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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > Trip Report: Lagoon (6/28/2012)

Trip Report: Lagoon (6/28/2012)

ray_p ray_p Profile

Posted:
6/30/12 at
10:22:42 PM

Place: Lagoon (Farmington, UT)
Date: Thursday June 28, 2012
Weather: sunny and hot, temps in the upper 90's
Crowds: minimal
Closed Rides: Cliffhanger
Time Spent at Park: 6:30 - 9:00 PM

Lagoon. A park I never thought I would have a chance to visit. But as luck would have it, I had to make a business trip to Salt Lake City for a week and not being one to pass up a park, I made the trek to Farmington for a few new coaster credits.

After purchasing a full priced admission, I wandered into the park for the first time. My initial impressions of the park were very favorable as Lagoon had a nice "classic park" feel to it. It actually reminded me of Kennywood if it was located in the mountains. Nice landscaping and fountains also landed to the atmosphere. Since I had limited time, I headed right and made my way down to the park's lone wooden coaster, the creatively named Roller Coaster.

From the parking lot, Roller Coaster looked worse than Conneaut's Blue Streak. The paint was peeling and the ride just looked to be in sad shape. I didn't realize that this ride was built in 1921, so perhaps that explains the shoddy appearance. There was no line, and with 2 trains running, I was able to walk right on. The ride itself though, to me, was average at best. The first drop was relatively shallow and the remaining hills didn't offer much in the way of airtime. Heck, some of the hills actually looked squared off. While it wasn't a poor ride by any means, Roller Coaster wasn't one of my favorites.

Undeterred by my first coaster ride at Lagoon, I continued down the midway towards Wild Mouse, a Maurer-Sohne model that would be my first. This was also a walk on, so that made 2 straight rides with no wait. This mouse was pretty brutal as the trims were off around the hairpin curves, resulting in some serious laterals. The drop was pretty awesome and there was also a neat tunneled section of two bunny hops. I really enjoyed Lagoon's Wild Mouse... Even moreso than the Mack models that everyone loves. Good stuff.

Right near the Wild Mouse are three more of Lagoon's coasters. My next stop would be Wicked, a bizarre Zierer launched coaster with some of the strangest seats I have ever seen. The trains seat 8 passengers in two rows of four in giant seats that feature a very large lap restraint. The trains also seem to sit high above the track, making for an unusual ride. As the cars leave the station, they make a left turn and are immediately launched horizontally and then begin to climb a vertical tower that continues to launch the cars up to the top. Once at the top, the cars plummet right back down the tower in a 90 degree drop. An overbanked turn is next followed by the ride's crowning moment- an inline twist. This element is taken rather quickly and was very smooth. Unfortunately, the rest of Wicked was sort of tame. A pair of horseshoe turns (one of which is tunneled) lead riders back to the brake run. While I did enjoy Wicked, it wasn't something I felt I needed to ride again in my limited time as the line was a little longer here.

Next stop was Colossus The Fire Dragon, a classic Schwarzkopf double loop coaster. I only had a one train wait here and I can say that this may be Lagoon's best coaster. I have been on Dorney's Laser and Conklin's old Doppel Looping and didn't remember either of those rides being as good as this. Fire Dragon was fast, smooth, forceful, and had several insanely low head choppers. Definitely an awesome ride that I took a second trip on later in the evening.

Spider, a standard Maurer-Sohne spinning coaster was next. The entrance to the ride takes you under a giant spider that occasionally spits water on unsuspecting guests. The queue leads into a stone castle, which is one of many neat little touches that Lagoon places on its rides. The ride experience itself was almost identical to Waldameer's Steel Dragon, which means it was a fun ride, but still not as good as Seabreeze's WhirlWind. Watching the mountains spin past though gave Spider a big edge in the visuals department though!

With the 5 coasters I wanted to ride out of the way, I made my way back towards the entrance and needed to knock out Lagoon's two dark rides. First stop was Terroride, which had a very cool sign that moved back and forth. The ride vehicles definitely resembled those of Waldameer's Whacky Shack, which made me wonder if this was a Bill Tracey creation. The car crashed through some double doors and the stunts came on fast and furious. Some looked like Tracey's work while others looked to be in-house, such as a hallway of lunging skeletons, a torture room, and the finale of two lights and a truck horn. Terroride was rather short, but enjoyable enough for me to take two trips through.

