Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Indiana Beach - Hawg Wild ACE Event, 8/5/2017

On Saturday, August 5th, we had our sights set on the annual ACE Event known as Hawg Wild at Indiana Beach in the middle of nowhere. We weren't quite sure what to expect. I knew what all the coasters were, and that it was in a beautiful location, but even though we only drove 2.5-3 hours to get there, it didn't feel like those other times we took I-65 down through Indiana.

That was just a little prologue there. Let's start the adventure!


Not the first time I've seen this sign. But whatever; we're riding coasters today!

We stopped at a McDonalds for breakfast, and WHAT IS THIS?? I get that mayo is added for flavor and all, but it must've dried as my sister and dad's orders were being made. SICK!!

Quick storytime; because of the morning ERT, and our sudden realization that we would have to leave an hour earlier than intended due to time zones, we got up EARLY and left EARLY. So it was like Chevy Chase and his family running to Wally World as we started to see signs like this (funny that I should mention that; I remember now that I was watching that movie when we drove to the park). Point being, it was great to start seeing these signs after early morning driving through the middle of nowhere and gross McDonalds breakfast.

Yep, we have indeed arrived at Indiana Beach!! Excitement everyone!

Ooh, we're being taken through the south gate and suspension bridge! How wonderful!

You're going to hear this several times throughout the trip report, so we might as well start now; the park is incredibly beautiful, and you can't help but take tons of photos of all the rides out on the lake.

Alright, we're in the park. Where should we go first?

LoCoSuMo seems like a great place to start! (for future reference, as shown on the sign, LoCoSuMo is abbreviated for Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain. I'm not telling you again so remember that)

Unfortunately, we didn't realize that there were time sessions for the ERT. From 8:00 to 9:00, only Cornball Express and Tig'rr were open, then from 9:00 to opening at 10:00 the other coasters opened up. So LoCoSuMo wasn't our first coaster of the day.

I was kind of bummed that we couldn't get on it first thing; I really love coasters with extremely tight layouts, cool theming, and that intensity that really throws you around. Oh well, at least I got on it later that day!

Tig'rr Coaster broke down too, so everybody migrated to Cornball Express for their first ride (Credit #122).

Unfortunately, my first couple rides on Cornball were decent, but nothing amazing (I just had to wait for it to warm up a bit).

While everybody helped Cornball warm up, the Illinois Coasters crew went to Tig'rr right as it opened back up (Credit #123).

Hmm... this looks really similar to Whizzer. Could it possibly be better?

Yep, Tig'rr was an awesome, powerful little coaster that packed a punch. It's currently my second favorite Schwarzkopf coaster behind Mind Bender at Over Georgia, and ahead of New Revolution at Magic Mountain and Whizzer. (oh yeah, those restraints are AWESOME!!)

Got a couple more rides on Cornball on the way to our next ride. It definitely started warming up!

Hoosier Hurricane was next (Credit #124)

YES! More buzz bars! (hello there shadow of me)

Hoosier Hurricane is indeed another great wooden coaster. Large, well paced, some decent airtime, and quite intense. I love it.

Oh crap... looks like most of ERT has migrated to Hoosier Hurricane =)

Love how Hoosier Hurricane is built entirely over the park.

However, we're going to take a stroll away from the rest of the park for a while. Why might that be?

Yep, it's time to take on the inspiration for the event name and only one of two El Locos in North America (Credit #125).

And it lived up to the anticipation. Steel Hawg is insanely fun and awesome and something I'd gladly marathon. Another big win for Indiana Beach.

This is what we do to those who don't like Steel Hawg.

These restraints actually aren't bad. Stop bitching already!

Here's the Illinois Coasters crew today!

Okay, that's enough Steel Hawg for now (I got a total of 6 rides while we were over there); let's get back to the rest of Indiana Beach ERT.

But first, let's get another ride or two on Hoosier Hurricane.

HA!! I took this while waiting for the front row. How do you feel now?

What now? I know; more rides on CORNBALL EXPRESS!!

As I started to ride this more, I started to love it more! By this point in time, it was HAULING ASS!! The front car actually started to hop a little bit over each hill!! Thank you ACErs who helped warm this ride up as I picked up the other credits. You guys are awesome.

This is why ERT should be a part of every ACE Event.

