Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Full Day of Thrills Guide

Enjoy a thrilling day full of SFDK's best thrills rides and coasters!

TL;DR: Joker first, then the other coasters in DC Universe, then Medusa and Kong and Boomerang

Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is one of the most unique parks in the country, combining the fun of a theme park with the animals of a zoo. Let's talk about the best way to spend the day at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom! There's so many ways that you can spend your day at SFDK, so let's a make a few assumptions that will influence this particular guide. But fear not! If these don't hold for you, we'll have more guides coming out soon!

  • You are mostly concerned with thrill rides/roller coasters. We'll add in the family rides that we think are worth your time but if your focus is on children, this guide isn't for you.
  • Animals come second to rides. If you follow this guide, you'll have plenty of time to visit the animals but maybe not enough time to see everything the park has to offer.
  • You are arriving before or at park opening. SFDK is very doable in a single day, even on the busiest of days but if the park is busy, you will have a much more relaxed, productive day if you can take advantage of a slower morning.
  • You don't want to pay for a Flash Pass.
A quick aside about Flash Pass. Like we mentioned earlier, it's not difficult to do all of SFDK in a day, even on a busy day but you probably won't have time for more than a few rerides on the big rides (specifically Joker). If you want to ensure that you get on as many rides as you can take (and trust us, you will want to when you get on some of the coasters), then a Flash Pass will be the way to go.

Let's get started!

Your Morning

First of all, get a parking spot in the SFDK lot. The lot usually opens an hour to 30 minutes before park open. The first thing you'll notice about SFDK is the odd placement of the parking lot. Unlike most parks where the parking lot sits in front of the park, SFDK's sits across the lake and can be accessed via shuttle bus or a 15 minute walk. After you make it through security and into the park, you'll be held just in the central plaza (you did get here before opening, right?).


Your first target is Joker, the park's 2016 RMC conversion of the GCI Roar. But first, a little pre-work. Joker in particular is extremely strict about loose articles, not permitting any bags to be taken on the ride or left on the ride platform. The Joker staff will direct you to put your gear in a locker conveniently located outside of Joker. But you're smarter than that since you know that will put you behind everyone who doesn't need it. So while you have some time before the park opens, put your bags, if you have any, in a locker located near the front entrance. Then line up as far left as you can go when you enter the park. This path will take you to DC Universe and Joker.

Superman Ultimate Flight

At rope drop, hustle to Joker and grab a ride before the lines get unbearable. After riding Joker head over to Batman next door and grab a quick ride on an S&S free spin. After Batman, your next ride should be Superman: Ultimate Flight which should still be a walk on or close to it. After Superman, Harley Quinn Crazy Coaster and Wonder Woman: Golden Lasso should be next on your list if you want to ride them. One last coaster in DC Universe is Flash: Vertical Velocity so hit that on your way out of the area. None of these rides should have lines beyond a cycle or two, meaning you should make quick work. After finishing up your time in DC Universe, it should be just around 11am which means that you should head back to grab your items out of the locker.


Congrats, you've already hit the majority of the big coasters in the park! Next up is most of what's left. Head right from the main plaza of the park and you'll find your way to Medusa, Kong, Cobra and Skyscreamer. Since Medusa is a people eater and Kong rarely has a long line, you should ride Cobra and Skyscreamer if they're on your list. If you have the time, you should check both out! Skyscreamer gives you great views of the park and Cobra is one of those quirky Zierer family coasters with comically long trains that actually provide some surprising lateral forces. Then brave Kong and finally, finish up the plaza with a ride on Medusa.

Almost there! It should be around noon at this point so it is about time for lunch. We recommend heading to the food court area near Hammerhead Shark where you'll find tons of choices to eat, including our favorite JB's Sports Bar & Grille. Not only does it have some tasty burgers and wings, but it also has a bar and is a nice place to watch a game if your favorite sports team is on TV. After eating, it's time to finish up the rest of the coasters in the park!

Your Afternoon


You're in the home stretch now! Make your way to Boomerang and take a ride. It rarely has a line so you should be on pretty quickly. Congrats, you have finished all the adult coasters at the park! If you're so inclined, go ahead and grab a ride on Roadrunner Express. But now your afternoon is yours for rerides or checking out the other non-coasters at the park!


Take a peek at our suggestions:

  • White Water Safari - if it's a hot day, be sure to check out SFDK's rapids ride!
  • Drench! - this is our favorite of all of sea life shows at the park. Featuring dolphins performing their unique behaviors, you're sure to love it! It features splash seats down in front so if you want to avoid getting wet, sit farther back.
  • Odin's Temple of the Tiger - our other favorite animal show features tigers. Watch them swim, jump and eat and if you're lucky you might even get chosen to help out!
  • Various Animal Exhibits - what sets SFDK apart from other parks is the numerous animal exhibits throughout the park. Definitely don't miss spending some time walking through the park and seeing what you can find. Our favorites are the shark exhibit, penguins and giraffes!

Your Night


Hopefully you had an excellent night at SFDK! If your day at the park includes some night time, we recommend making your way over to Joker or Medusa for night rides. Both coasters feel pretty fast but at night, they feel even faster than usual!

And there we go, a full day at SFDK! With this plan, you should have been able to do everything you want and more! Stay tuned for more guides here at NorCal Thrills!