I-X Indoor Amusement Park celebrates 25 years

Posted Monday, March 24, 2014 8:43 AM | Contributed by Jeff

The I-X Indoor Amusement Park is taking over the International Exposition Center in Cleveland through April 20. The park is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and features more than 100 thrill rides, food and live entertainment.

Read more and see video from The Plain Dealer.

Monday, March 24, 2014 10:52 AM

25 years is hard to believe. I think I was at the very first one and have driven up to the I-X off and on over the years. It's always a good time, especially after a winter of jonesin' for a ride or two. It's a pretty good carnival, with Bates Brother's combined units and a few booked on pieces, I'd reckon.

I went to the I-X website and they claim to have five new rides. The log flume is returning, the Eagle portable zip line is there, and there's a photograph of the Air Raid (Zamperla's portable Air Race) but no mention of it in the press release. Hmmmm. I just may have to drive up there one afternoon.

Mike Roberts and I went there a couple years ago, and we spun ourselves silly, til we were about sick. We were showing our age, I guess, and had to find a Coca Cola and ride the bench for a while...

Monday, March 24, 2014 12:12 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

If there truly is an air race there, I will go and try it. I'm super scared that I'll puke everywhere, but I'd rather ride it close to home than when I'm on a trip to NYC.

Who knows, I might love it.

Monday, March 24, 2014 12:32 PM

Unfortunately, the Air race is not part of the ride lineup. I saw the photo on their webpage also and got excited, but no luck.

The "new" rides this year are an ARM Frenzy (their take on the Screamin' Swing), a Wisdom Himalaya, a Tivoli Remix, an ARM 1001 Nachts, what appears to be the ARM Quasar headed to DelGrosso's this season, and an Owen Trailers Haunted Mansion (which is a $2 upcharge).

The Crazy Mouse is not in attendance this year, however the flume, KMG Freak Out and all the other old favorites are in attendance.

Monday, March 24, 2014 5:04 PM

And just how is that Frenzy ride? I haven't seen one in action, but I assume the ride action is familiar. What's nice about it is they've re-invented a popular ride into a one trailer portable that has decent capacity. The showmen should be snapping that one up, I'd think.

The Wisdom Himalaya is one of the worst things I've ever seen, and is an example of a great ride that didn't transition well to one trailer. All flash and no ride.

Thanks for the info, RFlyer01. You've helped me decide whether or not to make the trip.

Monday, March 24, 2014 6:44 PM

I have lived in Cleveland all my life (now 25 years old...) and never once have I been to the IX Indoor Amusement Park...

Cool to see they are still going on though... I have no motivation to ever go though.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 7:57 AM

To answer your question RCMAC, I did not ride the Frenzy. It was up when I first arrived and then broke down shortly afterwards for over an hour. The ride cycle I did see was impressive though. The ride swings pretty high (and with the ceiling beams inside the IX Center, I'm sure it makes for some neat visuals) and looks pretty solid for a portable ride... especially compared to other ARM products.

And I totally agree about the Wisdom Himalaya. I assume the one trailer transport is why the ride is so "flat" when compared to Himalayas from Mack and Reverchon. The ride also doesn't really travel that fast. When they blew the "full-speed siren" on the IXIAP ride, it wasn't exactly a blur of motion!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 5:22 PM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar

I need to visit that place again. I went a few years ago and had a blast!


Thursday, March 27, 2014 1:28 AM

I have gone every year since opening year now. This is the first year, both of my kids can ride the "big kid rides".

I LOVE the IX Indoor Amusement park because of the "Ludicrous Speed" they run their rides at. Just when you think your body can't take it anymore, they kick the ride into a higher gear, when your eye balls are squeezing out, and your lunch is coming up...they slow it down...you think your safe...but NO they then run the ride backwards!

During the weekdays is the best time to visit. They will run the cycles VERY long. Some will keep it going if you ask them to, until someone else gets in line.

They are MANY deals to get cheap tickets or BOGO deals as well.

I little disappointed that they don't have the spinning mouse. I remember the year, when they didn't have any big roller coasters. Then the public spoke up (or some other powers that be), and they got them back. I also don't get the new "New" water ride. That water ride has been a staple for many years...granted there has been one or two without it.