Lagoon's other dark ride was Dracula's Castle, which had a line far longer than that of Terroride. I expected big things as I was seated in a bizarre vehicle that closed up on top of your legs like a coffin. The ride had some neat scenes, don't get me wrong (the ride's entry scene, a headless horsemen, and the Frankenstein figure all stood out), and it was longer than Terroride, but overall I liked Terroride better. Both were good fun to be sure though and are rides that more parks definitely need.

My next stop would be Lagoon's new for 2012 addition, a Zamperla Air Race. This is quite possibly the best flat ride to come around in a long time. For those unfamiliar, Air Race features 6 four passenger airplane vehicles that revolve around a central column. Then, each plane begns to rock back and forth until it does a complete 360 degree barrel roll. The sensation is really wild, yet hardly nauseating. Riders also get a stunning view of the mountains as they turn head over heels over and over again. As I said in my original Lagoon post, more parks need this ride. The only thing I can see as being a problem is the capacity. I waited 20 minutes to ride, although I will say the ride ops weren't exactly proficient. One other thing I loved about Air Race was the sound. Lagoon piped in the sounds of airplanes zooming past as the ride does its thing... Yet one more little detail that Lagoon did that makes the park feel special.

Since BomBora, the park's in house junior coaster, had a very long line, I decided to take a ride on The Bat. This Vekoma junior inverted coaster was very well themed and while it wasn't one of my favorites, it was still sort of fun. The ride picks up some nice speed near the end, but the first half of the ride was a bit slow and "headbangy". So with a ride on The Bat, I was able to snag 6 new coaster credits on my trip to Lagoon.

My final ride of the evening was on the Sky Ride, where guests are afforded stunning views of the mountain scenery and some nice views of the park's various attractions. Unlike most Hopkins Sky Rides, Lagoon's is a one way ride to the end of the midway. You can ride back by getting back in line, but I decided to walk so I could pick up a few souvenirs from the park's gift shop.

Lagoon is really a gem of a park. The midways are well kept and beautifully landscaped. The ride selection is varied and unique (they also have a Top Scan, a dragon themed Himalaya, a standard Mack Himalaya, an Enterprise, Scrambler, Rock O Plane, Tilt A Whirl, Giant Wheel and an S&S tower complex). Many of the employees were friendly (some were pretty lousy though). And the mountain backdrop is simply gorgeous. I probably won't be getting back to Lagoon any time soon, which is a shame since I really enjoyed the place. I highly recommend this fine park to anyone ever visiting the Salt Lake area. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

I ended my evening with my first ever stop at an In N Out Burger off Interstate 15. I had heard nothing but good things about this west coast chain and went in with high expectations. My double double cheeseburger was quite tasty and the fresh cut fries were good. My overall opinion though was that Five Guys was a better burger and fries restaurant. I was glad I got to try one though after all these years.

I didn't have time to make a video, so all I have are pictures. They will be posted as soon as I get them uploaded.

Thanks for reading!

Re: Trip Report: Lagoon (6/28/2012) by Geauga_Dog Geauga_Dog Profile at 6/30/12 10:58:02 PM
Another great TR from Ray P.! Especially of a park that we don't hear too much about.

I take it you didn't get to ride the Jet Star II, that is, if it's still there? IIRC from my visit to Lagoon way back in 1994 that there was a no single rider policy on it.

The Zamperla Air Race is definitely a ride that has intrigued me and I would love to try one, if a park around here would get one (ahem, Waldameer I'm talking to you). I hope it's not an obscure ride like the awesome Power Surge.

I read somewhere that the reason why Roller Coaster looks the way it does is because Lagoon wants to return the ride to a more natural look hence the chipping paint on the structure.

Oh, and the seats on Wicked sound like the same kind as on Verbolten.

