Six Flags Discovery Kingdom History

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom first opened in 1968 as Marine World, a small zoo in Redwood City, California. In the mid-1970s, it merged with a failing land-animal park called 'Africa, USA' and became Marine World Africa USA.

In late 1985, the increase in value of the park's property became too great a tax burden. Following an intensive search for a new site led by Michael B. Demetrios, construction began on a new and larger park in Vallejo, California, about 55 miles (89 km) north of Redwood City. The new Marine World opened to visitors in 1986 and remained under control of the non-profit Marine World Foundation, using Garfield the cartoon cat as a mascot at various points. The park defaulted on its debt to the city of Vallejo, after which the city took ownership in 1996.

Vallejo hired Six Flags Entertainment Corporation to manage the property, upgrade it, and improve its attendance. Six flags added some non-animal attractions, particularly amusement rides, to increase attendance.


In 1997, the park added two major ride attractions: "Popeye's Seaport" and "DinoSphere". Popeye's Seaport offered eleven children's' attractions, including small tea cups, Circle Balloon ride, a swing ride, A circle submarine ride, A scenic train ride and a merry go round,   

DinoSphere opened, it took the place of the park's Australian Walk-A-Bout attractionDinoSphere was an Iwerks Turbo Theater, the  3D theater capable of seating 100 riders per showing. The theater played the Iwerks film "Dino Island" for its first season of operation. The theater has since changed films numerous times.


In 1998, the park's name changed again, to The New Marine World Theme Park. The number of amusement rides increased over the next few years, including the addition of several major roller coasters. The 1998 season saw the addition of two major roller coasters: Kong is a steel Suspended Looping Coaster, made by Vekoma, this is a off the shelf SLC which there 41 installed worldwide a lot them have been relocated to different park like, Kong was relocated from Opryland USA after that park shut down in 1997 and opened at Marine World in May 1998. And a Vekoma boomerang called coast to coaster The Boomerang consists of a single train with seven cars, capable of carrying 28 passengers. The ride begins when the train is pulled backwards from the station and up the first lift hill by a catchcar. After being released, the train passes through the station, enters a Cobra roll element (referred to as a boomerang by the designers), and then travels through a vertical loop. and then you are reverse. Other major additions that year included Hammerhead Shark, a Zamperla a 360 swing .

Prototype Hawk 48; VooDoo, A HUSS Top Spin; Huss has designed the ride so that park and carnival operators may choose one of eight preset ride "programs." Most last no more than two minutes and consist of several moderate-speed loops, flips, and face-down gondola "hangtime" before unlocking the gondola hydraulics and swinging the riders back and forth. Monsoon Falls, and White Water Safari, Intamin water attractions.

DinoSphere also received a new ride film, "Dino Island II: Escape from Dino Island", which featured improved special effects along with a new storyline.

After the final operating day of the 1998 season, October 31, the park officially became Six Flags Marine World. The most notable result of the name change was the addition of Warner Bros.Looney Tunes characters.

With the new name, the park received the wooden roller coaster Roar. Built by Great Coasters International Inc., Roar was the first coaster to feature Millennium Flyer trains. Roar was 95ft high and a first drop of 85ft reaching a top speed of 58mph. The 1999 season also saw the introduction of Tasmanian Devil, a Frisbee flat ride manufactured by HUSS, and Scat-A-Bout, a typical Scrambler flat ride. Although both rides opened in 1999, they were purchased by the park in 1998 but not constructed until 1999 due to construction timetables that prevented their opening in time for the start of the 1998 season.

Popeye's Seaport was rebranded "Looney Tunes Seaport" and received the Roadrunner Express kiddie coaster a small kiddie coaster manufactured by Zamperla.

