I had heard numerous things about this park, but had never been there. I decided to remedy this by taking an extended SRM "weekend", making this the second stop on my warmup trip.
So what can I say about this place, other than my brother and I both loved it? Set over the water of Lake Shafer in Monticello, Indiana, this park certainly makes creative use of space. A trip to Indiana Beach replaces several weeks on a stairmaster, but it's worth it.
We arrived on Thursday morning and ended up parking in the South lot. After crossing a suspension bridge that provides a GREAT view of the park (I'd love to see it at night, but the park would be closing at 7pm on this day), we paid our $2 entry fees, then walked down to the ticket/wristband booth for our "ride all day" wristbands. The normal price on these is $16 for an 8-hour ride session -- 11am to 7pm on days with a single ride session, 10am to 6pm or 4pm to midnight on longer days. This May and June, ACE members can show their membership cards and a photo id to buy 2 such wristbands for the price of one, making an already great deal even better.
Wristbands in place, we started walking around the park. We were amazed at the layout of the place. They have plenty of things jammed in there in very creative ways, including 4 (soon to be 5) coasters and a very nice selection of flat rides.
So what of the rides?
Tig'rr -- 2 laps (1 front, 1 back) -- Set on top of a restaraunt (which provided us a very tasty lunch) is this small steel Schwarzkopf coaster. The individual cars seat up to 4 people, 2 in front and 2 in back. There are no seatbelts or other restraints on this ride at all, but the deep seats and relatively gentle ride (some laterals, no airtime) serve to keep the riders safe.
Galaxi -- 2 laps (1 front, 1 back) -- Another small steel coaster. This one actually runs a short train of a whopping 2 cars, and has a simple steel lapbar. Again, a fairly gentle little ride, with a nice view of the lake.
Hoosier Hurricane -- 10 laps (1 front, 4 ejector, 2 back) -- A respectable steel-structured out and back woodie, with 2 buzz-bar PTC trains (although they only needed one today). This ride was fun enough to keep us going back, and was running very nicely, but just couldn't match up with its little brother:
Cornball Express -- 20 laps (1 front, 6 ejector, 5 back) -- Oh...My...GOD... This ride is just amazing. We both LOVED it. Our first laps in the early morning blew us away, and the ride hadn't even warmed up yet. By the time our final laps came around, this little monster was doing its best impression of a catapult in its attempts to pitch us out. Fortunately the buzz bars (!!!) keep the riders safely in place to ride again, and again, and... I am in love (I AM an airtime whore after all), and would gladly return to IB again just for this ride, let alone the rest of the goodness offered by this park. I have a new nominee for the Discovery Channel's 2003 shows -- it's that damn good... :)
We also hit a number of the "flatrides" -- the Den of Lost Thieves (twice -- we found this darkride quite fun), the Double Shot (2 shots -- VERY nice "airtime"), Ferris Wheel, Music Express (Matt's first "and now we're going to run you backwards" Express), Tilt-a-whirl, Falling Star (which I hit my "funny bone" on VERY hard, to the point where the pinky on that hand was tingling for about 10 minutes afterwards -- the "Falling Star" made me SEE stars!), Sky Ride, Water Swing (a yoyo that swings out over the lake, much to my discomfort), and Antique Autos (for the photo ops as it weaved through the coasters). We also tried the "Frankenstein's Castle" walkthrough haunted house, which was not covered by our wristbands but worth the small extra charge.
And what of Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain? Not yet ready for prime time, but looking very good. Some of those turns just aren't right. The cars for this ride are VERY impressive -- while on Hurricane I spotted a pair of LoCoSuMo cars under the Hurricane station, being worked on, so we walked over to check them out. I recognized one of the CCI employees from CoasterMania last year. He was quite willing to show off these little gems for us, even inviting us to sit in them -- they're VERY comfortable. The degree of articulation in these trains is just amazing to my (admittedly nonprofessional) eyes, and I can't wait to actually ride in them. We observed LoCoSuMo make a full circuit this morning, from the elevator all the way back to the station, accompanied by cheers from the construction crew on hand, leading us to believe this was the first complete, unassisted lap.
So, overall we both loved Indiana Beach, and can't wait to return. In spite of the comparatively small size, there's a lot to do, and once LoCoSuMo opens, the options will just get better.
"Are you justified in taking life to save life?" -- The Great Debate, Dream Theater
*** This post was edited by GregLeg on 6/4/2002. ***
I see we have another Cornball addict on our hands! I can't preach to you, I'm one too.
I feel very fortunate to live in central Indiana. ( coaster wise that is ;) )
So many coasters, so little vacation time....
I get the feeling there's a conspiracy over at King's Island to remove anything that has "K" or "C" in its initials.
Wood - Raven
Steel - Millennium Force
Generic, isn't it?
Great TR! I'm now more excited about this little park I'll see in June (25th).
There's nothing like a woodie...
Nice report, Greg. Indiana Beach is an amazing place, and Cornball is a truly great coaster. Definitely in the same category as Legend, Raven, Timbers, Ghostrider, Phoenix, etc...
Good choice parking in the south lot. I don't think there's a better park entrance to be found
Glad you had a great time at my adopted homepark.
"He's blazin' away like the stars in the universe.." A. Vega + M. Rev "Ghostrider"
Someday there will be something here.
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