I managed to find a cheap flight out to Salt Lake City leaving in the AM and getting back the same day and I never need a reason to hit up a new park so I decided to make a day of it and hit Lagoon! Traveling for a day trip is so much nicer since I only brought a backpack along and I had little to no trouble packing since there were so few things to pack. Since my flight left at 6am Pacific, I was at the airport by 4 or so which ended up being way too early but that’s okay, rather be early than late every time.
Touched down in SLC at 9am or so and took an Uber out to Lagoon where I was at the gate at 9:30. I’d heard a couple of things about this place: 1. the single rider policy is pretty strange (true) 2. The ops are great (best I’ve ever seen) and 3. The park is expensive ($65 ticket with no online discount and the only promo I could see being a “bring a can of Pepsi and save $9 on non-Saturday tickets”) so I was going in with little expectations and really looking forward to getting in and riding!
After waiting for probably 20 minutes at rope drop, I immediately headed to Cannibal where I got on the second public train of the day in the front row.
Cannibal - 67/100
This ride is definitely intimidating, that’s for sure. I love the huge elevator building and the huge rolls. So this was definitely my most anticipated ride of the trip and unfortunately it let me down. I thought that the drop was really, really weak for how intense it should be. And none of the elements other than the Lagoon roll really stood out to me. With that being said it was still a fun ride, just not as crazy as I was hoping. I loved watching the elevator lift (which I think borrowed heavily from the Intamin flume rides - Pilgrims Plunge/Divertical) and I’m planning on giving it several more rides via the single riders line, maybe it just needs more time to warm up.
Roller Coaster - 50/100
I decided to hit Roller Coaster next since it was a walk on. For this one I couldn’t ride in the back row since I was a single rider which is a little weird but whatever. The ride itself is historic sure, but is super unremarkable. It wasn’t particularly rough or smooth and there were basically no forces to speak of. TBH it actually reminds me of a slightly smoother Grizzly at CGA. Drop, turn around, rinse and repeat. I won’t be coming back for this one.
Spider - 55/100
I hadn’t been on one of these Maurer Sohne spinners in a long time and it was a ton of fun!! We didn’t spin too much which is good in my eyes and I loved the little bit of theming that Lagoon put in the ride, walking under the spider and climbing up the castle steps into the station.
Wicked - 73/100
So in my first lap around the park Wicked was my pretty clear favorite coaster. It started with the station for me. I loved the modern-y building with tons of glass, the board that showed the layout of the coaster and traced the path of the cars as they ran through the course and the siren that played on the launch. I also thought that the launch was really forceful for being short and the kick you got going up the lift was super unique. There was a good amount of airtime over the top hat which reminded me a little bit of Xcelerator which was still fairly fresh in my mind from my trip a month or so ago. The first half of the course after the launch was interesting with an inversion and some fast overbooked turns whereas the second tended to drag on a bit with slow uninspired elements but that wasn’t enough to ruin the first half of the ride for me. Actually the second half reminded me a bunch of the Backlot Stunt Coaster coasters at a few Cedar Fair parks.
Colossus - 65/100
When I was a younger coaster enthusiast I never really appreciated Schwarzkopf. I think it was because the only one we really had in Ohio was Wildcat @ Cedar Point and although it was fun, it was also just a glorified wild mouse. But now that I’ve branched out a little more and have gotten a chance to ride some more of Anton’s creations (Whizzer, Shockwave etc), the more I appreciate them. They are always fast, forceful but above all smooth with graceful transitions. And Colossus is no different. The back to back loops were really forceful and the rest of the layout was really fast and fun. These rides are great!
At this point I still hadn’t really waited in a line. But from the top of Wicked and Colossus I could see the park starting to fill up so I knew that I needed to book it to hit all of the rides before the lines became unreasonable.
Which is funny because it’s the opposite of what I was trying to do. I went to Knott’s Berry Farm a few weeks ago and pushed myself too hard in the 95+ degree SoCal heat and got pretty dehydrated. I had all of these plans for Knotts of taking tons and tons of pictures and video but ended up having to scrap it since I was feeling so badly. But at this point I figured that it was still cool and shady enough that I could push it in the morning and take it easier in the afternoon after I got all I needed to done.
Wild Mouse - 50/100
Next on my list was Wild Mouse. Lagoon continues to surprise me with just tiny subtle bits of theming that do add to the ride. In this case, in between the normal wild mouse hops and turns, they added a little house for Mr. W. Mouse that gave a nice little head chopper. This ride gave great laterals but the cars were too small or I’m too tall and I ended up banging my knees whenever the brakes would catch the car.
Puff - 30/100
Not much to say here, it’s a kiddy coaster. I felt really out of place riding it next to a bunch of kids and I’m pretty sure some teens were laughing at me off ride but a credit is a credit and I don’t even live in the same time zone as these people so shrug emoji
Bombora - 41/100
So this was the next kids ride I needed to knock out. And from what I remember, this was the first coaster that Lagoon built from scratch. And it was an impressive one! The coaster was really long and actually got pretty close to 90* banking at some points. Unfortunately the on ride audio wasn’t working but I love the idea so points to them for that.
