FARMINGTON — Lagoon's 43 rides are probably not appealing to people with motion or movement phobias (kinetophobia), or those with a fear of heights (acrophobia). Now add a fear of spiders (arachnophobia) to that list.

Lagoon — one of the nation's oldest amusement parks — opens for its 117th season on Saturday at 10 a.m., weather permitting. The premiere attraction this year is the Spider, a $3 million spinning roller coaster, the first such ride of its kind in North America.

The Spider features a 14-foot-tall, 27-foot-diameter spider sculpture that patrons walk under to enter the ride.

Richard Prazen, of Pioneer Manufacturing and Welding Inc., in West Valley City, said it took his company six weeks to create the spider sculpture. "It's all steel, except for the ball on its back that has epoxy and fiberglass," Prazen said.

Despite some continuing finish-work throughout the spring, the ride will be ready on opening day, according to Lagoon spokesman Dick Andrew. "I'm impressed and excited about it," Andrew said. "Visually, it's great."

Although the Spider ride only reaches a top speed of 38 mph, it can rotate up to 20 times per minute. It will be similar to the Wild Mouse, except that this ride rotates with a free horizontal spin, depending on the weight and allocation of the passengers.

The ride is 53 feet tall and runs on a 1,414-foot track. It is located on the south midway, north of the Fire Dragon and west of the Cliffhanger. Ride capacity is 900 passengers an hour; patrons must be 46-50 inches tall with a parent or guardian, or 50 inches or more to ride unsupervised.

The Spider keeps up Lagoon's decade-old tradition of having at least one new ride each season.

Anyone with Macrophobia — a fear of long waits — need not be worried on opening weekend, though. "We're always uncrowded on opening day," Andrew said. In fact, most times, patrons can go from one ride to the next with the only wait being a ride cycle. Operating hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.

Lagoon's Pioneer Village will also be open Saturday, as well as the water ride, Rattlesnake Rapids. Lagoon-A-Beach water park doesn't open until Memorial Day, when Lagoon also begins daily operation.

Besides its more than three-dozen rides, Lagoon also has 40 games and 35 food concessions. New this year is the Guacamole Grill, a build-your-own burrito Mexican eatery by the Fire Dragon.

Andrew said Lagoon is also sprucing up the planter boxes along the walkway just east of the ticket entrances. Carousel horses, to commemorate the park carousel's 110th birthday, have also been added along the strip.

Once inside the park, most rides are free, except those in the X-Venture Zone: Double Thunder Raceway ($5.50), Top Eliminator Dragster ($12), Sky Coaster ($15) and the Catapult ($20).

Regular Lagoon admission prices are $30.95 (plus tax) for anyone 51 inches tall or under age 65; age 4 or under 50 inches tall, $25.95; age 3 and under, $16; seniors age 65 and up are $18.50. Parking is $6.

Season passports and season parking are also available.

Discounts to Lagoon for its first three opening weekends are available by joining the free new-membership "Fun Time Club" online at www.lagoonpark.com.

To find out if Lagoon will open in questionable weather on Saturday or Sunday mornings, call 451-8000.


E-mail: lynn@desnews.com