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Six Flags Discovery Kingdom (SFDK) Discussion Thread


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It's never bothered me how the rides look, but it drives me crazy when the layout makes it's harder to navigate the park rather than easier. SFDK's map from '03 to '07 was that way, people got totally lost using that thing.

I've largely given up on the idea of park maps, including SFDK's, actually helping me navigate. I have the same problem with signs in the parks, especially at SFDK and SFMM. Sometimes, you can't even find one sign until you're already close to a ride anyway (though not necessarily close enough that it actually helps you find it). Other times, you can only find a single sign far away from a given ride that only does the bare minimum in pointing you in a vague general direction. And being able to see the ride in question doesn't always help, either.

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I've largely given up on the idea of park maps, including SFDK's, actually helping me navigate. I have the same problem with signs in the parks, especially at SFDK and SFMM. Sometimes, you can't even find one sign until you're already close to a ride anyway (though not necessarily close enough that it actually helps you find it). Other times, you can only find a single sign far away from a given ride that only does the bare minimum in pointing you in a vague general direction. And being able to see the ride in question doesn't always help, either.

 

I'm totally the person that put up 90% of those directional signs at SFDK . But then again I was told which to put up so it's still not my fault. lol

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^Wow! Sorry I mentioned it then (but yeah, not your fault). Well, I was really just bitter because the first time I visited the park as SFDK, I didn't even see Boomerang. On subsequent visits it took me forever to remember it's nestled away from the two main coaster sections among the family flat rides.

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I had a hard time navigating the park and really had to look at the map to find my way and I'm usually pretty good at getting around. I had a hard time at Knott's too so it isn't just a SFDK thing. I think maybe I'm just used to the Disneyland layout where everything branches off a central hub or like SFMM it is a circle.

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SFDK does have a fairly odd layout. Even when you're completely used to where everything is located, you can sometimes second guess yourself on the quickest and most direct route from point A to point B. I'm familiar enough with the park that it isn't an issue for me, but I can certainly see where it would be for the occasional visitor, and particularly for the first time visitor. That sort of lends to the charm of the park in a sense though, in that you can continue to "discover" new things even if you may have been near them before without noticing them.

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^Is it because it used to only be an animal park? Or was it a challenging layout back then as well? I don't remember it being confusing as Marine World Africa USA, but then again, I doubt I was ever in much of a hurry back then...

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^Is it because it used to only be an animal park? Or was it a challenging layout back then as well? I don't remember it being confusing as Marine World Africa USA, but then again, I doubt I was ever in much of a hurry back then...

 

SFDK thankfully doesn't even come close to the insanely difficult time I had finding my way around Busch Gardens Tampa...most confusing park layout ever...

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^Is it because it used to only be an animal park? Or was it a challenging layout back then as well? I don't remember it being confusing as Marine World Africa USA, but then again, I doubt I was ever in much of a hurry back then...

 

I've got to imagine that part of the issue is that the park wasn't originally designed as a "rides" park. It was all about animal exhibits and shows, with the rides coming much later. I honestly don't recall the exact changes in the layout over the years, and I become somewhat confused between my very old memories of the Redwood City Marine World and the park now in Vallejo when I think back on it.

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After my first visit back in 1999 when Roar had just opened, I pretty much knew my way around the park. Granted, I had been there many times as a kid when they were just animals, I was a bit young to remember or pay attention to the park's layout. On the flipside, I seem to have a good memory, sometimes a little too good (often remember some of the oddest things from 10 years ago that nobody else would even consider thinking of remembering).

 

Looking at SFDK, you can definitely tell that it was not originally an amusement park and as far as the layout goes, it feels a little 'off balance' as all of the 'major' things are all up front in 2 separate plazas. As you head toward the back, it's a lot less hectic as there's some of the smaller flat rides in the back along with the animals.

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^Is it because it used to only be an animal park? Or was it a challenging layout back then as well? I don't remember it being confusing as Marine World Africa USA, but then again, I doubt I was ever in much of a hurry back then...

 

I've got to imagine that part of the issue is that the park wasn't originally designed as a "rides" park. It was all about animal exhibits and shows, with the rides coming much later. I honestly don't recall the exact changes in the layout over the years, and I become somewhat confused between my very old memories of the Redwood City Marine World and the park now in Vallejo when I think back on it.

Here are some old park maps from '96, kinda gives you an idea of where everything used to be. Both the dolphins and the whales shared the tank that just Shouka and Merlin are at now. The one that says "Showcase theater" is now the dolphin stadium, #12 was a giant blue whale that had a ball pit inside. It's now the Looney Tunes area. A lot of the other animal attractions are the same, but there are obviously rides and other stuff that weren't there in '96.

