Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Update - April 8th, 2023
Scream Break & Rainforest Trail Preview
Scream Break is SFDK's exciting new event to celebrate Spring Break this year. It is a separately ticketed (free for passholders) event that takes place on certain days in the spring after the park closes for daytime guests. It features two haunted experiences: Toxic Terror (a scarezone) and Clown Underground (a maze). In addition, there's a DJ and rides in the DC Universe area that remain open for event attendees.
I specifically got to the park later today in order to make sure I could attend. As 7pm got closer, I took a seat near the entrance to the haunted experiences which is near the entrance to DC Universe. At 7pm, the gates opened and I walked through both experiences. Toxic Terror is a scare zone that leads guests to the entrance of the Clown Underground maze. It was light out and I was one of the first people to go in. I thought both were pretty understaffed and suffered from the light. So I decided I wanted to try them again and waited an hour or so until it got dark out. My second time through both were so much better. The dark hides a lot of the scareactors and the maze in particular filled up with monsters so much more on my second run.
The rest of the event was great too. I loved the DJ with the foam. Monsters roamed around dancing and interacting with guests and I loved seeing the rides in the area running at night. Overall, it was a great event and I really hope that the park brings it back next year! Now for some pictures!
Let's check out the event!
I liked this little display in one of the shop windows
Plenty of festival guides for the event throughout the park
Here's the map
And a little bit more signage. If you wanted to go, you either needed to go to the Thrillquarters at the front of the park or Coaster Candy to buy or show your season pass for a Scream Break wristband
At 7pm, the event starts!
The entrance to the haunted area. No pictures from inside the maze of course
A little closer look. I didn't take my camera in for obvious reason but kids seemed to love the stuff
And it was a good spectacle as the lights went down
Speaking of, this scareactor was great. He was dancing with guests and interacting in addition to scaring them. Props to him!
But that's not the only reason to come to the park for Scream Break, you also get ERT on the coasters at night!
Superman and Flash were closed during my visit so you got Joker...
Wonder Woman (which looks awesome at night)
Rainforest Trail Preview / New for 2023
So for 2023, we have two new experiences at the park: Rainforest Trail and Shark Experience. This Saturday, the Rainforest Trail was open for preview. So lets start with the obvious, the majority of the exhibit is similar to the butterfly exhibit that was there before. With the two notable exceptions: Gibnut the Paca and Ginger the Sloth are being moved over to this exhibit from the nursery (they aren't quite there yet). The rest of the changes consist of some general cleaning and new signage and some new koi fish. It's not the massive top to bottom overhaul that some were hoping for but it's a change that the park didn't have to make and a nice QoL one that I appreciate. If making an exhibit "new" for marketing is what they need to spend the money on renovation, then I'm all for it! Let's see more!
I wasn't expecting this! We're getting a preview of the new Rainforest Trail area that is opening in the former butterfly exhibit
Plenty of new signage out front
We'll talk more about this slogan later in the update
My favorite signage is this piece of concrete in the walk to the back of the park
And a fresh new big sign!
Inside, the view is pretty similar to what it was before!
The butterflies are the main draw (for now)
This waterfall tunnel provides a cool photo op
And koi fish are coming!
With some already here
Gibnut's cage is towards the back of the exhibit
When Ginger is moved here, she'll undoubtedly be the star of the area
Before we finish this section, I wanted to pop into the other new for 2023 animal exhibit, which is open during construction
And... no differences as far as I can tell. I'll keep my eye out!
Well, that's not totally true, the gift shop was closed, maybe they're working on that first
We have some new information about upcoming additions to SFDK! They're not the rides that a lot of people are hoping for but they're great additions nonetheless, including some reopening and revamped animal exhibits!
Let's start off with the former Hammerhead plot
Right now, it just has some tables on it
But we've been promised a new Beer Garden! I like the idea and would love to see some shade in this plot, plenty of benches for people to sit and some interesting beers to try
I have to assume that this structure nearby is part of it. I also have to assume that this will be done this year. But we'll see!
Continuing onward, the former walrus exhibit has walls up and a new sign that says that something is coming in 2024
I would assume that it's some sort of revamped animal exhibit. Also interesting that there's this theme throughout the park of "elevating" your experience. I have to assume that that wording is deliberate but it definitely lends itself to tallness in a park that has a hard limit on structure height. We'll have to see exactly what it means
There's actually way more other smaller updates from around the park than usual this month. As we go into this, you should keep the following mantra in mind: the current Six Flags administration is trying to forego larger ride additions for the time being in favor of smaller, quality of life upgrades to the park. And they're doing a really good job. The park looked the best I've seen it since I started coming to the park regularly in 2019. So good for Six Flags! I hope they keep to their course and continue to spruce up this awesome park!
There's a new sign on the way into the park saying that Cheetah Creek is now open. Unfortunately, the animal area was closed by the time I got into the park but I'll have to check it out next time!
Welcome to SFDK, all decked out for Spring Break!
In the plaza, the former photo booth has become a more general purpose info booth for information and upgrades
The stage near the fountains was gone for the first time in a long time
The tent is gone from the food court!
I'm a little split on the decision. On one hand, it does look so much better but on the other hand, it was nice to have a bunch of shade on sunny days
But either way, there was again a stage set up with a DJ playing music for guests
Like Mardi Gras, some of the food stands became event food stands. In the food court, there's Beach Break Grill
Which serves a couple of Hawaiian bowls
Across from Seaside Junction, we have Hang Ten Cafe
Which serves some more bowls
Some of the games in the games area have been removed
The Toyota Stadium annex has been completely closed off. This gate is near JBs
And this one is near White Water Safari. With the stadium itself no longer being used, I have to wonder what the plot is being used for, if for anything. I think Halloween and Christmas will be illuminating since the area has been used for a scare zone and Christmas village in the past
The former Macho Nacho Burritos location had its sign removed
And the "Elevation" sign left of the door
So one of the most minor but most consequential additions this month is the addition of plenty of updated signs like this restrooms sign. This is such a small QoL thing that almost certainly doesn't show much of a ROI but the park is doing it anyways to signs that weren't in that bad of shape. I think this is emblematic of the direction the park wants to go in the future
Continuing along, look what's open! Tava's Jungleland is finally open again!
ell to walk through it was. The rides were closed when I walked through and the Frog Hopper was removed
But it's not all bad, this little conservation area was a new addition to the area
And some new animal exhibits are still under construction
The water features were open for the first time in a while!
And the theater signage got a fresh coat of paint and looks great!
Looking back towards the animal exhibits, looks Cougar Rocks got a fresh new sign as well
Headed over to the Kong plaza, Kong remained closed again this month
But the big news?
Dare Devil Dive is gone!!
Continuing around, Seaside Junction was open for the first time in a while too!
With water features as well!! That's pretty rare
But a section, including Merlin's Seaside Tours, remains closed off
Superman's banners are back up!
Not to bury this or anything but Flash is open again!! Ironically, I saw them run a cycle or two before the ride went down for the rest of the day. When I left at 8:30pm, they said they were trying to get it back up but not sure if they did. Either way, good to see the park opening this coaster again
And that'll wrp up the update! Scream Break was a ton of fun. I hope that it does well and the park brings it back next year, I'm always up for more Halloween. I'm also really excited for the direction that the park is going! I saw more new signs and fresh paint than I ever have before and the park is doing a good job either removing or opening closed rides. Based on the signs it seems like between the new beer garden (probably this year) and the new walrus exhibit next year, we have plenty of new things to look forward to. I'll be there to cover them!