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PTR larrygator's 2017 Coaster Affirmation Tour


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This is one of the sadder stories in recent US Amusement Park History. Like you said, this park used to be compared to Knoebels and now it just feels like it's struggling in so many different ways. There is still so much potential, but I believe we are now past the chance of really bringing it back to it's former glory.

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Great report! Wow, you literally went there 9 days before I did. Weird!

 

Anyways, I gotta agree. When I went on August 5th for an enthusiast event, Cornball only made my Top 10 because of some great ERT. Also, at about 3:00 PM, it definitely felt its fastest all day, so it depends when you ride. Hoosier Hurricane was good too, but yeah, it's just a fine ride. I can't agree more about Lost Coaster - that short of a line would probably be about 20-30 minutes. And to think I waited in a full queue to get the credit...

 

Yeah, it's overall just a decent park. The operations aren't that good, it's always super busy, and with the exception of the coasters and tacos, it was kinda a disappointment. Still worth a day trip though! Again, great report.

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The multi-door room was still in the haunted house when I visited last year, but it was extremely dark in there (to the point where I had to use my phone's flashlight to see). I'd be surprised if they'd removed that room as it seems like it was a pretty big stunt, but I wonder if perhaps they feed people through it faster now to prevent traffic jams?

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Nice reports, Larry. I really hope Indiana Beach makes a turn for the better. I had heard that this year was an improvement over the past few years. The Indiana Beach is only 4-5 hours away, but I've never made the trip. I've thought about it in the past, but with other parks like KI, SFGam, HW, WoF, and SDC in that same 4-5 hour radius, it makes it much more tempting to choose to go elsewhere.

 

I believe the park is having an upcoming Octoberfest event, which sounded interesting. Does the park sell beer on a daily basis?

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Nice reports, Larry. I really hope Indiana Beach makes a turn for the better. I had heard that this year was an improvement over the past few years. The Indiana Beach is only 4-5 hours away, but I've never made the trip. I've thought about it in the past, but with other parks like KI, SFGam, HW, WoF, and SDC in that same 4-5 hour radius, it makes it much more tempting to choose to go elsewhere.

 

I believe the park is having an upcoming Octoberfest event, which sounded interesting. Does the park sell beer on a daily basis?

 

I definitely saw a stand alone beer stand and I just confirmed it on their website. http://www.indianabeach.com/parkinfo

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Did there used to be a room, with multiple doors, where only one door was an actual exit?

Absolutely, positively. Very disappointing if that's gone; one of the highlights of a top-quality haunted house.

(continue to?) get better.

 

Wait what? I went in July and they had the door room. It was totally worth the price to see my friend nearly have a heart attack on the "balcony."

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry folks the first two weeks of the school year were pretty hectic, but now I have time to continue my report. I had a whole day in Chicago to do as I pleased as I built in an extra day in case I got rained out at any large park. This was my third trip to Chicago for coasters and I had only gone to two or three small parks or FECs in the past, and none of those exist anymore. So I spent the day driving around Chicagoland picking up missing credits. But first I had to visit the largest of those parks Donley's Wild West Town and Santa's Village Azoosement Park.

 

Donley's Wild West Town has a nice Wild West Museum along with other rooms devoted to Americana including a huge collection of Thomas Edison inventions. I'm a history guy so I loved this part. Back in 2016 the park was up was sale for $7 million with an ad in Hammacher Schlemmer catalog. The park founder is in his 80's and continues to run the park until he can find a buyer who will maintain it as a park and museum. The actual theme park is more about activities and experiences than rides for the 3-12 year old. Besides seeing old buildings you can learn to throw a tomahawk, pan for gold, paddle a canoe, rope a cow, shoot a bow and arrow, ride a pony and fire a slingshot. And of course there is a traditional corny Wild West Stunt Show.

 

More on Santa's Village, later

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Donley's Wild West Town

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You enter the park through the gift shop and go straight into the museum

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Of course I was drawn to the Wild West gaming paraphernalia

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I guess that's the result of visiting too many casinos and staying at Harrah's in Joliet during this trip.

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Outside of the Wild West items they have a huge collection of Thomas Edison pieces

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Including many products I did not know Edison dabbled with such as cement.

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and there were themed time period rooms, such as these early 20th century instruments

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and an automotive garage

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Here is a poster listing all the activities. My favorite was the tomahawk throw, even though I also hit the target, I could not get it to stick.

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Large play area for kids

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Lots of cowboys roaming around running the rides

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Too big for the ponies

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and the hand cars

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Ka-ching, I don't mind paying for a park like this (versus an FEC). You can tell the owner put his heart and could into this place and all the kids were enjoying themselves outside.

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Corny stunt shows with puns are always worth the time.

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Besides the slingshot range, you could purchase them.

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and a target

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This could be interesting

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Not interesting, just punny

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Wild West with Edison looks like an interesting combination...and the roller coaster looks just like the one that we have at Midway State Park across the lake from us!

 

And yes, I am with the others that said that Indiana Beach could be a really solid vacation destination if they put more heart and soul into it's upkeep/preservation. I really enjoyed sitting at the Beach Bar having a couple of beers while people watching - and they have a great selection of coasters and flats.

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^^ That's an interesting little place. It reminds me of Six Gun City quite a bit.

 

Donley's Wild West Town is much nicer than the Six Gun City.

 

That's not hard to do. I visited Six Gun City when I was 4 or 5. I just remember the place being pretty dumpy and begging my parents to leave to go back to Santa's Village.

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