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Cannibalizing on a Golden Opportunity at Lagoon Park

Posted By Production Team, Thursday, July 2, 2015
Updated: Sunday, June 28, 2015


Cannibalizing on a Golden Opportunity at Lagoon Park - June 27, 2015


Rowberry: I didn’t realize it at first, but Lagoon is the embodiment of our “Lost Parks” series we do in the Bay Area. Here’s a family owned park that unlike so many others, is thriving. It has the charm of the parks of yesteryear, combined with the thrills of today. Not to mention stellar operations on all of their major attractions, which kept wait times to a minimum.

Did we ride Cannibal? It’s the question we’re getting constantly. And now, we can finally say…yes, YES WE DID! It was amazing, pure and simple. All the hype surrounding the ride and the suspenseful wait for it to open are all worth the final product.

If you’ve passed over Lagoon before in your travels, you need to add it to your list from hereon. There are so many unique elements to the ride, that it quite literally takes your breath away.

During our two rides, we experienced a “water element” that even took park management by surprise. During the final helix by the waterfall, the breeze picked up and blew some of that cascade onto us. Considering it was 100+ degrees – we didn’t mind it at all.

We also had the privilege of meeting Julie Freed, a member of the family who owns and operates the park. You can hear it in her voice about how special a place like Lagoon is not only to them, but to those who enjoy the park…the guests. It’s people like that which I wish could operate parks in my home State of California.

Passion is what drives this industry forward – and Cannibal proves that with determination and a little elbow grease, parks in America can do something just as special as our European counterparts.

It should also be noted, that 75% of the contractors involved in Cannibal were from Utah, yet they all seem to have come together to create an entirely different type of ride for the industry we love – a compact, thrilling and unique coaster that’s sure to put some stress on your top ten lists and will be talked about for years to come.

Laschkewitsch: Wow. That is how I describe Lagoon’s new thriller, Cannibal. We were lucky enough to be able to ride the brand new $22 million masterpiece on June 27, before it officially opened to the public. This was not the plan or main reason we were coming to Lagoon originally, but we definitely were hoping for it to open up to the public in time for our filming at the park.

Our main reason for filming at Lagoon was to interview Dal Freeman, the park’s semi-retired head engineer, and the designer of Cannibal.  In addition, Freeman is a former Arrow engineer who worked on various rides such as Magnum XL-200 at Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH.  While we had yet to interview him, we were anxiously hoping we’d be able to check out Cannibal in some fashion.  It wasn’t until the afternoon of June 27 that we were given the go ahead to come to the park and take a couple test rides on the 208 foot-tall behemoth. 

Adam Leishman of the park’s Media Relations department was the whole reason we were able to have an experience such as this, and I cannot personally thank him enough. Also, the park’s General Manager and Vice President, Terry Capener, came for a spin, while Julie Freed in special events joined us on the station platform.  As I approached the ride, the sheer size of it had me in awe.  Not only did its height amaze me, but the detailed theming and beautiful paint job on the whole area was stunning. 

We walked up into the loading area, and waited for a few test runs before boarding.  My favorite part of the entire ride might actually have been looking straight up into the elevator shaft as the train rolled into it at the bottom – it just looked amazing.  Overall, the ride was phenomenal, and I hope that ACE holds a national event at Lagoon in the near future.  Not only that, but I am certain that this ride will win a Golden Ticket from Amusement Today as it is that good. I can’t wait to come back and can’t thank the park enough for a very memorable experience.  

Ingle: Probably one of the most sought after new roller coasters this year is at a little park in Farmington, Utah at Lagoon. The coaster is Cannibal, it climbs up 208 ft. and has 116 degree first drop and reaches speeds up to 70mph. What makes this ride even more special is that it was primarily built in the state of Utah, which is really uncommon these days considering most coasters are built by an overseas company.

Now, let's get to the ride experience. Thanks to the very kind people at Lagoon, we were able to ride the coaster a few days early before it opened to the public and I still can't thank them enough. As soon as you leave the station to climb 208 ft. in an elevator lift, not a conventional lift hill like most coasters.

You begin rising to the top of the shaft and it is frightening because you can look above you and see nothing. Once you reach the top, the ride appears to end, as if you are going to fall off the edge because the first drop is so steep. The first drop is nothing like I've experienced before on any coaster, the beyond vertical drop is thrilling yet also insanely terrifying. As soon you go down the drop, you immediately go into an immelmann loop then into a dive immelmann loop. After some twists and turns, it comes to the best part of the ride - the "Lagoon Roll" as the park is dubbing it. The inversion is a slow double heartline roll over a water fall, my personal favorite part of the ride. After that, you immediately dive through a cave and past the waterfall (which you may get hit by!) and then you hit the break run.

So my final thoughts on the whole coaster - it's amazing, wonderful and incredibly smooth. The entire coaster has no slow parts in it at all and is easily re-rideable. It also currently stands as my number one steel roller coaster and will probably stay that way for a long time.

I'd like to give a special thanks to the following people for allowing us to ride early: Adam Leishman, Terry Capener, and Julie Freed. Again, I can't thank you enough to for letting us ride!



(Photo: Lagoon Park)


(Photo: Adam Leishman, Media Relations at Lagoon Park)


(Photo: Adam Leishman, Media Relations at Lagoon Park)


(Photo: Adam Leishman, Media Relations at Lagoon Park)

Once again, a huge special thanks to the team at Lagoon Park for giving ACE this special opportunity! 

- Legacy of Arrow Production Team

Tags:  Arrow  Arrow Development  Arrow Dynamics  Cannibal  Dal Freeman  in-house  Kris Rowberry  Lagoon  Lagoon Park  Nicholas Laschkewitsch  Robert Ingle  Salt Lake City  Utah 

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