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Lagoon Trip Report and Review, with Photos and Video

drachen drachen Profile

Posted:
4/7/14 at
5:05:11 PM

A Bit of a Back Story

Lagoon is one of two parks, along with Silverwood in Idaho, that a lot of park fans don’t ever get to, but should. It takes some real effort to go to Salt Lake City – not exactly a place that people pass through.

This was actually my fourth visit to Lagoon, having briefly lived in Utah. Now, I haven’t been to the park in almost ten years – my last visit being in October of 2004 with my girlfriend at the time (who would become my wife eight months later).

I haven’t been to Utah in over five years. But my wife’s friend’s wedding took us west for a few days. Upon seeing that the wedding was the same date as Lagoon’s opening day, well, I knew I was coming along too.

The plan was to attend the wedding on Saturday and go to the park on Sunday. As Saturday came, the forecast for Sunday worsened to about 90% chance of rain all day. Instead of chancing it on Sunday, I decided the best course of action was to get done what I could on Saturday. The reception ended at 4PM, and took place about 15 minutes from the park, which closed at 7pm.

My wife gave me the go-ahead to leave at 3PM. And off I went to Lagoon in a nice shirt, cuff links, dress pants, dress shoes, and tie (though the tie came off in the car). The weather was cool, but overcast, which was not optimal for photo-taking.

Arriving at the Park

Lagoon is very easy to get to, as is pretty much everything in Utah. The park essentially has its own exit off of I-15, and it takes you right into the park if you follow it. Parking is $10, and the good parking booth attendants will be sure to offer you a season parking pass – not covered under your season pass purchase.


Welcome to Lagoon!

Utah’s geography helps Lagoon, while at the same time somewhat "hurting" it. Aside from the mountains, Utah is very flat. So you can see Lagoon from almost anywhere in the general area. The 200 foot S&S tower is particularly noticeable, as is the Ferris wheel and Wicked’s yellow tower.

At the same time, the mountain backdrop, while absolutely gorgeous, makes the tall rides seem almost miniature. I mean, the thrill in going up 200 feet is somewhat affected when there is a 5,000 foot mountain right next to you…


Going up 200 feet on The Rocket? Well there's a 5,000 foot mountain right next door!

The photo below, taken from Antelope Island State Park, really illustrates both points. As the crow flies, the island is 17 miles away from Lagoon, yet I could pick it out with my eyes, and then zoom in with my camera.

Yet at the same time, you can see how the mountains just absolutely dwarf the 200 foot Rocket tower.

A Bit of Business

There is one thing to always keep in mind when visiting Lagoon. They are the only game in town. They know it, and the operate as such. It’s something I have always noticed on each visit, and I’m sure I’ll provide examples as I go along here. They simply don’t have to be competitive with other parks.

The Salt Lake Valley, or Wasatch Front, is home to almost 2.5 million people. The area is also supported by a strong tourism crowd, which is admittedly stronger in the ski season. But if you want to visit an amusement park, Lagoon is your option. The next closest parks are Silverwood to the north (10 hours), Elitch Gardens to the east (8 hours), Vegas (6 hours) or LA (10 hours) to the south, or the Bay Area to the west (11 hours). I’ve always felt that the area could support a second large park, perhaps on the southern end of the valley. Lagoon could certainly benefit in a lot of ways from having some competition.


A look south down Lagoon's Midway

On opening day, I got to the park at 3:30 PM, ready to spend 3 ½ hours at the park. All-day ticket price? $47.95. My price for 3 ½ hours? $47.95. Most parks offer evening discounts, mostly because they have to, to stay competitive. Lagoon doesn’t really have to worry a whole lot about that.

I can’t say it really bothered me too much. I mean, I was the one who decided to only visit for a few hours. I knew I was spending $50 to get in - it’s not like I was going to not go to the park. But it would have been nice to find a discounted evening ticket.

The staff was very nice, especially for the first day of the season, and I like that I was offered a season pass. Every guest should be offered a season pass, every time. Good training on Lagoon’s part. Of course as I mentioned before, the season pass doesn’t include free parking like it does at most other parks (outside of Six Flags).

The Park

I really like Lagoon. It’s a very old park, so there is a lot of character and charm as you walk around. Upon entering, you are greeted by a series of really neat fountains. One is of the shooting from the ground variety. The other two I had never seen anything like before.


One of two very cool fountains

The best way to describe them is that they are large granite pieces that turn on one axis and rotate on another, while water runs over them. They are quite a site, and you can’t help but find yourself marveling at them a bit.


Cool fountain #2

Lagoon is split into a couple of sections. There is a north end of the park that’s home to some rides, including the Jet Star 2 roller coaster. It will be home to their 2015 coaster too. The south end of the park is home to the majority of the rest of the rides, including Wicked and Colossus.

There is the main midway, and a sky ride, that connects them. The midway is lined with games and food stands, as well as one of their two fantastic dark rides, their carousel, and the entrance to the wooden Roller Coaster.


