News Column

Cannibal roller coaster: Lagoon's newest ride

September 5, 2014

By Jesus Lopez Jr., Standard-Examiner, Ogden, Utah

Sept. 05--FARMINGTON -- Reaching speeds up to 70 mph, pulling 4.2 G forces and towering 208 feet high, Cannibal was announced Thursday morning by Lagoon, ending months of speculation.

"Because in our collective minds, it will eat other roller coasters," said Julie Freed, Lagoon's director of special events.

Ride elements will include a vertical lift, inverted loop, diving loop, an underground tunnel, a water feature and a feature officials describe as a "beyond vertical drop."

Officials also said there will be a secret thrill element that will not be revealed until the ride opens. The ride, which will be on the north side of the park, will have a design with a few jungle inspirations.

Lagoon officials made the announcement at a podium before a long, bright red, twisty section of track.

Visitors got a view of the construction of the future roller coaster's base as the tap of hammers and the rumble and hiss of construction equipment floated through the air. Crews planned to have a section of tower up, after a crane slowly inched into place.

The rest of the tower should be up in the next few weeks.

"We're excited that it is unique, one of a kind," Freed said. "There's not another in the world."

This is the first roller coaster of its size that Lagoon has built from the ground up.

In the past, the amusement park purchased rides from overseas, particularly Europe.

Freed said the idea for the ride started years ago, but with the success of BomBora, which underwent a similar in-house project, park officials knew they could undertake a coaster at the scale of Cannibal. Work on the ride started about five years ago.

The design of the ride is a collaborative effort between engineers from Germany and Lagoon's own engineers and designers.

By not buying the ride directly from Europe, the ride involves more Utah businesses.

"It has been developed using local Utah supplies and vendors for about 75 percent of the coaster," Freed said.

A company in Springville built the bright red section of track.

By producing the track in state, Cannibal will have longer sections, which mean fewer joints. Fewer joints mean a smoother ride.

Total cost of the ride is budgeted at about $22 million.

By making the announcement, Lagoon Advertising Manager Adam Leishman said the park hopes to end months of speculation. Officials wanted to officially make the announcement before the tower went up.

"It was really hard, there was a lot of speculation, a lot of it correct," Leishman said. "We thought it would be the perfect time to let the cat out of the bag."

The ride will be ready by the opening of the 2015 season on March 28.

To give more patrons a chance to try out the attraction, anyone who buys a season pass after Sept. 15, for the Frightmares season, can use the pass through the entire 2015 season, from March to October for $117.95 plus tax.

"This really will be an incredible coaster and we are so excited," Freed said. "We feel it will hold its own against any roller coaster in the world."

Contact Jesus Lopez Jr. at 801-625-4239 or Follow him on Twitter at @jesuslopezSE and like him on Facebook at


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Source: Standard-Examiner (Ogden, UT)

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