and said something along the lines of "Don't intentionally bump the other cars." What?? It's the BUMPER cars!! LOL. I had to give her a hard time about that...and she was a good sport about it.

 

I knew that I was just disappointed they were setting it up on the first weekend of September and took a few weeks to revert it as well. The horror walk-trough was pretty good at least.

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Yes, the M&M ads are gone. It's a shame because it looked really cool and it's not something you see very often. Very creative advertising. Hopefully they will get another sponsor soon.

 

Maybe Six Flags is going to replace the M&Ms ads with ads for Reese Pieces!

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  • 2 weeks later...

The park was very slow yesterday. I'm guessing it was partially due to the weather. Many of the popular rides like Medusa and Sky Screamer were walk-ons. Johnny Rockets was a walk-up. We had our food in five minutes...which is FAST if you go there often and know how long it takes on an average day. The longest line we saw (by far) was the one to go snow sledding. It stretched all the way down the hill, which is the length of the sled run. Head straight there at rope drop if you don't want to stand in that long line.

 

A couple of pet peeves.

 

1. The price for a photo with Santa is $16! That's the AP price. Oh, by the way...no personal photographs allowed. Talk about pimping out Santa.

 

2. The outside dining area by Johnny Rockets is not very well lit. I don't know if this is a maintenance issue or cost-cutting measure. Either way, not okay.

 

Dress warm when you go!

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The park was very slow yesterday. I'm guessing it was partially due to the weather. Many of the popular rides like Medusa and Sky Screamer were walk-ons. Johnny Rockets was a walk-up. We had our food in five minutes...which is FAST if you go there often and know how long it takes on an average day. The longest line we saw (by far) was the one to go snow sledding. It stretched all the way down the hill, which is the length of the sled run. Head straight there at rope drop if you don't want to stand in that long line.

 

A couple of pet peeves.

 

1. The price for a photo with Santa is $16! That's the AP price. Oh, by the way...no personal photographs allowed. Talk about pimping out Santa.

 

2. The outside dining area by Johnny Rockets is not very well lit. I don't know if this is a maintenance issue or cost-cutting measure. Either way, not okay.

 

Dress warm when you go!

 

I skipped going yesterday since they were host some Spanish event with two radio stations, figured it would be packed more then a normal sunday. I'll likely go next Monday or Tuesday.

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SFDK will be hosting a Hanukkah celebration this Sunday, December 21 from 2 pm - 9 pm

 

http://www.dailydemocrat.com/features/ci_27119758/first-ever-hanukkah-celebration-at-six-flags-discovery

 

For the first time ever, Hanukkah will be celebrated at a Six Flags amusement park — and it's happening in Vallejo at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, park officials and members of the Solano County Jewish community said.

 

It's an opportunity for the area's Jewish community to feel included in the park's holiday festivities and also for anyone interested in learning what Hanukkah is all about, to experience it for themselves, organizers said.

 

The event, planned for 2 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21, "was a collaborative effort between Six Flags and the Napa and Solano Chabad (organizations)," said Rabbi Chaim Zaklos, spiritual leader of Chabad of Solano County. "We've been doing large events like this for nine years, since we've been in Solano County, and have developed a reputation for being able to run these types of events."

 

The idea was the brainchild of marine mammal trainer Jennifer Martinez, Zaklos and park spokesman and special events account representative Luke Clevenger.

 

"This really was sparked by one of our sea lion trainers, Jennifer Martinez, who is Jewish, and really wanted to have a formalized celebration," Clevenger said. "We have been working with (Chabad) to make this a great event that we will continue to host for years to come."

 

Martinez, a 26-year-old Vacaville resident, said she suggested the idea to park president Don McCoy after thinking about it for several years.

 

 

"I've been with the park for five years, and every year we have Holiday in the Park, and every year, I wish the park would do something for Hanukkah, and every year I do something with the animal trainers — teach them how to play dreidels and I make latkes," Martinez said. "This year, I (pitched the idea) to Don McCoy and he loved it. I got a green light and I'm really very excited about it."

 

Zaklos said he understands that if this first-of-its-kind event goes well, it will be replicated at other Six Flags parks, likely starting with Magic Mountain in Southern California.

