Lagoon Utah Campground and Amusement Park
Tent Camping in the Rain, Controversial Theme Park Zoo and Scariest Roller Coaster Ever!
I had never heard of Lagoon Amusement Park and Campground in Farmington Utah, until my daughter’s girl scouts planned a trip there. Its just outside Slat Lake City. Yes… I knew about SLC. I have driven and stopped over on flights many times.
But camping in the city and a huge amusement park with zoo and museum. Who knew? Apparently, in mid May, girl scouts, dancing troupes and band competitors all knew.
Lagoon Campground and RV Park
My daughters troop leader planned the whole adventure for the girls including campground reservations and tickets to the amusement park. She is 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 a 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 back sides off in the rain- we had a fabulous time.
Lagoon is actually a full service campground and a huge amusement park. We all stayed in the group camping area which has room for tents and an RV. The group camp site 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 animas. In hot summer, I imagine it might be a little stinky.
We could see a the back side of the enclosures and animals from the campsite. Its 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 camp fire 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 to go to the amusement park but they had to wait 3 hours till opening at 10AM. We corralled them in our end of the campsites.
Amusement Park Entrance
Staying in the campground gave everyone a reduced rate on the entrance fee to the amusement park. 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!!
Right off – potty stop – of course We didn’t really study the map but got right away on the rides. There are so many fun rides for the littles- some siblings or parents can join some. There is an original carrousel with all hand carved figures from the 1880s.
Fun Theme Park Rides for the Little Kids
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 ones 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 vague height requirements.
Although, 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.
Bring a Cooler – But Just Buy a Hot Lunch if You Are Freezing
By lunch 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 boardwalk and poke our heads in some of the buildings. I think a warm day and more time would make this area enjoyable.
Controversial Wild Kingdom Zoo
After lunch we went back to the main area and rode the train around the park. The train is fun for all ages and takes you through the zoo area. I think its 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. 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 years ago.
Lagoon A Beach
Lagoon Amusement Park includes entrance to a water park – Lagoon A Beach. 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.
Amusement Park Rides for the Big Kids
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 coasters.
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.
After all the roller coaster excitement, the kids all played some of the carnival games. I hate those things – they just cost money and more junk to bring home. They all had so much fun and went home with some big toys. Who could resist this kind of fun?
Walking Back to the Campground from the Amusement Park
I was able to exit the park with the little kids right into the campground and get us ready for bed. 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 the shower though.
The big kids and their Dad shut down the park. They rode until the amusement park closing at 10 pm and drug themselves back to campsite.
I knew everyone was tired and overstimulated so as parents we had a chance to practice grace.
The next morning we were up and packing to get back on the road home.
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.
After a whirlwind trip we made it home with some really great memories!
Next time I think I would stay an extra day at the park if we could afford it. Adults are $58 and kids are $41. Under 2 only cost if they want to go on the rides. Why else go to an amusement park – so of course we had to buy the littles a band too.
Tickets may be a normal fee for amusement parks, but multiplied by 6 is a huge expense. That is why this was a first amusement park for our family.
What is your favorite roller coaster at an amusement park?
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