The first day of 2014 was a perfect day to visit Discovery Kingdom. The park was literally empty! We were the first guests of 2014, and had a great time. Let’s see what was going on at SFDK.
We arrived at the park, and we’re surprised to be one of the very first guests, and this only 40 minutes before park opening, eventually when the gates opened, we were the first guests to enter, and with our Gold passes we were also the first to enter the Oasis Plaza with the early entrance. We decided to ride Sky Screamer first since Medusa was still closed, and Kong hadn’t even start testing yet.
We then moved on to Kong, after having the entire Sky Screamer to ourselves. Still, there were hardly any guests to be found. As we walked over to Kong, we saw maintenance replacing brakes on Medusa. Since Kong had only one train running, we expected a line of one cycle, but even Kong, one of the only rides operating at that moment had no line, and we got to jump ride in, and ride. To our surprise, Kong was running very smooth!
We noticed that Medusa was still not open, and wouldn’t open for a while either, so we moved on to the Roar Plaza. To our surprise, Superman Ultimate Flight had NO line either, and we got to jump right in too! We actually happened to ride it 4 times in 10 minutes, with walking around every single time. The seat-belts definitely do not slow down the dispatch as bad as Full Throttle, if at all. Which was good news for a ride that depends on a quick dispatch. Sadly, Superman Ultimate Flight closed down around 3PM due to technical issues, and was not to reopen that day. Leaving both Medusa and SUF, the most popular rides, closed.
Roar, which was up next, hardly had a line, and that for a long ride with 1 train operations! Roar was a little rough, but luckily there was already some re-tracking done, and maintenance was actually working on re-tracking preparations all day. Which was good, especially after seeing all the wood stored around the ride.
We then moved on to V2 Vertical Velocity, to once again find an empty station! We got right on, and ended up riding it multiple times that day. Dispatch was quick, and it was one of the only rides that was not down at one point in the day!
We also happened to see the sight of the all new Tsunami Soaker, right across from V2 and Roar, a construction update will be posted soon, so stay tuned!
Next up was Drench! It was interesting to see that the stadium was almost empty, while it’s the most popular show in the park! We love the use of the renewed Toyota Stadium, and Six Flags Discovery kingdom put on a wonderful, Holiday related show, it was very fun to see the use of many dolphins at the same time.
And since the park is now open year-round, Tasmanian Devil, Voodoo, AND Boomerang Coast to Coaster were all operating! Last winters these rides were all closed for maintenance, but luckily we got to ride all of them, multiple times. Boomerang was running insanely smooth, and we got 4 smooth rides in on the Vekoma model, everyone’s complains of rough rides were invalidated. The Vekomas at SFDK are definitely the smoother ones!
And then came the Medusa story… Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Maintenance worked on Medusa the entire day, and even around 4, 2 hours ’til park closing, they started to work on yet another brake, on the mid-course brake-run. We didn’t expect it to open, and neither did anyone else, but in good hope we decided to ride Kong a bunch of times to stay close to Medusa in case it would open up. Our party was sitting at a table under the mid-course brake run of Medusa, and happened to talk to the maintenance guy coming down the spiral emergency stair-case. He told us that they were trying hard since SUF was down, but they couldn’t tell whether it was going to open. He told us they were going to run some tests first. We had a lot of hope it would finally open up, and decided to wait in front of the exit at around 4’20 PM. We told everyone what maintenance told us, and after only half an hour created this line, without even knowing if it was going to open up.
The picture is a bit blurry, but shows the line backing up all the way to Kong’s entrance, they just started testing, and it was an hour to park close, the ride eventually opened up at 5’25 PM, with a line double the size seen below! It seemed that everyone in the empty park gathered behind us to ride Medusa! Eventually all switchbacks were needed to lead the crowd into the Medusa station, creating the longest line of the day in just a few seconds. We do want to recognize the park’s hard work to open the ride to the public, although it was 30 mins to park close. Thus we ended the day with a lovely night ride on the big beast of Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Medusa. (Picture below was taken when we started to form a line, the ride didn’t open ’til it was fully dark out.)
It was also Holiday in the Park, a lovely event in which most of the park is nicely decorated! An article on this, with pictures of the park at night will follow soon! (Sorry for the blurry picture, photographing at night is pretty hard)