Lagoon, originally opened in 1886 as Lake Park on the shores of the Great Salt Lake. The original resort had water sports, a bowling alley, roller skating, and even a mule-drawn merry-go-round. However, the park moved to Farmington, Utah in 1899 and the name was changed to Lagoon as a nod to the large pond that was adjacent to the park.
However, the park was almost lost to tragedy in 1953 when most of the park was destroyed by a fire. Thankfully, the park was repaired and rebuilt. Over the years, new rides and attractions have been added making Lagoon a family hot spot in Utah. Many world-renowned musicians such as Johnny Cash, Ella Fitzgerald, and the Rolling Stones have even performed at the park. The Beach Boys even mention the park in their song, Salt Lake City!
Lagoon is home to not one, but two of the oldest operating theme park rides today. In 1906 a wooden carousel with hand-carved horses and creatures was added to the park. It was originally constructed in 1893. This wooden merry-go-round is still in operation today, and it is the only one located in the state of Utah. In 1921, a wooden roller coaster called, well, Roller Coaster opened at Lagoon. This coaster featured a 60 ft tall hill and speeds of 45 miles per hour. Though half of the coaster was lost to the fire of 1953, it was rebuilt, and it too is still operating as one of the oldest wooden roller coasters in the world.
This theme park is more than just its historical rides though. Lagoon’s coaster line-up has come a long way since 1921. The park has ten coasters with a coaster for every thrill level. Cannibal opened in 2015 and was designed and manufactured almost completely in-house.
This coaster was included in our Unique Roller Coasters feature and includes an enclosed elevator lift-hill, a 116-degree beyond vertical drop, and multiple inversions. Wicked, a steel launched coaster sends riders up and down a 110 ft vertical top-hat hill. With its banked turns and a zero-G inversion, it is also quite the wild ride. There is also the double looping, Colossus: The Fire Dragon. This steel looping coaster boasts two consecutive loops with 65 ft diameters. These are only a few of the great coasters this park has in its lineup. There is also a variety of family coasters including The Spider, a free-spinning coaster.
Lagoon also has a variety of non-coaster attractions for guests to enjoy. The first is the reconstructed 1880’s frontier community, Pioneer Village. This recreation includes dozens of stores, buildings, and artifacts. You can visit the ice cream parlor, bakery, doll museum, clock shop, and more. There is even a chapel that has spent over 150 years as a courthouse, schoolhouse, and church.
There is also a water park called Lagoon A Beach. You can cool off with several water slides and a lazy river. Finally, Lagoon features dozens of unique and classic theme park rides. Cliffhanger is a flipping and spinning water ride. You can enjoy a leisurely ride on classics like the Wild Kingdom Train, the Sky Ride, and the Sky Scraper Ferris wheel. Finally, you enjoy spooky rides, you can try one of Lagoon's two haunted dark rides, Dracula’s Castle and TerroRide.
There are a few different benefits to visiting Lagoon. First, you can bring in outside food and drinks. While this isn’t uncommon for many theme parks, Lagoon takes it one step further. You can actually bring your own alcohol into the park! The only stipulation is that you cannot bring in glass bottles and alcohol is not permitted within Lagoon A Beach.
There is something else you can bring into the parks that you may not expect. YOUR DOG! That’s right, dogs are welcome in Lagoon as long as they are leashed, not taken on the rides or left unattended, and you clean up after them. They are also not allowed on rides or in Lagoon A Beach. Finally, you can rent both tent camping and RV sites at Lagoon. This makes for a convenient walk into the park if you are planning to spend a couple of days visiting.
So what do you think? Will you be adding this historical park to your must-visit list?