Indiana Beach – Back from the Dead

Alexander: In the wake of Indiana Beach’s miraculous return to operation following the announcement of permanent closure in late 2019, we decided to head to the park as soon as possible to check it out!

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This was our first visit to the park. Needless to say we were really bummed when they’d originally announced permenant closure – with the park open again, we took advantage of this 2nd chance!

And are so pleased that we did. All of the park’s 5 coasters are open and running great! 

Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain really blew us away with its quirky design and unique thrills! A major bucket list ride finally checked off. 

This is the kind of gem you can only unearth in a special oddball park like Indiana Beach. The new owners seem to really value the ride (and the rest of the park’s rides) based on all the fresh trackwork.

The Taco Shoppe was also very good! The walking taco was definitely up to snuff!

Look at how tight these corners are on LoCoSuMo! You think Timberliners would run on this?

I guess our only main complaint is  that the park isn’t doing too much enforcement of social distancing or masks, but in their defense, an ultra-rural locale over 100 miles away from the nearest metro doesn’t exactly make the area a high risk.

The park wasn’t very crowded, so that helped. And certain areas of the queue were blocked so that different parties wouldn’t sit too close.

Cornball Express was a huge highlight as well. Excellent airtime, pacing, and such a cool location! 

Cornball Express hovers over the main midway of Indiana Beach, as does part of Hoosier Hurricane (which wasn’t our favorite, but also enjoyed some fresh track). 

Steel Hawg is still the park’s marquee modern attraction, but we thought it was just OK.

For a park with so many great rides, it’s amazing how tiny the place is. 

A big area for development is this spot around the waterslides, which used to be home to an SDC Galaxie. Curious to see what they do here!

Ahh! Time for something really special now!

While LoCoSuMo and Cornball Express are easily Top-10 coasters, the highlight of our visit (at least for me) was Tig’rr Coaster, the park’s first-generation Schwarzkopf Jet Star.

Purchased 2nd hand in 1984, Tig’rr Coaster is one of Indiana Beach’s oldest rides, and the last remaining Schwarzkopf Jet Star I in the Western Hemisphere.

Tig’rr Coaster is surprisingly gentle compared to Lagoon’s Jet Star II, but part of that is related to Lagoon requiring a full (6 passenger) vehicle in order to dispatch, whereas Indiana Beach loads 1-4 passengers. 

This was actually the first time I realized that the original Jet Stars could only seat a maximum of 4 passengers; later models, including Six Flags Great America’s Whizzer can seat up to 6 passengers per vehicle. 

The only other Jet Star I I’ve ridden is the one that ran at Särkaniemmi until 2012, but it featured custom 3-seater vehicles. 

Aside from the taco stand, the other most famous non-ride fixture at Indiana Beach is their enchanting Fascination parlor. Fans of Knoebels know how unique and special it is to still find an operating Fascination parlor inside of the park; other notable locations like Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Cedar Point have long since retired their Fascination tables.

The more we walked around Indiana Beach, the more grateful I was that the park was saved. It reminds me fondly of parks like SCBBoardwalk, Knoebels, and Denver’s Lakeside.

Unique water features and scenery are scattered all around Indiana Beach; you couldn’t ask for a more charming park.

Even the food stands have a very Knoebels-like appearance – right down to the food-on-sticks theme.

To finish up, here’s some artsy shots of Steel Hawg:

Had to do a pink one, just cuz.

Thank you Indiana Beach for such an amazing time! This may have been our first visit to the park, but it certainly won’t be our last! Can’t wait to see what the future holds for this little park!

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