I haven’t written about tourist destinations in Utah in over a while. I started doing so as a way of remembering the local venues I might enjoy again, once COVID evaporated. I did so to let people know what Utah has to offer. I also did so as a way to fill the blog each week…
So, today’s stop is Lagoon Amusement Park.
I’ve been around this tiny park throughout my life. My parents forked over funds for we children to attend a handful of times; I have hazy memories of sliding down sacks and walking through a spinning tunnel in the fun house, covering my eyes at the ‘scary’ parts of the haunted house, riding their car-driving attraction as a passenger -and wishing so hard I were tall enough to control my own vehicle!, walking beneath the white, wooden roller coaster, and staring up at the other, ENORMOUS coasters in awe.
Up until thirteen years old, wild horses could not have dragged me onto any ride that moved faster than a log flume. I certainly would never have gone upside-down! At the end of that school year, however, Lagoon hosted its usual free day for the graduating sixth-graders. I went with a neighbor and her family. Just before the park closed and just after they lowered my judgment enough to ride the Musik Express, I got on Colossus.
The experience at the time was akin to others’ descriptions of their first beer -and not the good descriptions.
Still, that broke me in. By the time I attended my first Six Flags amusement park at sixteen, I felt highly experienced. “Pshaw,” I said, “That Superman coaster is nothing. I could do it with my eyes closed…” Between Six Flags and Disneyland, I formed a snooty opinion of little, backwards Lagoon.
Until today. Yes, until today. Thanks to the internet, I’ve read up on Lagoon’s history.
First, I learned where the name comes from. I’d often wondered; Utah is an extremely dry state and its ‘lagoons’ are usually marshlands on the shores of the Great Salt Lake. I guess the original founder/owner/head man, Mr. Simon Bamberger, christened the park thus because of the existing body of water in his initial forty acres. And, yes, it was a lagoon of the marshlands of Salt Lake. He drained some of the swamp to expand it.
Two fun facts: apparently, residents would use that water to harvest ice in the winter; and, I remember seeing people boat on that same water. -You know, all swan boat style. These days, the pond at Lagoon is rather green. I think I’d swim in it if literally no other option existed.
The other reasons I’ve come to respect our dinky amusement park more are: its history, its fight to remain open and profitable, and its unique roller coasters.
This blog post could go on for ages and ages, but I love that Lagoon tries to keep much of its original features and to purchase the dying aspects of other areas. They expanded to include something known as Pioneer Village decades ago, for example. You can get pretty darn good ice cream there.
The owners have tried to add a new ride every year since 1994, with notable exceptions.
And, apparently, five of the ten coasters are unique:
Colossus the Fire Dragon, the last Schwarzkopf Double Looping coaster still in operation in the United States (Laser at Dorney Park closed at the end of the 2008 season and was moved to Germany to become the Teststrecke traveling roller coaster in 2009); Roller Coaster, one of the oldest coasters in the world operating since 1921; Wicked, designed by Lagoon’s engineering department and Werner Stengel in cooperation with ride manufacturer Zierer; BomBora, a family coaster designed in-house; and Cannibal, built in-house with one of the world’s steepest drops.Wikipedia
They even have a water park area in the middle. It’s called Lagoon-A-Beach, another name I’ve wondered at. I mean, why not go with Lagoon’s Lagoon?
As to my thoughts of its being dinky? I just read that the total acreage is around 95. Disneyland is 100. Huh. The more you learn…
If you want to visit Lagoon Amusement Park, it’s not far. Just head about 23 minutes North on I-15 from the Salt Lake City International Airport. Be prepared to pay for parking, admission, food, extras, carnival games, souvenirs…
On that note, here are the things I posted over the last …weeks:
Tuesday, March 16: Announced this month’s A Mused Poetry Contest. The theme is a snappy jingle for a product that really shouldn’t be sold.
Friday, March 19: “Here I Am Now, On My Diet,” a parody of “Hello, Muddah, Hello, Fadduh” about dieting.
Sunday, March 21: Re-blogged Dumbestblogger’s excellent satirical piece, “Hands Apart America.”
Monday, March 22: Responded to Carrot Ranch’s prompt with “Last Year.”
Shared a quote by Michael Jordan.
Tuesday, March 23: ‘Twas my birthday, but good luck knowing how old I turned.
Friday, March 26: Another humorous jingle, “Grampy’s Burlap Underwear.”
And, some reflections on nature and motherhood.
Monday, March 29: Shared a quote by Mandy Hale.
Tuesday, March 30: Learned of the passing of Sue Vincent, and shared that update with “Into Spirit.” Rest in peace, you wonderful woman.
Friday, April 2: Today.
©2021 Chel Owens