Feeding The Inner Mullet/SRM 2002, part 3/IB

Associated parks:
None

Wednesday, June 5, 2002 2:36 PM

Parks visited: PKI (5/30), HW/SRM (5/31), IB (6/1), MiA (6/2) and IB again (6/2)
Weather: Muggy and hot in Indiana, perfect in Michigan
Crowds: Perfect everywhere, except for (yet again) PKI
Mullet-count: 634 (including fem-mullets, mul-ettes, 2 Elvis mullets, 1 feathered mullet, 1 WWF mullet, and 1 midget mullet)

Day 3 - Mulletopia

7:30 am came WAY too early. I was very foggy but some quick coffee helped and the Short Bus was underway by 8:15. It was great to listen to Mike Sterling (the only SRM noobie among us) try to describe what he had been through the previous day. I had been worried about anticipointment for him (just as I had worried about it for myself at my first SRM last year) but it's really hard to oversell this event. We had all had a spectacular day at HW and it was a good thing that we were all looking forward to Indiana Beach as well, as it would have been difficult to pull ourselves away from Holiday World for some P.O.S. park like Kentucky(fried) Kingdom.

The drive passed semi-quickly; we soon had left Indianapolis behind and had ventured out into the corn. IB has a similar "middle of nowhere" vibe to HW, but at least they have more signage than Michigan's Adventure! We had reserved a suite inside the park, so we passed through the parking gate and eventually found the hotel. Upon de-vanning, I was immediately struck by the gnarly honky-tonk environment of the Beach. It felt like the exact flip side of Holiday World: HW is almost like a religious enclave, buried back in the trees and enfused with a kind of quiet solitude (broken occasionally by that CCI roar, of course). IB, on the other hand, was like some raucous beach party town that had inexplicably been transported to the middle of Indiana. It reminded us of so many different parks, and yet it also had it's own identity. For me, I caught a whiff of Venice Beach, and Santa Cruz. It was kind of funny that we saw Elvis at HW, as IB seems much more like a place fit for The King.

Our suite was really damn cool. Two large bedrooms, and a balcony right over the boardwalk with a great view of the park down one way, the water park straight ahead, and the Double Shot off the other way. And, front and center, right below our window...the "Mullet Factory". This was actually a water slide using little rafts (similar to Yosemite Sam at SFMM). As I was sitting out on the patio enjoying a brew, I noticed the little rafts arriving, and everyone seemed to contain at least one mullet. I started to become fearful, as if I had unlocked a big secret. Then I knew...this is where they are coming from, all these mullets! Spit out by this factory, every 30 seconds. I knew this was big...X-files big. Plans were circulated to blow up the factory later...fortunately we were too lazy to go through with it! We did, however, ride it ourselves...and I have this strangest urge to let the back of my hair grow...

We had a fantastic day at the Beach. It was yet another timeless day...seemed like it took the sun an endless amount of time to set. Lake Shaffer is flat out beautiful, and I fell in love with the very cool houses surrounding the lake. Add in the fact that the water kept the heat and humidity down, and it was like paradise. I could really see moving here or even retiring here. It's yet another inexplicable slice of paradise in the Indiana back country.

The rides were pretty much uniformly fantastic. The Double Shot is the most forceful S & S ride I have yet experienced, and it's location out at the corner of the park gives great views in all directions. The Paratrooper gave us a nice long ride with much more force than any other Paratrooper. The swings were also super-adrenalized, and their being situated over the water is unbeatable. The Ferris Wheel is set perfectly in the park and gives awesome views, as does the Sky Ride. The Falling Star was nice and powerful and Tony, Greg and I had an awesome ride on the Music Express...Tony was on the inside and went utterly nuts, pulling himself up to inside of the car and then launching himself into Greg and I with great force at the low point of the ride. Tony, that was a Music Express, not a mosh pit!! ;-)

I also really liked their Sally dark ride, but it gave me by far the biggest scare of the day. Mike Kallay and I failed to notice the 400 lb. weight limit per car (or we honestly thought we were less than 400 lbs, can't remember which...he he he!). As we climbed the lift, our car began to buck and stall out, going slower and slower. I was imagining a rollback into the 180-degree turn at the bottom, and planning my leap out of the car if that happened. We got closer and closer to the top...and then ground to a halt about 3 feet short! Mike and I both started pulling us up the wall and we finally made it up...phew! We had another scary moment on the descent when we felt the car slip for a second and drop about 10 feet really fast. The funniest part was at the end...we bashed through the last door very fast, and then, just after I got out, the next car came sailing through and bonked into ours pretty good. I swear, we don't seek these things out (see SRM log ride incident last year).

