Six Flags Discovery Kingdom has seen some major changes to its coaster roster over the last decade. The classic Schwarzkopf-built Zonga closed a few months after my last visit, and was exported soon after to a fairground in Mexico. Its site was reused for Tony Hawk's Big Spin, later Pandemonium, a Gerstlauer spinning coaster that operated for four seasons before following its predecessor down south. Today the site is home to Superman Ultimate Flight (#2061), a bizarre looking launched coaster from Premier Rides that opened two years ago to rave reviews from enthusiasts and the general public alike. While unique at the time, the design has since been sold to other parks; the first clone opened at Holiday Park this year, and a second is due to open in Bosque Magico in 2015.
Operations today were fairly efficient, though it was disappointing to be told that we had to store fanny packs in a paid locker instead of wearing them. On the plus side there wasn't much of a queue, so we decided to ride twice, once in the front and once in the back. There was a small amount of vibration on the forward section of the ride, but apart from that the on-ride experience was identical to the version I wrote about three weeks ago.
There were some obvious sections of new track on Roar, and these gave a tantalising hint of what the whole ride could have been capable of given a little bit more investment. The rest of it wasn't awful, but it was very involved and I'm not sure I could have ridden more than a few times even if I'd wanted to. We had a similar experience with Vertical Velocity; our ride at the back of the train was marred by severe vibration that was quite uncomfortable. The original impulse coaster was retired a few years ago; might this one be the next to go?
Lack of preparation on my last visit resulted in me forgetting to ride the kiddie coaster, and today was an opportunity to make amends. Road Runner Express (#2062) was the first installation of the now ubiquitous Zamperla family coaster, and today it was shaking and rattling more than coasters ten times its size. On the positive side, however, riders were only being sent for a single lap, just enough to tick off the credit with minimal bruising.
We had planned to leave the park by lunch time due to my early evening flight, but there was just enough time for a ride on Medusa. It would have been wrong to finish off our trip on anything other than a top quality coaster.