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Photo TR: Derek goes to Lagoon


DerekRx
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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.

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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.

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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.

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Before heading to the park, I decided to stop off at a restaurant featured on Man Vs Food, Bruges Waffles and Frites

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I'm pretty sure a Belgian waffle stuffed with Belgian chocolate is a major sin to the Mormons

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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

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Lagoon's entrance, no metal detectors and coolers are allowed

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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.

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And a park map to familiarize yourself with the place

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Random horse, flowers, and plants

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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

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More fountains, flowers, and a sky ride that connects both ends of the midway

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Terroride is one of the first rides you encounter when heading to the right after entry

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It's well done and most of the effects work, though most of them are caged in to protect them from unruly Utahian children

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The aptly named Roller Coaster is...a roller coaster! Built in the early 1920s by John Miller

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It has some nice moments of airtime, but does run a little rough. You probably would too if you were 90 years old!

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Raise your hands if you're into polygamy!

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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

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So, why is Roller Coaster both white and brown?

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So glad you asked!

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Cliffhanger was also quite popular due to its water effects

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Much like how Europa's Trojan Horse pees on you, Spider spits on you here at Lagoon

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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

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Why am I looking so happy when Wicked's line is clearly out the entrance?

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Because Wicked has a single rider line! 2 trains later I was on

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Speaking of Wicked, here's the Zierer launched coaster

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Wicked leaves the station, takes a turn, then launches straight up, then catches more LSMs to continue launching up the hill

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You get a good pop of air at the pinnacle of the tophat

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The drop is pretty sweet, but the restraint will come down on you more if you're not holding on

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Overbankage!

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It's smooth, but there are some weird spots where it slows down almost too much

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The roll was pretty sweet with just a lapbar

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The two best coasters in the park are right next to each other, quite convenient

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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 a bunny hill or two

Edited by DerekRx
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More pictures!

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Lagoon's Wild Mouse is a Maurer Sohne, but they don't run it stupidly like at Dorney

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Plus there's a house/tunnel thingy. Hope you wiped your paws, little monsters!

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While it's not quite Laser Snake Horse on Fire, Colossus the Fire Dragon kicks some serious caboose, and just makes me dislike Dorney more and more

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Puff the Little Fire Dragon is about as small a Zierer kiddie coaster as they come. Same model as the one at Marineland, which everyone loves

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Plenty of water fountains to choose from, lets just hope that childrens art wasn't done with water colors!

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Bombora is the newest coaster in the park, just opened this year

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It features a 60s surf theme and comes complete with onboard audio that plays random surfer music during the ride

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It wasn't a very long ride, but did run two trains. Kinda rode like Crossbow

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Next up, the only Vekoma in all of the greater SLC area, Bat!

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It was quite jarring in spots, and only has 1 train, making it the longest wait of my day at about 25 minutes. Good thing I had Happy Park and new levels of Angry Birds to keep me entertained!

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Bat did have some good theming to it though, complete with guano piles and a batcave filled with the little guys

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Getting ready for Halloween!

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Not sure how extensive their event is, but clowns are always scary to me!

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Jet Star 2 ended up being my 800th coaster

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Nothing quite like sending 6 adults on a Schwarzkopf with seatbelts only and impeccable brakes at the end. I think I still have seatbelt burn on my stomach!

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The flyers were really fantastic and are real close to Knoebels in my opinion

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While at the park I met another coaster enthusiast who was in town for a wedding and made his wife drop him off while she went shopping. Turns out they live about 30 minutes from my house!

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Look at the range of motion the sail gets!

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Quite happy with my flyers performance and Angry Muppet technique

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I was bummed that the Top Scan was down

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See, even ride parts have a hard time getting to this park!

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I was really surprised to see that Lagoon still has these, I thought they were all gone

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I remember these being fun when I did them, but didn't feel like waiting to race on this day

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This should make Elissa happy, Lagoon is a Coke park!

Edited by DerekRx
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Final update:

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Pioneer Village was purchased from down the road in SLC and moved to the park in 1976

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Pioneer Village is a bunch of little shops and museums depicting an old western town

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You can learn about how things were done back in the 1800s, like shoe repair

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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.

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Oooh barley, now all I need are some hops!

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Jeff Johnson worked at this very Post Office back in 1885 when stamps were $0.02 a piece

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Before there was the iPhone, there was just Phone. It was not easy to play Angry Birds on these

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There was also a train museum in Pioneer Village

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I know some people who would spend quite some time in here

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Everyone loves going to the dentist!

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This is what a dentist's office looked like

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Hooray, Mormon Furniture!

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We would call this a long bench, but to Mormons it is a love seat

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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

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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

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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.

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Sky ride

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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

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OdySea is another new flat ride and is Lagoon's version of One Fish, Two Fish, complete with water features and a catchy song!

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Sharks, dolphins, and other sea life squirt water at you if you don't follow along.

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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

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The park also features a train ride around the "lagoon" of Lagoon

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Finally we end with an older but always fun flat, the Rock-o-Plane

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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.

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But that wasn't why I stayed there, nor was the fact that it was a historical site

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I stayed there because this was directly across the street!

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and this was one street over! Who says there's no alcohol in Utah!!

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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)

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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!

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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

Edited by DerekRx
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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.

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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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Thanks for the great report. Looks like a great park with a nice coaster selection including two classic Schwarzkopf coasters.

 

I enjoy the oldies today - in a new park I mostly do the fancy new coasters only once, due to the longer lines, and then park myself into an Schwarzkopf coaster - with no line - for the rest of the day.....

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Most excellent Photo TR of Lagoon, a park that's yet to be visited since the arrival of all the new goodness for the park. And yes, Anton is wondering why His rides aren't being operated at their full capacity! (Not that I'm one of those weird, obsessive Schwarzkopf fans or anything...)

 

And pastrami on a burger????

 

R.D.

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Great TR of an out of the way park. Ever since Wicked opened, I've wanted to check this place out (before then, I didn't even know it existed). Maybe I'll have to plan a late season ski trip to Utah (early-mid April) so I can visit the park, because other than that there isn't much chance I'd ever be out in Salt Lake City.

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Any American park with two old dark rides and two Schwartzkopfs is worth noting.

 

100% agreed. I was very surprised to see how many really cool rides this park has, including a coaster with onboard surf rock, which is an automatic mega-win. Must get there someday. GREAT report!

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