Hey there, Park Journey readers!
Like many of you, I was heartbroken when the news of Indiana Beach's closure was announced earlier this year. The park is such a unique place for amusement park fans, and it would be a shame to see it close permanently.
Thankfully, they just announced that they are reopening!!
I've only been to Indiana Beach once, and it was on a quiet, overcast day back in May 2018. Even with chilly weather and empty midways, the park was still a memorable place with fun and unique attractions. I never wrote a trip report from that visit, so I'm writing this retrospective as I look forward to returning again when the sun is out and the Fascination parlor is full.
Written by Andrew Cunningham
One of the park entrances involves walking across a suspension bridge over Lake Shafer. Hoosier Hurricane, one of the parks three wooden coasters, greets you as you make your way towards the midway.
As you walk across the bridge and under the coaster, the park's crazy layout makes itself apparent. Rides are built all on top of each other, with many being constructed over the water when there was no space left on land.
As one of the two major wooden coasters at Indiana Beach, Hoosier Hurricane was my less favorite of the two. However, with its out and back layout stretching up and down the park's main midway, it offers the coolest views and photo ops.
Apologies to the coaster pic purists, however. I couldn't get any shots with a train running since I was pretty much the only person there at the time.
Seriously, I was the only passenger on pretty much any coaster that day!
This was the station for Cornball Express, the park's other wooden coaster. The ride operators gladly let me take as many rides as I wanted.
Where to start with Cornball Express?
While Hoosier Hurricane stretches up and down the park, Cornball sits in a back corner with a fairly compact layout that weaves in between other rides. I have to say, I had heard many good things about this coaster, but I still walked away with my expectations blown. You can see in the photo above that there was some fresh track on the ride at the time, so the overall experience was smooth, fast, and loaded with airtime.
While newer models from RMC and Intamin have really pushed the envelope of what a wooden coaster can do, Cornball Express is easily one of my favorite traditional wood coaster.
After checking out the two marquee coasters, I took a walk up and down the main midway. Above, you can see the view up and down in both directions, rides scattered to both sides.
Sadly, the Fascination parlor had not yet opened for the season, but I look forward to coming back and spending a good bit of time here. Did you know that Indiana Beach has one of the eight remaining Fascination parlors left in operation? If you haven't spent time with friends in one of these classic game parlors, I suggest that you do sometime soon! Darien Lake and Knoebels are other notable parks that still have Fascination.
There also appeared to be a rooftop bar that was closed while I was there. Although, from the photo, I'm confused that it is only listed as open for 1 hour? I imagine they meant 12pm ;-)
I could see this being a really fun spot on a summer night! Anyone who's travelled with me knows that I'm not one to turn down a beer at a theme park.
Moving back down the midway... what do we have here?
Apparently the World's Best Taco resides in Indiana, and it sits under the supports of what may be strangest roller coaster I've ever been on. But let's start with this taco shack...
For only $2.49 the world's best taco can be yours!
I had to check it out, so I grabbed a taco and a walking taco.
Behold! The world's best taco and a walking taco!
I joke, but honestly it was pretty great theme park food.
Of course, after leaving I had to go find this episode!
Ok, ok... Moving on from the tacos...
Right next door (and partially built over) the Taco Shop is Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain.
So, apologies that I don't have a ton of photos, but this thing was a challenge to get on! The park does not allow the coaster to run with just one person on it, and as you may have gathered from my photos there weren't a ton of people around. After waiting around for a while, I was able to find some kind strangers who would ride this with me.
So how to describe Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain? Well, it's a wooden coaster where you sit in a tiny ride vehicle that has a cage around it. Half the seats face forward, and half face backwards. You start off with an elevator lift up a mineshaft, and then drop into a series of abrupt hills and insanely tight hairpin turns. Given the seating configuration in the cage, it's very difficult to see whats coming ahead and to brace yourself, so you are pretty much tossed around like a rag doll for two minutes or so.
It was maybe the weirdest coaster I've ever been on. I love weird rides though, so I'm happy to hear that this thing may live on to keep the chiropractor industry in Indiana thriving.
And with that, it was time to back across the suspension bridge and back to my car!
Despite the poor weather and low crowds, the park was staffed and I did manage to ride all of the coasters in this visit. I really enjoyed this weird, wonderful place, and I hope that the new owners find success in bringing it back to life! I'll certainly be back soon!
One last look on the way home. Thanks again for reading!
PIGEON FORGE, TN (Friday, March 13, 2020) --- The coronavirus pandemic is an escalating and ever-changing issue. As a result, The Dollywood Company is delaying the opening of its Dollywood theme park to guests for the next two weeks beginning tomorrow (March 14). Dolly Parton’s Stampede and Pirates Voyage also will be closed beginning March 16. Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa, and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins will remain open at this time.
“We have been following the coronavirus crisis very closely and based on developments within the last 24 hours and in consultation with health experts, we are going to delay our season opening until March 28,” Craig Ross, Dollywood President said. “Despite the delay in opening, we are committed to taking care of our hosts while the park remains closed.”
“We need to focus on good health and praying for those who are affected. We know brighter days are ahead,” Dolly Parton added.
Dollywood continues to watch the conditions within the East Tennessee area, to consult with its medical experts and to follow CDC guidelines. The park will communicate any additional changes should they occur.
Day Two of IAAPA was the day of press conferences, and we have a lot of them to share below.
Producer's Group unveiled their new Dark Rider vehicles today.
KMG's brand new ride Crazy Surf is a blast and a half, full of airtime!