Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Vallejo, California, USA
Oh man, never seen so many problems at a park! I live right by California's Great America, so I know what it's like to go to a company's more lack-luster park. So no big expectations from me. But wow, SFDK was nothing but problems from start to finish. So myself and 2 friends (all adults) went for a full day on Wednesday 6/22; we had just got back from Vegas and weren't going back to work yet. I hadn't been for a few years, so I was looking forward to riding both Superman and Joker for the first time. Park opened pretty recently this season, so we thought it'd be an awesome day to go. I'm just going to bullet point all the problems:
*The brand new The Joker shut down 3 different times for technical difficulties, and this was before 12 PM! We got into the line 2 different times in the morning, and got out both times due to shut-downs. Finally around 12:30 we hopped in line again, and after an hour and a half wait (and one shut down for 30 mins) we got on. Ride is awesome, by the way! Another downside... only running one train
*Medusa was also only running one train, so line was over an hour, and this was at 11 AM. Line seemed short from looking at it.
*Kong only running one train, and ride is soooooo bumpy/shaky now. Hasn't aged well.
*Vertical Velocity did not open all day, and no employee had an explanation
*The following flat rides were closed all day, again with no signage and no explanation: Tasmanian Devil, Hammerhead Shark, Voodoo (Basically every single thrill flat ride), as well as a bunch of other more family-friendly flat rides. Some of the employees gave the impression that they thought none of those rides opened unless the park was crowded enough. What?? I remember this was a problem when I went to the park a few years ago. At one point, 1 employee was running 2 flat rides, so to ride them both you had to follow her back and forth. Redic!
*On Boomerang (the oldest coaster in the park), our train came in way too fast and SLAMMED on the breaks, and we stopped about 4 feet too far up. The most violent stoppage I've ever experienced. They had to shut down the ride, and 3 employees had to physically pull the train back into the proper location so we could get out. I would imagine that some of the older riders felt neck or back pain from this crazy stop. No apologies from the staff. Coaster was shut down rest of the day
*Many of the exciting animals never came out all day, with no real explanation, including the tiger exhibit, jaguar, and wolves.
*There is no list of showtimes for any of the animal shows. You have to walk to each amphitheater and read the times posted at the stages. Makes it extremely hard to plan the day; we actually weren't able to see any shows, and we were there all day.
*Huge training issue with the staff, and most had very poor attitudes. Very annoyed at simple questions.
I do have some good things to say. Both The Joker and Superman were freaking awesome. Amazing rides. They are both so unique; never experienced elements like those before. If I didn't make it on those rides, park would have been a complete disaster. Other good thing... we ate at this new Sports Bar they have now in the food court. Really feels like a sports bar... they have about 8 beers on tap, food is awesome, they have an actual bar you can sit at. Best dining experience at a theme park!
But man... Six Flags... please get your ride reliability under control at this park!!Last edited by GooDFeLLoW, Saturday, June 25, 2016 2:51 AM
Honestly, this just sounds like the average Six Flags experience. I remember many days back at the old Worlds of Adventure that were like that.
The only "pass" I would be willing to give is lack of certain animals being out on exhibit. I used to work in a park that specialized in animal attractions, and there can be any number of legitimate reasons why certain animals, including an entire species habitat, aren't available for public viewing at any given time. It's a bummer when you want to see something specific and they aren't on display that particular day, but there were always valid reasons for it, at least where I worked.
Everything else though... it's just a poor experience. The downtime on the new ride can be expected, but the one train operation? And for the most part, the chain has decided the experience you described is "good enough."
It's been a very long time since I've been to this park, but I remember it being exactly as you described. I think I've been there twice, as I've ridden V2 in both it's configurations.
The SLC had over an hour line, yet because the line empties into the back of the station, people were not filling up the front rows and trains were going out 1/4 empty. While this is partially the parks fault, it's also the fault of the guests for not paying attention.
