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After years of development, Lagoon’s one-of-a-kind ‘Primordial’ roller coaster opens to the public

By Rob Nielsen - | Sep 15, 2023
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Primordial stands ready for its debut at Lagoon Amusement Park on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023.
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Julie Freed, special events director for Lagoon Amusement Park, cuts the ribbon on Primordial during a press conference Friday, Sept. 15, 2023.
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Riders — among the first to do so from the public — climb the lift hill of Primordial at Lagoon Amusement Park during its public debut Friday, Sept. 15, 2023.
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Workers prep the Primordial line Friday, Sept. 15, 2023.
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Long lines were anticipated for the debut of Lagoon Amusement Park's Primordial on Friday evening, Sept. 15, 2023.
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Crowds gather just before the opening of Lagoon Amusement Park on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023.

FARMINGTON — Part video game, part roller coaster — after eight years of anticipation, the beginning is finally here for “Primordial.”

Friday evening, after years of development and construction that included enduring a global pandemic and other delays, Lagoon Amusement Park patrons finally had the chance to ride what is being touted as the world’s first 3D, interactive coaster.

Ahead of the grand opening, Julie Freed — director of special events for Lagoon — led a press conference detailing the new ride, saying many of Primordial’s features haven’t been seen anywhere else in the amusement park industry.

“This one-of-a-kind, interactive coaster has been in development since 2015,” she said. “We’ve named it Primordial, which means, ‘from the beginning of time.’ In the Primordial setting, the storyline that you will follow as you journey through this ride is completely custom, unlike anything you have seen before.”

She said the ride is nearly five-minutes long and even briefly detailed the ride experience.

“(Each train) seats eight riders — four riders or adventurers per cart,” she said. “Each seat is fitted with a blaster. These are used to interact with enormous gameplay screens throughout the ride. There are over 5,000-square-feet of projection screens used to make the gameplay come to life. Individual screens inside the train show color-coordinated scores for each rider. As the train comes back into the station, the final score of all riders will be displayed so that you can compare your score with the other riders in your group. If you are a top player, your score will be displayed in the hall of fame monitors for all to see as you exit the ride.”

As a result of its interactive nature, she said, each ride of Primordial is unique. The roller coaster has a maximum speed of 40 mph.

Primordial may mean “from the beginning of time,” but to some, it seemed like a lot of time to get to the moment of its opening.

Freed said a lot came down to the unique nature of the ride itself, along with global events.

“Everything is new,” she said. “The trains are new. This is all the most current technology. … We also lost an entire year due to COVID, and that changed the landscape for our industry as well as every other industry. So we’re happy to open it today.”

As a result of Primordial’s arrival late in the year, Freed said the park is doing something it has never done in the past to reward this year’s season pass holders, many of which may have bought their passes for this specific ride.

“We are offering our 2023 season passport holders exclusive ride time,” she said. “They can come to the park or make a reservation — we just sent out an email this morning — Monday through Thursday until the end of the season. With the exception of UEA weekend (Oct. 19) because we’re open on Thursday, we’re opening the ride from 4-8 p.m. The rest of the park will be closed just so they can come and get their ride time.”

Freed said the 70,000-square-foot mountain that houses the vast majority of the ride contains 10,000 pieces of steel.

“One hundred percent of the structural steel was fabricated here in Utah,” she said. “This includes the mountain steel, the nearly 2,000 feet of ride track and the 94 track columns.”

She added that local material and construction made up the bulk of the ride, even beyond steel.

“We are pleased to say this project has been developed using local Utah suppliers for 75% of the ride,” she said. “We have also worked with the best in the amusement industry for the design of the roller coaster and interactive elements.

Freed said as long as guests meet the 36-inch height minimum for safe riding, it’s for everyone.

“This is a family ride,” she said. “Unlike Cannibal, we wanted this ride to be available for almost everybody.”

Lagoon is currently celebrating its annual Frightmares season with spooky attractions and has hours available Friday through Sunday through the weekend of Oct. 27.

For more information, visit http://www.lagoonpark.com/.


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