Help with IB, HW, SFStL trip.

Like almost everyone else, high gas prices and the shaky economy are putting a dent in our summer travel plans. Nevertheless, on Thursday the 17th we are setting out on our summer coaster-riding trip. Last year we had more $ and more time and hit: DW, KK, KI, and CP. This year I want to hit some "new-to-me" parks/coasters. HW is at the top of my list. So we have pretty much decided to leave Chicago early Thursday morning, spend the afternoon at Indiana Beach and hopefully ride Steel Hawg and the other coasters there then head out Friday morning for Louisville and maybe stop at KK and enjoy the water park for a few hours then on to Santa Claus to spend the night and spend Saturday at Holiday World. We would then like to drive to St. Louis and check out the Six Flags before heading back to Chicago. All, these parks are new to us (except KK) so I have a few questions. Is one day going to be enough for IB and HW to hit all the coasters? Money is pretty tight so suggestions on cheap lodging would be appreciated too. Also, any non-coaster attractions that are not to be missed at these parks? We will have only one day for SFStLouis. I feel that at this time of year that really won't be enough time for that park. Which coasters are "must-rides" there? We will need to be back in Chicago Tuesday afternoon at the latest. Are we being too ambitious considering the limited time we have? Thanks guys for any advice you can give. We could easily reverse the route of our trip and go first to St. Louis. Not sure if that would make any real difference or not.
The time you have allocated for each park is spot on. I don't think you are going to miss much at each park.

I really dig SFStL's Scooby ride, and IB's Frankenstein's Haunted Castle.

The only thing to remember in StL is that I-64 is closed between I-270 and I-170. This makes I-270 very busy during the rush hours and traffic flow is TERRIBLE. Just keep that in mind when planning your route through down town

SWOOSH -- MidwestInfoGuide.COM

Josh M's avatar
I'll give some input on IB since it's my home park... (Note: I haven't rode Steel Hawg yet.. planning on fixing that this weekend)

Coasters - in personal order of preference:
Cornball Express - Do not miss! Smaller woodie that packs a punch. Back seat is my favorite seat. Great airtime!

LoCoSuMo - One of the most unique coasters you will ever ride, much more intense than it looks, and it has an elevator lift

Hoosier Hurricane - Decent wood coaster, looks like it should have more airtime than it does. Nice drop under the suspension bridge

Tig'rr - Unique ride in that you have no restraints. Gives what would be a mediocre ride an extra thrill.

Galaxi - Pretty boring coaster, but worth the credit.


In addition to the coasters, IB has a GREAT collection of flats. Rides like Flying Bobs and Music Express have extra long ride cycles and go both forwards and backwards. Double Shot has some amazing airtime on the second shot. Air Crow is a great set of flying scooters that are pretty easily snappable. Falling Star is my favorite. Basically all of their flats are alot of fun due to long cycles, and wonderful placement on the water (ex: Water Swing)

There is also the Den of Lost Thieves which is a dark shooter ride... fun to compete with friends on. As Neuski mentioned make sure you do Frankenstein's Castle. It's 5 bucks well worth it. There is also the water acrobatic show which is very unique and fun. As far as the water park goes, It's been awhile since I've been there, but it is decent (Splashin Safari is MUCH better).

As far as food, make sure you try the Tacos at the Taco Shoppe!! There are plenty of other choices up and down the midway as well.

I'll stop rambling now (can you tell I love the park?)... IB is a great gem of a small park. Feels very old fashioned/Boardwalk styled (hopefully Morgan doesn't change that). You should easily be able to fit everything in one day, but make sure to not miss the little things and the atmosphere of the park! The park is best at night when all the lights come on... so if you can stay, do so!

Have fun!

*** Edited 7/8/2008 8:59:19 PM UTC by Josh M***

Josh M.

I'll second the above that I pretty much think you're spot-on with everything in terms of timing, although, I'm a little confused with your itinerary post-HW....if you went to SFStL on Sunday, you'd easily be back in Chicago on Monday afternoon!?