In 2000, the park opened its fourth major roller coaster dubbed Medusa. Medusa was designed by Bolliger & Mabillard. Medusa lasts three minutes; starting with a 150-foot-tall (46 m) drop, it then executes a 128-foot-tall (39 m) vertical loop, a dive loop, a Zero-G roll, a sea serpent roll, and two corkscrews. Medusa is one of the park's most popular rides. With the addition of Medusa, the park also received the Cobra family coaster and built a new parking lot south of the park. Race around the track as smooth as a real snake, with long, sloping curves, and cruising twists that’ll keep you glued to your chair in slinking suspense. Your serpent-like train stretches out through the 1,200-foot-long course. He whips his tail around bends and hisses over hills, lifting 26 feet off the ground while slithering at a breezy 22 miles per hour.

The park received its fifth major roller coaster in 2001, V2: Vertical Velocity. Built by Intamin, the ride was the first "Spiraling Impulse Coaster" on the West Coast and took the record for being the tallest and fastest coaster in Northern California. The ride was plagued with technical issues when it opened, which resulted in extensive down time. The park also eventually turned off the LIM motor on the back tower that held the train in position for a few seconds on its second trip up the tower During the same time, the park also added the "Warrior of the Dawn" film to the DinoSphere.

2002 saw a notable modification to Vertical Velocity. Due to local building restrictions, the height limit on all roller coasters at the park is 150 feet (46 m), while V2 exceeded that limit by about 36 feet (11 m). Thus, they lowered the reverse tower 36 feet (11 m) and turned the forward tower into a 45° angle with an incline heart line roll that spiraled over the park's main entrance; Vertical Velocity is the only Impulse Coaster to do this. The park re-activated the LIM motor on the reverse tower in the 2002 season; however, the motor failed to hold the train completely in place and slipped significantly. The motor was eventually turned off again in the 2003 season.

The park also began to show "7th Portal", a 3D comic book film by Stan Lee, in the DinoSphere Theater during this season.

The park added its sixth major roller coaster, Zonga, in 2003. Designed by Schwarzkopf as a quadruple-looping roller coaster, This coaster debuted as "Thriller" on the German funfair circuit in 1986, under the ownership of Oscar Bruch and toured the country until 1997, with a short spell on loan to the Grona Lund amusement park for the 1996 season. Its last fair was the Hamburger Dom of November/December 1997, after which the ride was relocated from Six Flags Astroworld and received major track modification by Premiere Rides before it opened at Marine World. Zonga opened in late April with a sporadic operation. The ride was often closed because of mechanical problems, and when it did operate, it often closed for short periods of time due to ride errors. Eventually the park delayed its opening to 12 noon every day, completely blocking the ride plaza to park guests. Zonga's last season of operation was 2004; it then sat dormant until it was removed in 2006 and placed in the parking lot for storage. By the beginning of the 2007 season, Zonga was removed from the parking lot. It is now operating at the San Marcos National Fair in Mexico. The park also began showing "Stargate SG3000" in its Iwerks 3D Turbo Theater, which finally received new branding and was no longer called "DinoSphere"

2006 saw the addition of Tava's Jungleland, a children's area located in the back of the park near the main land animal displays featuring nine new wild animal displays

On January 17, 2007, the park announced its new name: "Six Flags Discovery Kingdom". The new name reflects the image of an animal park, a thrill-ride park, and a marine park. The park was separated into different themed areas: Land (exotic land animals), Sea (marine mammals) and Sky (roller coasters). US$16 million was spent on modifications including new heavy duty titanium bars in the animal cages, new shows, and converting the 3D theater into a "4D" theater. The park also added a Thomas the Tank Engine-themed children's area called Thomas Town, which opened June 20, 2007.

On June 5, 2007, Six Flags Parks confirmed media reports that Six Flags would buy the city's $55 million interest in Discovery Kingdom theme park, thus ending a multi-million dollar profit-sharing agreement, although Vallejo stands to lose a projected $1 million because of the deal they were happy for the deal to continue.

In 2008, the park closed the IWerks 3D Turbo Theater due to escalating repair costs on the out–of–date operating system and hardware. The park received its eighth roller coaster named Tony Hawk's Big Spin, which was located on the former Zonga concrete pad. The ride featured a unique layout compared to the three other coasters which share the name spinning coaster model 400 all other six flags park received spinning coaster model 420 , including a base frame instead of permanent concrete footers and a higher top speed. Tony Hawk's Big Spin opened on May 23, 2008. That same year, the park completed its longest operating season offering "Holiday in the Park" through the first week of January.

