Lagoon is a park that lots of people talk about, but mainly they say "oh, that's the one park in the US I still haven't been to!" With its location just north of Salt Lake City, it's real easy to get to if you're in the area, but otherwise the closest major city would be Las Vegas, still 6+ hours away. Getting to the park from Salt Lake City International Airport only takes about 20 minutes, but it always seems flights to get there are often just as expensive as flying to London, Munich, or Tokyo, and who wouldn't rather go there!? Well, this past weekend I cashed in my frequent flyer miles, got out of town before Hurricane Irene came to knock stuff over, take out the power, and do some flooding, and made the trek to Mormon country to rack up another 9 credits and visit a park celebrating 115 years (125 if you count the buildings and such moved from another park previously 3 miles down the road).
I've heard in the past that Lagoon is "kind of ghetto," but I guess I have a different definition of that word, as I thought the park was clean and more of a blend of old school meets new school, much like Kennywood or Rye Playland with a wide midway separated by gardens and trees with games, shops, food, and a few dark rides on the sides at the front to the park. Most of the coasters are all in the same area of the park, which got pretty crowded later on in the day once the waterpark started to empty out, but there seemed to be lots of space all throughout the park with flatrides everywhere, some pretty highly themed. There was also an old pioneer town set up in the back of the park which reminded me of Knott's Ghost Town before Cedar Fair started bastardizing it, a waterpark that was packed on my 96 degree and sunny visit day, picnic grounds, and campgrounds.
The park did have a few odd policies, but at least they were consistent through the entire park. Some of the rides like the Jet Star 2 and the spinning coaster required 2 riders per row, which can be an annoyance to odd numbered groups, and 2 riders are required in the front seat and back seat of the other coasters. They also don't have bag drops in the coaster stations, meaning you've gotta get a locking chamber to stash the massive amounts of stuff you may possibly need throughout the entire day, but I go to a park to ride with the bare minimum accessories, it's not like I'm planning on scaling Mt Everest on the trip, so that didn't really affect me. The park did take a page right out of Kings Island's book though with queues that weren't very long at all, but with the exception of Wicked people wouldn't get in line if it stretched out of the ride entrance, resulting in only about 15-20 minute waits with full queues for most coasters.
In closing, while downright near impossible to get to unless you're determined, Lagoon is a really nice traditional park. While it still doesn't have that one ride that'll draw the masses in from all over the country and the world, it really doesn't seem like it needs it and sustains itself nicely off of the local crowds. Wicked is the most unique coaster there, and also has the longest lines, so who knows, maybe in another couple of years Lagoon will add some big honkin' coaster that makes the whole world seek pilgrimage to Salt Lake City, not just the Mormons.
Before landing you get a nice view of Great Salt Lake. Fun fact, Mormons love salt water, but upon having a vision of an orange monster he called "The Snooki" invading the nearby Jersey shore, Joseph Smith packed up his followers and left New York heading west for the first body of salt water he could find.
At the airport you can find all the news you need about SLCs, as well as neck pillows and pain medications you may need from all the headbanging. Oddly enough, there are no SLCs anywhere nearby, only a Vekoma Jr Suspended.
Before heading to the park, I decided to stop off at a restaurant featured on Man Vs Food, Bruges Waffles and Frites
I'm pretty sure a Belgian waffle stuffed with Belgian chocolate is a major sin to the Mormons
Getting to Lagoon around 2pm on a Saturday I was a little worried when I had to park in the grass out in the additional parking area. It's nice to know I'm protected if there's a Decepticon attack though
Lagoon's entrance, no metal detectors and coolers are allowed
Admission prices for 2011. They're also doing some deal right now since they're on weekends only where you can come back for $10, only up until a certain date though.
And a park map to familiarize yourself with the place
Random horse, flowers, and plants
Right in the middle is some jumping fountains, because even early in the morning by the time you walk this far you're dying to cool off on a typical Utah Summer day
More fountains, flowers, and a sky ride that connects both ends of the midway
Terroride is one of the first rides you encounter when heading to the right after entry
It's well done and most of the effects work, though most of them are caged in to protect them from unruly Utahian children
The aptly named Roller Coaster is...a roller coaster! Built in the early 1920s by John Miller
It has some nice moments of airtime, but does run a little rough. You probably would too if you were 90 years old!
Raise your hands if you're into polygamy!
Though the parking lot is built all around the coaster, you can still walk through the ride instead of having to go all the way around it to get to your car
So, why is Roller Coaster both white and brown?