A look to the south end of the park from the Ferris wheel

Additionally, there is Pioneer Village to the east, which is a an old fashion, western village area with shop and food stands – no real rides other than their flume, and their rapids on the far east side of the park. Next to Pioneer village and east of the midway is a nice-sized kiddie area, which is sandwiched by a few larger flat rides. Lagoon-A-Beach, their water park, is back that way too.

The park is very easy to navigate – no real dead ends to speak of. Things are colorful, freshly painted, and some of the rides are very well-themed. There are many trees throughout the park. But at this time of year, the leaves have yet to appear.


A large Huss Enterprise at the park's southernmost end

Lagoon is a very clean park. The pathways are well-kept, the landscaping is well done, and the ride areas are very neat and orderly. You may find them almost too orderly if you brought a bag with you, like I did.

The park has a zero-tolerance policy for bags on ride platforms – which I actually like. Sure, it was a nuisance as I had to play musical lockers with my camera bag. But part of me would much rather see parks do this than delay operations by waiting for people to put their stuff away, or collect it after the ride. It did, however affect the number of photos I was able to take.

From what I saw, Roller Coaster, BomBora, and Fire Dragon had free 30 minute lockers at the ride entrance – which is important if the park is going to make you lock stuff up. Wicked’s lockers were not free for some reason (75 cents), so I had to leave the line to go get change. Thankfully the ride attendant let me back in where I left.


The Mondial Top Scan, with its mountain backdrop

So I guess my advice, if you don’t have anyone to hold your bag, is to not bring one. If you plan to take pictures, bring a point-and-shoot camera that you can secure in your pockets. It will save you some time and some hassle. The attendants do a good job of catching bags at the queue entrances.

Lagoon was amazingly ready for their first day of operation. Only three or four rides weren’t open – three of which were water rides, I believe. The sky ride wasn’t open that day. It was a bit windy, but I can’t say if that played a part. All nine roller coasters were operational, and to me it seemed that all but Colossus were running at full capacity.


The Zierer-made Jumping Dragon

This is one of those parks that has a fantastic collection of non-coaster rides, some of which are very unique like the Odysea interactive water ride and the dragon-themed Himalaya ride. For me, the highlights are the two dark rides, the 1893 carousel, the Samurai (a Mondial Top Scan), a Rock O Plane, as well as a wave swinger and swinging ship that sit right on the park’s lake. They also have a Paratrooper, Enterprise, flyers, a Zamperla Air Race, and a large Ferris wheel.


Two classic rides, perfectly set along the water

The two dark rides deserve particular mention. I couldn’t tell you which I like better. The older of the two, TerroRide (1967) is an old electric pretzel-type ride. The “newer” one, Dracula’s Castle (1974), sits near the front entrance, and sports what I can only describe as ‘sports car coffins’. Both dark rides feature an animated character out front who cracks wise at the guests waiting to ride – a vulture on TerroRide and an owl on Dracula’s Castle.


The 1967 TerroRide


The 1974 Dracula's Castle

While some of the gags may have been updated over the years, these two rides have ‘vintage’ written all over them – and I love it. They both have that old dark ride feel and smell. If the park gives any thought to updating either of them, I would say “Please don’t”. I’d rather see them add a more modern one elsewhere then mess with these two beauties.

Don’t Go By Yourself

It should be noted that Lagoon is not so single rider friendly. Some rides, like Jet Star 2 and the Ferris wheel (Sky Scraper) don’t allow them at all. Perhaps Wild Mouse and Spider are the same. The rest of the coasters do not allow single riders in the very front or very back seats. Period.


No single riders on Jet Star 2

I found this out the hard way, as I was asked to sit somewhere else on Colossus (I didn’t see the sign on the air gate). When I asked why, the attendant said “Safety reasons”, which is totally bogus. The policy is there for capacity/demand reasons. The park has chosen to not waste ride cycles with single riders in the most popular seats.

I mean, you can’t expect me to believe that the second row on Colossus is more “safe” for a single rider than the front row. On a slow, opening day afternoon, with half empty stations, it was probably okay to let single riders sit in the good seats. Just sayin’…


No single riders on Sky Scraper either (Ferris wheel)

I will say that after waiting through a few switchbacks, Wicked does have a single rider line. But, as we know, those can be hit and miss. I missed the first time, as I watched the people I waited in front of ride and exit before I did. The second time I hit, as I got on almost immediately.

Coasters

By way of coasters, Lagoon has nine of them – four of which are worth the price of admission for me. On paper, none of their roller coasters are head turners, which I’ve always attributed to the whole “only game in town” thing. I mean, why spend millions of dollars on large roller coasters when you honestly don’t have to?

As a result, you get a park with a lot of small steel rides like Wild Mouse, Spider, and two family coasters. Even their most head-turning coaster, Wicked, is medium sized by today’s standards. Having said that, none of them are bad rides – not by any means. I’ve ridden each of them over my 4 visits, and as always, I’ll reverse rank them based on how I like them:

9) Puff the Little Fire Dragon – didn’t ride this time

Nor will I likely ever ride it again. Back when I was 18 and looking to ride anything with a track and wheels, I took a ride on it. That’s not something you’d catch me doing now.

