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Failed Parks of Indianapolis


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Over the last few years, I've done much research on parks around my area, and what I've found most interesting was two proposed projects in Indianapolis, IN.

 

 

Electric Park

I discovered this in Roller Coasters of America (Todd Throgmorton). The project was proposed in the late 1990's, and apparently, plans for the coasters had already been made.

 

The main attractions were to include Wildcat, a PTC woodie donated from Idora Park, and a modern-style Flying Turns coaster, similar to what Knoebels is working on now.

 

 

Garfield's American Adventures

Apparently, this park never made it past land-clearing. The project was to be a part of Entercitement City, which would contain the park, golf courses, a hotel, and a water park.

 

 

Sadly, this is all the information I could find on either park. I'm just wondering if any of you have heard of these, and know more about the proposed plans, or what happened to them... I mean, it seems to me that Indianapolis could support the park on its own, plus, there isn't any competition within a few hours distance! Am I not correct?

 

Hmm...

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^Oh, Old Indiana Fun Park! That adds another to the list!

 

What were the plans for that park? I know that they acquired most of the major attractions from Opryland, but what happened with that?

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I mean, it seems to me that Indianapolis could support the park on its own, plus, there isn't any competition within a few hours distance! Am I not correct?

 

Hmm...

 

I have that Throgmorton book, I can't see how ( if they were serious ) how could they moved Idora's Wildcat there in the first place as the coaster itself was half-destroyed from that fire and rest pretty much was rotted out. Blueprints maybe?

 

Indianapolis should be able to support a park in its own right now ( afterall it is big enough ) but my guess is that if one were serious enough to build one there they could ( again "could" ) run into a legal problem with Indiana's other big parks..Holiday World and Indiana Beach ( maybe Fun Spot ) as I am sure they could claim Indy as one of their main turfs reguardless of the distance between those places and Indy. Of course there are many cities around the US who do support more than one park without any trouble ( Denver for example ) and I doubt the other parks could stop such a project from a legal standpoint but then again the fear alone could prevent it. I seem to recall reading years ago about plans for a park to be built around Baltimore but there was a fear that Hersheypark and SFA ( maybe it was still Adventure World then ) would get their lawyers in motion to try to stop such a thing. Not sure exactly why this project never happened but if that were the case it would not be a surprise.

 

Also Indianapolis is known as a sports town. In other words unless one is into the Indy 500, Pacers, Colts or the other sports there, have personal ties to Indy ( family and friends ) or on business, Indianapolis is not exactly a city for tourists. That could be a reason why there isn't a park there now. And oddly until Northwest Airlines started a mini-hub there somewhat recently, Indianapolis was actually a difficult city for many years to fly to non-stop from many other cities in the country.Even those so-called Indy 500 tour packages..it was more/less..get into town for the race only and then leave after the race. Few if any offered anything as far as tours around Indy itself.

 

I remember back in the 70's, the very popular sitcom "One Day at a Time". The show was set in Indy and again as popular as the show was ( One Day lasted for almost 10 years ), other than the opening credits there was very very little "Indianapolis" featured or even mentioned on that show. That was a shame though. The show could had sent a message to millions of viewers that there is more to Indianapolis than just a car race and a basketball team known as the Pacers ( The Colts were still in Baltimore then ). Sadly the show didn't do that.

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You are right, Indy should be able to sustain a park of thier own. Living only a hour from Indy I know I would go. But at the same time I live in a unique place. KI is only about an hour and fifteen minutes from me. Holiday world is abotu three hours only because there is no direct route from me, all back roads. Indiana Beach is about two hours and although a haul Cedar Point is about six hours. Not sure the timing for Kentucky Kindom, but should be about two hours. Chicago is foru or five hours depending on where you are going.

 

Holiday World and Indiana Beach are well established and I think it would take a great park with some awesome marketing to get another up and running.

 

One thing that could be a help is theming it around the sports of Indy. The 500, the Pacers, the Colts and the ICE. We also have NHRA events. Also you have all the amature sports and we are a hot bed of High School basketball.

 

[visit indiana on]As for a city for tourists I would disagree. Yes it helps if you are into sports, the NCAA headquarters and hall fo fame are here but there are lots of great things to do in Indy from the Zoo to world class museums. Lots of awesome parks, even a state park right down town. [visit indiana off]

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Just on Thursday, I was watching Fox 59 and Lafayette Square Mall just opened "Xtreme" or something like that. On the news they said "An Indianapolis mall will be receiving a huge makeover and open world class thrill rides, more at ten..." So I got all excited just to learn that it is just a giant arcade with a few small kiddie rides such as a frog hopper. Indianapolis desperately needs an amusement park. Holiday World is about 3 hours away, IB is 2 hours, SFKK & KI are almost 2 hours away, CP is 5 hours, and SFGam is 7 hours! I remember a few years ago seeing Garfield's American Adventure on the news and they showed a little bit of concept art; but obviously it never went farther than ground breaking. The closest thing to an amusement park Indy has is the Indy Zoo which only has one coaster, and it's just a Tivoli... We used to have Riverside Park but all the coasters closed in 1970... I really hope Indianapolis gets an amusement park soon.

