Attraction Review: Indiana Beach

This was a gifted visit from Indiana Beach.

Indiana Beach has always been on my radar and I've never really been sure of why? I feel like way-back-when I was first getting stuck into the hobby maybe a bunch of CoasterForce people visited there or something and I read a trip report? But yes, definitely one I've always heard talked about and, despite having no 'major' bucket list coasters, I've always been one for ensuring my trips have a touch of variety so it's always great to pop into these non-chain, slightly different parks to see how they do things. Plus we had a pretty sizeable 4.5 hour drive from Chicago down to Louisville so it was nice to stop here as a kind of half-way mark to get out and stretch our legs! Here's what happened when we visited Indiana Beach.

So the park itself, I'd somehow convinced myself the place had six creds but turns out it only had five as the Dragon Wagon kiddie coaster had closed back in 2018. Oh well, at least we wouldn't have to ride anything tragic during this visit! Honestly, the weather was a bit morose when we pulled up. I imagine on a bright, sunny day the place is a bit more hopping but given the clouds and sub 20 degree temperature you could forgive potential visitors for maybe giving today a miss. Oh well - more coasters for us either way! The place has a very American county-fair vibes, from the old school style flat rides and red-white-and-blue colour scheme to the food options available (deep fried Twinkie, anyone?) Very cute, very old school and I guess if I had to compare it to anywhere here in the UK I'd liken it to Great Yarmouth and the amusements down there - a ton of old-school charm mixed in with some truly unique rides.

A big shout out I want to make at the top of this review is that when we arrived to the park I really needed a wee, so my first stop of the day was the toilet, where I was shocked to find the park give out FREE sanitary products! Absolutely amazing and something I've not seen done at any other theme park or attraction I've visited. What a great shout from Indiana Beach and something I'd love to see more of - any menstruating people reading this know the horror of having a day out at a park and unexpectedly getting your period, it's a paid in the ass and it's fab to see that a park like Indiana Beach has taken the initiative to provide a service like this. I was instantly in love with the place because of that aspect alone.

So first up, we dove into the queue for Hoosier Hurricane. With the mess of wooden track weaving above us it was pretty impossible for a newcomer to tell which coaster was which, so we boarded our train pretty blindly and hoped for the best. Turns out this was the coaster that has the fab little out-and-back layout over the lake which gave me major RCT vibes. In fact the whole place did considering the size and layout. This coaster was fun, nothing insane or incredible to write home about but it did the job and I can imagine on a slightly sunnier day whole families riding this thing together and having a whale of a time.

Cornball Express was up next - can you GET more Indiana than a wooden coaster themed to corn? So cute, and y'all know I appreciate an original theme. The ride-op here was super friendly and an enthusiast himself so we spent a bit of time chatting to him about our trip so far, the parks we'd ticked off and the parks that lay ahead. In fact, all of the staff at the park were really nice to chat to which is a nice relief when you've spent the previous day at a Six Flags park where the team are so hellbent on getting the trains out ASAP that you barely ever exchange two words. It's just a different pace and a totally different kind of attraction. I adored the hand-painted signs for Cornball too, it's those personal touches in family-owned parks like this that really deliver on the charm factor and give the place a real sense of character.

The coaster itself was actually a bit wild - crazy airtime all over the damn thing and considering it wasn't actually that long/tall/fast/etc it managed to pack an absolute whippet of a ride in. That's one thing I love about those more classic wooden coaster designs, they're not so obsessed with keeping you pinned into your seat, meaning you're free to fully embrace the airtime trying to eject you from the vehicle, and it's brilliant. I was surprised to learn that this coaster actually opened in 2001 - I'm not sure if this was intentional or not but you'd swear just by the styling of the place that this thing had been here since the 20s when the park opened - and not in a bad way!

We jumped on Tig'rr next, a classic 1980s Schwarzkopf Jet Star affair and man these things deliver the g-force! I always feel slightly more exposed than I'd like on the one-behind-the-other toboggan style trains, especially as if my memory serves me right there are no seatbelts here, you're just held in by gravity! Like any good Schwarzkopf coaster, this coaster does as much as it possible can with the layout and space given and if you love laterals and intense, positive g forces then this is definitely one for you.

Next up was the coaster we were all anticipating the most - Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain! Renovated by CCI in the early 2000s, Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain actually first opened as a dark ride called Superstition Mountain in 1978 built by the park itself. I'm not sure why they took the decision to redesign the attraction, all I know is this thing is utterly, utterly insane, entirely unique and quite unlike anything else I've ever ridden. I don't want to go into too much detail of what happens on the ride (if you'd like to watch a POV, head over to the vlog) as we had so much fun going on this completely blind and having no idea what the bloody hell was going to happen next. From the ridiculously claustrophobic encaged coaster trains (in which ALL 4 of us squeezed!) to the obscenely tight corners, steep drops and weaving in and out of facades between theming and special effects, Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain is a very special ride and I'd implore anybody planning a theme park road trip or visiting the surrounding area to pop in and ride just to experience it - there's truly nothing else like it!

We ended the day with a ride on Steel Hawg, the park's S&S El Loco coaster. I'd ridden a couple of these before, closest to home being the vile contraption that is Mumbo Jumbo in Flamingoland and between the incredibly compact layout and hideously uncomfortable restraints that wouldn't look out of place in a Medieval torture museum, I'd say it's safe to say I'd previously not really been a fan of this coaster type. Steel Hawg, somehow, was entirely different in every way. It wasn't clunk, it wasn't uncomfortable, it wasn't too intense or jolty. It was a really wicked compact thrill coaster that provided both a comfortable and thrilling ride and delivered what I'm guessing S&S always intended with the design of the El Loco - to give a high-octane coaster experience to satisfy thrillseekers without breaking the bank for parks with slightly lower budgets. If they all rode like this one it'd be the perfect product (thank god for the S&S Free Spins!)

And with that it was time to leave Indiana Beach. It was only a fleeting visit due to our schedule (cred-ule heheheh) but man am I glad we stopped by. Not just because we left the place five creds richer (although that does help) but because we got to experience a 'real' American park, away from the bigger chains. I'm sure a small, lakeside park like this very rarely sees foreign visitors like ourselves and I always relish the chance to experience local attractions and take in all of that charm and history, especially when it means getting to ride crazy, one-off contraptions like Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain!

Talk later xoxo,