Indiana Beach, Monticello, Indiana, USA
I had read that the park was seeing very low attendance for their Halloween weekends this year, as it is their first time doing such an event. I decided this would be a good chance to get down to the park one more time this season, and finally ride Steel Hawg, since it wasn't completed when I was there earlier this season. I was also curious to see how effective their Halloween event was. My 2 friends and I grabbed some lunch and hit the road around 1:00 for the 90 mile trip to Monticello.
We arrived at the park to a nearly empty parking lot at around 2:45 PM. They were only using the north lot, and even that was close to empty. As we walked into the park we saw Steel Hawg was running empty. This was pretty much the theme of the day. All the coaster waits (if there was one), were in people rather than minutes. The longest wait I saw all day was a 6 person wait for LoCoSuMo.
Our first ride of the day, was of course, Steel Hawg. I purposefully kept low expectations as I boarded the 4 person car. The first thing I noticed is that the seats were comfortable enough, but the shoulder portion of the restraint really jabbed into my shoulders. I do have a larger frame, so this may be some of the problem (I'm working on it!). Once the car dispatched, I was amazed at how steep the lift was! It has to be close to 60 degrees. It also is very fast, and within 10 seconds we were cresting the 100 foot first hill. You make a sharp turn to the left and then crest the 120 degree first drop. Although you are 100 feet up, you only drop about 65-70 feet, but regardless, the first drop is very forceful, and very fun. You don't notice the magnetic trims at all as you go over the drop. After that the ride goes through several odd elements, and has alot of hangtime. The ride is short, but alot of fun. It was a bit painful for me, only because of the restraints jabbing me in the shoulders during the hangtime, but it may not be bad for others. I didn't notice much headbanging at all!
After Steel Hawg we went and hit several other rides in the park. Cornball and Hoosier Hurricane were both walk ons, with literally no wait at all. You could sit on the train for re-rides if you wanted to. Cornball was great fun as usual, especially in the back, but the first drop is getting brutal. The Hurricane was it's typical fast, but lacking any forces self.
In addition to the coasters, we hit some of the great flats at the park, which seem to have cycles that will never end. Unfortunately one of my friends who came with us is not a big fan of spinning rides. We got off the Music Express, and he told us he was done with spinning rides, so we went to the Sea Dragon instead. After the first ride, he looked pale... unfortunately the ride host figured since no one was waiting, that we would like another ride. He instantly dispatched it a second time. Needless to say, when the ride stopped and the lapbars released, our friend ran right to a railing and threw up into some plants. After that incident, he was pretty much done with riding for the day.
As far as the Halloween event goes... from what we saw, it was pretty lame. They had people in costumes walking up and down the midway, but most of them were just talking to each other, or avoiding guests altogether. There was no fog, and a blood fountain I had heard about wasn't even turned on. I will say that there were a few good scare actors, such as a clown that followed people very closely, and a guy with a chainless chainsaw chasing people down the midway, but for the most part, it was a letdown. I will say that we ended up not staying until dark, as the park was empty, we had a sick friend, and we had rode plenty. Perhaps after dark it gets better, but with the park as empty as it was, I'm not sure it could be. Unless things turn around quickly in the next 2 weeks, I doubt we will see a Halloween event at IB next year.
We were in the park for a total of 3 and a half hours and here were our ride counts... bear in mind we sat down alot too due to our friend being sick:
Cornball Express: 4
Steel Hawg: 3
Lost Coaster: 2
Sea Dragon: 2
Double Shot: 2
Den of Lost Theives
I get an ominous feeling in my stomach when I hear about a park like IB doing so poorly in attendance. Glad you had a good time, but I almost wish the waits were just a tiny bit longer.
With luck, PARC -- or some other angel -- will pluck this property from the (apparently) inept new owners and turn it back into the jewel it always was.
^^Lance says the current RV owners are shopping the park, so maybe PARC can hopefully waltz in.
I was there about a month ago and the park was just like you described it...I must have rode SH about 30+ times!! I got there early and was going to leave equally early as well, but I'm glad I stayed until near closing (7:00 pm that day, I think?) since the more new things and rides I discovered and checked out, the more fun I had.
But new owners or not, I could easily see the fall operations ditched next year. However, I think their summer crowds will continue to be good, especially with SH open all season.
^I always like low to no crowds at parks just like anyone else, but on the other hand when an awesome park is THAT dead it makes me worry. That's how I felt with Hard Rock Park.
A clown, huh? That's hysterical. Clowns are actually much more disturbing to me than any of the other "monsters." ;)
-TinaLast edited by coasterqueenTRN, Sunday, October 19, 2008 12:46 PM
Can't help but think that Morgan might have had the highest bid, but that they were in NO way the best-equipped to actually RUN the park (unless you mean "run it into the ground"). Lord I hope they sell it, and soon, whether it goes to HFEC, PARC, or anyone who knows how to actually make guests happy. I've heard very little good news this season from what had been one of my very favorite parks in the country (top-5 easily, maybe top-3).
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