They do have some decent shows...but DON'T go on big name event days...that place can get VERY crazy teeny bopper busy.

While it is the official start to my amusement park season, I don't like going to Cedar Point or Kings Island and riding their carnival rides...after the IX one's I feel like Cedar Point's are stuck in first gear. ;)

I'll be up there tomorrow with my two kids and having some fun!


Last edited by RollerCoasterGod, Thursday, March 27, 2014 1:31 AM
Thursday, March 27, 2014 10:25 AM

I'll agree, those rides are fast and long. We were riding the Twist, a scrambler type ride, and it was so fast and so long I couldn't take anymore. I was trying to give the carnies the universal throat-slit sign to stop, but they were busy at the front of the ride hanging over the rail ogling the teenage girls walking by. Nice. God forbid there should be an emergency amongst the riders (and I was about to have one) because they would never have known.

I seem to remember that dark period of no coasters at the I-X was for a reason, but I can't remember the details. Something about insurance, maybe. But it got ironed out and they came back in some shape or form.

We rode that Crazy Mouse, and it was pretty good. The worst ride ever in life (and Bate's big mistake, IMO) is that awful shuttle "coaster" called G Force. Painful, weird, and no fun whatsoever. They also set up a Tip Top, and it's always a blast.

The indoor setting is fun, and on the high rides having the ceiling so close really adds an unexpected thrill element. They actually have to position rides like the Zipper to be sure it's between the large steel beams. Back in the day they had a Falling Star and it was the same thing. When the ride swung over the top I'd reflexively duck my head, the ceiling seemed so close. Last time I was the they had one of those portable vertical swings, and it got really close as well.

Years ago they used to turn the house lights way down and let the ride lights illuminate the midways, almost like being at the park at night. The last time I was there it didn't seem that way, though.

That's all,... just some ramblings...

Thursday, March 27, 2014 11:36 AM

Maybe I missed something, and if so, my bad...but what kind of venue is this in? Sports Arena? Convention Center? Someone's house?

The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist


Thursday, March 27, 2014 12:17 PM

Mike, the IX Center is a convention center next to CLE airport that once manufactured tanks and bomber planes back in the 40's and 50's. The building was converted to the exhibition hall in the late 80's if I recall.

And RCMAC, I remember the "good ol' days" of the IXIAP when they had the Falling Star, a SkyDiver, a Soriani and Moser Top Spin, two additional Century Wheels in addition to the permanent IX Wheel, a huge Freak Show, and two of the most evil rides ever created- the Hi Roller and the Force 10 (called the Black Out at the IXIAP). Hi Roller was the only ride I have ever gotten physically sick on and will never ride one of those again. Black Out was just crazy. That little wheel pulled some insane G-forces.

And speaking of G-Force, I agree 100% with RCMAC about the ARM G-Force ride. The concept is lame, the "wing-rider" seating doesn't do anything to add to the experience, and the U-shaped track seems a bit misshapen, causing the ride to be anything but smooth!

Last edited by RFlyer01, Thursday, March 27, 2014 12:18 PM
Thursday, March 27, 2014 1:36 PM

And, Mike, the place is huge. I heard once that it was listed by Guiness as the world's largest room. I can't find that to be fact anywhere, but it might be. The restrooms located throughout are reached by going through holes in the floor down stairs to the basement, just like in a huge factory.

In the center is a Chance ferris wheel that is up on a large platform and pokes through the top of the building into a glass atrium. The view is mainly the Hopkins airport and on a nice day, the Cleveland skyline can be seen in the distance. It's a permanent installation and usually runs for shows in the building.

The hall is used for many events throughout the year, car shows, home and garden show, conventions and meetings. Rarely does the entire place get used at once, or if it does it's by several different shows at one time. Even the amusement park doesn't use the entire space. There's a Main Entrance on three if not all four sides of the building and huge parking.
There's been threats of razing the I-X over the years, for expansion of Hopkins. So far, no.

I always though the I-X would be a good location for IAAPA. I think it's large enough and the outdoor area and parking would be more than sufficient. The drawback, naturally, would be the November weather...


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