Six Flags Discovery Kingdom The Joker Tour 4/22/16
——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-Please welcome our new Northern California correspondent, Jeremy. He’ll be covering Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and California’s Great America, along with some other Northern California parks. He just moved from Texas, so The Joker’s tour on April 22nd gave him the opportunity to visit Six Flags Discovery Kingdom for the first time ever. -Henry
“Look at that coaster view!”
Hello everyone. As Henry said, my name is Jeremy and I am excited to give you all a look into Fridays festivities. Friday April 22nd was an exciting day for the whole entire coaster world, as everyone got to see the Joker up close and personal. Not only did I get to attend the tour, but this was also my first visit to the park. So let’s get into the tour. As I arrive at at Discovery Kingdom I was instantly impressed! This park is one of the most beautiful parks I have ever seen, and the skyline of coasters is absolutely breathtaking. The Joker is perfectly situated right in the middle as you look at the park from across the lake in the parking lot. The spot that the Joker resides in is perfect, as it appears to be the star attraction. As we made our way towards the entrance, we were greeted by Nancy Chan, the Communications Manager for Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. As we went in through a side gate right before the main entrance, we were welcomed with other exciting enthusiasts and were also given our hardhats. Once the hardhats were distributed this feeling of excitement came over everyone as we knew this really was about to happen!
Nancy then thanked everyone for coming out, and gave us a brief synopsis of how the day was going to play out. She then introduced us to Charles Laureano who was the one who actually gave the tour. We also Had Justin, the lead foreman from RMC answering any questions we had for him. As we entered onto the active construction site we encountered the last few pieces that need to be connected. We also see that construction workers are on the wood climbing, bolting, and drilling. It was magical to walk onto the site and literally be in the middle of it!
As you can see through this picture, are the last few pieces I was talking about. It also gives you a better understanding of how up close and personal we were. The area where the track is not finished is the last over banked turn right before heading into the break one before the station. The gentleman in the green shirt is one of the construction workers inspecting the track and putting cables around it in preparation for the crane to lift it. The gentleman in the orange safety vest was our tour guide, Charles. The area you see is the eye, or the middle of the coaster. While I was standing there it was amazing to look up and see the whole monster wrapped around me. You can also see in the variation of color in the wood. The light color wood is all new wood. They told us that there had to be a lot of new wood added. The reason for the new wood is that the RMC steel track is very top heavy, so in order for the train to go through all the extreme banked elements and inversions, new wood had to be added to support the structure. The only piece of straight track on this coaster is the lift and the station. So I will move onto the first element that we were able to see.
This element is one of the three inversions that the Joker has to offer. They have named this the “STEP-UP-UNDER-FLIP.” When you reach the top of the hill you flip under and dive back down. Not only is it gorgeous to look at, but it gets your blood pumping as you can’t wait to see the train barrel through this. This element happens right after a twisting 78 degree drop of 100ft. So as you can see, this track is going to be twisting and turning throughout the whole ride experience. You can also see the new wood vs. the old wood better in this picture.
This next picture is to show you how crazy this track is with going in and out of itself so many times. This is also where the “ASIAN CAMELBACK” takes place. This element, named after the Asian Camelback which has two humps, is small to the eye, but promises to pack a great punch of airtime as you zoom through these crazy dips.
“Hanging out upside down!”
This arch that you see behind Nancy Chan is completely upside down! You are going to get max hang time as you glide through this element totally upside down! I noticed that Discovery Kingdom loves their upside down hang time. I was able to see that on Superman and Medusa later in the day, but I will get to those a bit later.
The joker is going to pack a punch from start to finish. The first drop looks intimidating and wonderful all at the same time. The first drop twists down at 78 degrees from 100ft in the air. it will surely get you off to a heart pounding start.
Just wanted to give all of you a look at how big these bolts are that hold the joker together. No wonder the track is top heavy. These bolts are massive! I am now going to put up a few more pictures to show again how close we were, and to see a few more elements.
“Another change of direction? Sure, why not!”
“Anyone up for some sideways thrills?”
“Who needs the beach to layout on when you have endless amounts of track!”
This is Justin. He was incredibly informative as he has been with RMC since the beginning. He is currently the lead foreman for the Joker. He was the one who explained why adding additional wood was needed, and he told us how the original structure of Roar made this the perfect RMC masterpiece. He told us that a few things have also been tested. They have tested the lift over and over, and it is working perfectly. The original structure was also 95ft tall. RMC raised it 5ft to have a max height of 100ft. He explained that the elements on RMC are getting crazier as time goes by. Jim was on the construction team for The New Texas Giant and Twisted Colossus. Jim has a love for coasters, and he loves thrilling enthusiasts. RMC is incredibly lucky to have someone so passionate of their team. Thank you Jim for helping bring new thrills to us over and over!
Here is the control room or the Joker’s brain. How this massive piece of technology works is through two computers. Computer A and computer B. They both run at the same time detecting where the train is at all times, and making sure that the train is matching the block braking systems. If the train were to be off by a centimeter from where it is told it is, both computers will shut down the ride until professionals can come out and clear or fix the problem.
Alright ladies and gentlemen. The moment we have all been waiting for. The reveal of these amazing trains. The Joker himself is here to help me reveal this masterpiece of art!
RMC has done it again my friends! The front of these trains are incredible! Of course the Joker showed up to assist in the reveal of his new trains. Regardless of the Joker’s reputation, he was quite pleasant to be around. He actually did an amazing job as he stayed in character the whole time. Props to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom for making the reveal so special and amazing. I am going to post a few more pictures of the Joker himself and the train. I took some close ups of the seats, lap bars, and the wheels.
As the tour is over I could not believe what I was so lucky to be able to be able to participate. There are currently 12 more pieces left to attach, and 26 employees on staff getting it finished for a hopeful spring time opening!
As soon as the tour ended we were taken over to Pacific Rim 5D. We were able to go up in the projection room and see how it all worked. The 3d projection system is no longer being made, so Six Flags Discovery Kingdom re built the system from the ground up with the original inventor giving them some assistance. Pacific Rim 5D was tons of fun to ride as well. Action Adventure Theatres are hard to find, so I think it is awesome that Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is going strong with one.
After the tour was over we were let into the park to have some fun. As I said earlier I have never been here before. Medusa was the first coaster as I love B&M’s! At First it looked pretty tame, but this beast is no where near tame! Just that first giant loop had so much hang time, I was wondering if we were ever going to make it through it!. There is so much airtime on this coaster, it’s insane.
Shortly after that we rode Superman twice! Once in the front and once in the back! Sorry I did not get a picture of superman as I will be back soon to take some shots. I have never been on a coaster that I literally felt like I was going to fall out! It was amazing. Once you reach the top of superman, that corkscrew roll is incredibly intimidating.
After a couple of rides I was able to view some of the animals. Since it was raining for most of the day most of the animal exhibits were closed, but I got a few cool shots that I will share with everyone.
“He loved licking that building!” Don’t worry, as he had plenty of food and room to run around!”
As I ended my day I thought how great it was that this park had a love for animals as well as some of the coolest coasters I have ever been on. The park was clean and the staff was absolutely amazing. Discovery Kingdom has some of the best customer service I have ever seen in my life! I cant wait to get back out there soon, and keep exploring.
Well everyone, I hope you all loved the tour as much as I did. Thank you so much for reading!