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Lagoon’s new family-friendly thrill ride Primordial earns national acclaim

The first riders ride Lagoon’s new ride, Primordial, on its opening day at the amusement park in Farmington on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023. Primordial has earned national acclaim for its unique status as a thrilling and family-friendly “3D interactive experience.” | Megan Nielsen, Deseret News
FARMINGTON, Utah ( — Utah theme park Lagoon recently gained national recognition when its new Primordial ride was named 2024’s best new theme park attraction by USA Today’s panel of experts.
In claiming the top spot on a list of 10, Lagoon’s new roller coaster beat out other attractions from theme park giants like SeaWorld and Hersheypark — a distinction that Julie Freed, director of special events at Lagoon amusement park, says is well-earned.
The whimsically themed roller coaster is a uniquely designed “3-D interactive coaster” created exclusively for Lagoon, ensuring it will turn heads again when the new attraction sees its first full season of operation starting this March. The project, eight years in the making, opened in September 2023.
Additionally, on top of being a roller coaster created exclusively for Lagoon amusement park, Freed told KSL that Lagoon built the new coaster largely using local vendors and manufacturers — the fact that approximately 75% of the vendors and manufacturers used in the Primordial’s construction paired with theming around a fantasy forest housed on a massive mountain make the ride feel like a quintessential roller coaster representation of Utah.
“Everything about this ride is state-of-the-art,” said Freed, proudly explaining how all the track elements, screens, game systems and narrative elements have been thoroughly tested to serve the purpose of a massively immersive roller coaster experience for the whole family.
Primordial is not like your parents’ favorite roller coaster — in and around the 80,000 square-foot mountain that serves as the skeleton of the coaster, Primordial houses an array of unique ride elements that set it apart from your average roller coaster, such as a 31-foot-tall vertical drop track element, and is currently the tallest of its kind in the world.
Other unique features including interactive gaming elements, multiple narrative and track endings and its fantasy theme set Primordial apart from any other theme park attraction in Lagoon’s repertoire, Freed said.
“Every time it’s different, every single time it’s thrilling; you never know what you’re going to get. And you compete against the other riders in your vehicle so it’s always a competition,” Freed said, reflecting on her own positive experience riding on Primordial. She added that she particularly enjoyed the gaming element of the ride and perfecting her skills to try and get a better score than she did the time before.
Primordial, with a minimum height requirement of 36 inches and a top speed of 40 mph, is trying to equally appeal to young roller coaster fans and thrill-seekers alike, with a focus on being a thrilling ride that parents can go on with their kids.
The coaster is designed to be a narrative experience that tells a story of “saving the good guy,” according to Freed, who explained that so much interactive media involves shooting bad guys and that Lagoon wanted this new experience to be approachable and enjoyable for the whole family. Compared to Cannibal’s 2½-minute run time, Primordial features a notably longer run time of five minutes meant to facilitate the gameplay and narrative elements key to the experience.
Bolstering its interactive claims, Primordial boasts over 5,000 square feet of screens that riders use to play games by pointing built-in custom-made laser pointers. Furthermore, the coaster also offers riders a sense of adventure by building in multiple possible endings, distinct from one another, through switching tracks and a variety of narrative elements.
“It blew everyone’s expectations out of the water,” said Derek Perry, the director of communications for the American Coaster Enthusiasts club, which rode the attraction multiple times during the club’s fall conference held in Lagoon last October.
Perry told KSL it appeared that Primordial appealed to the roller coaster enthusiasts visiting Lagoon that day, adding that some of the people he was with rode the coaster as many as 10 times to experience as much of what the ride has to offer as possible.
“It was action-packed, unexpected, and was really well done,” Perry said, praising the coaster’s detailed theming and interactive elements. “It’s an attraction that’s perfect for everybody — whether you’re a thrill seeker or a kid who’s just starting to get into roller coasters.”
The post Lagoon’s new family-friendly thrill ride Primordial earns national acclaim appeared first on East Idaho News.

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