What a weekend! Last year a friend and I started what we hope is a yearly tradition. Last year while I was in Indianaoplis for a Trey Anastasio show (former front man of Phish), we decided to hit IB before the show. It was such a great day we decided to do it again. After arriving in Indianapolis at about 10 pm Friday night, we proceeded to party through the night until about 3 am. Waking up bleary eyed and headache ridden, we got on our way to the Beach.
We arrived just after 11 and proceeded to park at the south lot. This was my first time over the suspension bridge and the first time I got that view of the park. Anticipation grows. The line for ride tickets is enormous and there's a sign on the window: "Lost Coaster Of Superstition Mountain will not be operating today." Bummer, well at least I hope we can see some test runs. We decide to meander through the park to find another ticket booth.
We stop by LoCoSuMo to check out the ride. Two, 2 car trains are on the track with a third on the ground near the holding brakes before the loading station. The cars are completely enclosed. There is a cage over the cars with nylon netting. Seeing as how close the track gets to parts of the mountain, it seems like a good idea. The third train only has one car covered with the netting. Not much was going on here, so we eyed the layout, promised to ride the skyride later to get a better view and then headed on.
Wow, the park is packed today. Long lines for everything. Only our second visit to the beach, but last year we went on a Sat. in July and hardly a soul there. Anyway the lines for both CE and HH extend to the bottoms of their respective staircases. Time to get tickets. Not one of the ticket booths proved to be friendly for someone really wanting to ride something, anything, but right now. After a 40 minute wait for tickets, while taking turns getting a bite to eat, the riding commenced. Since everything had a line we decided to head to the end of the park and work our way back. So off to Double Shot and the Big Flush.
Huh, there isn't a line for either of these rides. Well, we've found a little bit of good fortune. 4 quick rides on the double shot (one facing each direction) without having to wait for more than one ride in between our own. I got to admit I love this little ride. By pure sight it looks pathetic in comparison to every other S&S tower rides that I've seen. BUT it packs a whollop. Thrown into your harness at the top and then even more so the second time up. The third bounce is pure bliss for me. It's the perfect speed where you just barely get gently lifted off your seat. Ahh, what a way to start a day.
Next we took one spin on each side of the Big Flush. More parks need these kind of rides, it's only the second one I've ever ridden. Fun ride with some unexpected turns, but the second time I rode it my raft flooded. I have no idea why but after I reached the bottom there was about an inch of water in the raft. Oh well, at least I had the foresight to move my wallet to a front pocket. With cool loins, we moved on.
Huge lines for everything else still, waited for the Chaos. Just like I remembered. Great flat ride. Then on to the first coaster.
Galaxy. We took one spin on this little coaster, just because. The line prohibitted us from any repeats. Not much to these coasters. Couple of drops, couple of helices. Since we're waiting, might as well hit the big boys.
Head on over to CE, line still at bottom of steps, but no line for T'GRR or whatever it's called. Let's hit that first. Get on quick and enjoy our little ride. Not many coasters left with absolutely no restraints except positive g's. I love the open feeling, although you are 'in' the car. Not very thrilling but provides decent laterals and some fun twists.
The line had now shortened to half way up the stairs for CE. We get in line and it doesn't move for the first 3 trains that went out. Then all of a sudden we move all the way to the loading platform. People had been waiting in line for the front car and had completely blocked off the rest of the line from getting to the rear of the train. Three trains later and we're off. Man I LOVE this coaster. It is now firmly entrenched at #2 for wooden coasters in my book (#1 is Screamin' Eagle at SFStL, for sentimental reasons). Great airtime on just about every hill. The hill by the lake throws you out of your seat. The helix is great followed with the best hill of all. Not many coasters give you a moment with both strong lateral g's and some negative g's at the same time. CE does, that's for sure. And boy does it slam into the brakes with lots of speed to burn. World class ride, all the way.
Seeing as how HH's line was obscene we decided to head over to the lake and ride some flats. Took a quick spin on the swinging ship (I didn't even look at the name, ooops). Started to head for the falling star when I notice a train traversing LoCoSuMo's circuit. We pick up our pace. What? It looks like people were in the train. Lo and behold, it was running and there was already a line. We immediately get in line. It wasn't that long but this thing took some time to get through.
They were running two trains. The operation was tedious. One train would run it's full circuit while the other was loading. The loaded train wouldn't move to the lift until the other train reached the holding brakes. Several times it appeared that the train had trouble getting lined up in the lift. Only a couple of times did it transition to the lift and then up the lift without hesitation between the dispatches. They can eventually get a three car system going, but that's max. The blocks would be as such: block 1 - after being loaded it could roll forward to the lift and wait indefinately there until the other trains were in their respective blocks, block two - loading station, block 3 - holding brakes before the loading station. Once the trains were in these blocks they can lift the car in the first block and let it run it's course. If it finishes before the other two move on it would be stopped at the bottom of the ride before it hits two tire lifts that take it to the holding brakes. If they could speed up loading, this would be the optimum for the ride.
