|Location: Main Midway|
|Manufactured by: Outdoor Dimensional Display|
|Built In: 1967|
|Car Capacity: 3|
|Number of Cars: 7|
|Height Requirements: Riders under 36" must be accompanied by a responsible person.|
Terroride (also known as Terroride: A Classic Reimagined as of 2017) is Lagoon's oldest haunted attraction still in operation. It is one of two dark rides at the park.
- 1 Ride Details
- 2 Terroride: A Classic Reimagined
- 3 Mural
- 4 Known Changes
- 5 Controversy
- 6 Gallery
- 7 Video
- 8 See Also
Riders sit in small vehicles and travel around a track viewing different frightening and interesting scenes with a few surprises that may startle some riders. The ride was originally designed and built by legendary dark ride creator Bill Tracy. It is one of only seven known Bill Tracy dark rides still in operation (Dracula's Castle is also one of the seven). The ride was heavily remodeled for the 2017 season and the ride was given the additional title Terroride: A classic reimagined.
The ride's single-row vehicles are a customized version of Tracy's hushpuppy vehicles. They have rounded noses and concave backs that allow them to fit together tightly, creating more room in the station. They feature on-board speakers that originally played a scary soundtrack for the ride but no longer do. The cars are painted different colors, but the colors are very dark and mostly appear black. A white skull is painted on the side of each car, next to the car's number in blue.
Animated elements of Terroride's facade
The ride has a castle-like facade with a large skeleton and a witch that pop out from shutters in the castle's two turrets. There are colorful, blood spattered letters spelling out "Terroride" on the front of the ride with the letter O represented by a stylized skull with red, light-up eyes. The other letters rock back and forth and are lit from inside at night. A signature Bill Tracy vulture prop is perched in a nest atop the southern turret. The vulture's head moves up and down in sync with the facade's other animations. Large open archways in the castle facade allow the station and its mural to be seen from outside the ride. A prop dead tree sits on the ride's roof.
In addition to taking up the space in the building behind the ride's facade, the track also travels into the space behind the midway game to the south. The layout of the ride was not changed during the ride's 2017 re-imagining.
The full ride is around 1 minute and 16 seconds long.
Terroride: A Classic Reimagined
In 2017 Lagoon completed the biggest overhaul of Terroride in the ride's history. The project has been called Terroride: A Classic Reimagined by the park. The ride quietly opened for riders in an incomplete state on June 9th 2007. The ride's official grand opening celebration was held on July 14th, 2017 at noon.
The ride's interior was completely rebuilt. Many of the ride's black walls were replaced with more detailed, realistic scenery. Several new scenes and gags were created and many of the original props and gags were also kept, repaired and/or upgraded. The plexiglass and chicken wire that previously separated riders from the props was removed giving a more direct view of the scenery.
A number of doorways were added to the ride clearly dividing it into separate scenes. The ride is intended to be slightly more story oriented than before and features a recurring character who has been referred to by the names Louis Von Black, Mr. Terror and Mr. Torture. A headstone for Bill Tracy and other Easter eggs have been added.
A copy of the ride's original mural was returned to the station with small changes made to it. The faces of the various monsters on the mural have been highlighted with theatrical lighting. The ride's exit and entrance doors have been decorated with three-dimensional skulls and crossbones protruding from each door. The skulls on the doors are also highlighted with theatrical lighting. The doors appear to have automatic opener/closers added to them and no longer rely on the vehicle hitting them to open. Lanterns have been added above the ride's queue line. The animatronic vulture has been moved to the wall next to the ride operator.
Artists involved in the ride's re-imagining include:
- Film director Joseph Wartnerchaney - Creative direction
- Utah Opera scenic department - Sets and scenery
- Special effects artist Todd Debreceni - Creation of Mr. Terror, restoration of original figures
- Sound designer Michael McDonough, Sound design
- Composer Chance Thomas - Pipe organ score
The station houses a large, multi-panel mural depicting a large dragon, a club-wielding caveman, flying ghouls, a mummified skeleton, an octopus, a snake in a tree, a lizard, a monkey and two spiders in front of an ancient-looking ruined city under a starry night sky. The current mural is a copy of the original that was hand painted by Bill Tracy.
In 2010 The original mural was moved to Lagoon's annex building in an area not open to the public. It was replaced by a different mural showing a forest of dead trees. Actual dead trees were placed directly in front of the mural to form a 3D-like effect. An animatronic talking vulture was placed inside a square opening in the center of the mural. The original mural was missed by many people who had grown up with it and its absence had been covered in local news stories. A copy of the original mural was restored to the station as part of the 2017 re-imagining and theatrical lighting was strategically placed to highlight specific parts of it.
A dancing man was included in the original mural, but was painted out of the 2017 copy. This appears to be the only significant change made to the mural. The dancing man is likely based on photographs of actor Geoffrey Holder from the 1950's.
There are several subtle oddities within the mural. There are rounded outlines that sometimes affect the things painted on either side of them. The dancing man represents the intersection of two of these shapes, and this gives him the appearance of having a magical connection to his surroundings. The most visible of these is an oval outline in the center of the painting. Where this line passes through a building, the surface of the building is different depending on which side of the line it is on. There is a green area within this outline that has 3D shapes that are out of sync with the rest of the geometry in the painting. Other impossible geometry and surface affecting outlines can be seen in the doorways on either side of the painting.
Terroride's vehicles were originally wooden hushpuppy vehicles that were shaped like coffins, similar to the vehicles for Trimper's Haunted House and Legend City's Lost Dutchman mine ride. It is unknown when and why they were replaced by the current fiberglass vehicles.
The following items are known to have been removed from the ride:
- A scene described as 'quicksand corner' showing a person or people sinking in quicksand was removed in the 1980's
- A large standing three dimensional rabid looking rat was removed in 2007
- A gorilla with a city skyline painted behind him was in the ride from approximately 1989 to 2008
- An alien that replaced the gorilla after 1989 was later removed
- The ride's original mural was removed in 2010
- A replacement mural of dead trees and actual dead trees were located in the station from 2010 to 2016
In the off-season of 2012-2013, Lagoon removed the back wall of the building to make repairs to the structure and foundation. Around 5-10 feet of the ride was removed temporarily while crews worked to build the new exterior. After the new wall was completed, this area was rebuilt including new flooring and a re-welded section of track.
Once the construction was completed, Lagoon's electrical department rebuilt the ride's safety and control system. This brought the ride into compliance with the most recent fire safety standards.
A copyrighted 1968 picture of members of the band Jefferson Airplane riding Terroride with its original vehicles shows that either the current exit door is not original to the ride, or the ride layout has been changed in some way. This picture can be seen in the KUED documentary Lagoon: Rock and Rollercoasters.
- In 2014 a local therapist campaigned for Lagoon to make changes to the torture room scene, saying that the scene had triggered unpleasant feelings in one of his clients. Lagoon agreed to talk with him about the issue. The 2017 re-imagining kept this scenery mostly in tact, but the women in the scene now wear less revealing clothing.
- Although there were no reports of complaints about the mural's dancing man in local media, he was removed from the mural that was placed in the station for the 2017 re-imagining. This may have been due to concerns about depicting an African man together with several things that might seem scary.
Surviving attractions at the Bill Tracy Project
Terroride at the Lagoon history project
Hi-Res image of the original mural.
This article is part of the Lagoon is Fun Tracy Classics Project. Please contribute any memories or images of these classic rides on the Lagoon is Fun Forum.
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