Bat - 35/100
I’ve ridden one of these OG Vekoma kiddy inverts (@ KI) and don’t remember hating it despite the hate most enthusiasts tend to give it. Well now I understand why. It was a fairly boring course and I ended up banging my head quite a bit. It’s a shame really since I think that Steel Lasso @ Frontier City is an amazing ride and is actually one of my favorite inverts period.
To this point I’d been pretty surprised by how little Lagoon was being weird about single riders since I’d heard so much about it. They told me I couldn’t sit in the back for Bat and Roller Coaster but that’s not really a loss. Well next I was headed to the one ride that I absolutely would run into trouble with.
Jet Star 2 - 60/100
Whizzer was my 199 or 200th credit (tbh I’m not sure which, I kind of lost track in that range) and I loved it. It was quirky but fun and a great first coaster. So I was really excited but also really nervous for Jet Star 2 at Lagoon since it is notorious for being awful with single riders. I’ve heard reports where you just need to wait for an odd group to pair with and other reports where they just tell you that you’re out of luck if you’re riding solo. After asking the guy at the unload platform if the “wait for an odd group” was possible and getting the affirmative, I headed up the ramp and told the op up front what the guy said. She told me that was fine and to stand next to her and wait for an odd group. After 5 minutes or so a group of 3 came by and the op paired me with them. After apologizing in advance for the personal space invasion I was planning on doing, me and the odd man out of the group got up close and personal in those seats. I apologized in advance and he apologized halfway through. We both tried to give each other as much space as possible but there’s only so much you can do where you’re essentially sitting one person in between the legs of another. Cute to do with an SO, less so with a stranger. But IDK, got the credit! And the ride itself, not bad! I think I like Whizzer a lot better since it is a little longer and has those beautiful trees that grew up around it but this ride was fun with really whippy turns and helixes.
At that point, it was about 11:30 (not bad getting all 10 coasters done in about 90 minutes) and I was starting to tell that I was in need of downtime so I headed to Lagoon’s Biergarten where I sat in the air conditioning and relaxed for a little bit. The food was pretty good and the air conditioning was even better. After jotting down my thoughts on the rides for a little bit, I decided to head back to the lockers, stow my stuff and get ready for some single rider line marathoning. Or at least that’s what I thought…
So first on my list of rides to marathon was Cannibal.
Cannibal - ?/100
After only waiting in the single riders line for a few minutes, I got put in the middle on the edge. As we rolled into the turnaround out of the station, I was immediately a lot more impressed since the totem set pieces that were lit up my first ride by the room lights were now dimly lit in a dark room with loud tribal music playing. It ended up adding a ton to the atmosphere! We entered the elevator lift also in blackness and got all the way up to the top where the door opened and…. Nothing. After 5 minutes of sitting there at the top with the door open, the lights came up and the music stopped. Whereas before I thought there was just an issue with a slow unload, now I knew that it was something more serious than that. After 10 minutes or so of talking with the people around me (and listening to the teenage girls behind me complain that the restraints were too tight), we saw an employee walking up all 200 feet worth of stairs (and out of breath afterwards but who can blame her) and tell us that essentially the sensor that ensures that the elevator has lined up with the track on top was telling them that our train wasn’t aligned. After she spent probably 10 minutes trying to move the car forward manually (not gonna lie there, I was getting some real Smiler vibes) she gave up and called for help. After another couple minutes, an elevator in the back containing a bunch of engineers came up the lift and started looking that the fuse box next to our car. After they pronounced that everything was lined up and reset correctly, they manually moved the car forward and off the first drop. The ride itself was mostly a blur for me but it was probably the coolest experience I’ve gotten to do in a park, getting to see the internals of such a unique system and sharing a fun, exhilarating, scary moment with strangers. When we got back down to the bottom, we came into an empty station and started clapping like crazy! As we all got off, Lagoon gave us coupons for a free meal. Thanks so much Lagoon but unnecessary in my case, the experience itself was more than enough. Actually I didn’t use it, instead it’ll get hung up on my wall as a cool reminder of a cool experience!
Wicked - 73/100
I was just as impressed with this ride the second time around. That vertical launch is such a cool feeling. To the best of my knowledge it’s the only vertical launch coaster in the world which makes it all the more impressive that it’s at a (relatively) small park like Lagoon!
Cannibal x2 - 75/100
Okay I think I get it. This time around I was able to combine the dark show scene of my second go around with the not breaking down part of my first ride. This time the drop actually threw me out of my seat and I started to get tunnel vision in the first inversion. The Lagoon roll still gave some crazy hangtime and I really enjoy the helixes around the waterfalls. Although this ride will never crack my top 10, I still was really impressed with it for a smaller park in the middle of the desert.
Then I went around the park and got some pictures and video and took another break. At this point, lines were spilling into the midway everywhere, making me really glad that I got everything done that I needed to do in the morning. After sitting in the air conditioning and relaxing for a little bit, I headed out again to finish up some picture taking. After that it was back off to the airport. I ended up giving myself a lot more time than I needed but hey, I’d rather be safe than sorry when it comes to flights. And then just a few hours later I was landing back home at SFO!