But anyway, you should easily be able to find cheap lodging in Indiana/Indianapolis using Priceline (for Thursday night), and I don't know what your traveling strategies are, but if it was me taking this trip I'd stay in Louisville on Friday night. I've had good luck before with getting like 3-star hotels on Priceline for $30-$35 in the Jeffersonville, IN region (northern L'ville suburb).

Also, I've heard the past few Saturdays have been kind of busy at HW (like hour long waits for Voyage), but considering the hours that day will be the longest of the season, I think you should be fine.

Lastly, I would think if you're going to SFStL on Sunday you'd avoid a lot of that construction traffic since it's the weekend. Good luck!!

One day should be enough for you to visit SFStL.

Someone posted something about 270 being backed up, but assuming you are coming West on 64, it's actually quicker to take West 44 directly to Six Flags.

It's the first exit on the right upon entering St. Louis from Illinois.

Thanks for all the great advice you guys. I'm really looking forward to visiting 3 new parks and finally getting to ride Voyage!
Yeah you should be able to do SFSTL in a day pretty easily, unless you plan on going to the waterpark, which will probably be crowded. Its still do-able though.

I would suggest doing Tony Hawk's Big Spin and Scooby-Doo early on, as they have the worst capacity and draw crowds. I havent had the chance to go yet this year, so I'm not sure of the average waits for Evel Knievel but its probably best to do that first thing. Everything else should be managable.

Well, if you are a wooden coaster lover, these would be the 3 parks to hit.

9 wooden coasters total.

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

rollergator's avatar

CPMagNut said:...finally getting to ride Voyage!

I think that about sums it up. :)

Do ride IB's flying scooters, Den of Lost Thieves, and the Scooby interactive at SFStL. The wheel at SFStL is huge, and provides good aerial views for pictures if you're into that - although I seem to remember the cars made that kinda tricky...maybe they've had problems with people getting out in the middle of the ride?

Enjoy Mr. Freeze for me. I <3 Snowy's Cones....bigtime.

^Regarding the ferris wheel, I don't know about people trying to get out but the gondolas are indeed enclosed and not open air so the bars do slightly obstruct photo opportunities.

d*rockin said:
Someone posted something about 270 being backed up, but assuming you are coming West on 64, it's actually quicker to take West 44 directly to Six Flags.

It's the first exit on the right upon entering St. Louis from Illinois.

Most definitely, I was thinking more when he is headed back to Chicago from the park as he is more than likely going to take 55 back home and the most direct route is 270 around to hit 55 to avoid going through the mess downtown.... though he could take 44 to 55.

*** Edited 7/10/2008 4:05:40 AM UTC by Swoosh***

SWOOSH -- MidwestInfoGuide.COM

ApolloAndy's avatar
If you're into camping, I'm sure there are lots of opportunities along the way to save some $.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

IB's campground is pretty nice. You'll have plenty of time for the coasters. Last time I walked through Frankenstein's castle, I thought it was weak compared to when I was a kid. I remember there being more gags and characters. I still go through every time I'm at the park though. The A/C is welcome. I wish I could tell you what Steel Hawg is like, but it'll be a couple weeks until I can ride it. You don't want to miss Cornball Express or Hoosier Hurricane. Tig'rr is a Schwarzkopf Jet Star with no restraints. One of my favorite rides at any park.
If you want a nice healthy lunch then hit the skyroom at Indiana Beach. They have a Buffet during certain hours with a salad bar, fruits, main courses, and many kinds of desserts.

Ride the Cornball in every seat or at least in the very front and rear and one in the middle also. Ride the Hurricane in the front seat.

On the Tig'rr put your hands behind your head for the entire ride without holding on to the handgrips.

Stop to smell the freshly made waffle cones at the Colossal Cone shop.

Jason Hammond's avatar

I'll be going to Indiana Beach on Sunday the 14th. The last I heard, Steel Hawg had been having a few problems. Like not making it all the way through the circuit. Any one have any current info?

884 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries My YouTube

janfrederick's avatar

Tig'rr - Ahh man, you gotta check out this Schwarzkoph goodness...and it's on top of a building to boot. Just like, sniff, Jetstar at SCBB. Bring it back!!!

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza

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