So glad you asked!
Cliffhanger was also quite popular due to its water effects
Much like how Europa's Trojan Horse pees on you, Spider spits on you here at Lagoon
Spider was lots of fun and we got it to spin pretty well. I'm just glad I lucked out and the group in front of me had 7 so I could get on with them instead of having to wait for another uneven number to show up
Why am I looking so happy when Wicked's line is clearly out the entrance?
Because Wicked has a single rider line! 2 trains later I was on
Speaking of Wicked, here's the Zierer launched coaster
Wicked leaves the station, takes a turn, then launches straight up, then catches more LSMs to continue launching up the hill
You get a good pop of air at the pinnacle of the tophat
The drop is pretty sweet, but the restraint will come down on you more if you're not holding on
It's smooth, but there are some weird spots where it slows down almost too much
The roll was pretty sweet with just a lapbar
The two best coasters in the park are right next to each other, quite convenient
After the midcourse are a few 90 degree banked turns and then back to the station. I wish the ride had just a little bit more too it, like fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo hill or two
Last edited by DerekRx on Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:39 pm.
Pioneer Village was purchased from down the road in SLC and moved to the park in 1976
Pioneer Village is a bunch of little shops and museums depicting an old western town
You can learn about how things were done back in the 1800s, like shoe repair
Food was sometimes scarce in the old west. People hungry enough would eat at Arby's, which all towns had, while others would refuse and just starve to death.
Oooh barley, now all I need are some hops!
Jeff Johnson worked at this very Post Office back in 1885 when stamps were $0.02 a piece
Before there was the iPhone, there was just Phone. It was not easy to play Angry Birds on these
There was also a train museum in Pioneer Village
I know some people who would spend quite some time in here
Everyone loves going to the dentist!
This is what a dentist's office looked like
Hooray, Mormon Furniture!
We would call this a long bench, but to Mormons it is a love seat
I was pleased to see Colossus running 2 out of the 3 trains. I'm sure Anton would wonder why all 3 weren't in use
Dracula's Castle is the park's other dark ride and is easy to miss as it is right inside the park and to the left
Again, very nicely done with lots of effects, but most of them are behind wire cages, ruining the effect and making it hard to see them sometimes.
This is one of the newer flat rides and just had incredible theming all around it. It'd be perfect for SFMM's Samurai Summit, if SFMM knew what flat rides were
OdySea is another new flat ride and is Lagoon's version of One Fish, Two Fish, complete with water features and a catchy song!
Sharks, dolphins, and other sea life squirt water at you if you don't follow along.
The Herschell-Spillman carousel dates back to 1893 and was moved to Lagoon in 1906. It includes some weird animals like a giraffe, chicken, snail, sea dragon, stork, zebra without a saddle, and this frog wearing shorts and a bow-tie
The park also features a train ride around the "lagoon" of Lagoon
Finally we end with an older but always fun flat, the Rock-o-Plane
I stayed in Salt Lake City at The Peery Hotel, which did offer packages with the park that gave you tickets and got you in a little cheaper. Just don't book directly from their website, as like every 10th reservation somehow gets lost.
But that wasn't why I stayed there, nor was the fact that it was a historical site
I stayed there because this was directly across the street!
and this was one street over! Who says there's no alcohol in Utah!!
While in Salt Lake City, be sure to check out Crown Burger, a SLC specialty that is opened until 10:30 every night, but closed on Sundays (as are most things there)
And be sure to order a crown burger; a cheeseburger complete with onions, tomato, lettuce, and pastrami! Throw some fry sauce on it and you're good to go. Trust me, I passed up In-N-Out to come here and would gladly do it again!
And so concluded my weekend in Utah. Now that Hurricane Irene had passed through the area it was safe for me to head back to Pennsylvania
Last edited by DerekRx on Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:02 pm.
Derek, great trip report man! Lagoon is definitely one of those parks I haven't been to and am wanting to visit very badly. Next time I'm in Mormon country, oh wait I live in Mormon country (Arizona), I'll hit it up! My mom and sister have the credits at this park and I don't, kinda kills me but whatever. SLC is only a 13 hr drive from me.
Great TR! I've always heard about Lagoon, but this is the first time I've got to get a detailed look at the park. Also, any TR that follows in Adam Richman's footsteps to not one, but two restaurants is A+ in my book. Thanks for the awesome report. -Doug
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