G-Dog

* This post was modified at 6/30/12 11:02:40 PM *

Re: Trip Report: Lagoon (6/28/2012) by frontrow frontrow Profile at 7/1/12 7:08:42 AM
Great TR Ray. Lagoon is a park that I have never been to and probably will never get to. From your description and the photos on the internet, it sounds like a place I would really like. Due to the location, I find this a difficult park to add. That's a shame you didn't have enough time to make a video; your videos are awesome. Glad you had a good time and can't wait to see the photos.
Re: Trip Report: Lagoon (6/28/2012) by ray_p ray_p Profile at 7/1/12 11:02:29 AM
Geauga_Dog said:

I take it you didn't get to ride the Jet Star II, that is, if it's still there? IIRC from my visit to Lagoon way back in 1994 that there was a no single rider policy on it.

Yes, Jet Star II is still there, however I did not ride due to the seating arrangement. I visited Lagoon with a co-worker, but we didn't think the "in your lap" seating was worth the extra credit. :)

The Zamperla Air Race is definitely a ride that has intrigued me and I would love to try one, if a park around here would get one (ahem, Waldameer I'm talking to you).

Considering Mr. Nelson's relationship with Zamperla seems quite good over the past few years, I would hope that he sees what a unique and fun ride this is and picks one up for our beloved Erie park. The ride is a blast and offers a fun visual for those who don't ride.

And frontrow, sorry for no video. I did shoot about 45 seconds of the Air Race in action as I had time in line, but that was about it. Even my pics are more of the random style than usual as I just didn't have time to sit and wait for the perfect shot.

For those interested, the link to my pics is attached.

Ray's Lagoon Pictures

Re: Trip Report: Lagoon (6/28/2012) by MABrider MABrider Profile at 7/3/12 8:38:48 AM
Thanks for answering the question in my head I've had about Lagoon for years, Ray: why does the park have that name?

Your last photo had the answer!
(not that it appeared to be a very large or even "real" one...?)

Mike B.
Re: Trip Report: Lagoon (6/28/2012) by cellocoasterdude cellocoasterdude Profile at 7/3/12 9:52:55 AM
Hi Ray,

I loved this park when I was a kid, it was our home park by the time I was big enough to start riding.

Did you get to or see the Fun House? It was the only fully operational one that I know of, other than the Noah's Ark at Kennywood.

They used to have a wooden wild mouse. In the back western section they had a log flume, I don't remember it being particularly good except for the surroundings.

I was there when they opened the Tidal Wave, and Colossus (that's what they originally called it, despite the one in CA).

Nice TR, brings back some good memories.

-Tim

Re: Trip Report: Lagoon (6/28/2012) by mugen828 mugen828 Profile at 7/3/12 10:59:03 AM
Great TR! I am really looking forward to the pics! I hope to somehow someway find my way to this park, just like all the other gems across the world :)
- mugen828
157 Coasters -- Favorite Coaster -- Nitro (SFGAdv)
117 Steel -- 40 Wood -- Home Park: SFGADv
Re: Trip Report: Lagoon (6/28/2012) by ray_p ray_p Profile at 7/3/12 11:52:39 AM
(not that it appeared to be a very large or even "real" one...?)

Mike, the “lagoon” did indeed look to be manmade. I did like the fact that they placed the Wave Swinger and Tidal Wave along the water. That’s one thing Lagoon did well… details and placement of the rides.

Did you get to or see the Fun House? It was the only fully operational one that I know of, other than the Noah's Ark at Kennywood.

Tim, I do not recall seeing a Fun House at Lagoon. I did not go to the Pioneer section, so I may have missed it, but from what I could tell, they only had the two dark rides. Both of which seemed to contain Bill Tracey elements and many in-house gags, and in my opinion were both enjoyable.

I am really looking forward to the pics!

And mugen, if you scroll up a bit, I do have the link posted for my pics. These weren’t my best work as we had very limited time, but some of them turned out okay. Hope you enjoy them.

Just found out today I may have to head back to Utah again in the next few weeks. If that’s the case, I’m going back to lagoon and this time making a video, checking out the Pioneer Village, and staying away from the Wild Kingdom Train. I have heard unkind things about the condition of the animal pens, so I’d rather keep my favorable impression of Lagoon intact!

