Six Flags Discovery Kingdom disappointment


May 13, 2008
I will never go to this park ever again. I am so upset about my experience there yesterday.
I planned a homeschool "field trip" to this park as the "end of school year big event" for my kids and a few buddies. We arranged to have group tickets (went fine, no big deal we bought online).
The hotel (not owned by six flags, but the main business is obviously park guests as they are across the street) was a Best Western in which I had booked 2 rooms like a month in advance asking that they be side by side, and connecting if possible as my husband and I were to be in charge of six kids (not all related).
They were totally booked (as it was a holiday weekend) and one room was on 1st floor on one end of hotel with other room being on 3rd floor on other end. The desk clerk was completely unwilling to do anything to help, we asked if he had suites (he did but would not upgrade or even offer the option). So we took the 2 standard rooms.
The next day after paying fifteen dollars to park (yeah, I know everyone pays for parking now) we got to the front gate and reviewed the map and broke up into 2 groups the "riders" who wanted to hit the roller coasters and the "animal lovers" who wanted to check out the wildlife. I took the animal lovers and we proceeded to ask a staffer for directions to a petting zoo area. She said "I don't know" and walked away without any further conversation! I asked a second person who directed me to a supervisor "down the hill," the supervisor disappeared before we reached him. I asked a third staffer who informed me there was no petting zoo (true, but why didn't the first 2 know that?).
I noticed several staff wearing bright neon polos which had the following pronouncement on the back, "Please keep the park clean, my family comes here too." I thought this an odd way of encouraging guests to clean up after themselves but was downright irritated when a small child in front of me dropped an ice cream wrapper and a staff member wearing one of these shirts stepped on it (as I was bending to pick it up) and kept walking with the wrapper stuck to her shoe! Why should guests make more of an effort than the staff do?
There was no effort on the staff's part to make the day memorable for guests or to go above and beyond. If you wanted anything "extra" it seemed to be that there is a culture of "you get what you pay for" in that everything had an extra price tag. There was a "line skip" pass that reminded me of fast passes, until I learned that you pay for the privelege at this park. You also pay to feed the seals, dolphins and giraffes (I only went to this park, because of the animal encounters they advertise. It turns out those are not included in the price of admission). You also pay extra for an elephant ride or to try out the go karts. Roller coasters, kiddie rides and shows are the only thing included and at each of those guests are inundated with advertising from a myriad of sponsors.
At lunch my husband bought food enough to feed the 8 hungry folks in our group and then asked for cups of water (tap water for goodness sakes) and was told that he could only have one! When he questioned the restaurant manager he was informed that "We are supposed to sell the bottled water." My husband pointed out that he had just paid upwards past sixty dollars for a hamburger lunch and that a cup of water should not really be a problem as he was already a customer. He got the water, but left with a bad taste in his mouth (not from the food).
At the end of the day, both hubby and I felt that we would not be returning to a Six Flags park again. Even if the tickets are cheaper, they nickel and dime you so much on the "extras" (like water) and treat guests so badly, that we'd rather pay more travel further and have a good time at Disneyland or Animal Kingdom in Orlando!
Nice try Six Flags, but you just don't get it!


May 13, 2008
About the staffer (in a children's area, no less) who threw a water bottle at the back of my head! Okay, he was aiming for a trash can that I was sitting near, but he missed. He was a good 8 to 10 feet away from the trash can, and as I said the offending bottle was headed for me! Hubby intervened, tossed the bottle back to staffer and said, "what do you think you're doing?" or something to that effect. The staffer actually wound up to throw it toward me again, when hubby hollered, "Don't do it again!" Amazing. All my kids watching.
Well, at least he was "keeping the park clean" for his family!


Earning My Ears
May 25, 2008
We live 20 minutes from this park and have been once! We never hear good things about it and it is a far cry from any DL experience!
  • wendylady36

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    Oct 8, 2007
    I'll definitely say that Vallejo isn't the best place to find the best workers or people for that matter. It was fun to go to Six Flags when I was in high school, but I don't have a huge desire to go back.


    Earning My Ears
    Jun 7, 2008
    It went downhill fast once Six Flags took over (I remember the old "Marine World Africa USA" days even before it moved to Vallejo) - the animals have become an afterthought.
    I live 30 minutes from it and haven't been in 3 years - and only then becuase my kids wanted to go. Good rollercoasters, bad atmosphere!!!


    Feb 2, 2008
    Its a shame that the rides took over the animals! I do remember going when it was Marine world and was a wonderful animal experience. Now it is all about the rides. I can imagine in a few years that the animals will be gone. We live around 30-45 minute ride or so from there and went maybe once last year and never think of going again. Disney is WAY better to go even if you have to pay to travel more! Night and day to me! Six flags to me is high schoolers and disney is family. If it wasnt for the thomas the train land last year for my ds then I wouldnt have even gone to six flags. Good to change the name to red flags...stay away.

