Tips for Maximizing Your Visit to Lagoon | Kids Out and About Salt Lake City

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Tips for Maximizing Your Visit to Lagoon

 Lagoon Amusement Park, Farmington, Utah

 

By Kerry Smith, Salt Lake City editor for KidsOutAndAbout

 

If you’re like many Utahns, you’ll visit Lagoon Amusement Park, located in Farmington, Utah, a few times this summer. Or maybe you’re from another state and you’ll just visit once. Whatever your situation, our family has some tips that can help you make the most of your visit to our favorite local destination.

 

About four years ago, our family moved to a neighborhood near Lagoon. Since that time we have been season passholders. My husband and I have two sons, ages 14 and 4, so we run the gamut on family fun. From the little kid rides to the easy-going adult rides to the barf-up-your-socks rides, someone in our family has “been there, done that” at Lagoon.

 

As you probably know, the park is divided into essentially five areas: Lagoon (the main amusement park with most of the rides), Pioneer Village (historic sites and old-fashioned fun with a few rides), Lagoon A Beach (pools and waterslides), Lagoon’s campground, and Frightmares (fun in the fall).

 

During the summer and fall, we bop over to the park almost every week. Here are a few things we have learned:

 

Lagoon Amusement Park, Farmington, Utah

 

Lagoon

  • Get season passes early! The best time to buy them is through the Black Friday sales. Visit Lagoonpark.com the day after Thanksgiving for the best deal, which is usually available for a couple of days. After that, rates go up. Click here for single day passports and here for season passes during the regular season.

  • Buy passes even for toddlers. Children 2 and under are permitted in the park for free, but they can’t ride anything unless you buy tickets (2 for $1; 4 to 10 tickets per ride) or a passport. There are so many fun kid rides, you might spend a fortune in tickets. I recommend buying a passport unless it's a babe in arms.

  • Entrance to rides is determined by child’s height. 48 inches lets you ride pretty much anything. My youngest is 46 inches, but he can still ride a lot of the rides--just not the super scary ones. If your child is right on the border height, you can stop at Guest Services at the park’s entrance, and they will measure your child and stamp their hand. Then you can avoid having them remeasured at each ride. It’s no big deal if you don’t do this, but it’s a little time saver if you’re interested.

  • Consider buying a parking pass. You can also purchase a season parking pass online, but we just buy it at one of the main gates on our first visit of the season. There’s no discount for buying it ($55) early. Parking is $10 per visit if you don’t have the pass.

  • Visit early in the season. The park opens for weekends in May. Attendance zooms up big time once school ends, pretty much Memorial Weekend. The park is then open every day 10 am to 10 or 11 pm. Click here to see the schedule.

  • Get season passport pictures without the crowds. You can still visit the park with just your printed vouchers in hand. Just make sure to hang onto them since they’re your ticket until you can get the actual passes. But don’t wait in long lines just to get your picture taken. Go and have fun; then come back when line waits are minimal. Usually, that’s a little later in the opening days or a week or two into the season. You can also visit the nearby corporate office for picture takes.

  • Lagoon discounts. Buy passes at Costco or at any Deseret Book location. Discounts are offered for guests who also lodge at Lagoon’s campground onsite. Click here for details. Throughout the season, Lagoon also offers discount options, such as their "bounce back" program, where you can return within a day or two for a discounted rate. There are also date night specials, discounts for seniors, Coca Cola discounts, and options for military personnel. Click here to see options.

  • Buy refillable mugs. Stop at the first kiosk you see and buy refillable mugs as soon as you enter the park. You might as well get your money’s worth. Personally, I’m a water gal, and each kiosk that sells soda will also give you ice water. I bring my own refillable cup, and the ice water is free. You may be charged for a cup if you don’t bring one. If soda is your thing, the refillable mugs are available for $6.99 if you buy 3, including the first soda fill. Fewer than 3 and the price goes up. Refills are .99. You can also purchase Icee refillable mugs for $5.99, which also includes the first fill. Refills are $2.99. This year, my kids are doing the Icee refills but will switch back to soda next year. My kids slurp up the Icees in no time, and I limit them to two per park visit. But that’s a lot more than I’m used to spending for drinks. Also, there are a lot more refill stations for soda throughout the park. You can only purchase Icee refills at the park entrance and in the back of the park by Rattlesnake Rapids. Other kiosks sell Icees, but they won’t do the refills. You can also use refillable soda mugs from prior years; refills are $2.99.

  • Bring your own food and drinks. It's allowed. We do this quite often to save money and to eat healthy. If you choose to buy dinners and snacks in the park, you’re limited on healthy options and it can be a bit pricey. Subway (the brand) sandwiches are available for purchase, so that helps. You also have other dining options. Click here to see them. Alcoholic beverages are not permitted on the premises. Also, glass containers are not allowed.

  • Bring a stroller or wagon if you have kids. People park them all over the park. We take valuables with us but leave the strollers by the rides. We have not had any trouble with things being stolen, but it does occur. You can also rent lockers near the park entrance to store your valuables.

  • To avoid some of the lines, come right when the park opens or visit on a rainy day. First thing at 10 am, you’ll have about 45 minutes before the masses start to come. Pack in as many rides as you can during that timeframe. Or come when the weather might be turning others away. Just know that some of Lagoon’s rides may not be operating due to inclement weather.

  • Download the Lagoon app. It’s not super amazing, but it’s free and it tells you the basics, such as which rides are operating. We don’t consult the app often because we’re at the park so much, but if you’ll be driving quite a distance and your favorite ride is closed for the day, that might matter to you.

  • Dogs are allowed in the park, but please keep them on a leash and pick up after them. Quite honestly not many people bring their dogs. Our family has a dog, but we would never take him to Lagoon, even though he’s people friendly. We’re aware that some children are afraid of dogs, other people are allergic to them, and we just don’t feel that a busy, crowded park is the best place for our four-legged friend.