8) Bat – 1 ride


These Vekoma family coasters are nice rides, but they could use an updated restraint

This ride wasn’t here last time I was at Lagoon. There was no line that day, so I took a spin. I will say that even though these are family suspended coasters from Vekoma, the term ‘hang n’ bang’ still applies. I wonder if they’ve come up with a lap restraint for these trains yet. They should.

7) The Spider – didn’t ride this time


The smoke-breathing Spider greets its riders

I’ve ridden a few of this model of Maurer spinning coaster now, and Spider was the first for me. It’s good for what it is, and I like these rides. I just like some of the other coasters here better. Spider does have a pretty cool entrance and station though.

6) Wild Mouse – didn’t ride this time

I first rode Lagoon’s Maurer Wild Mouse in 1999 and thought it was the best one I’d ever ridden. Then I soon rode Hersheypark’s Mack version, and Lagoon’s became the second best. These rides are all about the braking, or lack thereof, and Lagoon’s was always minimally braked. One of the highlights is the tunneled camelback hill on this version. It’s also sporting a pretty slick, relatively new paint job.

5) BomBora – 1 ride


BomBora's neat-looking queue

I almost skipped BomBora because I’m usually okay skipping family coasters, and this one had a line. As I walked past it at the end of the day, the line was all but gone. So I queued up. This one was designed by ART out of Germany, and according to RCDB, it’s the only coaster they’ve made.

I tell you what – I was pleasantly surprised. The train has music and lights on it. The seats and restraints were very comfy and roomy – almost like the steel version of the Gravity Group’s Timberliner trains. The ride was very smooth and felt fast. The turns are transitions were well executed. On top of all of that, I got to listen to “Surfin’ USA” as I rode.

4) Jet Star 2 – didn’t ride this time (no single riders)


Six Jet Star 2 riders head down the first drop

I was very disappointed in not being able to ride Jet Star 2 this visit. I really liked it last time I was there. To this day, it’s the only spiral lift coaster I’ve ridden (I think). And I’m a total sucker for Schwarzkopf Jet Stars, of which this is the only “2” model in the U.S.


I couldn't ride it, so I filmed it

Next time I got to Lagoon, I’m going to be armed with one or two of my kids to ride with me.

3) Wicked – 2 rides


Wicked's nice entrance sign

I really liked Wicked. It’s the only coaster I’ve seen that offers booster seats for smaller riders. Seriously. There are three lines – one of which is for riders with children between 46” and 50”, who have to ride with a booster that fits perfectly inside the regular seat. The lap bar then lowers and holds both rider and booster in place. What a great idea!

Wicked is super-comfy. The seats are wide. The lap bar is hinged so that it rests flat on any lap. It does tighten throughout the ride, but it doesn’t even faze you. There are shin guards as well that are attached to the bottom of the lap restraints. I guess they want you to keep your legs down.


Wicked's Layout

Upon boarding, you dispatch to the sound of sirens announcing your exit. You make a 180 degree indoor turn before you blast off. A set of LIM’s send you part way up the 110 foot tower to another set of LIM’s that throw you up and over. You can feel the break in acceleration between the two sets, giving you a little ‘stop and go’ action.

The negative G’s at the crest of the tower are very pronounced. You don’t really hit your seat again until you reach the bottom of the 90 degree drop. It’s quite a rush. The train hops over a brake-filled tiny hill before rising into an over-banked turn.


The car pulls out of Wicked's inversions

You drop out of the turn and immediately climb into the one-G roll (not to be confused with a zero-G roll). It looks like the latter, but since you actually hang in your restraint through the entire thing, I can’t honestly call it “zero-G” anything. It’s still fun.

You turn upwards into the block brake. From there the ride loses me a bit, as you just make a few more turns, with a small drop into something that passes for a tunnel.


The second of Wicked's end-of-ride turns

I will say this, Zierer makes a nice coaster. I like that they are in the large coaster market now, and I’m excited to see what they bring to Knoebels in 2015.

2) Colossus: The Fire Dragon– 2 rides


Colossus, as viewed from the entrance queue

I can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to Colossus. I hadn’t ridden it since 2004. And as somewhat of a Dorney Park regular, I was a big fan of the departed, and sorely missed Laser. The two coasters are almost identical, with Colossus having an “additional trackway curve” (helix) at the end.


Colossus's fantastic first loop

What a pleasure it was to ride Colossus, and in a small way, Laser again. Despite being kicked out of the front seat, I enjoyed both rides immensely. No one has ever done the vertical loop quite like Anton Schwarzkopf, and I have always particularly enjoyed two of them in a row.

Colossus is still running magnificently – super smooth and powerful. It’s even got a fresh paint job – it looks spectacular. I can only hope that Lagoon has no intention of removing their best steel coaster any time soon.

1) Roller Coaster – 3 rides


Roller Coaster's fourth drop, as viewed from the station

Yeah, so I’ll take a wooden coaster any day over a steel one. Even though Colossus is probably a better overall roller coaster than this one, this one is still good enough for me to like it the best.

Roller Coaster is looking very brown these days. It was once all white, but as wood is replaced over the years, the park is using treated lumber of course, which eliminates the need for painting. So, over time, the coaster is turning from white to brown. It’s a neat concept. Another interesting feature is the adjustable footers for this ride – at some point over the years, the park must have noticed that the ground isn’t so solid.


