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Wild rides and wildlife coexist at Vallejo's Discovery Kingdom

VALLEJO -- The days of parks with one big attraction, the thrill of a carousel and the opportunity to enter the petting zoo have given way to monumental amusement parks with myriad ways to entertain. Among those is Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, a 135-acre park where enjoyment is found in the skies on the thrill rides, in the sea with the aquatic shows and on land with the characters and arcade games.

For thrill-seekers, the park offers Kong, a looping roller coaster where riders' feet dangle with no floorboard, and Medusa, where a ride of 3,500 feet takes the brave through twists, loops and seven different chances to be upside down. To cool off, visitors may jump on Monsoon Falls and enjoy a 60-foot drop over a waterfall.

For the less adventurous, the park also offers a number of milder rides, where families may all travel together, or rides that cater to youngsters.

For those whose trip to an amusement park might be met with less enthusiasm (those like me), Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is also home to more than 500 animals that perform and are showcased in more than 30 animal attractions. Visitors can enjoy Shouka, the killer whale, in her wild water performance; Odin, a white Bengal tiger, and his friends as they showcase their prowess; and Tava the elephant as she struts her stuff.

Along with the animal entertainment, the park also offers a musical presentation featuring the lovable Bugs Bunny and his Looney Tune friends.

While the park policy does not allow outside food to be brought in, there are eateries for every taste conveniently located throughout, featuring everything from hamburgers and fries to chicken and Papa John's pizza.

It's all about amusement at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, whether it is the twist and turn of a thrill ride or the big splash of a killer whale.

Bee assistant librarian Karen Aiello can be reached at kaiello@modbee.com or 578-2392.

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