Yes, the animals, while unfortunate, are really beyond anyone's control. Tigers, for example, are known to sleep 18 hours a day, especially when it's hot.
V2 hasn’t operated in months. It is listed (along with a few flat rides) as being "Temporarily Closed" on the park’s website.
Six Flags. Some things never change.
That's awful and sounds like there's a major staffing and management issue there. Is school out in the area yet?
I would imagine. California is behind in hours, not months.
Yeah they definitely get a pass for the animals; can't really force some sleepy killer tigers out into the 95 degree heat. And at least the downtime on The Joker ride was never too long, usually around 30 mins at a time. They do definitely need to step up the training and education of the staff. Nobody ever knew what was going on.
"V2? Errrrrrr not sure, I guess it's not open today?" "Oh ummmmm, yeah Joker has been breaking down all the time. No idea how long. It's fun though." "Yeah man, I haven't seen Hammerhead open all week. It's good though, you should ride it when it's open." "Sorry man we're not doing the giraffe feedings today. We usually do it at 2:30. Just not today though I guess." "Sorry, I don't even know. It's my first day. But those rides aren't opening today it looks like." "Ummmm sorry folks. The ride is experiencing a technical difficulty apparently. The train sure came in hot right!! We're going to pull you guys back now" (that was an actual quote after the violent stoppage haha). And at least they should put together some cheap little list of all show times and put them at the front with the park brochures or something.
I personally haven't noticed this as a Six Flags trend... Magic Mountain has always been top notch every time I've went.
And wow if V2 really has been closed for months, how did none of the employees know that?? At least make up a cool story. "Yeah man, V2 is shut down... we're tearing it down to make room for the new Giga's supports!! Yeeee!"
Not that anyone would know this, but SFDK is only zoned for 150' tall attractions. Hence, the whole V2.1 debacle.
Yaassss I remember the whole drama about the height of V2. If I remember correctly, the news articles at the time almost made it sound like the park just hoped no one would ever notice the height of the ride haha. I went on both iterations of the ride, and the new angled layout is actually pretty cool
The angled spike makes it without a doubt my favorite impulse coaster. I don't even bother going on Wicked Twister when I'm at CP, but I thought V2 was great. I'm actually surprised that they didn't design/build more like that after that modification was done here.
Side note - I hadn't been on Wicked Twister in about 3 or 4 years (maybe even more, actually). Rode it 2 weeks ago, and it was actually way more fun than I remember. I am going to have to start ignoring rides more often. It brings the excitement back.
I used to love Wicked Twister. I always enjoyed the ride and it never had much of a wait. In the last few years, however, it has become one of the few rides that actually makes me quite queasy, so I doubt I will give it another try.
It brings the excitement back.
The same thing happens to me and I love it. For me, Raptor is one if those rides I'd usually rather pass on than wait for. I go to CP so frequently and have been on Raptor so many times its kind of meh or something.
But when I do get on it, sometimes only once a season, I'm surprised all over again at how fast and forceful it is. Frequently the rides at CP are faster than I remembered.
I had to look up Wicked Twister... looks like built by Intamin, same as V2, but is 215 ft as opposed to the original 186 ft of Vertical Velocity. Sounds awesome.
Yeah for me V2 gave some of the most unique sensations out of all coasters I had been on; super unique, especially after that angled spike. BUT after riding The Joker (the RMC conversion)... ooo man that one is my new favorite. Such unique forces, with such comfortable seats and restraints. The way it just whips you upside down into a half-corkscrew, hangs you upside down for much longer than you expect, then whips you back around the way you came. So fierce. It is my goal to ride more of the RMC conversions now. Twisted Colossus, I am coming for you next!
Yeah. I remember when the V2's (SFDK (SFMW at the time) and SFGAm.) were both marketed for whatever season, nobody could figure out why the marketing for GAm's said 185' and the marketing for SFMW's said 150'. Well, in the off season, it became more clear.
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