Friday, September 14, 2018

Theme Parks in Utah?

We love Utah.  We love theme parks.  Most of our little crew are now living in Utah fulltime while one of us spends a lot of time in airports.  Some people know this life style as their normal.  Brandan is the other half of my crazy and I miss him being there terribly.  Luckily we will be together fulltime again in time to celebrate our anniversary coming up.  Yay!

When we think about theme parks we always think about the thrills of California, the Worlds of Disney in Florida and my bucket list trip to Hershey.  Utah isn't exactly a place that ranks high on the top of that list. Today we are talking about Lagoon in Farmington Utah.

Parking is $10.  I feel like Ive paid a lot of parking fees and $10 is a pretty good deal.  Day passes are $58.95 each but we did the annual pass because we are going to go more than once for sure. The other fun thing that Lagoon has is a campground.  We have never stayed there but we have talked about it a few times.  Seriously right outside the fence!  


We got to the park about 15 minutes after gates opened and the lines were amazing.  In the first hour we were able to ride the big white Roller Coaster that is over 80 years old, Wicked with its 110 foot tower and Colossus: The Fire Dragon which I grew up riding when I was younger and it is still just as fun.  We also stopped to watch Cliffhanger but we decided we weren't ready to be sprayed with huge jets of water this early in the day.  We stopped for a treat and that ended our thrill rides for a bit.  When they say large italian ice believe them! 


We scooted over to Pioneer Village with our huge treats to explore the little town.  Pioneer Village is two streets that take you back in time to the days of early towns and dusty streets.  There are little museums scattered among the stores that are a great way to wait out a full tummy.  There is also a Swig if you love great soda.  If you don't then Im sorry.  I do love a good soda so I was regretting my earlier treat.  Swig has a drink called a Raspberry Dream.  Is Dr. Pepper with raspberry puree, coconut flavoring and coconut cream.  The description does not do it justice.    I have met people who don't love it and my heart cries for them a little bit.  








Fun fact about Pioneer Village.  There are peacocks running around.  They sneak in and out of the beautiful greenery.  Keep your eyes open for these beautiful birds.  No, really keep your eyes open.  When you have peacocks running around you can also have peacock babies.  Cute little buggers are curious and will walk close to you.  Mom and Pop peacock don't love you close to their babies and will chase you down the streets as you make an odd sound of terror for all the onlookers.  We will add that memory to one of my character building experiences in life.  Learned a life lesson that day!

Lagoon is also home to the Cannibal.  It is one of the most thrilling rollercoasters in the US on some lists.  Thats a big deal for tiny town Utah.  This ride will take you 208 feet in the air inside a dark tower.  When you finally see the light of day you immediately plunge into a beyond vertical 116 degree free fall into a tunnel.  It also has a 140 foot tall inverted loop, but what is that compared to this drop.  You will go 70 miles per hour for 2,735 feet and three inversions but we didn't.  We chose to take the freeway home because the lines were getting long and we can come back when ever we want since we have the magic annual passes. 

We are definitely coming back to ride the Cannibal and while we are there we will see Frightmares.  Lagoon adds haunted houses to its already awesome lineup and thrills you all in the spirit of Halloween.  We tried this when the kiddos were little.  It wasn't going to happen then but this time we will scare them like all teens should be scared! We are so looking forward to fall.  

If you don't have teens you want to scare but littles instead then you can check out their kid land.  Cute rides everywhere built more for your little adventurers.  
I have great memories of riding Puff the Magic Dragon over and over again.  Sorry Mom and Dad.  I didn't know it wasn't as amazing for you too.  

Jeremy loved the toilet pedestal.  If you need to go to the bathroom look for this little beauty.  It is the sign leading you to the restrooms.  Sometimes its the little things that bring you joy people.  Lagoon also has a water park in the center to get you through those hot summer days, but I think we are past that point of the year now.  Bring on apple cider, haunted houses and pumpkin everything. 

Lagoon is not the huge corporation that Disney is.  Lagoon is not filled with characters walking the streets.  Lagoon is not on the worlds map of places that everyone needs to see.  That is all part of its magic.  Its peaceful little Utah.  Can I tell you how much I loved all the teen employees taking the time to say hello and how are you every time we made eye contact?  I really missed that when we did the Cali adventure.  You can't quite put it in words but you can feel it in the air.  When you are at Lagoon you are part of a family.  Maybe not crazy Aunt Jojo type family, but you are part of something.  Utah is a special place where you can talk to strangers like you have known them your whole life and its not a weird or creepy thing.  Keep that up Utah!  I love that about you!  If you want to see what I mean, travel down to Farmington Utah where you can visit Lagoon.   Let us know when you are going.  We will meet you there and buy you a Swig.  