Since I was the only one there, I racked up my Cornball lap count to about 21. And I think 9 of those were zen rides. Let's move onto the rest of the park now; don't worry, we'll get back to Cornball and it's insane airtime later in the trip report.

OOH! LoCoSuMo opened up from it's morning difficulties! Let's go there! (Credit #126)

Holy crap... this might be the tightest radius I've ever seen for any coaster turn. And that includes Wild Mice!

Yeah, LoCoSuMo is super fun and intense. As I said earlier in the report, I love extremely compact coasters that are really intense and throw you around and have lots of theming. LoCoSuMo does that, and does it super well.

Now unfortunately, after this photo was taken, I forgot to pull it back out for a while, so I'll just catch you up.

After a few rides on LoCoSuMo, ERT was over and the GP started rolling in, so we went and got the final credit we needed; Dragon Wagon (Credit #127). Cha-ching! Now I never have to ride it again.

Holy CRAP! This Scrambler KICKED ASS! It spun like a bat out of hell and beat us up. I loved it. Much better than any Six Flags or Cedar Fair Scrambler for sure!

"OH CRAP! ACErs are coming. Let's see what I can do..."

"HAHA!! Now that the ride is broken, you'll NEVER get those lost thieves!" (in all seriousness though, the ride did break down while we were in line and we never bothered to back)

Love how Indiana Beach feels kind of like a small city.

It really does; I swear! There are restaurants everywhere, benches, pathways, it feels that way.

What is that? Could it be... a dueling waterslide?

You just got pranked! (In all seriousness, we came this way for the S&S tower, not the waterslides)

Here's a semi-decent video of me enjoying this small but powerful drop tower.

Continuing the theme of Indiana Beach's flat rides, we rode the Tilt-A-Whirl next. While not quite as insane as the Scrambler was, this Tilt-A-Whirl was still running crazier than any corporate park-Tilt-A-Whirl.

Hmm... world's best you say? This looks like a good place for lunch then.

HOLY BALLS MOTHER OF FLYING SHART!! They really DO sell the world's best tacos here! EAT THESE TACOS IF YOU EVER VISIT INDIANA BEACH!!

Oop, looks like LoCoSuMo broke down again. Have fun suffering in 90 degree weather, guys.

We decided to get another lap or two on Hoosier Hurricane to help digest the heavenly tacos.

Hoosier Hurricane indeed is the tallest coaster in the park!

Never gonna finish a trip report without including a close-up coaster shot; that's my rule.

Have fun everyone!

The queue line can provide some great shots that give you a good idea of some of the delicious elements on Cornball (if you haven't ridden it yet. If you have, then you should know the layout well. If you are one of these people and have visited the park, SHAME!!)

Buzz bars.

Buzz bars! (you guys on the ride are in for a treat by the way)

Buzz Bars!!

BUZZ BARS!!! (I had a bit of writer's block here. Don't worry... it's over)

BUZZ BARS!!!!! Just kidding; we saw this snake when we gathered for the ACE Event group photo.

Have I mentioned yet how beautiful Indiana Beach is? (Oh yeah, we didn't get on the Flyers today. Damn thing was closed =( )

While waiting for the photographer on the south gate suspension bridge, we just had to take some Hoosier Hurricane shots.

WHEEE!!

I said it already, I'm saying it again. I love how Hoosier Hurricane was always built over something, whether it was a ride, pathway, or water as shown here.

The airtime on Cornball Express is clearly (pun intended) too amazing for my camera.

I love how specific sections of Hoosier Hurricane don't have the "wooden coaster handrails" (On a side note, what's that girl in red in the second row doing?).

While it's no Cornball, Hoosier Hurricane still has some spots of airtime as shown here!

Is the train going forward? Is it going backward? If you know, comment below, and you'll get something special!

What's up with that bee? It looks like it got caught in a spider web, but it's stuck on the glass of the bridge.

Imagine how ironic that would be if this sign was for Hoosier Hurricane (referring back to the lack of "wooden coaster handrails" in some sections)

In case you forgot the great place we're visiting right now, here's a reminder.

My dad didn't get the LoCoSuMo credit during ERT since he was feeling a bit queasy. But whatever; the ride is really good. I'll gladly go for another lap.