You can see the interesting footers in this photo

This 1921 John Miller classic still delivers – on both ends of the trains. I actually got a front seat ride as the attendants called out for a single rider to accompany another one that waited for the front. Lucky me, I guess.

It runs pretty smoothly for an old ride – only the turns shake you around. The drops are all good, and the double out and back layout is just great. It’s actually a lot better than I remembered it.

Wrapping it Up and 2015 Coaster

I understand how Lagoon isn’t on many people’s ‘To-Do Lists’. At this point, there really isn’t much to draw someone there from across the country. But the park is definitely worth checking out, especially if you’re going to be in the vicinity.

Perhaps next year’s attraction will be something that will bring people in from far away. I was able to take a few photos from the Ferris wheel. Lagoon is being very mum on the subject. They’re not talking to anybody about it.

Having said that, somebody must have talked to someone. Lagoonisfun.com has a lot of information listed, including name, height, inversions, etc.

From the photos, I can say this much. It is a roller coaster. It drops into a trench. It has supports that look like sticks tied together. It looks like it will either have an elevator lift or a free-fall element. It looks like there could ne an indoor portion.

I wish I could say it will get me back to the park next year, but I don’t see another visit to Utah in my future any time soon. But I am looking forward to the announcement.

Here are some photos…


A wide look at the site


A closer look at the trench and track


Check out the ends of these supports


Viewed from the ground - interesting supports to say the least.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading! As always, there are more photos on Facebook.

Lagoon Album

* This post was modified at 4/9/14 7:21:51 PM *

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
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Re: Lagoon Trip Report and Review, with Photos and Video by drachen drachen Profile at 4/7/14 11:15:08 PM
If you're looking for reasons, outside of Lagoon, to go to Utah, perhaps this could help a little...

Side Trips

We spent 6 days in Utah. Even though I lived there for some time, on this trip I did and saw a lot that I had never done before, as well as visited some places that I hadn't seen in years.

Since making a trip to Salt Lake City just to visit Lagoon isn't all that palatable, here are a few things to consider to make it more of a vacation.

Antelope Island State Park

Not far from Lagoon, in Syracuse, is the entrance to Antelope Island State Park, which is a large island on the Great Salt Lake. The cost is $10 per car, and much of the island is drivable on paved roads. There are areas for hiking, camping, boating, and even swimming. There is a visitor’s center, restaurant, and a ranch that are also available to the public.

The lake is really low right now, after a few years of drought in the Salt Lake Valley. It’s simply just evaporating more quickly than it’s being filled. According to Wiki, the surface area of the Great Salt Lake is at 1700 square miles – which is very low. The lowest on record was 950 sq. miles in 1963, and the highest level on record is 3300 sq. miles in 1988. That’s quite a fluctuation. But it also means that there is hope for rising levels if the rains and snow return to the area for a few years.

Below are some images from the park:


Panorama of the east shore of Antelope Island


Looking east from the island toward the mainland.


Free roaming bison populate Antelope Island


It would only make sense that there were antelope...


One of many rock formations


The beach area on the north point of Antelope Island


A look southeast to Salt Lake City, about 23 miles away.

Other…

The Wasatch Mountains are fantastic. Vegas is just 5-6 hours away. Salt Lake City is a pretty cool place with a lot of history. The entire area is very easily navigable – it’s very hard to get lost.

And be sure to check out this new downtown mall called City Creek Center. Two story shopping, fountains galore, retractable roof for nice weather, and as the name would indicate, there is a creek running through the middle of it. Here are some photos…


One of City Creek Center's entrances


A look at one side of City Creek, with the retractable roof and creek down the center.


The east end of City Creek

Burger Tour

Utah is considered one of the best test markets in the country. So, you’ll likely be able to find at least one location of pretty much every large restaurant chain in the country.

Now, I love hamburgers, and I have my favorite places to get one. Four of my favorites all have locations in the Salt Lake Valley. So I decided to try each one within the week I was there, to see which truly was my favorite. They came out in this order.

4) Culver’s

Culver’s is my Midwest favorite, but I was a bit disappointed with the Utah version. It was still a good burger, but it just didn’t measure up to the Illinois or Ohio area ones that I had. The seating area was a mess too, which is far from the norm for the normally immaculate Culver’s I’m used to. Perhaps there’s a connection between the messy dining area and the sub-par food I got.

3) Smashburger

I had only ever had one Smashburger before, in the Newark airport. It was amazing then. Again, it was good here, but I found the Utah version to be off from that first one. Great presentation, and the Smash Fries were as good as I remembered.

2) Best Burger

This place is of the mom and pop variety. I believe there are two locations – both north of Salt Lake. We ate at the Bountiful, UT location, south of Lagoon. It’s a total hole in the wall, but the burger and fries (with fry sauce) were fantastic. I’d say it’s worth your time to go if you ever visit Lagoon.

1) In-N-Out Burger

Yep, they’re the best. I’ve often wondered if I just liked In-N-Out so much because of the novelty. In-N-Out Burgers are a rare treat for those of us in the East. After comparing these four, In-N-Out came out on top. The Double-Double may be the best fast burger on the planet. And the fries are fantastic too.

