Tent Camping, Scariest Roller Coaster Ever and Controversial Theme Park Zoo.
I had never heard of Lagoon Amusement Park and Campground in Farmington Utah until my daughter’s girl scouts planned a trip there.
But camping in the city next to a huge amusement park with a zoo and museum. Who knew? Apparently, in mid-May, girl scouts, dancing troupes and band competitors all knew.
About Lagoon Campground and RV Park
My daughter’s troop leader planned the whole adventure for the girls including campground reservations and tickets to the amusement park. She rivals professional travel guides with arranging logistics for a large group. The group campsite was reserved and our whole family planned to go along.
I was hoping to take our camper… but you can read all about our flippin’ camper experiences here. So we camped in tents with the rest of the group. In spite of freezing our backsides off in the rain- we had a fabulous time.
Lagoon Campground is actually a full-service campground and a huge amusement park. The campground is attached to the amusement park and adjacent to the zoo.
The campground is open during the spring/ summer season May 3, 2019 – October 30, 2019 (weather permitting).
Tent sites are $38 and full hook up RV sites are $50 a night. The deluxe pull-through sites are $58 and have a two-night minimum. Campground bathroom and showers are available for guests to use. Reservations can be made on their website here.
Address: Lagoon R.V. Park & Campground 375 North Lagoon Drive Farmington, Utah 84025
Lagoon is actually a full-service campground and a huge amusement park. We all stayed in the group camping area which has room for 25 people, tents and one RV. The group campsite was at the end of the campground, between campsites, the small zoo enclosures and backed up against the creek.
Even in the rain, the kids all played endlessly in the creek. They ran through the wet grass and then came back to the fire to warm up.
We heard the tiger roaring for breakfast and dinner which was kinda cool. In the cool wet weather, it was fun for the kids to see the animals. In the hot summer, I imagine it might be a little stinky.
We could see the backside of the enclosures and animals from the campsite. It’s easy to see why the zoo has a history of controversy surrounding the treatment of the animals.
How to Have a Campfire and Still Follow the Rules
One of the parents brought a campfire ring and some wood because none are allowed on the ground but this would be following the rules.
After playing and running all evening and shivering in our tent all night it was finally morning. And the kids were up at the crack of dawn.
They were so excited to go to the amusement park but they had to wait 3 hours till opening at 10AM.
Amusement Park Entrance
Staying in the campground gave everyone a reduced rate on the entrance fee to the amusement park. You can buy tickets online beforehand so you can go straight to the entrance.
Of course, our group leader had all that arranged already so we did not have to wait in line but go straight into the amusement park.
We walked about a third of a mile from the campsite to the front entrance. We decided on a stroller with snacks in the bottom and Charles could return later for the cooler for lunch.
Our First View of the Cannibal Roller Coaster
The campground has so many trees that the amusement park is really hidden from view and the roller coasters start to appear between the trees. So we were saying—- oh look at that one! Oh, that one looks scary. And then a huge roller coaster with an inverted drop appeared.
We all voted that was the scariest we ever seen!!
We didn’t really study the map but got right away on the rides. There is an original carrousel with all hand-carved figures from the 1880s.
There are so many fun rides for everyone. Even the toddlers- some siblings or parents can join some.
Fun Theme Park Rides for the Little Kids and Toddlers
In general there was a small version of each of the big rides. Each ride had its own rules about height restrictions. Sometimes the little kids and toddlers had to be held, sometimes they had to go alone. Sometimes the 9 year old was too tall but not the 8-year-old.
That was a little confusing and the information was only available at the line for the ride.
If I had been in my normal plan everything out perfectly mode I would have been totally annoyed. But since this was a go with the flow trip, I was only slightly annoyed about the vague height requirements.
I was totally annoyed when one ride had the most inefficient system to load and unload. The loading seemed to take forever. So after the 4 minute ride I set my timer. It took 17 minute to unload 10 chairs of 2 people each. Good thing there wasn’t a long line because we spent almost 45 minutes going in circles a few time. Sheesh.
We spend the day back and forth between the little and the big rides. Due to the wet freezing weather, there were almost no lines and the kids could jump on any ride right away.
Eating at Lagoon Amusement Park
Bring a Cooler in on or Just Buy a Hot Lunch if You Are Freezing
You have many options for eating at Lagoon Amusement Park. You are allowed to bring a cooler with food in for the day, you can leave and come back or you can choose from a variety of restaurants on site.
By lunchtime, everyone was freezing and we decided to go ahead and buy hot food.
The restaurants are mostly focused in Pioneer Village but others were scattered throughout the park.
We had decided not to go with the $12 food ticket that can be purchased. Even with buying hot lunch it was easier to pay cash than use the food ticket that has restrictions. We went for Arby’s because was one the only place that we could find with space enough for our group of 7.
Pioneer Village looked interesting with shops and walk through museums but we were too cold and more interested in rides.
It is advertised as a living museum but we did not see any demonstrations.
We did walk to the boardwalk and poke our heads in some of the buildings. The displays of history were interesting. I think a warm day and more time would make this area enjoyable.
Controversial Wild Kingdom Zoo
After lunch, we rode the train around the park.
The train is fun for all ages and takes you through the zoo area. I think it’s supposed to be a safari feel and was fun for the kids to see the animals. But the enclosures are so small and only seen from the train. It seems like a waste to me.
In fact, the zoo has been creating quite a controversy for many years. A few petitions have been circulated regarding the treatment of the animals. And not just the usual suspects – 2 local teens started a big movement a couple of years ago.
Lagoon A Beach
Lagoon Amusement Park includes entrance to a water park – Lagoon A Beach.
Note: Although the park and campground open the beginning of May, the water park opens at the end of May.
So even if it wasn’t freezing and rainy, we couldn’t have gone. But it does look like fun in the summer heat and gets great reviews.
Cannibal Roller Coaster for the Brave
The older kids and Charles were so excited about all the choices for rides and roller coasters. My oldest son couldn’t get enough of the wooden roller coaster. I think he counted 12 times he rode it. Charles my daughter went crazy over the other huge coasters.
The Lagoon Amusement Park is most well known for the historical 1921 wooden roller coaster and the newer thrilling Cannibal.
The ride starts with a 208-foot elevator lift in the dark. Then falls through a 140-foot tall inverted loop. You travel up to 70 mph over 2,735 feet and through 3 inversions
And yes the 8-year-old went with her Dad on the scariest one ever! Twice! He said she started to cry on the way up but walked off at the end laughing. She is just so brave.
Walking Back to the Campground from the Amusement Park
The big kids and their Dad rode until the amusement park closing at 10 pm and drug themselves back to the campsite.
I was able to exit the park with the little kids right into the campground and get us ready for bed. This is one great perk of staying right onsite with a family. Some of the family can head back to bed while others keep playing.
Did I mention how I wish I had a camper to get warm and a soft bed after that exhausting day? And the shower in the campground was clogged with 2 inches of water – yuck. The guys did get to warm up in their shower though.
I knew everyone was tired and overstimulated so as parents we had a chance to practice grace.
I stopped by the front office to let them know the shower had been clogged with 2 inches of water our whole visit. The manager was not happy and was on her radio ASAP. I wish I would have told them earlier so I could have warmed up in the showers.
The next morning we were up and packing to get back on the road home. After a whirlwind trip we made it home with some really great memories!
Does this get you excited for RV Camping or planning a road trip with your kids? We have
Next time I think I would stay an extra day at the park if we could afford it. Have you been to Lagoon Amusement Park and Campground? What is your favorite roller coaster at an amusement park?