I splurged and did it. I rallied my family for forced family holiday magic and we went to the Holiday in the Park Drive-Thru Experience at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. While it does really look incredible, the price had me hesitating ($100 for my family of five). It was flat-out awesome to drive around a freaking amusement park decorated with millions of twinkly lights with characters dancing and waving after our months of boredom within the confines of home, but if you do it, please try to learn from my experience.
Open 5 pm to 9 pm from December 14 through January 3, visitors will enjoy the sparkling, dazzling amusement park lights with the unique opportunity to drive through the decorated park. You’ll see Santa Claus, a dancing gingerbread, and other cheerful characters waving hello.
Lessons learned from Six Flags Holiday in the Park Drive-Thru Lights
My family of five went to Six Flags on Wednesday December 23 and door-to-door the outing took almost three hours from Berkeley with no other stops. My kiddos declared that the various decorated neighborhoods we have visited were more “worth it” to them.
- Leave early, there was lots of traffic. The traffic set us back for our scheduled arrival time, but that didn’t really matter. We thought our outing would involve about 20 minutes of driving each way from Berkeley. Instead, it was 45 minutes each way.
- Plan for a LONG wait into the park. Bring tiny candy canes or hot cocoa if you trust your kids to drink in a moving vehicle (I don’t!) and activities. We arrived at 7:06 for a 6:45 “timed entry” and waited just over an hour to get into the light experience from the entrance of the parking lot. If we’d have planned ahead, the kids could have watched most of a Christmas movie. The 96.5 KOIT Christmas station was a little patchy in this line.
- The holiday magic in the park lasts 15-20 minutes. Bring masks and blankets. If you want to have your windows open for a better view, it might be very cold in the car and children may whine. 15 minutes was about the right amount of twinkly park surprises. The staff is clearly working hard to create a special experience and I salute their efforts.
Plan your visit to Six Flags Holiday in the Park Drive-Thru
You can stay merry and bright in the safety of your own car for about $15 to $25 per person (not per vehicle, per person) with children under 3 FREE. You must purchase tickets in advance and you can consider an optional snack or souvenir upgrade at that time.
Pass Holders and Members just need to make a reservation, so if that’s you, what are you waiting for?!
Free alternatives to Six Flags Holiday in the Park: Crippsmas Place in Fremont, Driving tour of Walnut Creek & Concord Homes, Christmas Lights on Candy Cane Lane in Pleasanton, Alameda’s own Christmas Tree Lane. So many more lights to visit in the East Bay >