Today is National Roller Coaster Day, which marks the closing for Six Flags Discovery Kingdom’s iconic wooden roller coaster, Roar. Since its opening in May 1999, Roar has been a thrilling ride that has served over 11 million guests in its 16 year operation.
Because Roar had closed on the day of our visit, August 16th, season passholder exclusive ride time (ERT) was available between 9:30 and 10:30 for both Roar and V2: Vertical Velocity. We had arrived to the park at 9:15 but ran into multiple complications trying to enter the park.
Six Flags does not allow mounts or any type of monopod into the park and we had one in our possession prior to entering the park. Due to our transportation, we were unable to leave our monopod in the car and Six Flags’ lockers available for this purpose were not accepting cash at the time. Guest relations could do absolutely nothing to help us and employees had suggested hiding the monopod rather than helping us find a secure spot, ultimately resulting in our equipment being stolen.
We were inside the front gates by 9:30 and headed straight for Roar, the park’s Great Coasters International (GCI) wooden coaster. We had made it onto the first train of the day and although it was a fairly rough ride, it was still enjoyable as a whole. However, V2: Vertical Velocity, the park’s Intamin impulse coaster, had minimal waits and was running very smoothly. We ended the first hour with two rides on Roar and three on V2: Vertical Velocity.
As the full park opened, we stood and waited for Superman: Ultimate Flight, the world’s first Premier Rides Sky Rocket II to open. The coaster was running very well and created a very smooth, yet intense experience. It is a very fun ride and provides a surprising amount of airtime after the inline twist.
Monsoon Falls left us drenched in water, only to be splashed again on the exit of the ride. Wave Swinger, the park’s chairswing, is always perfect to dry off and our party took a ride on Wave Swinger only to continue to the back of the park.
Boomerang: Coast to Coaster was next, a Vekoma Boomerang clone notorious for its uncomfortable and painful ride.
Because of its roughness, this was my first time on Boomerang: Coast to Coaster in over a year and it is much smoother than I remember! We rode once, only having to wait half a cycle in all, and continued towards the back of the park.
We continued to Tava’s Jungleland, nestled in the back right corner of Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. The area is home to many family rides including a Zamperla Safari Jeep car ride and an elevating Zamperla Samba Balloon. The Safari Jeep tour was a lackluster car ride, and we were amazed to learn that on-ride filming is not even allowed here, one of the mildest rides at the park. However, it was allowable on some larger rides in Tava’s Jungleland.
Up next was Nariobi’s Look Out Balloons, which was a surprisingly intense ride. As you ascend and remain about forty feet in the air, riders are able to freely spin your ride vehicle, and with two on-ride, we were able to spin our car very fast. Nariobi’s Look Out Balloons was by far the most intense ride at the park in my opinion.
A short lunch succeeded and we continued to Oasis Plaza to ride Dare Devil Chaos Coaster, Medusa, and Kong. Dare Devil Chaos came first, and with a one cycle wait we were on the ride in no time. Although everyone criticizes Larson Giant Loops for not being coasters, nobody takes into consideration that they are still amazing rides, though not roller coasters.
Medusa, the park’s only Bolliger & Mabillard (B&M) roller coaster, was next. The wait was about ten minutes and the ride was very smooth and intense. It is for good reason this ride the most popular in the park.
We then headed back to Roar Plaza to wish our final goodbyes and ride Roar until its queue closing at 6:00 that evening. Before our final ride, we had rode Roar twice more and V2: Vertical Velocity twice as well, a third time of which was abruptly ended due to technical difficulties.
While getting off-ride footage of Roar, we spotted something quite interesting involving Roar’s future plans. Next to Roar in an area blocked off to the public, there is a crane that looks exactly like the crane located at at Six Flags Magic Mountain for Twisted Colossus earlier this year, meaning that this must be a Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) crane. There is a tarp covering Rocky Mountain Construction’s website URL and phone number, but the first and last digit of the phone number on the crane correspond with the company’s official phone number. This means that Roar will most likely be getting the Iron Horse treatment for 2016 alike five other successful hybrid coasters located at other Six Flags parks across the continent.
In order to ride Roar one last time before its closing at 7:00, the queue shut down at 6:00 and riders quickly entered for their last time. However, there was a small group of us that had decided to wait in front of the queue in order to be the last train of all time. After an attendant came to block off the ride’s queue, out group entered and the gates were closed behind us permanently at 6:07 on August 16, 2015. We then waited 25 min in Roar’s queue, being the last to ever pass through it.
Our group of 16 ascended to Roar’s last ever ride, and boarding the train we were quickly joined by other riders to fill the open spots on Roar’s final train. It was truly an amazing experience to be on the last ever ride on Roar at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. However, after arriving back at the station, we were propelled to a second lap around the course to finalize the night! The 24 of us had had a truly wild ride ride, and due to one more group of four riders riding for their last time after our second run, we were sent a third time along the ride’s course to truly be the last riders! Six Flags has done a very nice job with Roar’s closing, and although it is not the same as Shockwave’s recent closing at Kings Dominion in terms of audience and public enthusiasm, Roar’s last day gave the ride a true sense of closure. They even changed the ride’s slogan for it’s closure. It formerly said “You’ll never hear the end of it” but was now changed to simply “the end of it”.
The night was closed with two consecutive rides on V2: Vertical Velocity and one on Medusa.
We hope you enjoyed our trip report. What do you think will be happening to Roar in 2016? Post your feedback in the comments below!