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Amusement Parks: Six Flags Discovery Kingdom – a Potted History


Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is an amusement park which is located in Vallejo in Northern California, just outside San Francisco. It has been run under the umbrella of the ‘Six Flags’ group since 1999, although it had several previous guises.

The amusement park began life as ‘Marine World’ back in 1968 when it was originally situated in Redwood City, just over 50 miles to the south of its present location. However, in the mid-70s, it merged with another animal themed amusement park called ‘Africa USA’ to become ‘Marine World Africa USA’ and it was necessary to relocate to a larger site in Vallejo. Following this merger and the property’s increase in value, the amusement park was deemed to be too much of a tax burden and, subsequently, it defaulted on its debt which then meant that the amusement park then became owned by the city of Vallejo who then hired Six Flags – who were known as Premier Parks at the time – to run it.

In 1999, the amusement park was rebranded yet again and called ‘Six Flags Marine World’ until given its present day name of ‘Discovery Kingdom’ in 2007. This latest rebranding exercise was designed to portray the image of the amusement park of being one which encompassed a marine park, an animal park as well as a traditional ‘thrill ride’ park. As such, the amusement park was divided up into three separate zones – land, sky and sea.

Today, the amusement park has gained even more popularity for its seasonal events. These include the Fright Fest Halloween event at which two haunted houses, a multitude of ghouls, ghosts and other scary rides and effects are added to the attractions of the amusement park. Its ‘Holiday in the Park’ event is a magnificent celebration of Christmas with millions of fairy lights, traditional Christmas shows and a gigantic Christmas tree  which all combine to create the amusement park’s magical atmosphere at this special time of year. Only introduced in 2007, this attraction has proved highly popular and runs from late November to early January each year.

The amusement park animal shows are spectacular. You can swim with the dolphins and even get kissed by a sea lion. There is also ‘Sharks in the Dark’, which involves a sleepover adventure and there are also day camp sessions at the amusement park which are called ‘Seafari Camp’, where you can learn more about the land and the sea.

Featuring rides for people of all ages, no Six Flags amusement park would be complete without its thrill seeking rides and Discovery Kingdom is no exception with Kong, Medusa and V2 Vertical Velocity being just 3 of its most exhilarating rides.

See also:
Amusement Parks: Gilroy Gardens – a Potted History
Amusement Parks: Belmont Park – a Potted History
Amusement Parks: Adventure City – a Potted History
Amusement Parks: Knott’s Berry Farm – a Potted History

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