Billed as the world’s first dual looping roller coaster, the Harley Quinn Crazy Coaster has finally opened at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, Calif. The San Francisco/Sacramento area amusement park had experienced a number of delays in opening the ride for the summer season.
Billed as the first of its kind - an inverted looping coaster, it features continuous inversions on a stacked track. Head-to-head fly-bys at combined speeds of up to 70 m.p.h. offer the thrilling illusion of a dueling adventure – as a ride.
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Park president Don McCoy says of the ride “It is our first to be themed after the one of the world’s most iconic female super villains, Harley Quinn.” The character comes from the DC Comics Suicide Squad series, and the ride and character fit right in at the park, located next to the hybrid wood and steel roller coaster The Joker.
With over 40 rides and attractions, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom offers more than thrilling coasters. Wildlife encounters, including an in-water dolphin program are a part of the park’s exciting adventures, attractions that make the park unique.
According to park’s communications staff, Discovery Kingdom became a part of the Six Flags family in 1999, but began in 1966 as Marine World Africa, USA, which is why both land and sea animal attractions are still a part of the amusement park’s offerings for guests. Various name changes followed: Marine World Africa became Six Flags Marine World. The park’s rebranding in 2007 as Six Flags Discovery Kingdom reflected the new image the park wanted to create, of a place with a variety of attraction areas – an animal park, marine park, and thrill-ride park. With that in mind, separate themed areas were developed. Today, while marine and land animals are a part of the draw – tigers are among the most popular animal attractions - Discovery Kingdom’s nine coasters and ride attractions are the engines that really draw crowds of adults and teens. Along with The Joker and the brand-new Harley Quinn, there’s Superman Ultimate Fight. For smaller kids, Looney Tunes Seaport, Tava’s Jungleland, and Seaside Junction are the big hits.
But back to Harley Quinn, originally scheduled for a June debut. The ride’s opening this month thrilled guests with its dueling 32-rider trains that positioned riders face to face as they race around a 360-foot figure eight track. There are no less than 12 inversions, with three forward rotations and another three in the opposite direction. When the two high speed trains pass each other, riders experience the illusion that they could actually reach out to the other riders sailing by.
Along with the just-opened ride, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is offering other new attractions this year, including a retro visit to Dino Island. A rescue mission for dinosaurs on an erupting volcanic island, animation and special effects create a thrilling adventure for guests. The attraction originally opened in April 1993, when the park was still Marine World Africa USA. Now, the nostalgic ride is ready for a new generation of park visitors in the park’s Iwerks 4-D theater.
Events made a splash this summer, some literally. Discovery Kingdom’s communications staff members say The Pinniped Celebration Weekend in mid-August is an annual event, with the theme of getting to know the Super Heroes of the Sea. Participants learn about keeping the sea environment safe for sea lions, and about the sea lions themselves, many of which are rescue animals at Discovery Kingdom.
Along with talks and photo ops - and the chance to win paintings actually created by the sea lions - visitors will learn how to make a difference for pinnipeds. Of course, visitors can also enjoy Sea Lion Stadium, Seal Cover, and the Walrus experience, too.
This year, guests can also enjoy a churro, and receive an extra-long stay at the park. On Sunday, August 26th, visitors who buy a churro receive a VIP wristband that allows them to participate in an exclusive ride event later that evening, with the park keeping select rides open after park closure, just for those who want the sugar and cinnamon treat.
It’s an experience of a different kind in the fall with zombies and ghouls overtaking the park for the annual Halloween-season Fright by Night on many weekends September 21 through October 31st. New for 2018 is the Devil’s Lair, in which guests will see Satanic rituals and possession in the tale of Malcom Muir, who gets all too close to the devil himself. Also new this year: Scarecrow Hollow, featuring 50 animatronic but creepily life-like scarecrows and a backstory about farmer Carl who loved his cornstalks and was zapped with a lightning bolt, while the scarecrows came to life.
In November and December, guests can enjoy a less scary event: Holiday in the Park. Santa, dazzling lights, holiday food, and themed holiday entertainment are the key elements of this annual happening. A 65-foot Christmas tree and a visit to Santa’s Workshop are among the highlights for the younger set; older guests enjoy seeing holiday lights from the top of a roller coaster. S’mores kits are available for park goers to make their own treat at fire pits located throughout the park.
Day passes start at $50.99; a “Thrill Pass” costs $70.99 and allows unlimited visits to the park through September 17th. Season passes and membership passes are available at a variety of levels; buying a season pass now is $76.99, and means unlimited admission to the park through the end of the year, as well as park admission to the annual Fright Fest and Holiday in the Park. Membership passes, available in a variety of levels including Gold and Platinum, do well with local guests and those planning to visit other Six Flags theme parks outside of Discovery Kingdom, as admission to other parks in the Six Flags family are a part of the perks.