FARMINGTON Weather permitting, 41 rides including one new attraction and dozens of midway games will highlight Lagoon's 117th season opening day on Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
All of the amusement park's features except the Lagoon-A-Beach water park and its seasonal musical entertainment should be up and running on opening day, according to Dick Andrew, Lagoon spokesman. That should also include Rattlesnake Rapids and the Catapult, Lagoon's newest attraction.
The Catapult is a European ride that will hurl two passengers at a time up to 250 feet in the air, powered by 40 tons of force from extension springs. "It just slings you straight up," said Andrew. "This will be a real rush."
Part of Lagoon's premium "X-Venture Zone," the Catapult will cost $20 per rider, in addition to the park's regular entrance fee. Height requirements for the new ride are still being determined.
The Catapult is sustained by a 196-foot tower, which is nearly as high as the rocket-ride towers. Andrew says it may be Lagoon's most thrilling ride ever, as there is a strong weightless feeling in the ride, some twists and oscillations.
The ride is located at the south end of the midway in a location that formerly housed a garden planter, west of the Rocket and east of the Paratrooper. However, Andrew said the landscaping and permanent fencing for the ride will still not be completed by April 13.
One new food outlet opening at Lagoon this year will be Teriyaki Stixs. Large groups who use Lagoon's catering this season will also benefit from new drink dispensers, which will speed the liquid-refreshment process substantially.
Andrew also said Lagoon will remain accessible, despite the road construction to its northwest. The park will open with extended summer hours starting Friday, May 31. Prior to that, it will be open Saturday and Sundays through May 26. Beginning Memorial Day, May 26, the park will be open daily through Thursday, May 30, but will close earlier in the evening. (Lagoon-A-Beach will open sometime in late May, depending on spring weather.)
The cost for some of the other "X-Venture Zone" rides this year are being reduced. The Top Eliminator Dragsters will be $12 per ride this year, down by $3 over previous years. The Sky Ride will go for $15 per person and $15 for each extra person up to the three-person maximum. Also new this year will be a special Coca-Cola can discount offer that will provide $5 off per Sky Ride with certain restrictions. Fees for riding the Double Thunder Raceway will remain the same as last year $5.50 per driver and $3 per rider.
Daily admission prices to Lagoon are unchanged over 2001, with $29.95, plus tax, being the adult cost for 51-inches tall and up and to age 64. "Kinder" charges, age 4 to 50 inches and under are $24.95 plus tax and the toddler cost, age 3 and under is $16.00, plus tax. Admission cost for senior citizens, age 65 and over is $17.50, plus tax. The parking fee remains at $6.
Pre-season passport prices are also the same as last year, $69.95 each (plus tax), in multiples of at least four, or $79.95 individually. Parking also remains at $35 for the season. Frightmares, a Halloween accent to Lagoon, will also return this fall and is included with Season Passports.
Those persons who plan on visiting Lagoon three or more times this season (April 13 through October), should consider the season passports, because that's a less expensive charge than daily admissions.
Overall, April is the least crowded time of all to visit Lagoon, with usually short lines and little waiting.
Pioneer Village, a collection of late 19th Century buildings/artifacts, remains an educational sidelight at Lagoon that's included in the regular admission.
E-MAIL: [email protected]