The park had stated that they expected Cannibal to open on Lagoon's opening day 3/28/15. however the ride was not yet ready and did not open on that date. The final track piece was placed on 3/14/15, and the first test run occurred on 3/15/15 at 1:55 PM. Since the time of the park's opening very few details of the coaster's testing phase or potential opening date have been made public. Lagoon has responded to questions on Facebook about Cannibal's opening date stating that the ride is currently under testing and commissioning, and will open sometime during the 2015 season. It is possible that the park will open the coaster to riders completely unannounced to avoid the possibility of having a problem with the coaster on its advertised opening date. This was also done when the park first opened Wicked.
Lagoon held an event for the media on September 4th, 2014 to officially announce Cannibal. The park had not previously commented on the ride, although ride construction and track were already visible. Lagoon confirmed the name and height of the coaster and a few other details, some of which had already been speculated on the internet. Lagoon showed models of the temple theming and a piece of track to the press. The park released a series of ride renderings that did not show the majority of the coaster and an overhead plan of the waterfall.
Cannibal has been under construction for over two years and is set to open this year. The ride's footprint includes the site of the former X-Venture Zone ride, Top Eliminator . A viewing area for the ride is being built between Cannibal and Double Thunder Raceway . The ride is a one of a kind steel roller coaster, and it is primarily being manufactured and constructed locally. Cannibal will be the tallest roller coaster at Lagoon with a height of 208 feet. It is nearly double the height of Lagoon's second tallest roller coaster, Wicked . The ride features single car trains with three rows of four seats. The seats will have lap bars similar to those on Wicked, and will not include over the shoulder restraints. The ride's dual elevator lift raises the trains to the top of an enclosed tower with riders seated in an upright orientation. Cannibal's 116° first drop is steeper than Wicked's 90° vertical drop, and is known as a "beyond-vertical" drop. The ride will travel at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour.
The Cannibal it features the tallest beyond-vertical drop in the world and it will be the steepest roller coaster in the United States.
When Cannibal was announced, Lagoon stated that the ride would feature the following elements:
- Vertical Lift
- Inverted Loop
- Diving Loop
- Underground Tunnel
- Exclusive thrill element to be announced at a later date.
Based on design images and construction photos, it is believed that the ride will feature (in order):
- Dual Elevator Lift
- Beyond Vertical Drop
- Underground Tunnel
- Inverted Loop
- Diving Loop
- Double Down
- Highly Overbanked Turn
- Lagoon Roll (a 270° Counter-Clockwise Barrel Roll immediately followed by 180+° Clockwise Barrel Roll)
- Helix through a tunnel behind a waterfall.
In January of 2015 Lagoon released a picture of track piece "S27" on their facebook page. It shows a series of linear synchronous motors (LSMs) on a curved piece of track. The piece has since been installed at the end of the double down between the diving loop and the overbanked turn. There has been debate as to whether this is an LSM launch or a trim brake. Video of Cannibal's first test run does not show any significant gain or loss of speed on this portion of the track. Although Lagoon initially announced that Cannibal would have three inversions, it would be reasonable to say that it actually has four.
Temples There are "Temples" built above the underground tunnel. They appear as if they are built of stone with domed roofs. One temple features the head of a rhinoceros, one features the head of an elephant, and one features a snake and a unique archway. There are doorways and open windows in the temples, but their purpose is unclear. There is a series of false stone walls, pillars and stairs in front of the temples. A monkey sits atop one of the pillars.
The ride features a waterfall that is approximately fifty feet tall. The final helix of the ride's track travels through a tunnel in the waterfall, and behind the falling water. The barrel roll element of the ride has the riders travel upside down over three pools on top of the waterfall. There is at least one large statue "carved" into the rear of the waterfall. The waterfall is made of concrete sprayed over a steel structure.
End Brake RunEdit
The entrance to the ride's final brake run features a false stone facade built in a style somewhat similar to the temples in the ride. The trains enter under an archway that that that has a snake's head above it, a man holding an axe on the left of it, and a man holding a sword and extending his other hand on the right of it.
Cannibal's theming includes cement lions that previously sat at the steps to the Utah State Capital Building. They were originally sculpted by Gavin Jack in 1915, and were repaired by Ralphael Plescia in 1977. In 2009 the Capitol restoration project concluded that the lions were too deteriorated to repair again. They were auctioned on eBay and replaced with new lion statues made of Italian marble. Lagoon won three of the statues at auction, spending nearly $16,000 but were outbid by a Salt Lake City resident on the fourth, which sold for $8,100. Lagoon has created additional concrete animals for the ride, and the ride's overall theme may have been partially inspired by the lion statues. The lions have been fully restored by Lagoon and sit near Cannibal's entrance. The lions will be 100 years old during Cannibal's first season. It is thought that one of the lions might contain a time capsule. Control booth a photo of the ride's control booth has appeared online. The booth is heavily themed and rounded on the bottom. It may represent either a large cooking pot or a bucket for a catapult.
There is a small building underneath track piece "S27" that has been disguised as a boulder. The building may house some of the ride's electrical components.
According to Julie Freed, spokesperson for Lagoon, “We have named it Cannibal, because in our collective mind it will eat other roller coasters in their tracks!” Lagoon insiders have stated that the name "Savage" was also considered for the coaster. The name "Cannibal" may be the result of Lagoon looking for a name that sounded more intense than "Wicked" and also went well with a theme that incorporated the lion statues.
Cannibal is unusual in that it is not being designed and built by an existing roller coaster manufacturer. It was designed by Lagoon's head engineer Dal Freeman with significant assistance from Lagoon's second engineer Dustin Allen. The ride is being built by Lagoon and its contractors.
Over 75% of contractors and vendors involved in the construction of this coaster are from Utah. Below is a list of these companies as identified by Lagoon.
- Automotive & Industrial Supply Border States Electric Brundage-Bone
- Codale Electric Supply Colonial Building Supply Fastenal Company
- FOR-SHOR Company GEM Buildings Geneva Rock Inc.
- H&E Equipment Services HOJ Engineering & Sales Intermountain Concrete Specialties
- Intermountain Lift Lakeview Rock Products Marmon/Keystone, LLC
- Marz Precision Manufacturing Masco, Inc. Mountain Crane Services, LLC
- Pacific Steel Petersen Incorporated Pilot Freight Services
- Quality Fire Protection Richards Sheet Metal T.H.B. Inc.
- Wadsworth Brothers Construction Ward Engineering Group Wells Fargo Bank
- Wells Fargo Equipment Financing Wilson Brothers Trucking
Additional contractors known to be involved with Cannibal's construction include:
- Cloward H20 (Waterfall design)
- Cemrock (Waterfall and temple construction)
- ART Engineering GmbH (Train manufacturer)
- Actemium Controlmatic GmbH (Safety and Control System)
The park has distributed marketing material featuring an artist's rendition of the ride. It is not a true to life representation of the ride.