This past week, I took some time off work to do a little Midwest park tour. When all was said and done, I had put 1,000 miles on my rental car in addition to two Nashville/Chicago flights of 500 miles apiece; not bad for a last-minute trip that would hopefully gain me about 15 new credits.
First stop: Indiana Beach.
The park was all I had hoped it was plus more! It’s one of those places that welcomes you in such a way that you really don’t want to leave. Luckily, crowds were non-existent on this particular Tuesday, and I was able to command multiple re-rides throughout the day and nite.
So, you’re probably wondering about Steel Hawg: Is it all it’s cracked up to be? Is it painful? Was there a long wait? Is it worth the trip (back) to Indiana Beach? Is it a world-class coaster?
Well, I say: Yeah. Nope. Hardly. Absolutely. Not quite.
The seats, even though they have OTSRs, are quite comfy. The lift is super-fast. The sharp turns don’t hurt at all (fyi: I’m about 6-foot and 200 pounds). The 120-degree drop is fun as hell. The outside-banked turn is a nice touch. The hangtime in the roll-to-dive is incredible. The angled barrel roll kicks major a$$. Yeah, it feels a lot like a Eurofighter.
Operations were good: efficient loading and unloading of the two cars in operation. I didn’t see the coaster experience any down-time whatsoever. The only thing that I was kinda surprised about was the lack of enthusiasm on the riders’ part. Perhaps it’s because Steel Hawg, even with all of its unique elements, is not a scary ride at all. It’s just pure fun.
As for its length, it’s hard to explain… With the amount of elements and the way the transitions flow, Steel Hawg is long enough to satisfy but short enough that you want more; if that makes any sense… Let me try to put it this way: It’s not a disappointing ride by any means, but you kinda wish that it was a bit longer. Being that it’s so smooth and pain-free, it’s a pleasure to ride. Maybe that’s why I’m having a hard time putting my finger on it. Either way, Steel Hawg is a winner in my eyes!
Aside from Steel Hawg, the park has a good collection of coasters: a couple CCI/PTC woodies (I enjoyed Hoosier Hurricane much more than Cornball Express btw), an old Schwarzkopf Jet Star (a blast!), an old Zyklon Galaxi (sadly, not in operation that day), and the unexplainably random Lost Coaster Of Superstition Mountain (Lost Coaster of Superstition Mountain). Oh sweet Lord, what the hell were they thinking when they built/redesigned that ride?!?
Their flat collection is pretty typical: Ferris Wheel, Music Express, Falling Star, Swinging Ship, Flying Bobs (a must-ride for me), Tilt-A-Whirl, Double Shot (love ‘em), etc. However, some of their flats (Scrambler, Paratrooper, Chairswing, Flyers) being placed directly on the water is what makes this park so great!
Anyway, it was an extremely long and enjoyable day. I’m glad that I finally got to make it to a park that I saw commercials for ever since I was little in Chicago. Indiana Beach definitely is a unique park experience with plenty of charm and attractions!
Thanks for reading! Now, on to the pics (posted in multiple parts coz there's a whole bunch!):
The day started with a 2+ hour drive thru a lot of corn. BTW: There ain't much besides corn in IN, despite what people may lead you to believe.
Hooray! I'm finally here! Only a half-hour behind schedule since I-65S was closed.
OMG! Their new baby Steel Hawg is right here! Looks like I won't have to walk much to get to it! Score!
Ah yes, the (in)famous crow welcomes me to ride Steel Hawg. I grew up with this crow on IB commercials.
Steel Hawg in all its orange glory as seen from the paid parking area.
Hey! There's that outside-banked turn. That looks fun! (And it is!)
Hey! There's that 120-degree first drop. That looks like fun! (And it is!)
I'm finally in the park & ready to try this bad boy out! I hope the line isn't massive!
Negative. There's only about 20 people in the queue. Amazingly, it would stay like this all day!!
The lift is super-quick!! It takes you up 100 ft in a couple of seconds.
I was expecting the turn-around at the top of the lift to hurt like hell. It didn't!
I was expecting the drop to be uber-intense. It wasn't!
Instead of uber-intense, the first drop is just pure fun. I may even like it more than Maverick's...
Let's take a closer look at the brakes on the first drop, shall we...
The brakes definitely slow your momentum but it's so fluid that you really don't even notice them.
The outside-banked turn is a unique element & very fun! It feels like you could just drift off the track.
The inside-banked turn that follows is tight but not too forceful. It prepares you for...
Hooray for hangtime!!
This element is pretty drawn out. You feel like you're hanging forever traveling upside-down.
The dive back down is perhaps the most intense sensation on the ride.
I could definitely feel my muscles tense up right about here.
Again, though, the coaster is so fluid. Even with the intense maneuvers, there's no shaking/rattling/etc. This Hawg seemed smooth as silk.
After that, it's time for the barrel roll toward the ground.
Oh my!! What a cool element!! Probably the scariest thing on the ride.
Even after you exit the Barrel Roll TO Hell, there's one more element for you to conquer...