 

NOTE: These map photos aren't mine, although I think I have one of these maps still somewhere. I think it might be from Shane's Amusement Attic but I'm not sure, may be just something I found online once.

sfmw1996map_1.jpg.15c12197302345f06e9bdcba38df2a91.jpg

sfmw1996map_2.jpg.6f8812be83b785788ff1e242bd26edbe.jpg

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With the exception of Oasis Plaza and Roar Plaza, they park is basically the exact same layout. I think the only really major change to pathways was to accommodated White Water Safari which made them take out the path that cut through what is now Skycoaster at the the lower lagoon of WWS. Also the path where you enter WWS hugs Shouka Stadium a bit more than it did.

 

Every other change was just mild adjustments to fit things in, like Looney Tunes Seaport or Ocean Discovery.

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So I went to the park today to check out what was going on. They have work walls up around Superman's site, making it hard to see inside. But there really isn't anything at all to see. Nothing from the ride has shown up yet.

 

Tony Hawk is still at the park, sitting up in the parking lot mostly, with some pieces and the cars sitting on the concrete pad still. If it's going to SFM, they sure don't seem to be in a hurry.

 

Everything else was pretty much the same, all the coasters were up, Medusa the only one with multiple trains. SkyScreamer was down for maintenance while I was there (11-2). Employees seemed ok, it was definitely opening day though.

 

We'll have an update up at NewsPlusNotes early this week if you guys want to check it out.

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^If Pandemonium is going to SFM, it'll probably open in 2013. Look at Invertigo, it took a whole year to set up that ride. Even though, Pandemonium is much smaller than Invertigo, it still will take awhile to set it up.

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^If Pandemonium is going to SFM, it'll probably open in 2013. Look at Invertigo, it took a whole year to set up that ride. Even though, Pandemonium is much smaller than Invertigo, it still will take awhile to set it up.

 

If Pandemonium is to SFM, it would probably take a few months to set it up!

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^If Pandemonium is going to SFM, it'll probably open in 2013. Look at Invertigo, it took a whole year to set up that ride. Even though, Pandemonium is much smaller than Invertigo, it still will take awhile to set it up.

 

 

Also SFM could be doing all of the prep work for the ride now. So once they receive the ride they can just bolt it in and set up all of the necessarily things and begin testing. The ride could open up sometime within this year.

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I just got back from the park and I took some pictures! The lines where pretty short, and the only lines over ten minutes where for Roar and Kong, since they were only running one train. Everything was open besides Hammerhead (big surprise there) and it was over all a great day! Now, on to the pictures-

p1.png.d3cf7010599471b0a64739454695a7bb.png

Driving into the parking lot I noticed that most the track and supports just were hanging out there.

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p3.png.a8ee5a0e7fdbfef94ac907e382071349.png

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Those twisty things in the back are the stair cases for the mid-course brakes.

p5.png.daca5029efd4d18926d5d8bec5b403a0.png

OK!

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The trains and the rest of the track were hanging out in the park.

p7.png.e6a6dd4eb8643a4766543bb317fbfa5e.png

I'm guesting that's the motor for the lift hill.

p8.png.30da1cd46472ae95f2bcf8d7fae0115c.png

There are a few things missing here...

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Cobra rolled back on the lift hill about ten times before the park opened it. I'm not sure if that happened on purpose or not.

p10.png.40e4eee84462f2d523c8823de812ce2e.png

OMG TAZ IS OPEN!!! I haven't seen this ride open since summer so it was nice to finally ride it again!

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Did this place always have such a kickin' name?

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Oh, did I mention that it was REALLY windy when I was there?

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Lets get back to Pandemonium. The guard "wall' next to Roar is very easy to see through as you can see.

p15.png.a524ed2f5597aaadcd0200b5a988cf36.png

There's still a surprising amount of the ride left on the pad.

p16.png.b3a030f0bb13374b3fa5efe173ed3300.png

It looks like that little hut next to the lockers is staying, for now.

p17.png.cac5a41a96cab97ca5aa7bcaa2c55472.png

That's pretty much it! So, I leave you with this awesome picture I took of Medusa!

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Is Pandemonium not going to Six Flags Mexico is rumored? If that's the case then SFDK should just sell Pandy to another park even if it's not Six Flags!

 

It is still rumored. I think that moving it to SFM is a wise decision as Six Flags would be lucky if they would sell Pandemonium for over $1 million.

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