* This post was modified at 4/9/14 9:14:32 PM *

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
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Re: Lagoon Trip Report and Review, with Photos and Video by ray_p ray_p Profile at 4/8/14 2:26:31 PM
Thanks a lot for the great TR's drachen. As always, very well-written and kept me hooked till the end.

I was just in SLC back in February for business again, but unfortunately Lagoon wasn't open yet, so I couldn't make my second visit there. I did get up to see Park City though, which was actually much cooler than I was anticipating. The ride up I-80 through the snow-capped Wasatch Mountains was truly beautiful.

Lagoon rocked on my lone visit back in 2012. LOVED the Air Race, thought Colossus was the best coaster there, and thoroughly enjoyed both dark rides. Despite Terroride being the shorter of the two, I actually enjoyed that one better than Dracula's Castle. Both were great, don't get me wrong, but I thought Terroride had a much more "Bill Tracey-esque" feel to it. Overall, I likened Lagoon to Kennywood... if Kennywood had large mountains behind it. I know some people don't agree, but that was my take on the park and I'm sticking to it. Glad you had a good time.

Now for your Burger run-down. In-N-Out Burger is very good in my opinion, but also very over-rated. The burgers themselves are good although nothing special, and their fresh-cut fries aren't as good as some other places (Five Guys comes to mind). I had my first Smashburger back in February and thought it was delicious. I'm not normally one for "seasoned beef", but Smashburger had a very good taste to it and their fries with rosemary and garlic were fantastic. And while I didn't have a burger there, I actually thought the Culver's in West Valley City was very good. The people there were friendly and the food was delicious as usual (I'm a huge fan of their fried chicken and fish dinners and their frozen custard is outstanding).

Again drachen, thanks for the great read and pictures.

Re: Lagoon Trip Report and Review, with Photos and Video by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 4/8/14 2:36:30 PM
I just had a HUGE pastrami on rye for lunch that I could barely finish. Now you guys are making me hungry again. Stop it!! :)
The amusement park rises bold and stark
Kids are huddled on the beach in a mist...
Re: Lagoon Trip Report and Review, with Photos and Video by drachen drachen Profile at 4/8/14 3:15:40 PM
beastmaster said:

I just had a HUGE pastrami on rye for lunch that I could barely finish. Now you guys are making me hungry again. Stop it!! :)

I think Eric should create a spin off site named Ultimate Hamburger...

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
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Re: Lagoon Trip Report and Review, with Photos and Video by drachen drachen Profile at 4/8/14 3:45:08 PM
ray_p said:

Thanks a lot for the great TR's drachen. As always, very well-written and kept me hooked till the end.

Thanks Ray. I always appreciate the kind words.

ray_p said:

Lagoon rocked on my lone visit back in 2012. LOVED the Air Race, thought Colossus was the best coaster there, and thoroughly enjoyed both dark rides. Despite Terroride being the shorter of the two, I actually enjoyed that one better than Dracula's Castle. Both were great, don't get me wrong, but I thought Terroride had a much more "Bill Tracey-esque" feel to it.

I passed on Air Race, only because I already rode Luna Park's, and time was limited. But it is a fantastic flat - one that I would like to see more parks get. They look fantastic first of all, and they're a ton of fun to ride.

I agree on the dark rides - both have the old Tracey feel, but without the bold colors. There is a little less psychedelic on the Lagoon rides. I lean toward Dracula's Castle - but only because it's longer.

ray_p said:

Overall, I likened Lagoon to Kennywood... if Kennywood had large mountains behind it. I know some people don't agree, but that was my take on the park and I'm sticking to it. Glad you had a good time.

I see a lot of similarities to Kennywood - but with one exception. The wooden coasters! If Lagoon were to rebuild a classic wooden coaster near their lake - that would be the icing on the cake for me. Lagoon may be getting their 'Phantom' next year.

I bet Palace would love to get their hands on Lagoon too. It seems like their type of park.

ray_p said:

Now for your Burger run-down. In-N-Out Burger is very good in my opinion, but also very over-rated. The burgers themselves are good although nothing special, and their fresh-cut fries aren't as good as some other places (Five Guys comes to mind). I had my first Smashburger back in February and thought it was delicious. I'm not normally one for "seasoned beef", but Smashburger had a very good taste to it and their fries with rosemary and garlic were fantastic. And while I didn't have a burger there, I actually thought the Culver's in West Valley City was very good. The people there were friendly and the food was delicious as usual (I'm a huge fan of their fried chicken and fish dinners and their frozen custard is outstanding).

I just can't call In-N-Out overrated. It delivered both times for me on this trip, especially compared to the others.

Now there were other factors. I was NOT hungry when I had the Smashburger or the Culver's burger - was kinda' forcing it down by the end. That could have played a part.

But I inhaled the In-N-Out burger. Different strokes for different folks... And if I keep eating burgers like that, a stroke is probably in my future!

