My Lovely First Trip to Lagoon

I grouped this charming family-owned park with a trip to the two major parks in Northern California because stopping in Salt Lake City added less than $20 to my airfare. I was so glad; it was my favorite park of the three visited!


This report is part 1 of 3 about my June 2023 solo coaster trip. Check out part 2 at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and part 3 at California's Great America! I was at Lagoon on Tuesday from 10AM-7:30PM, and Wednesday from 10:30AM-2:30PM. My ride totals were 14 on Cannibal, 10 on Roller Coaster, 7 on Wicked, 3 on Colossus the Fire Dragon, 3 on Spider, 2 on Bombora, 1 on Wild Mouse, 1 on Bat, and 1 on Puff the Little Fire Dragon. It's evident that the Freed Family takes pride in their park, from the beautiful landscaping, rides in working order, friendly employees, and fast operations. This park surpassed my expectations, even with Primordial still under construction, and not being able to ride Jet Star 2 as a single rider. Although most of the attractions here are geared towards families and children, thrillseekers will have plenty to do too. It rained briefly multiple times during my visit. Crowds were light to moderate. I didn't need a second day at Lagoon, but still enjoyed it. The admission is a bit pricey for the ride lineup, but is worth it for the atmosphere. There were many oddities at Lagoon, including: allowance of pet dogs, use of booster seats for Wicked, having no security to enter the park...instead Lagoon employs a lot of security personnel to roam, short queues and weird single rider line entrance locations, a lack of ethnic diversity among guests, free ride lockers, few advertisements for companies and products, peacocks walking around, and uneven/broken pathways.


Cannibal, Lagoon's signature coaster, was unsurprisingly my favorite at the park, and of the whole trip. I sat in every row, usually in the left-most seat. I prefer the front row for the wind rushing by and views. The ride starts out by playing intense music in the dark before rising up the 200+ ft tall elevator shaft. I much prefer this system to a vertical chain lift! The trip up was quick, cool (as in air-conditioned or utilizing a breeze from the moving parts), and builds anticipation for the drop. I enjoyed the pause coming out of the elevator shaft to see the surrounding coasters and roads. The drop was as extreme as I'd hoped and felt like a larger-scale Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter drop. It's long-lasting, steep, and gives great airtime. I enjoyed the two big inversions, speed hill, and overbank. The Lagoon Roll was probably my least-favorite element. I found it uncomfortable, bordering painful, on most of my rides. Slow rolls are usually the only kind of inversions that I don't care for, so having two back-to-back on Cannibal wasn't great. I also did not find the restraints to be as comfy as others claim. The final helix and waterfall tunnel make a great ending. The MCBR didn't hurt the pacing of Cannibal. Overall, this coaster has a well-rounded and unique layout with decent theming. I'm very impressed that Lagoon mostly built Cannibal themselves. I always used the single rider line and didn't have to wait very long. Currently, this coaster is ranked #17. I like it a bit more than the average coaster enthusiast.

Another better option than a vertical chain lift is a vertical launch, which can be found on Wicked. This launch has a kick to it. There is some good airtime at the top and on the drop. The zero-g roll is nice. Obviously, Wicked's second half is weak, but I'm glad for the added length. I thought the restraints for this ride were pretty comfortable, and not too different from the ones used on Cannibal. Wicked ranks just below the Gerstlauer Euro-Fighters I've ridden for having a worse layout. I always used the single rider line, and rode twice in the front and five times in the back. Even though it seems like this Zierer coaster gets overshadowed by the bigger and better Cannibal, it has enough going for it (namely the launch, drop, and inversion) to warrant at least a couple rides during a day at Lagoon.

Schwarzkopf's Colossus the Fire Dragon is the most intense coaster in the park. It has very forceful loops, helices, and changes of direction. Colossus had such a blistering pace that it was difficult for me to stay upright without a rider next to me. This coaster is a nice change from the generally "kid-friendly" ride collection at Lagoon. I just didn't appreciate getting shaken up from it, though I enjoyed Colossus's loops and speed.

Roller Coaster, the plainly named classic woodie, reminded me of the ones at Kennywood. Due to its central location at Lagoon, I rode Roller Coaster once or twice every time I walked by it. Even though this ride has unremarkable stats, it is really fun and has good airtime. I preferred the back rows for the extra speed and airtime. Roller Coaster ran pretty darn smooth for being over a century old, and seemed to be universally liked among guests. This ride was the biggest surprise for me at Lagoon. I did not expect to ride it 10 times, and more than Wicked and Colossus.

I also really enjoyed Spider, which might be the most intense spinning coaster I've ridden. It's a lot better than the Pandemonium clones. I got one ride with nonstop spinning, and two rides that were mild.

No comment on Wild Mouse, Puff, Bat, or Bombora.

Other Rides

I rode the blast-off side of Rocket. It was a fun drop tower, but the launch wasn't as punchy as expected. The ferris wheel, Sky Scraper, doesn't allow single riders, but fortunately I rode with another group. It's taller than the average ferris wheel and gave some nice views of Cannibal. The Sky Ride was a relaxing break from thrill rides and provided aerial views of Lagoon. The train ride was mostly just a tour of the park's controversial animal enclosures. Terroride was tacky and short, but a nice change from outdoor rides in the rain.

Food & Merchandise

I ate a meal at Teriyaki Stix, a soft pretzel, and pizza while at Lagoon. The food was average quality and average-pricd for theme park food. I bought a purple souvenir cup and got $1 soft drink refills. Before leaving, I bought a t-shirt with the park's skyline at Central Park Gifts.


I bought my two one-day tickets to Lagoon online during their holiday sale for $165. I saved $40 by buying admission early. My food/drink cost $42 total. I averaged $3/soda with the souvenir cup. My t-shirt cost $26. I spent $2418 on the whole trip (airfare, admission to 3 parks, 7 nights at hotels, rideshare, dining, souvenirs, etc).


These photos were taken by me. Please credit this website if used.