Thanks to all for the comments!

Re: Trip Report: Lagoon (6/28/2012) by mugen828 mugen828 Profile at 7/3/12 12:10:08 PM
ray_p said:

And mugen, if you scroll up a bit, I do have the link posted for my pics. These weren’t my best work as we had very limited time, but some of them turned out okay. Hope you enjoy them.

Just found out today I may have to head back to Utah again in the next few weeks. If that’s the case, I’m going back to lagoon and this time making a video, checking out the Pioneer Village, and staying away from the Wild Kingdom Train. I have heard unkind things about the condition of the animal pens, so I’d rather keep my favorable impression of Lagoon intact!

Thanks to all for the comments!


Ah! indeed you did! Sorry, I was just looking in the OP. I gave some of those pics a thumbs up! Truly a cool park. It has some fantastic scenery! It's funny you mentioned that it reminds you of Kennywood because when I looked at your pictures it made me think of the movie Adventureland, which as some of us know, the park in that movie was Kennywood.

Such a cool looking place. It definitely looks bigger than I thought it would be, it's definitely somewhere I'd like to visit. If I could own a theme park, I think it would be much like a place like Lagoon. Small enough to have a charm, but big enough to have coasters. I hope they get a nice wood coaster there someday, I think that'd put them on the map!

Thanks for sharing the pics!

- mugen828
157 Coasters -- Favorite Coaster -- Nitro (SFGAdv)
117 Steel -- 40 Wood -- Home Park: SFGADv
Re: Trip Report: Lagoon (6/28/2012) by drachen drachen Profile at 7/24/12 4:25:03 PM
Nice report Ray. Can you tell I'm getting caught up on URC? I read this back when you posted it, but I was unable to reply, even though I wanted to. I had to dig a bit to find this.

I'm glad you had a great time and that you were able to get to this difficult to get to park. Lagoon is in that category with Silverwood - a park I am dying to get to.

I've been to Lagoon twice, and the rides that stood out to me were Colossus, the two dark rides, the skyride, the Top Scan, and the Ferris wheel, for its views of the park, mountains, and if I remember correctly, the Great Salt Lake.

Roller Coaster was just ok for me, just like you said. It really does look horrible. I remember the sign stating that there is no need to white wash it anymore. I get that, but they should just paint it again. Old coasters should be white anyway.

Colossus is fabulous, and I'm glad that it's still around. Dorney was foolish for removing Laser out here.

I remember really liking the dark rides, but I don't remember them too well. A pair of Ray P dark ride POV's would have been awesome. Oh well. I enjoyed your photos anyway.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.87 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.57 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28%
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Re: Trip Report: Lagoon (6/28/2012) by ray_p ray_p Profile at 7/26/12 3:05:51 PM
drachen said:

I remember really liking the dark rides, but I don't remember them too well. A pair of Ray P dark ride POV's would have been awesome. Oh well. I enjoyed your photos anyway.

Thanks as always for the positive comments, drachen.

I went to Lagoon with a co-worker of mine, so I didn't want to spend too much time filming like I do when I'm at a park by myself. I always feel like I'm wasting someone else's time doing something silly when I'm with a friend. I did take two rides through Terroride, the second time taking my camera in with me. Unfortunately, I started the video recording about 40 seconds in and missed the first few stunts. If I get a chance, I'll put it up on YouTube and post it here if you'd like to see it. I did not film Dracula's Castle at all, and even though I did find it fun, I thought Terroride was the better (albeit shorter) of the two dark rides.

It's now looking like our client in Salt Lake will be coming to Cleveland next month, so a return visit to the park now seems unlikely. Oh well, at least I can say I got to Lagoon once!

Thanks again for your compliments. I appreciate it!

Re: Trip Report: Lagoon (6/28/2012) by MABrider MABrider Profile at 7/26/12 6:26:07 PM
ray_p said:

I always feel like I'm wasting someone else's time doing something silly when I'm with a friend.

LOL
C'mon, Ray, all ya gotta do is promise the friend(s) some face time on camera!

Doesn't apply to me, of course...
:-)

Mike B.