...the over-banked turn!
It ain't big but it packs a pretty good knock-out punch! (Much like the coaster itself)
Some of the few brave riders I saw that day with their hands up!
For the most part, everyone held on pretty darn tight.
Satisfied riders, it would seem. Hold tight for the next batch of Steel Hawg pics: Artsy shots & coaster porn ahead!
I won't caption-ize these pics coz they're pretty self-explanatory.
I will captionize these though... See those little piston-like pins toward the bottom of the car?
Well, this contraption comes up from under the track...
...to attach itself to those pins. This seems to be how the car's functions operate.
When the contraption is attached to the thingies (I know, not real technical...), the ops can raise/lower restraints. When the thingy-majig comes off the car, everything seems to be locked into place. The little computer box seems to be the car's brain that communicates with the control panel.
As for blocking fo first row, I don't know, but I know the white trains padding on Hurricane SUCKS! It is not this soft leather padding, it is hard plastic molded seat that is not nice to wider people (I am not that wide but I hated my ride in June).
As for Cornball, I sure hope it was just a bad day because Cornball kicked my a$$ and I loved it.
These Splash Battles seem to be popping up everywhere. It looked like fun & the riders can shoot people on the Boardwalk & vice versa.
The Falling Star with a dizzying view of the lake. Seasick anyone?
Music Express provided tons of laterals! And it ran backwards!
They also have a putt-putt course located under/within Hoosier Hurricane but I didn't see anyone playing all day.
This way, huh?!? That's gonna be difficult. Wait! I thought it was called the GIANT Wheel...
Sadly, the signature ferris wheel wasn't operating all day/nite.
So I took a walk across Indiana's longest suspension bridge (I think that's what they said) & came across this little sign. Funny, I don't remember a looping steel coaster at IB. Nevertheless, I took the sign's advice...
And got these panoramic pics.
Of course, no trip to IB would be complete without the Water Swings.
Aptly named, the Water Swings swing you over the water.
Time to venture down the Boardwalk. From this pic, the park kinda looks crowded but it really wasn't.
The Boardwalk has a bunch of flats, like the Paratrooper, placed directly on the water.
There's a Scrambler here too but it only operated half of the time. From what I could tell, they alternated running the Paratrooper & Scrambler, since they're right next to each other.
Here's where you get ribbon fries. Good stuff!
Time to get my final credit at IB: The Zyklon Galaxi!
Too bad this was as close as I would get. It wasn't operating all day/nite. Boo to my first missed credit that I can recall.
Whoever's in charge should sleep with the fishes!
Actually, I can't see sleeping of any kind going on with these fishes.
I could, however, see them eating you in a couple seconds. Seriously, these things are digusting!
Now that I escaped the fish, time to grab a ride on the Flying Bobs.
Exclusive Flying Bobs POV (before the ride started - I know, I'm lame).
Exclusive Flying Bobs mirror POV (see previous caption for admission of lameness).
Time to check out The Den Of Lost Thieves - their shooting dark ride.
This skeleton was cool but I honestly don't remember much about the ride itself.
That's coz I was doing what this girl is fixin' to do: Shoot some Pirates! (or whatever was in The Den Of Lost Thieves; I told you I can't remember...)
The obligatory Tilt-A-Whirl; also not in operation. Ya know what? As I'm typing this TR out, I'm realizing that MANY flats were down that day...
Dodgems were operating though. (Whew)
This is the Skyroom where they have live bands & dancing. This area totally reminded me of the Myrtle Beach Pavillion (R.I.P.).
Continuing on, the Big Flush was down. Although I can't even imagine how hot a black water slide gets after it bakes out in the sun all day. Just an observation...
(Lazy) Action River. This thing was totally in a dream I had about nine months ago. It was such a strong deja vu moment that it gave me chills. Still does. Moving on now...
Splash Bash is the interactive water park that was pretty packed. I seem to pick days at parks when everyone is on the water side. No complaints here, though.
Monster Trucks 3D. Nothing could interest me less.
Cute little Frog Hopper, why are you closed too?!?
Oh please, for the love of god, let the Double Shot be open...
Hooray!! I absolutely love Double Shots! Hate drop towers. Love Double Shots.
Then, I found this cool retro sign touting IB way back in the day. I love when parks keep stuff like this up. It so adds to its character!
These pages are in no way affiliated with nor endorsed by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Cedar Fair, Legoland, Merlin Entertainment, Blackstone, Tussaud's Group, Six Flags, Universal Theme Parks, the Walt Disney Company or any other theme park company.
photos and videos on this website were taken with the permission of the park by
a professional ride photographer.
For yours and others safety, please do not attempt to take photos or videos at
parks without proper permission.
You need a sense of humor to view our site,
if you don't have a sense of humor, or are easily offended, please turn back
Most of the content on this forum is suitable for all ages. HOWEVER! There may be some content that would be considered rated "PG-13." Theme Park Review is NOT recommended for ages under 13 years of age.