* This post was modified at 4/8/14 4:09:33 PM *

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
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Re: Lagoon Trip Report and Review, with Photos and Video by frontrow frontrow Profile at 4/9/14 5:23:56 AM
Great report. The photos were awesome also. I've never been to Lagoon, due to the reasons you mentioned. It looks like a park that I would enjoy. Does anyone know what company that's building the new coaster? Maybe I'll get out there someday.
Re: Lagoon Trip Report and Review, with Photos and Video by drachen drachen Profile at 4/9/14 2:38:56 PM
frontrow said:

Great report. The photos were awesome also. I've never been to Lagoon, due to the reasons you mentioned. It looks like a park that I would enjoy. Does anyone know what company that's building the new coaster? Maybe I'll get out there someday.

Thanks Ken. It's hard to not enjoy Lagoon, but very hard to justify a trip to Salt Lake City just for the park. Hope you and you kids can make a west coast trip one of these years. Interstate 80 goes right through SLC.

The new coaster is being done "in house", which means the park is doing it a la carte. Lagoon has a former Arrow engineer on staff - which is a benefit a lot of parks don't have.

The track is fabricated in Utah but the same company that made S&S's track. The trains are being made from the company that makes Intamin, Zierer, and other European coaster trains. It's that type of deal.

I'm very intrigued as to what it will be exactly. The final product can only be one of two things - a success or a failure.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
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Re: Lagoon Trip Report and Review, with Photos and Video by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 4/10/14 2:57:29 PM
^^^Holy crap, Awesome TR Drach. Very very very well done. The pics of Lagoon was excellent, and the photos of Antelope Island was beautifully picturesque. Roaming buffalo? That's stuff you'll see in a library book about America! :)
Re: Lagoon Trip Report and Review, with Photos and Video by drachen drachen Profile at 4/10/14 6:26:23 PM
Overbanked said:

^^^Holy crap, Awesome TR Drach. Very very very well done. The pics of Lagoon was excellent, and the photos of Antelope Island was beautifully picturesque. Roaming buffalo? That's stuff you'll see in a library book about America! :)

Thanks OB. Appreciate the kind words.

The park keeps the bison herd at about 700 on the island. When they exceed it, they sell them off to other breeders. On our short drive, we saw about 20 of them. Really neat place...

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
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Re: Lagoon Trip Report and Review, with Photos and Video by linearinduction at 4/22/14 4:16:43 AM
Great Trip Report! Lagoon's Policy Regarding No Single Riders in the Front and Back of the Trains was Implemented after the Two Deaths in 1989 by two Single Riders, so it is actually for "Safety Reasons." The New Footings on Roller Coaster are for Earthquake Safety. Many people, even here in Utah, don't realize the Wasatch Fault is more Dangerous than the Famous San Andreas Fault. Additionally, Lagoon's real reason behind not painting Roller Coaster is that it's easier to inspect and in fact, Roller Coaster operated for a Decade before being first painted in the '30s.

Wicked was actually designed by Dal Freeman, Lagoon's VP of Engineering, and while they wanted to build it on their own, they required a partner. Stengel only did the Calculations and sent the Plans to Stakotra. Dal Freeman and another of Lagoon's Engineers Designed BomBora and it's Trains and Restraints. Lagoon used a North American Engineering Firm and ART Engineering for the Calculations and Plans. Intermountain Lift, Inc. Fabricated the Track and Columns, Stakotra Manufacturing the Trains, Actemium the PLC Safety System, and Zierer the Drives and Braking System, and Lagoon's Maintenance and Construction Dept built and assembled the ride.

Cannibal, Lagoon's 2015 Coaster, is being built in the same way as BomBora and will have an Elevator Lift Similar to the one used by Intamin on Pilgrims Plunge and Divertical. The Shaft will also be enclosed. The Trains will be 3 Rows of 4 Across on 4 Bogies with Custom Overhead Lap bars. Inversions will be an Immelmann Loop, Dive Loop, and Barrel Roll. Again, Intermountain Lift, Inc. Is Fabricating the Track and Columns, Stakotra the Trains, Actemium the PLC Safety System, and a Local Company the Elevator.

Also, Lagoon doesn't have the attendance numbers to be able to afford huge new roller coasters and it is Family Owned and Operated. I also have no idea why RCDB lists Fire Dragon as opening in 1984, when in fact it opened in 1983 and celebrated it's 30th Anniversary Last Year.

* This post was modified at 4/22/14 10:14:51 AM *

Re: Lagoon Trip Report and Review, with Photos and Video by drachen drachen Profile at 4/22/14 10:50:06 PM
Thanks for reading, and thanks for all the info about Cannibal. I was aware of some it, but many are not. It seems as if the park wants to remain pretty hush-hush on the entire project.

Stakotra actually makes trains for several coaster manufacturers, including Intamin and Zierer. I found that to be interesting. You can see more here...

http://www.stakotra.sk/amusement.html

I think if Lagoon had another park to compete with, they would have likely already built a major steel coaster. But like I said, they don't have to. I've heard that Cannibal will cost about $15 million - some would call that a huge new coaster...

If there was another park in Utah, it wouldn't drive Lagoon out of business, it would just light a competitive fire - and Lagoon would benefit from it, as 'going to an amusement park' would be more of a standard summer activity for Utahns, as it is for those of us back east...

