'Ready to ride?' Six Flags reopens roller coasters to general public

VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) -- It could be one of the biggest steps forward in our return to normal life since the start of the pandemic, some Bay Area theme parks reopened rides Saturday.

"Are you ready to ride?" asked one ride operator.

That would be a "yes" from everyone who waited to ride the Joker roller coaster. Gavin Wages and his daughter Mariah came from Sacramento.

The theme park has been allowing visitors inside since July for their animal displays, but has been unable to reopen the rides until California modified the restrictions.

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"I'm really excited, when I told her it was back open, she started shaking," said Wages.

Hold on tight! The Joker is one of nine coasters reopening at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom after the pandemic closed them down for more than a year.

That's a lot of screaming to catch up on.

"We're happy to welcome back our guests to enjoy the rides, and happy to welcome back more of our employees," said Six Flags Discovery Kingdom spokesperson Marc Merino.

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Theme parks in Southern California are planning to reopen as early as next month, but thrill seekers may be forced to control their excitement while riding roller coasters.



The line was long at the front gate, all Saturday tickets sold out. Online reservations required.

A day of fun is exactly what Dhaijhai Hornsby and her kids from Stockton needed.

"We've been sitting inside the whole pandemic, looking for something to do," said Hornsby.

Safety measures are happening at the park, like a thermal imaging tunnel upon arrival, taking temperatures.

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Rides are disinfected throughout the day and there are lots of safety reminders in case you forget.

When you buckle in for a ride, there's an announcement that place, "keep your masks on at all times covering your nose."

The park is now operating at 15 percent capacity. A move from the red tier to orange in Solano County will allow more guests to make reservations.

For many families, this weekend is big - A chance to return to some of the good times we used to know.

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