    Casey's Mommie

    Nothing makes a Mommy happier than hearing her bab
    Jul 16, 2007
    Oh No! My sister and I are going to take my dd here next week. I wasn't expecting Disneyland or anything, but sheesh. Oh well, at least now I know what to expect. We aren't planning on staying that long anyway. I just wanted to take dd to see the animals and go on some of the kiddie rides.
  • amyamya

    May 26, 2007
    Thank you! My DH has been wanting to go here and I have not been since high school, and was really trying to dissuade him. You just confirmed what I assumed was going on at that place. Such a shame the crazy coasters have taken over a once decent animal park and the staff is so lousy...


    New Yawker in Los Angeles
    Jun 9, 2008
    Our nickname for Six Flags Magic Mountain down here in Southern Cal is

    Six Flags Tragic Moutain.

    Sorry that you had a bad time. as for me I won't go to a Six Flags unless I'm getting a comp. Ticket



    Hoping to live forever. So far, so good.
    Jul 29, 2008
    Bumping this thread up just to add my two cents.

    I understand your frustration on Six Flags. I grew up near Six Flags Over Georgia. Granted we did have some fond memories and good times there, but the quality of service and employee attitudes definitely left something to be desired. You could tell most of the workers there were school/college kids just working a summer job, but not in it to help the visitors.
    SFOG is one of the more scenic Six Flags parks, as it has a hilly terrain with a lot of trees for shade. But the place always had the smell of greasy food and garbage. It isn't a filthy park to say the least, but definitely not up to the standards of Busch, Disney, and Universal.
  • tinamama

    Earning My Ears
    Sep 18, 2009
    we've been to marine world/discovery kindom several times and never had that sort of experience. the first trip i had there when it was still marine world, LOVED it. and then in 2006 and 2007 we went in november for their homeschool days and had a blast each time.

    i recommend the park for their homeschool days all the time...its coming up again on november 11 and i'm trying to get a whole group to go. its less then half price and there's no major lines and the park is full of homeschoolers, which is awesome!

    i can see why you'd feel that way after that experience, but i never had anything even close to that in all the times i've been, so it may have just been a bad day.

    also, i lived in NJ for years and had all my friends working at 6 flags great adventure and went there like a zillion times. again, never had a bad experience. always had a blast. my brother even worked there and had a lot of fun too.

    *shrug* :confused3



    Oct 30, 2011
    We were there in 2008 and had a pretty good time. It isn't Disneyland for sure though. Things are a little run down. I remember the lines were really long for food and certain animal shows. There isn't as much staff as at DL. I don't remember dealing with specifically rude staff though. That said, we had a good time and my daughter still talks about getting to be a part of the show and pet a porcupine!


    Nov 24, 2012
    My husband and I were there last year with a friend. My husband loved the Medusa roller coaster, and rode on it 18 times last year. He loves the big thrill of the roller coasters that go upside down, and spin you around in all directions. I wasn't too impressed with the park when we went with our friend. While my husband went on his roller coaster ride. Our friend and I hit the shows, and other areas of the park. I wasn't too impressed with it. The shows, especially the animal shows were kind of boring, and not all that great.

    When my mom took us to California again this year. She dropped my husband off at the park, and we went to go do our own thing. I have to say that my husband broke his Medusa riding record this year by riding on the ride 20 times. Oh my gosh! My mom and I couldn't believe it when we picked him up at the end of the day, and he told us when he got in the car that he broke his Medusa riding record.


    Jul 17, 2010
    ehh.. been twice to discovery kingdom and it wasn't the greatest. I do remember going when I was really little when it was called Marine World and I think it was better. Then, and now, I really only like the animals...


    DIS Veteran
    Mar 23, 2008
    So sorry you had a bad experience. :(

    We have been quite a few times over the years with the kids, and had season passes a few times. It's definitely not Disney, but we always enjoyed it. You have to be prepared that it's Six Flags and not Disney, and it's fine. The kids used to love all the kiddie rides when they were little, and now they like riding the coasters. Yes there are a lot of extra expenditures that aren't really publicized in advance. But we have always enjoyed it.



    Earning My Ears
    Dec 5, 2014
    You have to be prepared that it's Six Flags and not Disney, and it's fine.
    We're planning to go in October this year (we've book an themepark trip for our 10th anniversairy, DL, Knotts and SF.) and the reason we're going is to ride the coasters.

    We're very curious, the coasters in the USA are much higher, heavier and better than (the most of them) in Europe


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