I did a little research about the two accidents in 1989. One was a 6 year old boy on the Puff kiddie coaster. The child wiggled free. Perhaps he was riding alone - the article doesn't say, nor does it say what seat he was in.

The second was a 13 year old girl who stood up on the wooden Roller Coaster. Again, the article doesn't specify in what seat she was in, but it does say the "front car".

The park was not found negligent nor was held liable for either incident, but I can understand if they took precautions so that such incidents never happened again.

But even if both riders were in the front seat and riding by themselves, I see no logical connection to the current single rider policy - unless I'm just not seeing something.

Why? Because the seat has nothing to do with the incidents. If a single rider can stand up and fall out in the front seat, he can stand up and fall out in any seat.

I still believe the rule has nothing to do with safety, but rather capacity and demand on those rows.

Here is an article about the incidents:

Deseret News - 1989 Lagoon Accident

* This post was modified at 4/23/14 10:40:03 AM *

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
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Re: Lagoon Trip Report and Review, with Photos and Video by linearinduction at 4/27/14 10:51:47 PM
I worked in Management in the Rides Department at Lagoon, so there are many details about the 1989 Deaths I know about. The Girl on Roller Coaster was riding alone in the Front Seat and the Boy on Puff was Riding Alone in the Back Seat. Lagoon removed the "Buzz Bars" on Roller Coaster, Installed the Individual Ratcheting Lap Bars, and Implemented the "No Single Riders in the Front or Back Row" Policy in 1990. Lagoon also Modified the Lap Bars on Puff and Added Seat Belts in 1990. Because there was no one riding next to them, there was no eyewitness as to what happened, especially whether the girl on Roller Coaster stood up and fell out by accident or if it was suicide. Additionally, the Two Riders in the Front Row have a Clear View of the Ride Path and the Two Riders in the Back Row have a Clear View of the Train and Riders.

Lagoon doesn't have the Attendance Numbers or Population Numbers to afford Large Capital Investments. Lagoon has also invested more than 65 Million Dollars into the Park since 1991 in New Rides and Attractions alone and only in 2010 and 2014 have they not added a new ride or attraction. That was 19 Straight Years of adding a New Ride or Attraction Every Single Year. That's not something any other park in the world can claim.

Re: Lagoon Trip Report and Review, with Photos and Video by drachen drachen Profile at 4/28/14 1:16:55 PM
linearinduction said:

I worked in Management in the Rides Department at Lagoon, so there are many details about the 1989 Deaths I know about. The Girl on Roller Coaster was riding alone in the Front Seat and the Boy on Puff was Riding Alone in the Back Seat. Lagoon removed the "Buzz Bars" on Roller Coaster, Installed the Individual Ratcheting Lap Bars, and Implemented the "No Single Riders in the Front or Back Row" Policy in 1990. Lagoon also Modified the Lap Bars on Puff and Added Seat Belts in 1990. Because there was no one riding next to them, there was no eyewitness as to what happened, especially whether the girl on Roller Coaster stood up and fell out by accident or if it was suicide. Additionally, the Two Riders in the Front Row have a Clear View of the Ride Path and the Two Riders in the Back Row have a Clear View of the Train and Riders.

Please don't take anything I've said as doubting your experience with Lagoon or your info on the incidents. I don't mean to come across that way.

But I have to ask... Was the girl riding in the front seat of a completely empty train? If not, how could there have been no witnesses to her falling out?

It just doesn't matter if a single rider is in the front row, second row, middle row, or back row of the train. In fact, only a back row single rider would not have a witness see what happened. Otherwise, the logic doesn't hold, if the reason is to have a witness to an incident.

And I have to ask, if it's such a safety concern, why is Lagoon the only park where single riders are not allowed to ride in the front or back seat? I've never seen it before, until Lagoon.

I've seen signs at other parks asking single riders to pair up and sit in the middle of the train, but that is for capacity reasons.

I believe Kennywood has a no-single rider policy period on Thunderbolt - but that's because of the lateral forces and no seat divider.

linearinduction said:

Lagoon doesn't have the Attendance Numbers or Population Numbers to afford Large Capital Investments. Lagoon has also invested more than 65 Million Dollars into the Park since 1991 in New Rides and Attractions alone and only in 2010 and 2014 have they not added a new ride or attraction. That was 19 Straight Years of adding a New Ride or Attraction Every Single Year. That's not something any other park in the world can claim.

Out of curiosity, do you know how many guests Lagoon brings through the gates every year? I would imagine they do similar numbers to parks like Holiday World, Kennywood, Knoebels, etc...

I agree completely that Lagoon does a great job of bringing new rides in - especially in a market where they really don't have to, due to a lack of competition.

I was impressed with all of the new additions since my last visit in 2004. They've added three coasters, a couple of flat rides, as well as additions to the water park.

Lagoon is a special park, and I'm a fan - no doubt.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
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Re: Lagoon Trip Report and Review, with Photos and Video by SirWillow SirWillow Profile at 4/29/14 9:47:27 AM
drachen said:

And I have to ask, if it's such a safety concern, why is Lagoon the only park where single riders are not allowed to ride in the front or back seat? I've never seen it before, until Lagoon.

