Indiana Beach - 6/1/11

Friday, June 3, 2011 12:16 PM

Hearing all the good things about Indiana Beach I have always wanted to go but with it being darn near the middle of nowhere I could never find a reason to go so far out of my way to get there. While working on a project in Indiana I was pleasantly surprised to see that the park is within an hour of the job site. So I took the opportunity to stay an extra day and hit the park.

Looked for a hotel that was reasonably priced but not a dive. Settled for the Super 8 in Remington. Pretty decent place. At $70 it was a little more than I wanted to spend but close enough. One word of caution – I did not find a single restaurant in Remington even though the GPS and Google said there were some. I was hoping for a nice home cooked meal that small town eateries offer but I was left with the truck stop diner with something called bagel dogs on the buffet. Not what I wanted but it filled the belly. I forget about how spoiled I am living in Ohio with our non-smoking law. I hate the smell of smoke.

Made my way to the park the next morning – remember it is on Eastern time. Paid $10 to be a VIP and get an up close parking spot. Walked into the park and realized that I had never been to a park like this. I had to stop in at guest services to ask where to buy tickets. They helped me right away and were very pleasant. I asked if all of the coasters would be operating today as I have heard that some of them have not been running. I was told that “they had not heard anything to say they would not be running so yes, they are running.” What a great way to start the day – nice people and everything running. Guess I should have turned around and called it a day at that point because things went downhill very quickly.

I had about 15 minutes to kill before the park officially opened so I walked around. My heart wanted me to see this as a seaside park of old with a boardwalk and shops and rides but my brain saw a run-down carnival. Things looked almost dilapidated. Maybe this is part of the charm of this park but I did not care for it. Made my way over to Steel Hawg hoping they would open a little early. Not! Opened 15 minutes late. Could not figure out why as nothing happened during this time. But the operators did seem to be having a good time talking the latest gossip amongst themselves. When it finally opened I did enjoy the ride. Am I the only one who found the restraints disturbing at first? The shoulder harness was not tight and it felt like I was going to fall out until I remembered the lap bar was keeping me in. Solid coaster but I was frustrated with waiting for no apparent reason.

Headed over to Tig’rr to find a long line and only two cars on the track. Figured this was just the opening rush and that the line would get shorter so I hit Hoosier Hurricane. Single train operation with 5 rows blocked off. Was not impressed at all. Decent setting being right next to / in the lake but the ride did nothing for me.

Cornball Express – Closed. No train visible. Hmmm – thought they were all running today. Lost Coaster – Closed. Hmmm – thought they were all running today.

I liked Galaxi. The weight in the car makes a big difference. Sitting in the back with several large folks up front gave the ride a nice punch. Really fun for what it is. I especially liked it charm with the light poles on the hills. See – I do like some element of charm.

Came back to Tig’rr to find the same line. Figured it would not be too bad. Ended up waiting 30 minutes. Even the 8th graders there for their field trip were annoyed with how slow this line moved. Many of them simply bailed and left the line. Guess they were the smart one. It hurts me to say it but I was really disappointed in this Schwarzkopf.

While not the biggest fan of dark rides I thought I would hit the Lost Thieves. Sorry – closed, gate shut. What the heck? Ferris Wheel – Closed. C’mon this is ridiculous.

I have left other parks feeling bored (Kentucky Kingdom anyone?) but I have never left feeling mad. That changed today. I just don’t like Indiana Beach and I was really annoyed that I spent $40 for parking and admission, as well as the time I wasted there. Don’t lie to me and tell me everything is going to run. Open stuff on time. Put more cars/trains on if the line is long enough to justify it. Have your workers show some excitement. Paint.

Did I miss the funny cigarette stand on my way into the park that would have made my day more enjoyable? Obviously I missed the experiences you have all talked about.

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Friday, June 3, 2011 12:34 PM

Wow, that's an eye-opener. I've put off getting to IB for financial reasons the last few years, but this TR gives me somewhat of an ominous feeling (it's a low abdominal, tightening sensation, in case you ever wondered what an ominous feeling felt like). I may have to try to get there soon, whether the coasters are all running or not, because 'later' might well see the park gone completely from what you describe. Egads.

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Friday, June 3, 2011 2:33 PM

To be honest, I went four years ago and I also couldn't get my brain out of "glorified carnival." I *loved* Cornball and got laps on HH, LoCoSuMo, and Tig'rr in 45 minutes and didn't feel the need to do much else. I'm going to be in Indianapolis this summer and have no interest in a side trip to IB except maybe for the credit lap on Steel Hawg. If Cornball is down, there's no chance at all.

