Opened: 10 Apr 1982
Location: South Midway
Manufactured By: Mack Rides – Waldkirch, Germany
Ride Model: Musik Express
Max Speed: 14 rpm
Footprint: 62 x 62 ft
Number Of Cars: 20
Ride Capacity: 60 (3 per car)
Hourly Capacity: 1,500
Musik Express is a descendant of the classic Tumble Bug and Caterpillar rides that originated in the 1920s and has been replicated by a few different manufacturers. Lagoon’s model was manufactured by Mack Rides in Germany, which explains the German spelling of the word “music”.
The basic idea of the ride is a continuous train that rolls around an undulating, circular track while music blasts from speakers on the ride.
As part of an expansion of Lagoon’s South Midway in 1982, Musik Express was added at the west end of the new area with Space Scrambler, Flying Aces and Paratrooper. At the time, Musik Express was positioned at an angle, facing northeast. It wouldn’t be turned to face north until some time after 1987.
When Colossus opened the following year, the Flying Aces ride was temporarily removed to make way for a new food court. Space Scrambler moved to the North Midway before Centennial Screamer took its place next to Musik Express in 1987.
Lagoon’s Musik Express has undergone many small changes over the years and now looks very different than it did when it opened.
Originally, there were orange and yellow panels separating the front half of the ride from the back with openings over the ride’s path. There were mirrors on the inside of each corner post, musical notes on the railings and rows of light bulbs that radiated out from the center of the ride’s rafters to the bottom of the eaves.
Mudslides and flooding in 1983 brought four to eight feet of debris into some parts of the park. It was reported that the “decorations, lights, canopy and scenery had to be refurbished and replaced three times” on Musik Express that year.¹
The last time it was repainted, around 2009 or 2010, the electrical Musik Express sign was taken down from the top of the ride and the remaining rows of lights and fixtures under the eaves were removed.
For many years the ride would spin forward and backward, like Jumping Dragon, but now only moves forward.
The music remains to be a major feature of Musik Express even as the source of the music has been updated a few times. In the days of cassette tapes, it’s possible riders rode along to a ride operator’s personal mixtape. Later the cassettes were replaced by CDs that were approved by area supervisors. That later gave way to satellite radio. Now the music comes from the same source as the music played at Turn Of The Century and along the Midway.
1. Even though Musik Express is far from the creek, it sits at a low point of the park near an access road that connects the South Midway to Pioneer Village, where much of the damage occurred.
MORE FROM LHP
OTHER LAGOON RIDES FROM MACK
Wild Mouse (original)
Lagoon a busy place even when closed. Deseret News, 10 Mar 1982.
Raindrops keep falling on Lagoon on opening day. Deseret News, 20 Apr 1984.
Musik Express. Mack-Rides.com, accessed via Internet Archive.
Music Playing Rights For The Musik Express. LagoonFans.com, Mar 2010.
The Tumble Bug. RideZone.com, accessed 11 Apr 2020.
The Caterpillar. RideZone.com, accessed 11 Apr 2020.