Lagoon – a Utah tradition since 1886
For many families, Lagoon is a summer tradition. Lagoon is a Utah amusement park located in Farmington, about 15 miles north of Salt Lake City.
Lagoon has been a happening Utah destination for a long time. Lagoon’s carousel is nearly 120 years old and the wooden roller coaster dates back to the 1920′s. In the 50′s and 60′s Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys and dozens of other top acts played at Lagoon.
Today, Lagoon is still one of Utah’s best attractions. Here are ten tips for getting the most from your visit.
1. Don’t pay full price
Lagoon discounts can be found everywhere in Utah, so don’t pay the regular price of $44.95 + tax. Many local businesses and hotels sell discounted passes. We saved $10 on each of our passes by purchasing them through a relative’s employer. Call Lagoon directly and ask about the group rate, if applicable.
Lagoon charges $28.95 + tax for ALL kids under the age of 4 who will ride. This price is less expensive than the discount passes. Children under age 2 can enter the park for free and individual ride tickets may be purchased if parents just want to buy one or two rides for their youngest children.
2. Pack a picnic
Lagoon has hundreds of picnic tables and numerous grassy areas in the back of the park. Officially, Lagoon encourages patrons to leave their food in cars until mealtime, but we always bring ours in as soon as we arrive. I assume that Lagoon is not responsible if our stuff is stolen, but we don’t leave anything of value unattended, and we’ve never had a problem.
When we visited Lagoon this summer, we brought our big cooler, a bag of groceries, and a large picnic blanket in with us. Our favorite picnic area is shady and just far enough from the rides that a mid-day nap would be possible if we were so inclined.
3. Dress for water rides
Summer temperatures can reach triple-digits in Utah and Lagoon has several water rides and a splash pad where visitors can cool off. Expect to get completely soaked on Rattlesnake Rapids. Water rides are popular, so consider riding them early in the day. Bring Ziploc bags to keep your phones, cameras and tickets from getting drenched.
Do not carry purses or backpacks with you, unless someone in your group will not be riding coasters like Wicked, Spider, Colossus and even the family-friendly Bombora. Bags are not allowed on these rides and though lockers are provided, I found them to be a hassle.
4. Go on a weekday
Save yourself a lot of time in line and plan your Lagoon Day for a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Our last visit was on a Thursday, the week before the July 4th holiday, and the lines seemed even shorter than in years past. I don’t know if it was the nearness of the holiday or just luck, but we didn’t complain.
5. Arrive early
Lagoon opens at 11:00 a.m every day except Saturday. That’s hardly the crack of dawn, yet the lines will be at their shortest during the first hour. We always aim to be standing at the front gates at 10:30 a.m, in case of an early opening.
6. Validate for Bounce Back
Stop just inside the gates to validate your passes for Bounce Back, if it’s an option the day you are there. Lagoon’s Bounce Back allows you to return to the park within the next ten days for only $11. It takes a couple of minutes to validate and there is nothing to lose if you don’t return.
7. Save Lagoon-A-Beach for another day
We visit Lagoon nearly every year, but our kids have never been to Lagoon-A-Beach, the water park inside the amusement park. The amusement park has enough attractions to fill our day without the hassle of bringing swimsuits and towels. Lagoon-A-Beach is included with admission, so consider visiting on a Bounce Back day.
8. Get in line for these rides first
These are the popular rides at Lagoon. Visit them early in the day to avoid long lines:
South End: Wicked, Spider, Colossus
North End: Air Race (new in 2012), The Rocket
Pioneer Village: Rattlesnake Rapids, Log Flume
Family Rides: Bombora, Dinosaur Drop/Ladybug Bop, Ody-sea, The Bat
9. Stroll through Pioneer Village
Pioneer Village is a reconstruction of a typical 19th-century frontier town. It consists of 42 buildings filled with period furnishings and one of the best collections of small guns in the United States. My 3rd-great-grandfather’s cabin has been re-located to Pioneer Village, so it’s fun to wander through this quiet section of Lagoon and connect with my history.
10. See a show
Every time I see one of Lagoon’s musical productions, I remember Simon Cowell insulting American Idol contestants by comparing them to theme park performers. Nevertheless, Lagoon’s productions are not bad. We are usually ready for a break in the afternoon and watching a show in the shade with an icy soda in hand is a pleasant way to spend half-an-hour.
Lagoon may not be as big as the well-known parks in Southern California or Florida, but it has fun attractions and local flavor that can’t be found anywhere else. Lagoon will be tradition in our family for years to come.
Would you like more tips and ideas for fun family activities in Utah? Visit our Utah page!