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Friday, June 3, 2011 2:50 PM

This is disappointing to say the least. I feel like the last few Indiana Beach trip reports have been down this road. Now it certainly doesn't help that Cornball and Locosumo seem to be down indefinetly this season but what is more concerning is that in general everyone has said operations just plain suck.

I was trying to decide between the Beach and Knoebels this year as they are the same distance for me. This is making the choice an easy one! (Well that and the fact that Knoebels has Phoenix helps.)

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Friday, June 3, 2011 7:37 PM

And who know, DejaVuNitro, maybe Flying Turns and Black Diamond will be open by the time your trip rolls around too. lol

I hope IB sets things right. It looks like a fascinating park that I truly want to visit someday, but not when everything is closed.

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Saturday, June 4, 2011 10:47 AM

When I have gone to the park, it has never been this bad. I hate to hear that the park has gone so far downhill.

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Saturday, June 4, 2011 10:52 AM

Weren't they sold recently? Is this all the doing of new management?

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Saturday, June 4, 2011 10:56 AM

Yes, they have been under new management for a couple of years. Now, Morgan Management owns the park. I believe they have no prior experience in running amusement parks.


Edit: I just looked at their website and saw that IB Crow is fairly nonexistent on their site. I hope he is not gone... He is quintessential Indiana Beach, IMO.

Last edited by a_hoffman50, Saturday, June 4, 2011 11:00 AM
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Saturday, June 4, 2011 2:18 PM

This report pretty much echoes my experiences there on Memorial Day weekend (minus Tig'rr and Galaxi being open, but that was for rain). One weird thing I noticed is that they seemed to be continually rotating ride ops between rides, which I think may be a factor in the long wait times despite the short lines- it kept the crews from getting into any sort of pattern or rhythm. When I was there Hoosier Hurricane was running single train, and though I didn't time it, there had to be at least 5 minutes between when the train came in and when it was dispatched.

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Saturday, June 4, 2011 3:31 PM

That's bad business practice, especially if the park makes money on selling individual ride tickets. Shorter lines makes for more ride tickets bought. Cha-ching!

Also, closed rides don't make any money, when it comes to selling ride tickets. When it comes to all-day passes, closed rides DO make money though.

So now I am wondering, do they make more money on individual ride tickets or all-day ride passes?

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Saturday, June 4, 2011 11:32 PM

All I know is, if they could've made money selling fast passes, they'd already have done it...

::ducks::

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011 6:43 AM

DejaVuNitro said:
Now it certainly doesn't help that Cornball and Locosumo seem to be down indefinetly this season but what is more concerning is that in general everyone has said operations just plain suck.

When I went last summer operations sucked. They sucked hard. Lost Coaster was the only ride down all day, but Hurricane and Cornball were running the most pointless 2 train operations I'd ever seen. I timed the returning trains as spending more than 5 minutes on the brakes before they got around to dispatching the next train. Steel Hawg was also only running 2 cars and had a painfully slow crew.

I did really enjoy the park though. They have a fantastic setting and some great flat rides. I'd just hate to see something as easily preventable as crappy operations kill it off.

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Friday, June 10, 2011 6:08 PM

IB just posted on their FB page that ALL coasters are now up and running. I'd love to hear *how* LoCoSuMo, Cornball, and Hoosier Hurricane are running - there's a vast difference between operating and kicking serious booty....

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Friday, June 10, 2011 7:59 PM

^Good to hear! That's faster than I had expected. I might have to drop by sometime in the next week to check out Cornball. My strategy as of late has been to go when the park is dead so that the slooooow staff doesn't affect my visit, so it'll probably be a weeknight. Hopefully they'll be running more than two trains on Tig'rr this time...

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Monday, August 15, 2011 5:46 PM

I kind of figured that things were going to go downhill at Indiana Beach when this resort company took over. Just the fact that they moved the swings away from the water, was a unwelcome surprise. I also notice that the park seems to be in construction mode, which should be done off season.

I would not be happy paying as much as you did for your park visit. I would probably go to the gate and demand a refund. But, these parks are getting away with doing so much crap, that making any plans to visit, is filled with doubt.

I decided that I will probably not go the park again, as a lot of it's charm is being torn apart, in favor of pay per ride attractions like their stupid zip line thing. That, and the park costs almost 3 times what it did just a few years ago. With all that has been said, I probably won't waste my time or money going there.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011 12:18 AM

^AND/or, you can write a polite and constructive letter to the park and let them know how you feel.

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