But loading is an issue in itself. The two cars have two rows each, facing the middle of the car. Coming from the center of the car is a pole that about halfway up has some handgrips that extend off of them all the way to the side of the car. One side of the trains handgrips hinges upwards towards the center of the car. This allows people to first enter the car, then sit and slide to the two far ends of the car. Next the people on the near side of the car enter. The only restraining devices are retractable seatbelts, they can be difficult to get to with larger guests (especially with several large guests in the same car). The ride operator then lowers the raised handgrips, and closes the door. The mesh fully encloses you, with a piece being connected to the movable handgrip. You cannot get your hands outside of the ride vehicle on this one. The seats are super cushy with equivalent padding on the side walls. The only problem is the lack of leg room. I had to stack my legs with the person across from me. Onto the ride.
Our train was one of the few that ran straight into the lift (others would not quite make it all the way into the lift before being stopped). The lift is quiet and smooth. First comes the fan shaped turn around followed by a few quick drops. Right about now you notice that this thing runs really smoothly on it's track, but the track is a twisted contorted tangle of wood and steel. You then head for the nice big horseshoe turn. You pick up some speed, take the turn and then hit the triple up. The sensation is not how I'd envisioned, it's not very intense at all. It's kind of like a rolling along up-down sensation with little noticeable g forces. You then enter the mountain on the 3rd floor. You snake through and notice a quick 180 degree turn followed by the double down. A couple of workers were standing around this room, I gave them a quick "Custom Coasters Rulez" yelp as we were hurled down the double down. Definately the best moment of the coaster, quite dissorientating. It's followed by a tight upwards helix to the second floor were you exit the mountain right over part of the double down. Whoa, that branch is close, I think it hit the netting. Now you can see another quick turnaround followed by a wicked little drop into the tunnel. Back inside it gets darker and you can hardly see. A couple of quick turns and you can see daylight. Some more turns, for no other reason than to not go straight, and you come to the bottom of the mini lift, which consists of two tires to push the train up to the holding brakes.
Some observations of the ride. This thing does run extremely well, but you must realize that the track is constantly doing something different. There is hardly any straight track. So the ride then becomes 'jerky' as it takes all of these transitions. This thing can corner on a dime, is constantly leaning one way or the other and throws you around with reckless abandon. It is amazing what CCI can do with a little help from parks and their combined creative thinking. The park itself is a testament to what can be achieved in a very small piece of land (it's not really land for some of the rides) and some imagineering. CCI has worked wonders at the park with all three of their coasters.
Off of my soapbox and back into the park. The line was even longer now so we hit the falling star, musik express and then took the skyride back to the other side. Got some great views of LoCoSuMo from the ride, I was lucky enough to have the skyride shutdown for a little bit when I was hanging over the horseshoe turn. We get to the other side and grub down. If you can last a couple of hours in this park and not eat, you are my hero. After some elephant ears, we headed over to HH. Line was still most of the way down the stairs, but it was time. After waiting in line for a while we end up getting to the bridge that crosses over the track. Standing there I was hit by the idiocy of some people. The train had just departed the station and all but the first two rows and the very last row were empty for the next train. Hello people, anyone got a clue. If you must sit in the front row, get out of our way. Finally I was able to convince some people to get over so that we could go to the second to last row. Our train went out with a complete car empty, but the line extended to the bottom of the stairs. I don't get it. Front seat is great and all, but people weren't even trying to get by those waiting for the front. After that ride we went and got two more spins on Cornball before we had to leave. After all, we still had a kick butt concert to attend.
In the end, I really like IB. It's a simple, low-brow kind of park. They pack a bunch of stuff into a small area and keep it clean. It doesn't have all the glitter and gold of bigger parks, but it doesn't need it. It entertains, has a good variety of thrills and lots of good eats. The atmosphere is great and the people are nice. If you have a chance, give this park a try, you will not regret it.
Oh yeah, and Trey kicked total arse during the concert. Those brownies had me going all night long. ;)
X-Flight World's Only flying coaster!
Batwing World's only flying coaster!
S:UF World's only flying coaster! Don't you love SF ?
Top 5 Coasters 1.Deja Vu(SFGAm)2.Raging Bull(SFGAm)3.Millennium Force(CP)4.CornBall Express(IB)5.Viper(SFGAm)
Good re-cap of the ride, Incidentalist!
Some extra info: The controller was running the ride with only one train on the circuit; dispatch 2nd train when the other train comes into brake area. He can change this later to a faster dispatch.
There are 5 blocks on the ride: station; staging (pre-elevator); elevator; block/trim 3rd floor; station brake.
HuKeD oNN fonickS dusinT wOrK"[;.
*** This post was edited by Raging Rider on 6/11/2002. ***
That statement about the park being empty is correct. I stopped by Monday and the park was a ghost town......perfect for making LoCoSuMo my 100th coaster and Cornball Express my 100th original coaster. BTW, there were no scenes or props in the ride course at all and there were workers in the mountain still laboring away during my rides.
Coming 6/6/02--the CoastaPlaya 100!
Check Meeting Calendar for details...
Off to CP in August, first to IB in late June though!! YEA!!!! :-D It will be a good summer!
Nothing is in place as of yet. In fact, there were still gaps in the ceiling in spots and the workers were in an area a scene is sure to crop up in the future.
None of this stopped a group of kiddies in my car from hysterically chanting. "I love this ride! I love this ride!" through one of the dark segments near the end of the course.
The CPlaya 100--6 days, 9 parks, 47 coasters, 2037 miles and a winner.....LoCoSuMo.
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