Indiana Beach, Monticello, Indiana, USA
Indiana Beach Trip Report
3pm – 10pm
I’m happy to report that, by in large, Morgan RV has not adversely changed much at Indiana Beach for 2009. The park continues to retain its retro-modern mix of fun, even though it is now corporate-owned. Here are some observations:
The park was about as crowded as I expected for a late-May weekend. It was a perfect crowd for rides…not too crowded that there were long lines and not dead so that they held coasters at the station for 15 minutes.
Park employees were generally pleasant and helpful. Most shops and games were open, even if not very busy.
All coasters were running perfectly. All very smooth and fast.
Cornball was running in typical insane mode, especially in the back. I noticed that they seemed to have improved some of the roughness I noticed last year.
They have, in fact, installed seatbelts on Tig’rr.
The flat rides were also running well.
After a few rides on Steel Hawg; I can now say it is a fun little ride! It packs a lot of punch in such a small area through weird looping elements. The only complaint continues to be the line length due to low capacity. It wasn’t an issue on the day I visited, but it can be on busier days.
The only major ride that was not running was the Double Shot. All other rides ran continuously all day (except during rain storm).
The general admission gate fee is now free. To compensate, I think they increased the prices of the food and beverages slightly. 21oz Coke was $2.50, Tacos were $2. But the prices are still way cheaper than Six Flags or similar.
I think the new ticket prices are good. $26 for all-day POP rides only, $35 for POP with slides, and a night ticket for $20 after 6pm. They removed the morning ride session on full days.
They have installed scanners at the rides. You must scan your wristband to enter each ride. A little big-brother-ish, but I would imagine it allows them to keep better track of visitor habits. And they don’t know who you are anyway…unless you pay with credit?
They seem to be skimping with the lights. Quite a few lights along the boardwalk were burnt out; the Tig’rr and Steel Hawg had no lights at all, and really surprising was the lack of lights in areas involving stairs within Frankenstein’s Castle. It seems to be a possible insurance hazard in-the-making. The electric bill can’t be that high…can it? Especially this early in the season?
They have installed card readers in the arcades. There is no fee to get a card, and the games are all the same prices as last year. The bad news: about half of the pinball machines were turned off, including the marquee titles Twilight Zone and Theatre of Magic : (
There was a 20-minute thunderstorm that rolled through in the evening, and it took them about 45 minutes after the storm ended to reopen most of the larger rides (indoor rides and low-to-the ground rides reopened immediately). That’s kind of a long time to wait while it was completely sunny and clear out?
Morgan learned their lesson and will now keep the park open until 11pm starting in mid-June. This was a major point of contention for me in 2008, but they have fixed the glitch. 10pm is just too early, especially considering the fact that the sun does not go down in that area until about 9:30pm.
I was there the following day with my wife since she had never been there before.
Sundays are great there! Only lines were Steel Hawg and Lost Coaster, both being about 5 minutes. Everything else was a walk-on.SH was fun indeed. But, after riding a few times, our chests were sore from the way the restraints press against you. We did several rides on LCOSM as well. That is such an under-rated ride! Especially riding backwards!
The employees on Cornball were great! They would not dispatch the train until a certain time. They had it timed so when you were coming back through the structure of Hurricane, you were running along side their train. That was really cool!
We only rode Cornball & Hurricane a couple of times due to the stairs. That is too many steps to climb just to get on a coaster!
We did eat on the top deck of the original Shaffaer Queen before taking the 30 min ride out on the lake. We wanted to do the 1 hr ride but needed to leave before it got late.
I always enjoy going to IB. I usually try to plan a Sunday there to do a lot of riding. The park has a lot of charm. Must be an Indiana thing! ;)
Pinball exists at IB? Hm, they just moved up a few more notches on my 'must visit soon' list. Hopefully they fix TZ and ToM by then .. or perhaps I can help them fix the machines :) I know CP has pins, but they tend towards EMs.. maintenance on CPs modern games left a little to be desired. Do they still have the Monster Bash with the softball-sized hole in the playfield?
Based on the reports from '08, I was somewhat concerned about IB. Visiting post-HWN, we ran into a very well-run park with few issues. The only ride down for the day was Double-Shot (disappointing but nowhere near critical). All other rides were operating, staff was friendly-efficient, coasters running pretty well if a bit sluggish, and the place looked good. Overall, from what I gather, Morgan did some soul-searching after last year and corrected the noted deficiencies.
The thunderstorm thing is because even if the park itself is sunny and clear, if the park is watching for weather, which it most likely is, if there is lightning striking within...30 miles, I think it is for Hershey, then they won't open most of the rides until that has fully passed. Different parks have different policies.
Great trip report. This park sounds like it would be a fun, different adventure for people. I would really like to experience it someday.
For those who enjoy the OmUsOcOl perspective, video shot while facing backwards...just because: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JkFV5GLFNnw&feature=channel_page
I'm not sure about Monster Bash. The monster-based shooting gallery is still up and running, if that is what you are referring to. If you go for pinball, remember to also visit the IB Campground. Between there and the park there are probably 15-20 machines, all the more modern ones. And all are still 25 cents.
I hope to return sometime later this summer to enjoy the 10pm ~ 11pm hour that has returned!
Glad to hear IB is doing good this year. Heard alot of horror stories from last year even though I thought alot of them were blown out of proportion.
Where else can you experience a boardwalk style park in the middle of a farm state and have rides piled on top of eachother and hanging over the water? It's freakin great.
Perhaps they were somewhat out of proportion....but on the other hand, the place before 2008 was absolutely deliriously fun. It's still a great park, and I was happy to get back and see it in the shape it was in.
But just consider how many events some of us had attended there in prior years (travelling great distances, LOL) - and then think about the short notice given for the "big IB event" last year that generated...dozens of attendees? Clearly there was a learning curve. The upside is the Morgan RV folks appear to be quick learners (way better than the RV folks at LeSourdsville I should say) - and they're showing the desire to make the park better...I still think the wristband thingies are weird, and detract somewhat from the atmosphere, but if they're used to improve the guest experience, I'll adjust... ;)Last edited by rollergator, Tuesday, June 23, 2009 11:44 PM
I was a little scared for the future of IB during a visit in late 2008 - when the Hurricane was not working, Cornball was running rough, and 1/4 of the flat rides were not running. That said, this early-season 2009 visit was much better and was essentially the old IB with scanner wristbands. I still don't understand the lighting issues, however, as that seems like something easy to fix? Hope their season is going well.
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