  • Smoking is permitted in designated areas only. Alcohol is not permitted in the park.

 

 Lagoon A Beach, Farmington, Utah

Lagoon A Beach

 

When Lagoon added Lagoon A Beach in 1989, park guests gained a much bigger place to splash and beat the heat than what the original pool offered. Today it features a lazy river, kiddie pools and slides, plus half a dozen or so big waterslides.

 

  • Tube rentals are available. $2 for passport holders; $5 for nonpassport holders; price per tube. Bringing your own tubes isn’t permitted. Tubes are needed for the lazy river and the bigger slides in back. There are a few sides by the kiddie pool that don’t require tubes. Our family of four usually rents two tubes since not everyone needs a tube all the time.

  • Stroller parking is available in designated areas only. We leave our general stuff in our wagon or stroller, but we don’t recommend leaving valuables unattended here.

    Lock up valuables. Since you can’t stuff your wallet, keys, and cellphone in a pocket while swimming, you’ll want to rent a locker (about $8), if one is available. Also, you'll have to pay the $8 in cash or use the local ATM, but you'll pay a bank fee. Keep in mind that the lockers often sell out. Rental is for the whole day, so people use them even if they’re not swimming the whole time. We avoid the lockers and wear airtight pouch lanyards (*affiliate link) around our necks. They’re just big enough to store a credit card or a little cash, season passes, a key, and a cell phone.

  • Wear swim shoes. The bottoms of the pools and wading river are a bit rough on bare feet to ensure that guests don’t slip. We definitely recommend wearing swim shoes. Without them, your feet will be sore.

  • Food can be consumed in designated areas, just not right by the pools. Food and drinks are available in the general area, or you may bring your own.

 

Pioneer Village, Lagoon, Farmington, Utah

Pioneer Village

  • Two of our favorite rides are in Pioneer Village: Rattlesnake Rapids and the Log Flume. You’ll get wet at both, so make sure you’re ready.

  • Get your authentic western portraits. It’s been years since we had this done. My sister and I once donned the outfits provided. We looked just like real pioneer misses.

  • Enjoy the area cabins, stores--everything put together museum-like. You’ll see authentic collections that represent early Utah history. Go way in the back if you want to see the train and telephone museums. Most guests don’t know about them.

  • Enjoy some great western food and treats while sitting along the boardwalk. There’s ice cream, a bakery shop, Swig drinks, Navajo tacos and funnel cakes.

 

Frightmares

A beloved Halloween tradition for many locals, Frightmares is the place to be for fun and scary Halloween celebrations. Lagoon decorates BIG time for this fun event, which starts in September when school is back in session and ends right before Halloween. (See the calendar for exact dates.) You’ll also find plenty of Zombies and specialty features to give you a Halloween heart attack, if that’s what you like.

  • How to avoid the Zombies. If you’re like me and would rather not be chased by them, simply take a young kid with you. The Zombies will walk right on by. Apparently they’re trained not to traumatize youngsters who will likely be future paying patrons of the park. :)

  • Be sure to visit Pioneer Village. Even if you normally skip this area of the park, make sure you visit during the Frightmares season. The village main street is transformed into a very cute straw maze for the kids, and hundreds of pumpkins and festive decor abound.

    Frightmares can be scary or cute and fun. It's pretty easy to determine what will be fun for the little kids and what will freak out teens and adults. There's plenty of both, and you can completely avoid the scary if needed.

     

 

 Extra Tips

  • Go on July 4. Because Lagoon no longer does a fireworks show, the park attendance might be down this day. Lagoon probably won’t confirm this. But we’ve found that most people are celebrating at parades, picnics, and community events. Some years we’ve had the park pretty much to ourselves. Other times it’s been well attended but still well below other peak summer days.

  • Find quiet spaces. There are great museums in Pioneer Village that are quiet and away from the masses if you or your kids need a break. For instance, there’s a train museum that children with autism might love. They can look at everything and calm down before venturing back into the park.

  • You can buy sunscreen, bandages, and other essentials. Forgot something you really need? You can probably buy it in the park. There’s a shop at the park entrance with first-aid essentials. Gift shops throughout the park and the main one at Lagoon A Beach also carry what you need.

  • Plan how to best carry valuables. Many people bring backpacks, which you can set on your lap for many of the rides. For the rides where they're prohibited, some people just stash the bags in nearby bushes, which is, of course, risky. Others rent lockers (available at park entrance and Lagoon A Beach) or use free, temporary lockers, which are available near some of the more crazy rides. I wear a pouch around my neck (*affiliate link), which only contains our season passes, a credit card, one car key, and my cell phone.

  • Fold-up wagons. Tons of park guests who don't even have kids bring a foldable wagon. We bought ours at Costco and love it. The wagon is easy to park and leave while you're on the rides. This is where we keep our snacks, drinks, swimsuits, and stuff not likely to get stolen.

  • Bring your own refillable cups. I mentioned this earlier, but it bears repeating. Bring one that’s insulated and ask the people at the soda kiosks to refill it with ice and water. They will gladly do so at no charge. If you don't bring a cup, you can purchase one for a quarter and keep refilling it with ice water for free. There’s also bottled water for purchase, but there’s no need to buy it if you plan ahead.

 

Enjoy your stay at Lagoon. Our family truly loves it, and we hope you do too.

 

Kerry Smith and her husband, Cole, are the parents of two sons, ages 14 and 4. Kerry is a former editor for the Ensign magazine and shares fun ideas for reading, writing, and enjoying life at mrsladywordsmith.com.

*Occasionally we use affiliate links. Should you make a purchase using an affiliate link, we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support.

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