|Slow motion upside down with just a lap bar = Me freaking out|
|Roar's a fantastic coaster...too bad about the ugly billboard for hair products.|
|Monsoon Falls: not very tall, but nicely themed.|
Discovery Kingdom is a beautiful park saddled with a thick layer of Six Flags tackiness, such as...well, how about the M&M stairway?
|You paid good money to walk up this commercial.|
Or the misting stations with the R-rated Resident Evil movie posters?
|Children getting misted by an R-rated movie ad. We're certainly at Six Flags.|
And yet -- like a great movie interrupted by ads -- the core experience still works. I wish Six Flags would dump the product hawking, but, as is, Discovery Kingdom is a wonderful park in spite of it all.
It's got a perfect mix of coasters and "flat rides." In that respect, it puts the much larger Magic Mountain to shame.
The park closed at five, so we ended our day in the park's aquatic section, enjoying the Walrus Experience (naturally), and the wonderful Shark encounter, in which you ride a moving sidewalk through an underwater tube as sharks swim around and above you.
It's spectacular and unforgettable, ending in a small but well-designed shark museum and education center.
On the way to the park exit, we encountered Daffy. Perfect costume. Although the classic Looney Tunes of the 40's and 50's are the funniest short films in the history of humankind, I've never had a strong desire to purchase the character merchandise. Unlike at Disneyland, I found it extremely easy to leave the park without buying anything.
The employees were exceptional, too. Everyone we encountered -- security guards, ride operators, animal experts and food servers -- made us feel welcome.
If Discovery Kingdom works so well while blighted by M&M stairs and Credit Card banners, I can only imagine how wonderful it could be if freed from that ugliness. If Six Flags would just consider toning down the ads, this park could become truly spectacular.