Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Lagoon

In 2002 the club trip had us spending the last few days in Las Vegas. 10 years later and with no real coaster reason to revisit (most of the coasters there aren't great anyway) the organisers chose to head somewhere else. In 2002 Lagoon Park in Utah was a park with 5 coasters, in 2012 it had 9 and seemed perfect to visit.

Whilst waiting for the coach a couple of the older members do a bit of porching. I had to have at least one page where Bob was at the front.

The plan was to spend 2 days at the park, but myself and a few others had planned something else for the second day. So today's mission was to get all 9. The wooden coaster looked pretty decent and has in their defence has probably been here longer than the car park, so can't really be called a car park coaster. 

Looking around there was a nice selection of rides stealing the skyline but some good foliage too. Shade is still essential in Utah.

Well, there was a sizeable crowd so we were hoping for good operations.


Initial impressions of the park were really positive with plenty of nice touches and I think I've only ever seen the rotating hooped rock in one other park before. Japan I think.

Unfortunately having gotten into the park there was a cordon preventing access to the rides and we had to wait another 30 minutes I think before security would let us in.


First coaster was the rather excellent Schwarzkopf Jet Star. We were soon to realise that the park had some rather strange rules and regulations, and on this one it was no bags (left with a non-rider) and the train had to be full to despatch it. I guess it made for a faster ride, but slowed down the throughput. As I got off 5 people were waiting to ride so I ran on to fill their train. Aren't I nice?


Next to the coaster was this cool new spin ride that had only recently been added to the park. Unlike the unicoaster at Santa Cruz there was no way to control the spin, but the experience was really fun and a lot of time was spent upside down.


The bat is a mid-sized inverted coaster and ran OK but didn't really give the inclination to re-ride unlike the rides before it.

Cute little touches can be found all around the park. I wonder if these were made by local school kids as they're quite unique.


Lagoon, like Thorpe Park, named their Top Scan ride "Samurai". It was quite popular with the locals and is probably the most extreme spin ride in the park.

One of these towers is a shot tower, one is a drop tower, and the other is a down tower as there was nothing on it. Perhaps it's just there to hold the other two up.



Bombora is another mid-sized rollercoaster with a great surfing themed ride with on-board soundtrack, which I hadn't expected. This sort of ride would be perfect in any park as it borders the children and adult demographics perfectly.

Really nice theming was adding to overall likeness of this park

The nice pun "lagoon a beach" is the water park which fortunately for us was keeping most of the public occupied making the task of getting around the rides a little easier.

Coaster hill theming


Time for another coaster and the next one happened to be the smallest. We shouldn't have been allowed to ride Puff the Magic Dragon really, at most parks we'd been deemed to big to ride. Not here in Lagoon though, there was no issue at all other than getting odd looks from some of the parents of little kids waiting to ride.

A cute little ride that I don't think I've seen before.


There are 2 dark rides in the park, Dracula's Castle was the oddest due to the trains looking like half a Delorean. The ride itself was interesting with some nice little touches although not all the effects were working. Best bit was a tunnel section where the sound "cheebacheebacheebacheeba" played over and over again. It's almost as old as I am but, unlike me, holds up well.


Terroride is the other dark ride and this was still pretty good but not as good as the one before it, even with Bill trying to make it scarier.

Another egg style ride. If this one looks like a model it's because I'm on the chair ride that runs through the centre of the park.


The park is in a wonderful location on the edge of a mountain range and rates as one of the most scenic theme parks in the world.

That's one way to enjoy a fountain!


Back to the rollercoaster riding and next up was the wooden coaster which has been around since the 1920s. This ride was great and probably became my favourite wooden coaster of the trip. 



It doesn't have the fastest speed or the biggest drops but it does offer a really fun ride experience. The ride also had an excellent ride crew who were doing their utmost to ensure we had a good time. One downside was that single riders were not allowed to ride in the front or back; another rather odd rule.

Prizes for everyone including the emo crowd.


The mouse coaster was a cookie cut model and just a ride to tick and not reride. I did like the Sherlock Holmes mouse though, looking for a member of the public concealing citrus fruits in their orifices. "Lemon entry dear Watson"!


The rather oddly named Colossus the Fire Dragon is another Schwarzkopf ride and I hadn't realised this prior to the trip. Lagoon is only one of two parks in the world that have 2 rides from Schwarkopf, arguably the best coaster maker of all time, and if you know where the other one is then well done...it's at Chapultapec in Mexico...and if you're Cal Jones well done for correcting me that there are in fact 3. I'd missed Nagashima Spaland in Japan.


This ride was absolutely brilliant and was running so well with some wonderful hang time in the loops. This park had done an amazing job in keeping the rides in tip-top condition.

Next up was Spider, another spinning mouse coaster where the theming was better than the ride itself.

This would be rather stupid!


The ride is another catalogue model and surrounded by trees on 2.5 sides is not too easy to photograph. The better shots can be taken outside the park.

Final coaster of the day was Wicked, a launched ride by the maker Zierer, a company more famous for their little kiddie rides.


and WOW!! what a ride. Having ridden about 70 coasters on the trip I'd perhaps become a little complacent with the thrills that come from American rides where they don't really make rides risky, I guess for fear of litigation. So imagine my surprise when this became the most intense coaster of the trip.


I wasn't prepared for a rolling launch and the forces undertaken on the tower, and I was a little disorientated after the first ride. However once I got used to the ride system and to keep pushing forward on the lap bar to prevent G-force induced clamping, I found the ride much more enjoyable.

The ride even has booster seats to allow little kids to ride. A wonderful touch and something that makes you think "why haven't other parks got that?"

Local kids definitely did this! A great way to include the local community in the park.


Around the park, there are signs explaining how the rides work and giving a back story to the rides in the park. I like stuff like this as it shows a genuine passion in the park and it's history. You don't really get this in the corporate parks unless a ride is down a la Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disney.


The park has an old classic carousel with a selection of wooden carved animals. Perhaps the only place in the world where you can ride a big cock in front of children without being arrested. 

A rather interesting arcade style game. Did anyone ever manage to get the Funny Bone out when they played this? That one was always a pain to get.

For those that wish to rest their legs there's a train ride that takes you around the lake. There is a zoo that it goes through but the animals, whilst not pacing, could have done with a bit more space. There had been an online petition to get the animals moved but I didn't think it that bad, I've seen worse in China and South Korea.

The music shows were pretty good, and they have 2 different shows through the day. 

Because this park impressed us so much we took the opportunity to thank the park staff as a group. With a good selection of rides, including the German ones and the rather excellent Wicked, and a wonderful character throughout the park, I think this won more of us over than any of the others, and we really had saved the best for last.

Day 2 had us having a start of day ERS on the wooden coaster and Wicked, a wonderful way to end the trip.....except for a few of us the trip wasn't quite over.




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