In 2009, Discovery Kingdom introduced the all–new "Odin's Temple of the Tiger". The new tiger show features the diving white tiger named Odin. Odin is a rare and beautiful white male Bengal tiger, and his underwater diving prowess made him a world renowned legend. Unbelievable images of him diving for treats – with eyes wide open, ears folded down, nostrils closed and teeth baring – went viral, adding to his already esteemed popularity. Though he has since retired from participating in the shows, he can still be seen relaxing in his outdoor exhibit, enjoying the sun. Discovery Kingdom also initially acquired two new Bengal tiger cubs, Nalin and Akasha.

In late 2010, Six Flags Parks began the process of removing licensed themes from attractions. They terminated several licenses including those with Thomas the Tank Engine and Tony Hawk. Tony Hawk's Big Spin was renamed and re–themed to Big Spin, then Pandemonium. Big Spin was later removed and replaced with Superman: Ultimate Flight opening in 2012. Thomas Town was renamed and re–themed as Seaside Junction in time for the 2011 season. For the 2011 season, the park introduced the SkyScreamer. The swing ride is 150 feet (46 m) high and soars in a 98-foot (30 m) circle at speeds over 43 miles per hour (69 km/h). The ride opened on May 27, 2011.

In 2012, the park added a steel Premier Rides roller coaster called Superman: Ultimate Flight. It is the tallest roller coaster inversion west of the Mississippi River, measuring 150 feet (46 m) in height. It includes "two upside down twists and two vertical rolls over a track length of 863 feet (263 m)". In some places, riders traverse speeds of 62 miles per hour (100 km/h).

The park added Cirque Dreams for the 2013 season; the show was held seasonally in the Dolphin Theater area. This show combined acrobats and aerialists performing alongside or above dolphins.

In 2014, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom held a press event for the new Tsunami Soaker water ride, during which the park announced a May 31, 2014, opening to the general public. On August 28, 2014, Discovery Kingdom announced the new Dare Devil Chaos Coaster flat ride for the 2015 season. It is a standard 22M Larson Superloop pendulum flat ride that rocks riders back and forth inside a 360 degree loop. It opened to the public on May 23, 2015.


In July 2015, Six Flags announced that Roar at Discovery Kingdom would be closing on August 16, 2015. Several weeks later on September 3, 2015, plans were revealed to convert the ride into a steel-tracked coaster called The Joker for the 2016 season. The renovation would be performed by Rocky Mountain Construction using the company's patented I-Box steel track technology on all of the original wooden coaster supports. The roller coaster would also receive new trains themed to the Joker comic book character and would feature three inversions, including a new element marketed as a “step-up under-flip inverted roll

including the world's first step-up under flip inverted roll.

In February 2016, the park opened on a limited and trial run basis Pacific Rim 5-D, an in-theater special effects 3D movie. The experience is based on the Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ sci-fi movie Pacific Rim. Guests watch part of the movie wearing 3D glasses while sitting in seats that move, shake and bounce in response to the action on the movie screen.

In April 2017, Six Flags entered into an agreement with the owner of Waterworld California in nearby Concord, to operate the water park, which was formerly owned by Six Flags. Also WONDER WOMAN Lasso of Truth opened a thrilling swing ride that will send guests 147 feet in the air at 70mph, The ride swings back and forth while rotating counterclockwise as guests swing higher and higher, they will experience a feeling of weightlessness


In Spring 2018! HARLEY QUINN Crazy Coaster the world's first dual looping coaster comes to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

A new one-of-a-kind inverted looping coaster features continuous inversions along a vertically stacked figure eight track. This thrilling new coaster delivers multiple head-to-head flybys at combined speeds of 70 miles per hour in the ultimate dueling adventure ride.

Offering a unique journey for 32 riders on two competing trains, experience how the train will rock back and forth and up to full speed before completing several thrilling forward and reverse rotations through the twin Immelmann inversions over 360 feet of track!

Roller Coasters coming soon

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