Kiddie Coaster

Opened: 1956
Closed: Pre-1983
Manufactured By: Allan Herschell Company – Buffalo, New York
Ride Model: Little Dipper (2nd generation)
Number Of Trains: 1
Ride Capacity: 12 (3 cars of 4)
Ride Time: 1 min, 30 sec (2 trips around track)
Hourly Capacity: 640 riders per hour

The first Little Dipper coaster was designed by David Bradley in 1946. Two years later he sold the rights to Allan Herschell Company which already manufactured a wide variety of kiddie rides.

Early Little Dipper model on display at the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum in New York. Photo: B. Miskin

Lagoon’s Mother Gooseland had several Allan Herschell kiddie rides when it opened in 1956. These included Baby Boats, Sky Fighter and a late model Little Dipper they named Kiddie Coaster.

Kiddie Coaster in operation in June 1956. Photo: Salt Lake Tribune

The original factory paint job had a two-tone color scheme. Later the train was painted solid red. By the late 1970s, a yellow stripe was added around each car with the Lagoon logo painted on the front car under the Allan Herschell grille emblem.

Kiddie Coaster in June 1956. Photo: Salt Lake Tribune

A visitor to this website shared this memory of the ride:

“You went up the hill slowly like a regular roller coaster and then there were several hills around the track. You got to go around twice.”

Kiddie Coaster in the station, 1973. Photo: Eugene Price

Herschell advertised the ability to fit three smaller kiddie rides within the coaster’s oval-shaped track. Lagoon originally placed a Little Boy Blue display in the center, but it would’ve been removed by 1964 when the Hi-Land Playland was installed there.

Photo: Joe Tordiff
Kiddie Coaster and Playland in 1977. Photo: Joe Tordiff
In the background of this 1977 photo, you can see the pumpkin (left), playground equipment in the middle of the Kiddie Coaster and the station. Photo courtesy of Deseret News

Just before reaching the 30-year mark, Kiddie Coaster was taken down and replaced by Puff The Little Fire Dragon, which still operates there today. Puff is also a mild ride with an oval-shaped track, but the station is on the east side instead of the west like Kiddie Coaster.

More recently, Lagoon has added a couple of larger, “family coasters” – The Bat and Bombora – which provide a bit of a stepping stone for older kids easing into the bigger roller coasters.

LINKS

Hi-Land Playland

Mother Gooseland

Puff The Little Fire Dragon (in progress)

SOURCES

Novel Features Make Standout Of Freed’s Salt Lake Kiddieland. The Billboard, 26 May 1956.

Lagoon ready for 90th season. Deseret News, 12 Apr 1985.

Kiddie Coasters. Roller Coaster and Amusement Ride Home Page, accessed 9 Mar 2011.

Whirlwind Update and More. Email messages to author, 20 & 21 Oct 2005.

Memories of Lagoon. Document sent to author from Alan C., 7 Feb 2011.

Re: Lagoon Photo. Message to author from Rachelle, 9 Mar 2011.

An ongoing exploration of Lagoon's past

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