I saved the coasters for last. Cornball Express turned out to be my 150th, and what a memorable one it was. This was quite simply the biggest surprise of the trip. The first drop is stunning...might this be the best first wood drop in the world? For me it is! The airtime is relentless, front or back, and the entrance to the helix produces this great left-right-left slam. The last two hills are genius, and that turn into the brakes: WTF! I took to calling it the "Scandia Turn". The ride ops running this all weekend were so cool. They had their boombox out Saturday and we're playing music of their own choice...I still can't get over sitting in the station and listening to "Let's Get Drunk and Screw" by Jimmy Buffett!

I knew Cornball was going to be good...prior to riding I had guessed it would enter my top 10 somewhere around #5. After my first ride (back seat) I was thinking it was more like #1. In other words, just absolutely amazing. I managed almost 30 rides on this day and the next, and I have to say that Cornball (and this trip) taught me an important lesson...I have heard a number of experienced enthusiasts say they don't rank coasters anymore, and this was the ride where I finally understood that. I mean, in between the greatly improved Raven this year, the wild and out of control Legend last year, Cornhole, and the fun I would have on Shivering Timbers the next day, how could I pick just one of these and set it above the others? There's just no way.

The Hoosier Hurricane did suffer a bit in comparison to Cornhole, but it is a beautiful coaster, with a nice first drop and some air in the back on the return run. Tigger is a cute little ride. It was nice to ride on this type of train again, my last one was at PGA back in 1988. Galaxi completed the operating coasters in the park...I'm always up for a good Galaxi.

The Sky Ride and the antique car ride (which was also quite good, BTW) gave great views of the almost completed Superstition Mountain. This think is really freaky! There are turns, drops and angles that will have your eyes bulging out of your head when you see them. The elevator lift is kind of similar to the Caripro system, but a bit larger and of course tracked for a woodie. The little cars for the ride are so damn cool! There was an extra pair of them sitting under the Hurricane that we were able to study in detail. We also got to see a test run, which led immediately to discussions about flying back out for one day just to ride this thing! It looks absolutely amazing. There were mechanics working on it all day, including a tall creepy guy in a white mad scientist's coat. At one point we were going to offer him $100 for a test ride but chickened out. Can't wait to get back to the Beach for this one.

The evening ended with a serious session on Cornhole followed by an elegant dinner in the park's Skyroom restaurant. Looking at the menu, I felt like I was in a big city restaurant, not out in the cornfields. An extensive seafood selection, prime rib, chateaubriand, and all at very good prices. We treated Tony to crab legs in honor of his 30th birthday, and the park whipped up a tasty cake for him with a real sparkler stuck in the top. The service was fantastic as well.

We just missed the last ride of the night on Cornhole, so we repaired to the open air bar next to the restaurant for a nightcap and some blues/oldies from the live band. Unfortunately, they were terrible...any band that can't play "Wooly Bully" should be shot. So we retired to our room and spent a good half hour on the balcony, watching the abundant stars and chatting. In many ways, this day was almost as good as SRM. This was already shaping up as one of the best trips I had ever taken and we still had Sunday and Shivering Timbers to go!

There's nothing like being thoroughly cornholed in Indiana!


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Mike Miller - On the gravy train to coaster nirvan***

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Wednesday, June 5, 2002 3:56 PM
Great TR! The whole series is great, for that matter.

Glad to hear you guys had such a great visit to Indiana Beach, and I couldn't agree more with you about CE.

It's funny that you say your day at IB almost equaled SRM, as we had the same feeling Sunday night.

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"He's blazin' away like the stars in the universe.." A. Vega + M. Rev "Ghostrider"

Someday there will be something here.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2002 4:17 PM

Very enjoyable TRs! BTW: CornBall (not Cornhole please) is getting more upstop steel...and that's "a good thing!"

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Wednesday, June 5, 2002 4:32 PM
Where's the new steel going in Dave?

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"He's blazin' away like the stars in the universe.." A. Vega + M. Rev "Ghostrider"

Someday there will be something here.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2002 4:39 PM
Somewhere in the helix area...I shoulda asked more...too concerned w/ LoCoSuMo I guess.
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Wednesday, June 5, 2002 4:48 PM
Sorry, IB Dave...it's just been a little in joke with my friends this year and it was not meant in any way to demean the ride...which is absolutely fabulous!

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Mike Miller - On the gravy train to coaster nirvan***

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Wednesday, June 5, 2002 4:54 PM

Apology noted and I do think we met Sunday nite...I was wearing the Cornh....oops...CornBall shirt.

