I spent a wonderful day at Indiana Beach on Thursday last week.
First a little history ... In August 2000 I took the son of a friend of mine (Justin), and his best friend (Matt) to The Beach as a final summer outing before school was to start. We had such a great time that we went again last year .. except my virtual Little Brother joined us. Again, it was a blast, so we went again this year .. Taking Justin's younger brother (Parker) and Matt's younger brother (Caleb) to join the fun.
There have been many Indiana Beach trip reports, and all go on and on about what an awesome little place it is ... I will not repeat these comments other than to say that this is one amazing little park! One day never seems long enough!
Anyway, we all piled in to my little car at about 8:30am, and started the trip from Grayslake (about an hour north of Chicago). It's an easy and uneventful drive, except sharing a car with 4 teenage boys can be cause for some interesting conversation .. the fart jokes were flying!
We arrived at the park just after 11, parked in the free south lot, and jumped our way across the bridge. Since the park had just opened, there
was about a 25 minute wait to get the combo POP/Waterpark wrist bands ... but then we were on our way.
Before I continue, I should say that we had planed on going on Tuesday, but the weather forecast for that day (and Wednesday) was really bad. While, on Thursday morning, the forecast called for 0% chance of rain. 0%? Pretty optimistic .. claiming that there was absolutely no chance of rain at all! Needless to say, we were doomed
Our first stop was, of course, the new Lost Coaster. We were all glad to see this thing running, and it looked like a mountain of fun (har har)! The wait was only about 10 minutes, and we were loaded in the 'padded rooms on wheels'. What a bizarre little ride this is!! There were times where you'd catch a glimps of the up-coming track, and actually fear having to pass through it! This is really more of a mad-mouse than a mine-ride .. and I think it will be a really amazing ride once they get some of the bumps and jolts out. I loved it, but I could see some people were hurting ...
Next up was the Hurricane .. What a transformation!! This, once 'eh' ride has become great! Smooth, fast, loads of float with a few nice moments of serious air. Yes, CCI did a terrific job on this over the winter.
We then hit Cornball .. and liked it so much, we did it again .. and again! Needless to say, this ride totally rocks .. and it was flying better than last year. It's impossible to not have fun on this ride .. no matter where you sit, or how it runs. We even dueled with the log ride a few times. Both Parker and Caleb were amazed that such a tiny, innocent looking thing can provide such an amazing ride.
Tigg'r was next .. and both Parker and Caleb were nervous about the lack of restraints, but enjoyed the ride immensely (especially Caleb). We rode
this several times over, I will never tire of that first drop + turn!
The only coaster left was Galaxi .. and we gave this a few spins. This isn't quite as intense as Tigg'r, but those helixes are really nice.
It was 1pm now, and we were faint from hunger, so we grabbed a burger in the little place under the water-park changing rooms. The food was ok,
nothing spectacular, although it could have been worse. What's the best thing to do after eating a greasy meal of burger and fries?!
Double Shot!! Matt and Caleb had ridden the space shot on the Stratosphere last summer, so Caleb scoffed at the small size of the Indy Beach tower. He was, however, about to learn that size really doesn't matter! (A lesson which Cornball should have taught him!). Parker had never been on an S&S tower, so he watched it run once or twice to get a little more familiar with it. Then we rode, and rode, and rode .. this thing just gives everyone the giggles! The air at the top is amazing .. poor Parker (who is the smallest of the group (only 10 and a half years old)) really had a lot of room to move around .. and was quite scared the first time!
I was meeting some friends of mine (from work .. who were there with their two year old daughter), so we all headed back to the car so that the boys could grab their water gear. On the way, the rain hit .. hard. So much for 0%! It only lasted about 5 minutes, and we were on our way. I left the boys in the change-rooms, and went to meet my friends.
Peter (the guy I work with) remained with his daughter on the kiddie rides, so I took Sharon (his wife) on the coasters. We started with Lost Coaster, and basically did the same order as I had done with the boys. She has always enjoyed coasters, but hadn't ridden in years .. She loved them all! We rode until 4:30 when I had to meet the boys again .. while Sharon, Peter and their daughter took a ride on the big paddle boat.
More rain hit, heaver than before, with lightning .. so the rides were shut down, and the water park cleared out. I found the boys amongst the hundreds of other water-park refugees, and I waited for them to get dressed. We sat around for about 20 minutes, and the rain finally passed. I do NOT recommend www.weather.com .. 0% my butt!!
We returned the boys swim-wear to the car, and took another ride on some of the coasters, and the boys tried out the floating tank/boats (the ones which shoot the rubber balls). I bought a bucket of balls and fired at them from the midway .. that's such a great ride, do any other parks have something similar?
Right next to this is a face/hair painter, and Parker wanted to try blue hair (he looked great!) .. then we hit Cornball again. What a ride...
As the gates opened, I noticed that it had started raining again a little. I thought that the slick tracks would provide quite a good ride, which I
mentioned to Parker. (Parker and I were in the front seat, the other three were in the back two seats). Well, the intensity of the rain picked up,
getting heavier by the second. By the time the ops were checking lap-bars, there was a serious down-pour going on. It was no longer possible to see the end of the boardwalk! I leaned over to Parker and said "Don't worry, they'll never dispatch the train in such heavy rain". WRONG! As soon as I said it, the brakes released and we were off!! By the time the train had engaged the lift (about 4 seconds), we were soaked to our bones! I looked over at Parker and there was a torrent of blue water running down his face and shirt .. I guess the hair spray was not water-proof!
That ride was, without a doubt, the funniest coaster ride I have ever had! I was laughing my little butt off the whole way! It was totally surreal! ;-)
We returned to the station, *soaked*, and everyone was laughing and enjoying the fun. We ran down the stairs, grabbed the onride photos, and hid in the shelter .. Ringing out our shirts and trying to dry off. The rain only lasted about 10 minutes, but it took us hours to dry off.
Here's a link to the onride photos:
Anyway .. I promise I intended to make this short .. SORRY! I'll wrap it up now..
We spent more time on the coasters and the battle boats again, got Parker's hair re-coloured, and had a delicious Pizza Hut dinner before heading home.
Overall it was an amazingly fun day. The boys all had a great time (as did I), and it was a wonderful way to end the summer.
*** This post was edited by Cameron on 8/18/2002. ***
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