 

"The park president and CEO were excited to it," Zaklos said. "They were very welcoming, considerate and extremely gracious. I give them a lot of credit."

 

Though not the first Jewish celebration at a Six Flags park, Discovery Kingdom will be the first to host specifically a Hanukkah/menorah lighting ceremony, Clevenger said.

 

"We are here for our guests, and we want to support all of our guests and continue to host special events that reflect their unique culture and religious beliefs in our fun and thrilling environment," he said.

 

Besides the large menorah display and lighting, the event will also include an appearance by Martinez and "her animal friends, live music by local musician Joshua Diamant, an olive oil press demonstration and a full eight-booth Hanukkah-activities area in the grove, near the sea lion stadium, Zaklos said.

 

"There will be Hanukkah card-making, decorating dreidel cookies, and this is besides all the other holiday in the part perks," he said.

 

Kosher, Jewish-style food, like latkes and pastrami sandwiches will also be available from San Francisco's Dina's Kosher Catering.

 

The first of what Zaklos said is hoped will become the annual Northern California Chanukah Festival will also include appropriate face painting, Dec-a-Dreidel, a children's Hanukkah choir and a presentation Hanukkah story of the story, along with a grand menorah lighting ceremony at Sea Lion Stadium in a park transformed for the holidays with a giant snow hill and special themed animal shows, organizers said. Guests will also be able to pose for photos with Judah the Maccabee, they said.

 

The 12-foot-tall menorah that will be lit during the ceremony, scheduled for about 4:30 p.m., will remain with Six Flags Discovery Kingdom for future Hanukkah events, Zaklos said.

 

Tickets are $28.69 online at www.sixflags.com/discoverykingdom/special-events/festival/nothern-california-chanukah-festival, and the walk-up rate is $33.81 (with the $2 rebate going to The Friendship Circle, a nonprofit providing special needs children "the support friendship and inclusion that they deserve").

 

"We are here for our guests, and we want to support all of our guests and continue to host special events that reflect their unique culture and religious beliefs in our fun and thrilling environment," Clevenger said.

 

It's a welcome addition to the park and the area, Zaklos said.

 

"Vallejo deserves it, Six Flags, deserves it, the community deserves it," he said. "And they bought the menorah so they plan to do this again each year. But there's nothing like the first time."

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I was at the park in the evening this past Sunday, like SafariRob said it was pretty empty. It was pretty fun with an empty park being able to ride everything we wanted a couple times in only three hours. I was surprised how dark the park was, I feel like I've been to night events there before and it wasn't quite as dark. If I could ask for one improvement before next year it would be light up some more of the rides. Right now SkyScreamer is really the only thing brightly lit; the only other I noticed were the Superman "S" and the Christmas lights on the lift hill of Medusa. I assume it's because when most were built the park wasn't scheduled to be open year round. I wonder if Dare Devil Chaos will be lit up now that they know the park is open year round (and late).

 

By far the slowest thing to do was get dinner at JB's Smokehouse. The line to order was incredibly slow, and the person at the register didn't seem to know what they were out of and what they had (which I assume was the cause of the slowness).

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I agree. The park is way too dark at night. A ride operator told me that the Wave Swinger lights have not been working for a while. Seriously, it the park maintenance budget that small? I would gladly give up the new DDCC if it meant putting that money back into maintaining and upgrading the park infrastructure: lights, speakers, paint, etc. It's amazing what a difference it makes.

 

A tram operator told me that they do bring up maintenance issues to park management, but when a guest brings up the same issues, it is a million times more effective. If you have the time, be sure to fill out the email surveys the park sends after your visits and tell them what you would like to see them do.

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Ride count:

 

Superman 3 times

Roar twice

Medusa once

Bumper cars, at least 7. (it's been a long time for me.... don't look at me like that!)

 

 

Also every time I went to a ride, it was a 10 min wait or less for front seats, even less for middle rows. Just wasn't feeling like marathon-ing coasters.

Edited by Fire2box
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How crowded do you think it'd be on New Year's Day? I'm thinking it may be light, as people stay up late the night before.

 

I assume lighter then New Years Eve since the park is opened till midnight and will apparently have fire works. I never been to the park (or any) on new years day but I think it shouldn't be too bad.

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