------------------------------------------------------

IB Dave..who likes to take a few laps on CornBall after a busy nite in the SkyRoom.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2002 5:07 PM

God, now I really do want to just take a trip down to southern Indiana and stop at IB and HW instead of goign to CP. I much prefer wood and CP just doesn't have much to offer in that department, I'm afraid I'm going to drive 8 hours and be somewhat disappointed. Everybody just talks so great about CP but I'm finding myself thinking, so I ride MF, I ride Magnum, what else is there to do? Mantis is braked, Mean Streak is braked, Gemini is not a true wood coaster, I've already ridden a version of WT, I'm really beginning to have second thoughts and their scaring me.

Anyway, great TR, can't wait to hear the Michigan Adventure one!

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Tuesday's Gone With The Wind.
Elijah Rock.
Is it written in the stars?
La Vie Boheme!!!

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Wednesday, June 5, 2002 6:24 PM

BaSSiStiSt said:

I have to say that Cornball (and this trip) taught me an important lesson...I have heard a number of experienced enthusiasts say they don't rank coasters anymore, and this was the ride where I finally understood that.

Very cool Mike! I know EXACTLY how you feel. I had the same thing happen to me back in 1999. Back then I kept a top ten list, and after riding a coaster, I would usually think hard where a coaster would sit on my list the second I rode it. That all changed after I rode Hulk and Medusa within about a week of each other.

Both rides blew me away and I spent more time thinking about where they would go on my list instead of enjoying the rides. It was then and there that I decided to not rate coasters anymore and try to keep the comparison or rides to a almost extinct level.

The result?

Since I have done things this way, I have enjoyed coasters more now than ever before. Honest. I look for what a ride has to offer instead of for something it doesn't have and this has made all the difference in the world. Perhaps that is why I like coasters that a lot of enthusiasts dislike. I also don't get upset with braking of rides because I usually can find something on a braked ride that is great.

I still get a kick out of people that will constantly compare rides in a negative way after riding something, then act like they are offended because a certain ride didn't perform "like that other ride that is better at another park" or something similar. It's their choice to do that, but from what I have learned, this hobby (or lifestyle for a lot of us) is all about fun and that needs to be remembered.

I can honestly say that I am not the slightest bored of coasters after riding more than 400 and look forwared to riding another 400 in the past like I am just starting this hobby from the start.

Thanks for your views Mike. Too bad I didn't get to hang out with you longer.

-Sean


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Wednesday, June 5, 2002 11:00 PM

IB*Dave said:

Apology noted and I do think we met Sunday nite...I was wearing the Cornh....oops...CornBall shirt.

------------------------------------------------------

Yes indeed, Dave, we did meet while queueing for the front seat of Cornball. Thanks for running such a great park and I can't wait to come back for LoCoSuMo!!

-----------------
Mike Miller - On the gravy train to coaster nirvan***


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Thursday, June 6, 2002 5:11 AM
I really enjoy your reports. I'm planning a trip to IB myself. Where did you stay when you were there?

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Jeff-Jeff
Wood - Raven
Steel - Millennium Force
Generic, isn't it?

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Thursday, June 6, 2002 8:18 AM

Jeff: There is a hotel inside the park that is great. You can get all the local lodging info at:

http://www.indianabeach.com/Lodging.html

I'd highly recommend the penthouse room if you can swing it. It has two king sized beds, a great view, and is SO convenient to the park.

Glad you enjoyed the TR's!

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Mike Miller-On the gravy train to coaster nirvan***

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Thursday, June 6, 2002 9:37 AM
Great TR. You had me laughing with that any band that can't play Wooly Bully should be shot remark.

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This contest can not be decided by our knowledge of the force but by our skills with a lightsaber.
Count dooku episode II

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Thursday, June 6, 2002 9:50 AM
We also hit Indiana Beach the day after SRM, and man oh man was I in love with that place. Cornball Express also rocketed up to my #1 spot after I got splashed in the face by the flume ride while I was riding in Cornball's front seat. Sheer brilliance, definitely on par with Raven as testiment to the perfection of a mid-sized woodie.
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Monday, June 10, 2002 8:59 AM
Enjoyable trip report! I seem to be getting quite a mix of comments and thoughts about the park. I have heard people say that IB is dirty and has terrible park operations. I have heard other people say that IB is great and the rollercoasters are awesome!! It seems as if there is such a mix of thought on this park. I will see myself in a couple of weeks.

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X Looks Awesome! Oh Yea!!
Questions:
smles@ilstu.edu

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Monday, June 10, 2002 2:09 PM

SaxPlayer said:
I have heard people say that IB is dirty and has terrible park operations.

Not when I was there. The park was really clean and the rides were all being operated quickly and efficiently. I think the people who go in expecting a Six Flags type experience may be disappointed, but those who can appreciate a charming waterfront park with a traditional atmosphere and one severely kick-@ss rollercoaster will be very happy.

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Mike Miller-On the gravy train to coaster nirvan***



*** This post was edited by BaSSiStiSt on 6/10/2002. ***

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