Okay, I'm gonna go on a bit of a rant right now regarding LoCoSuMo's operations, and the ride operations of the park as a whole. I know LoCoSuMo has a low capacity and all, but the lines were absolutely atrocious. What would normally be a 10 minute line at a park like Six Flags Great America took 75 MINUTES HERE! Not even the low capacity excuse can save LoCoSuMo from this rant. Experiencing LoCoSuMo's full queue during summer weekends is comparable to in RCT when you make the capacity low because it looks funny to just watch the peeps stock pile in line. Except in this case, you're the victim. You're the peeps. We just stood there, moving a bit every 5-10 minutes, baking in the 90-degree weather (as mentioned with the Lost Coaster pic after the taco pics), surrounded by obnoxious elementary school and high school kids. The ops didn't nearly seem as interested as they did during ERT, and a ride with a capacity of 16 riders per train was dispatching every 2 minutes. There's just so much wrong with all of this.

Regarding the ride operations for the rest of the park, none of the other coaster operations are as bad as LoCoSuMo, but they aren't good either. All the other coasters during GP hours seemed to be dispatching every 2.5 minutes. While the dispatches are slower than LoCoSuMo, the capacity is way higher, so it's slightly more understandable. But the ops really need to improve their speed and friendliness. While I do like Indiana Beach, the operations did put a damper on our day, and hopefully they improve when we return to the park (whenever that may be).

While the operations were garbage for LoCoSuMo, at least I could get some interesting photo opportunities. Like of the only elevator lift on a wooden coaster.

While I didn't take a photo of it, I still love the sign saying "Lost Coaster is a bone rattling experience." It's pretty accurate!

There's actually a bit of airtime on this ride.

TAKE THE TUNNEL... er, I mean... TAKE THE SUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN!! (In case you forgot, LoCoSuMo is abbreviated for Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain)

While they aren't the most comfortable on the inside, I like the outside look of LoCoSuMo's restraints. Very fitting for the theme!

Finally after that 75 minute wait, we got on LoCoSuMo. It was still a super fun ride, and my dad got the credit, but because of the awful operations, we didn't ride it again. And the operations, as you could've inferred from the rant, did kind of put a damper on my opinion of the ride.

Walking back towards the rest of the park, we rode Sea Dragon and Zero-G. Meh, neither weren't anything very special, for both this park and their ride types (thankfully, these were the only two flat rides that didn't ride crazier than they normally do at other parks)

LoCoSuMo's operations and the coaster operations overall during GP hours were the first negative factor of the day, and unfortunately, not the last. Our schedule listed 'Dodgems Takeover', so we got pretty excited because that sounded interesting; the ACE group taking over the Dodgems sounded like lots of fun. But then we started to wonder if we would just butt in front of everyone, or what we would do. Upon further questioning, the director of the event stated that it was informal, and pretty much a recommended time for all the ACErs to ride Dodgems together. While this isn't anything against the park, I wish that was clarified better because there were a few more ride takeover times listed on the schedule. At this time, we weren't sure what we wanted to do, since the next big thing was a catered dinner at 6:00 PM. This was at about 3:00 PM. Was it really worth it to have the nice dinner but suffer through bad ride operations and nothing really new for three hours? Our day was really starting to get frustrating.

Let's ride something good to get that sour taste out of my mouth. How about the amazing airtime machine? Absolutely!

Yeah... as mentioned with the Lost Coaster rant, the rest of the coasters don't have good operations. And unlike LoCoSuMo, the queue goes right under the station, so the only decent shot you can get while waiting for Cornball is...

...this. Not quite the cool angles of LoCoSuMo's line. If you remember the beginning of the report, I mentioned that I got 21 laps during ERT, and whenever we passed by Cornball we took it for a lap. So my final lap count was 27. And this photo was taken before my 27th lap, meaning it was the last ride of the day. Every queue was full, the GP here are obnoxious, and the operations (don't need to say more) just didn't make it worth it to see it out until dinner. We were just so frustrated that we left the park. While Indiana Beach is a decent park with some great coasters and heavenly tacos, and ERT was awesome, it's just really frustrating because it has the potential to be park that any enthusiast would rank highly. But it really needs some improving as I mentioned why we left. So hopefully Indiana Beach can improve how they handle the GP crowd and ride operations by the next time I visit.

So, I'm just going to say this one more time so I can get it in your heads. I don't hate this park. It's a decent place that I'd re-visit, but it needs some fixing up. So just take some of these rants with a grain of salt.