Are you planning a trip to Lagoon Amusement Park in Utah? It's lots of fun for families.
Lagoon has been a happening Utah destination since 1886! 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, the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys and dozens of other top acts played at Lagoon.
Today, Lagoon is still one of the best regional amusement parks in the U.S. It is large and clean and has coasters and other attractions that you won't find anywhere else.
You'll spot Cannibal, Lagoon's newest coaster well before you pull into the parking lot. Its first terrifying drop is like nothing you've ever seen.
My family lives near Lagoon and its one of our favorite summer traditions. We usually go with extended family, and cousins always make it more fun.
Here are 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 full price. Many local businesses and hotels sell discounted passes. Lagoon lists several deals on its website at www.lagoonpark.com/tickets/deals-packages.
Lagoon charges admission for ALL kids and seniors who will ride. This price is less expensive than most 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.
If you live near enough, consider a season pass. It will pay for itself in 2-3 visits. Black Friday is an especially good time to buy, when season passes are about $99 each. My family purchased season passes for the first time this year, and have visited Lagoon half a dozen times so far – usually for just a few hours. My kids (now ages 11 and 14) love going with friends who have passes, and are excited to experience Lagoon-A-Beach and Frightmares this year.
2. Pack a picnic
Lagoon has hundreds of picnic tables and numerous grassy areas in the back of the park. Officially, Lagoon encourages guests to leave their food in cars until mealtime, but we always bring ours in as soon as we arrive. We don't leave anything of value unattended, and we've never had a problem.
We usually bring in our big cooler and a large blanket. We finally switched to a cooler with wheels and a telescoping handle last year, and it is so much better than carrying a heavy cooler through the park! The cooler in the photo is not the one we use, but it's similar and available on Amazon.com.
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. Wear clothes that will dry quickly and avoid denim or anything see-through. You may be completely soaked on Rattlesnake Rapids.
Water rides are popular in the summer, so consider riding them early in the day. Bring Ziploc bags to keep your phones, cameras and tickets from getting drenched.
4. Pack Light
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. Lockers are available at the front of the park and near these rides, but it's easier to travel light.
You can carry a small neck wallet or fanny pack onto all the rides, but make sure it's secure and will not get in the way of safety restraints. On a recent visit, I wore my neck wallet under my shirt on Wicked. The first vertical hill lifted it into the air and out of my reach. Lagoon employees collect all the lost items under Wicked every few hours and send them to Lost and Found. I got my bag back, but my phone screen was smashed and unusable.
5. Go on a weekday
Save yourself a lot of time in line and plan your Lagoon Day for a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Lagoon has no Fastpass or Skip-the-Line options, so it pays to arrive early and pick days with lighter crowds if you don't want to wait long for Cannibal and other popular rides.
Cannibal and Wicked have single rider lines, which are great for families with older kids who prefer to ride fast than ride together.
6. Arrive early
Lagoon opens at 11:00 a.m every day except Saturday. That's hardly the crack of dawn, but lines will be 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.
7. 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 a deeply discounted price. It takes a couple of minutes to validate and there is nothing to lose if you don't return.
8. Save Lagoon-A-Beach for another day
We visit Lagoon nearly every year, but my kids haven't yet done Lagoon-A-Beach, the water park inside the amusement park. The amusement park has enough attractions to fill our day without packing swimsuits and towels. Lagoon-A-Beach is included with admission, so consider visiting on a Bounce Back day.
9. 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: Cannibal, The Rocket
Pioneer Village: Rattlesnake Rapids, Log Flume
Family Rides: Bombora, Dinosaur Drop/Ladybug Bop, Odysea, The Bat
10. Stroll through Pioneer Village
Pioneer Village is a reconstruction of a typical 19th-century frontier town. It has 42 buildings filled with period furnishings and one of the best collections of small guns in the United States. The home of my 3rd great grandfather, Erastus Bingham, has been relocated to Pioneer Village, so it's fun to wander through this quiet section of Lagoon and show my kids a piece of our family history.
11. 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, I think that Lagoon's productions are fun. 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.
Good to Know
Where: Just east of Interstate 15 in Farmington, Utah. You can drive your own car or take a shuttle from Frontrunner.
When: Lagoon is open during warm weather months, from about Easter through Halloween.
How Much: $59 for adults. Check current pricing and details at www.lagoonpark.com/tickets.
How Long: One full day, plus a Bounce Back if you can. Lagoon does not sell multi-day passes.
Amenities: Lagoon sells a variety of counter service meals and snacks throughout the park, including Subway and Arby's. Picnic areas and group spaces are abundant. Classic midway games can be found all over the park as well.
Photo credit: Featured photos courtesy of Lagoon.
How else can I help?
Need a place to stay? Lagoon has an onsite campground. If that's not your thing, look for hotels in Farmington, Layton, Bountiful or Salt Lake City. Click the button to check prices and availability of local hotels on TripAdvisor.
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