Six Flags Discovery Kingdom Vallejo
- Six Flags was previously known as Marine World Africa USA prior to 1999
Archived Q&A and Reviews
Great America vs. Six Flags in Vallejo
We're thinking of taking our 8-year-olds to either Great America or Six Flags Discovery Kingdom for a birthday present. We've never been to either. Which would be better for kids this age? They like rides, but don't have any experience with big roller coasters (and I'm not sure they'd be into them). Which has more rides they can go on without adults? Thanks! Lisa
I haven't been to Great America, but I've been to Six Flags a few times. It has tons for 8-year-olds to do. Yes, there are the huge rollercoasters, but they have many other rides too. We never go on rollercoasters and always find enough things to do, both in our childless days and also now in our days with children (though our kids are a little younger than yours). There are also a number of different animal-related shows which are pretty neat. Great America is probably pretty similar (except minus the animals, I think). I'd probably go to whichever one is more convenient for where you live.
I've been to both many times. The rides your child can ride independently are based on the child's height. The websites for each park have charts/maps of rides listing the height requirements. Check these out and you will be able to easily plan your trip based on the facts (but makes it hard if the children are of very different heights). The main differences are Great America also has a water park and Six Flags also has animals. Have fun! -- local mom
I'm having my little girls 4th birdthday there is weekend, the last time we took her there she was 3. The best attractions for a two year old will probably be the dolp hin/whale show, aquarium, animal shows (there a giraff, an elephant, and a walrus sh ow) and some of the kids areas like Popeye's Seaport which has play areas and rides for younger children. When my daughter was 3 she loved the flamingos found around t he park and there was a sea life petting zoo of sorts where the kids can touch urc hins and starfish is a shallow pool. Popeye's Seaport has a train ride, a carousel, etc that the two of you may go on together. But the majority of the rides do have h eight restrictions beginning at about 42-48.
Also, a few large rollercoasters are set to open in late May and it will be interest ing to see how this affects the animal/sea life and their ability to carry on with t he show. I know the staff at Marine World is concerned about this. Also, depending on how loud those rides will be you may want to consider taking your child before t hey open, the roar of the coasters and scraming could be frightening to a 2 yr old.
However, the admission price for a two year old can't be beat, it's free for kids under 3. Adult admission is approximately $29-$30.
We did 2 trips last summer. The first just after our daughter turned 2 and then another trip around Sept or Oct. The first trip she was very much into just viewing the animals just like at the zoo. Her most fun was the play area for toddlers, a ball pit and some funky inflated cones that they could bounce around on. The play area was limited to small children so I didn't have to worry about bigger kids falling on her. The second trip she seemed to enjoy the shows more, they had a very good elephant show and she really liked the killer whales. The play area late in the summer appeared to be mostly dismantled so I think we must have come at a time when they were beginning their remodeling.
The cost is OUTRAGEOUS, something like $35 for each adult, I think kids under 3 were maybe free. I would definitely plan ahead and watch for special coupons that are sponsored by 7-eleven or fast food restaurants. They have a yearly pass program that appears to pay for itself after just 2 or 3 visits but given her age and the distance we live from Vallejo 2 trips in one summer was enough.
Not sure I thought the experience was worth the full price admission but a 2 year old can have a good time.
As a side note, we went tried out Great America last summer as well and it was entertaining but again, the price of admission seemed outrageous for a kid that small. We also took her to Disneyland and that was a real hit. Toon Town and FantasyLand are the 2 places we spent all our time. It was an enormous amount of fun for all of us and I felt the cost of the trip was worth it. People had told me that 2 was too young but we didn't find that at all, our daughter immediately 'got it' and had an incredible time.
I don't know what the current price structure is now or what it's like -- they closed it for 6 months with a change in ownership and changed it a lot, I believe -- but after you find out the official cost, check with the employee benefits office. They used to have half price coupons.