They're not the only ones. I've encountered it a few times at other parks. Six Flags Magic Mountain had this policy in place for several years for the same reasons. And there have been others that I've experienced it at as well.

So they're not alone. Is it unusual? A bit. But not unique.

Re: Lagoon Trip Report and Review, with Photos and Video by linearinduction at 4/29/14 4:12:04 PM
Drachen, I hope I didn't give you the impression that I thought you were doubting me. It's just an unusual policy developed by the park's owners/management and top amusement industry safety experts. Most Ferris Wheels and Giant Wheels also have "No Single Rider" Policies now as well.

Lagoon's Attendance is below 2 Million Annually. Also, LAB has Only Received a Replacement Slide since you were last at the park, and that will open in a few weeks. :)

Re: Lagoon Trip Report and Review, with Photos and Video by mugen828 mugen828 Profile at 4/30/14 11:09:18 AM
Not only was that an amazing TR (nicely done drachen!) but I was floored by the amount of information I came across in this thread.

Thanks to everyone for the tidbits and facts.

I have had my eye on this park since Wicked was put in, and I have hopes one day that they will get a Mega Lite or something like that someday. 2 Million a year and bringing in new attractions as often as they do is a nice feat.

I'm all the way across the country here in Jersey which is a shame, if it were in the proximinity of where Dorney is to me (2.5 hours) I'd visit a few times a year!

* This post was modified at 4/30/14 4:35:20 PM *

- mugen828
157 Coasters -- Favorite Coaster -- Nitro (SFGAdv)
117 Steel -- 40 Wood -- Home Park: SFGADv
Re: Lagoon Trip Report and Review, with Photos and Video by linearinduction at 4/30/14 4:09:53 PM
mugen828 said:

NOt only was that an amazing TR (nicely done drachen!) but I was floored by the amount of information I came across in this thread.


Thanks to everyone for the tidbits and facts.

I have had my eye on this park since Wicked was put in, and I have hopes one day that they will get a Mega Lite or something like that someday. 2 Millions a year and bringing in new attractions as often as they due is a nice feat.

I'm all the way across the country here in Jersey which is a shame, if it were in the proximinity of where Dorney is to me (2.5 hours) I'd visit a few times a year!

There's no reason why Lagoon couldn't design and manufacture a ride similar to a mega lite for their next coaster after Cannibal. ;)

Re: Lagoon Trip Report and Review, with Photos and Video by mugen828 mugen828 Profile at 4/30/14 4:47:12 PM
linearinduction said:

There's no reason why Lagoon couldn't design and manufacture a ride similar to a mega lite for their next coaster after Cannibal. ;)

Well thanks for peaking my interest now! ;)

- mugen828
157 Coasters -- Favorite Coaster -- Nitro (SFGAdv)
117 Steel -- 40 Wood -- Home Park: SFGADv
Re: Lagoon Trip Report and Review, with Photos and Video by AirBear AirBear Profile at 5/3/14 2:57:59 AM
Fantastic TR Drachen. I love Lagoon and feel it is definitely worth seeking out. It's been a few years since we've visited (before Wicked), but I'd like to get back.

As for other things to do in the area, I would strongly recommend a visit to Olympic Park. They have ziplines, an alpine slide, and of course the Comet bobsled (yes, it's a ride down the actual Olympic bobsled run). We did it during summer months, when they put wheels on the bottom of the bobsled and let it rip down the run hitting about 70 mph. That was quite an experience, let me tell you. It's a bit expensive at $75, but I thought the thrills were worth every penny!

Rick

Re: Lagoon Trip Report and Review, with Photos and Video by drachen drachen Profile at 5/3/14 11:10:45 AM
linearinduction said:

There's no reason why Lagoon couldn't design and manufacture a ride similar to a mega lite for their next coaster after Cannibal. ;)

Lagoon would be a PERFECT park for such a ride. Designed in-house and "inspired" by Intamin's megalite? That would be great, and they certainly have the space for it.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
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Re: Lagoon Trip Report and Review, with Photos and Video by drachen drachen Profile at 5/3/14 11:16:53 AM
AirBear said:

Fantastic TR Drachen. I love Lagoon and feel it is definitely worth seeking out. It's been a few years since we've visited (before Wicked), but I'd like to get back.


As for other things to do in the area, I would strongly recommend a visit to Olympic Park. They have ziplines, an alpine slide, and of course the Comet bobsled (yes, it's a ride down the actual Olympic bobsled run). We did it during summer months, when they put wheels on the bottom of the bobsled and let it rip down the run hitting about 70 mph. That was quite an experience, let me tell you. It's a bit expensive at $75, but I thought the thrills were worth every penny!

Rick

Thanks Rick. I appreciate the feedback!

I don't know how I never knew about the activites at Olympic park. I've only ever been through Park City. One of these years, I'll need to actually visit. The bobsled ride sounds incredible.

drachen
Coaster to Park Ratio: 4.90 / Steel to Wooden Ratio: 2.55 / Wooden Coaster Percentage: 28.2%
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