Love ya, 
Misty.














Friday, September 7, 2018

Another Happy Place Part 2

 Last time I reviewed our trip to Disney's Magic Kingdom while on a week long vacation to Florida. As promised, I'm going to pick up on that trip at Disney's Hollywood Studios.  Best tip I can tell you here is that you can get a fastpass for the rides online before you come (30 days for us regular folks or 60 I think if you stay on property).  Do it.  Lines are tough in this heat and humidity.  You can actually do three passes per day of your pass.  When your three prebooked passes are used up you can get a new fastpass like normal.  The catch is that if you book a late show you will not get to get a new fastpass until it is used.  Also if its a popular ride plan on the passes going fast.  

 Now, I'm going to remind you that Disney World is broken up into different lands, each one with a different theme and their own individual attractions to entice people to visit. Each land has their own entry fee and parking lot, another fee, by the way. I was sure that Hollywood Studios would be one of my favorite places in Disney World, it is home to the Tower of Terror, after all. So was it everything I imagined? Well...

  The Tower of Terror was great. It was the first thing we did upon arrival. I loved to see that old Hollywood era theme of the ride again. I was devastated when Disneyland remodeled their tower into the Guardian's Of The Galaxy but that's another story. Disney World's tower was different, though. This one doesn't just take you to the top and drop you, no. This one moves through a strange, Twilight Zone themed corridor before being locked into the elevator shaft. This added element brought just a little more depth to the story being told on this ride that I really enjoyed. Of course, the feeling of butterflies swimming in your stomach by being dropped on a crazy elevator is what keeps people coming back time after time and as always, was worth the forty five minute wait. There is no doubt that the Tower of Terror is the highlight of Hollywood Studios.

 We moved on to check out Rock'n Rollercoaster featuring Aerosmith. This was a ride that most everyone in our group was looking forward to. It's a ride that you hear about. It's a ride that people say you have to do. It's a ride that...sucks. Now, before you get angry with me, let me explain. The music is great. I love Aerosmith. The speed, much like the music is top notch and I love it but my complaint is the decor. With the exception of a brief moment when the coaster travels outside, the ride is basically a dark tunnel that is supposed to be the streets of Los Angeles, you know that because all you see is big green replicas of street signs of significant streets in L.A. To make matters worse, this ride is to my knowledge, the biggest offender of the use of neon paint that I have ever seen. That's it. That's all there is on this ride. It's a very fast trip through neon Los Angeles. I couldn't believe that people were standing in line for an hour and a half to ride it. No thanks.

  I wish I could say that our visit to Hollywood Studios improved but it didn't. We tried twice to get into the Indiana Jones stunt show but we didn't get in. We probably could have if we had tried harder but the place was packed and we just didn't find it worth our time to wait, especially after finding out that we had already rode all the rides in the land. Yeah, Hollywood Studios is all about the live shows. If you're not into those, it's going to be a short day, which it was for us. We went back to our rental house and kicked it by the pool after wandering around. We saw a few things but over all we just weren't thrilled with being there. Star Tours is always worth the ride but it wasn't any different from Disneyland. The oversized AT-AT was cool to see, I must admit.

  Now I wouldn't want to leave you on a sour note so I'm going to tell you about one place that I think is a must see when visiting Disney's Hollywood Studios. In fact, I think it ranks right up there with the Tower Of Terror. That place is the 50's Prime Time Cafe. Here you are in the 1950's, complete with meatloaf and all the classic sitcoms you can handle. This is Momma's kitchen and your waiter or waitress will not let you forget it. Here you had better use the words "please" and "thank you" when you're supposed to if you want to avoid being reprimanded, oh and don't you dare put your elbows on the table. This restaurant is a hoot and an experience that shouldn't be missed. By the way, the food is pretty good too.

  So, there you have it. This was my opinion of Hollywood Studios. I won't say that my opinion is shared by everyone else in the group, but they don't write articles on my blog, so there. It's really up to each family to make up their mind on wither they like a place or not and if you're going to make a trip all the way to Disney World, you definitely need to visit at least once. Just make sure you eat at Momma's. 

 Next time I'll bring it back to a happier tone when we visit Epcot. Here we got to see the entire world without leaving Disney World. See you next time and thanks for stopping in.

(Add by Misty)-  We did get to see Muppet Vision 3D while we were there.  It was a fun flash back to when we would go see this show in Disney California Adventures.  Brandan always relates to the two grumpy old men in the balcony so much.  Hollywood Studios was not a bad day.  It was a hot and humid day.  And really if you compared the parks, this one just wasn't as awesome as the others.  Not a waste of time, see it once, but then spend more time at the Animal Kingdom or the Magic Kingdom.  

Brandan.