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...and SFGam is 7 hours!

 

Are you riding your bike there? I'm not sure how you came up with 7 hours. I've made it in under 5 from Bloomington, which is an hour farther.

 

Sure, an amusement park in Indy would be nice, but I don't really see how one could ever prosper. It's not a big enough tourist destination to build something big and there are far too many well established parks within a days drive of the Indianapolis area.

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...and SFGam is 7 hours!

 

Are you riding your bike there? I'm not sure how you came up with 7 hours. I've made it in under 5 from Bloomington, which is an hour farther.

 

Sure, an amusement park in Indy would be nice, but I don't really see how one could ever prosper. It's not a big enough tourist destination to build something big and there are far too many well established parks within a days drive of the Indianapolis area.

It took us seven hours, but that is because the person driving wasn't the best and there was traffic. But SFGam is around 5 hours away.

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The ride passed two state inspections in the 3-month period prior to the accident, before the safety inspector admitted that he was not qualified to inspect amusement rides. A state review of the park's own records showed that the train had derailed 79 times in the 2 months prior to the accident, and as many as fifteen times in a single day.

 

Oh Our God don't you think they would of inspected the ride better after the ummmmmmmm FIRST 5 TIMES IT DERAILED

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If I remember correctly the money men behind both of these concepts realized that the Year 2012 was not that far in the distance and decided to invest in ventures that would make money before the end of the world.

 

For those in Indy, I'm sure it would be great to have something closer, but 4 parks within 3 hours is not the worst situation. You could be stuck in Denver or Phoenix with their home parks and nothing great nearby.

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I agree Larry, I live an hour south west of Indy and find no issue being within 5-6 hours of 6 major theme parks, plus quite a few smaller parks within the same distance.

 

I was thinking, the only way I could see an Indy park surviving.

 

A. Advertising=blitzing the states around Indiana and Indiana with ads.

B. Name= Not just Six Flags, but a Disney park with the name Disney in it, and to make, it would have to be indoors (atleast part of it) so it could be open all year long.

C. Big rides= not just a park with a SLC, a couple woodies, and a couple steel sit downs. Something no other park in driving distance for a day trip has.

 

That kind of requirements requires major money, major money is major prices. The Indiana economy is not full of people who could afford to go to a park like that. The reason why Holiday World thrives in Indiana is the prices they charge. No parking fee, free drinks, free sunscreen, cheap entrance in, and cheap food.

 

 

One thing I would like to see in Indy (or Terre Haute if I get to build it) is a major water park. Like a Schlitterbahn type park that is its own attraction. Indy has a indoor water park in a hotel, but you have to pay per room to use it (around 179 at the cheapest). Plainfield has a water park, but nothing like Cribbean Cove in Indy.

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Not every metro area can support a theme park. I just don't see Indy being a big enough draw for a park. No one really goes to Indy other then to visit family or see a race.

 

There are better spots that could be chosen for a brand new park.

 

A big name brand alone also wouldn't do it, just look at Hard Rock Park. The name alone won't save it.

 

Maybe a water park, or smaller niche type attraction could prosper. But I just don't see a big chain park surviving in that area.

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  • 7 months later...
Not every metro area can support a theme park. I just don't see Indy being a big enough draw for a park. No one really goes to Indy other then to visit family or see a race.

 

 

Somewhat true as Indianapolis is also the home of some major businesses and often conventions are held there.

 

Also it needs to be said that Indianapolis for some reason is fast becoming America's "Bear" Capital..as in the gay bear community. My brother is gay and he is in with the so-called "bear" crowd and even he really don't have an answer as to why Indy has that claim. The only thing he tells me is that Indy's Midwest Bear Festival attracts thousands from around the world every December and as a result, of course Indianapolis makes a LOT of money out of that and the fact some of that city's bars are known nationwide as "bear friendly".

 

But nonetheless..one can't build a park and expect it to be a success only because their city just happens to attract..well gay bears.

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For your information. Indianapolis is not just known for being supportive of gays. Indianapolis is known for MANY things.

 

So saying they shouldn't build a theme park because it will attract gays is just stupid.

 

Ah you misunderstood me...just saying one can't build a park ONLY because their city attracts hairy gay men (bears ). One builds a park to attract ALL people regardless of who they are.

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Check this out:

http://www.rcdb.com/pd847.htm

Apparently Indy had 3 full sized coasters right up until 1970 in a public park of sorts as I understand it. I keep meaning to find the park when I go to Indy although I'd be very surprised if there were any traces still left.

 

Also I remember going to Old Indiana Fun Park when I was a kid. It was a really cool place with a top notch wild west stunt show. Sadly, I was too young to ride any coasters.

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