IBJNews

Changes in store as Indiana Beach plans 88th season

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indiana Beach's first major steel roller coaster — the Galaxi — is being retired after 42 years.

Don Hurd operated the ride as a park employee 35 years ago.

"At that time, it was one of the biggest coasters around," he told the Pharos-Tribune of Logansport. "It's one of those nostalgic rides that people really love. It would have been for some the first roller coaster they ever rode."

Gallagher hinted that the absence left by the Galaxi's retirement won't be felt for long at the park about 95 miles north of Indianapolis.

"Fans and thrill-seekers can rest assured that plans are underway for a new thrill [ride] coming in 2015," he said.

Now the vice president of marketing for Indiana Beach, Hurd said while the park is losing a longstanding attraction, he looks forward to the seven new ones being introduced as the park begins its 88th season next month.

The rides are designed for the young to the old in fashions from classic to modern. For instance, the new Grand Carousel is expected to be a draw for all ages seeking an amusement-park tradition that has lasted more than a century, while the Viper and its 2,000 flashing lights will cater to the more adventurous as it whirls over the park's boardwalk. Additionally, the Pumpkin Ferris Wheel will let riders enter a carved-out squash that will rotate them to heights providing views across the park.

There will be four new additions to Kiddyland as well. Pilots will operate their own biplane on the Baby Baron, rising and falling at their own command.

Hurd describes the colorful Dragon Wagon, with its lead car designed in the shape of the mythical creature bearing its name, as an "entry level for children to get their first taste of a coaster."

"Hopefully they'll get the coaster bug and want to come back and back," he continued, "and as they increase their bravery — try some of our other coaster rides we have at the beach too."

The Growler is "kind of a teacup ride on steroids," Hurd said, allowing riders to spin at a 20-degree angle 7 1/2 feet in the air all while engaging in twists and turns.

Then there is the Rockin' Tug, a tugboat-inspired ride providing the sensation of ocean waves as it gently spins, dips and peaks.

Bob Gallagher, president of Indiana Beach, stated in a press release he is looking forward to the addition of the seven new rides this summer.

"We are excited to introduce these new attractions in 2014," he said. "They add something fresh and fun for the families who visit year after year and we hope they will be a draw for others considering a family vacation to Indiana Beach."

Guests staying at the campground will notice three new air-conditioned trolleys resembling old-fashioned San Francisco cable cars to transport them to the park as well.

This year's harsher-than-average winter has pushed the park's opening date back to May 23.

"This winter has really taken a toll on our crews to ready the park for our opening," Gallagher. "Also, with the area schools extending their school year, that impacts the available workforce within the park. It's unfortunate we had to change the opening date, but we want to make sure when we open we are ready to provide our guests with a great experience."

Extra days and operating hours in August and September have been added to the park's schedule because of the delayed opening. A full calendar of the park's operating hours is available at indianabeach.com.

Opening weekend will be celebrated with performances by area high school bands and by admitting military members, law enforcement members, firefighters and EMTs along with a guest into the park for free, Hurd said.

Despite the delayed opening, the park's traditional Mother's Day Lunch will still be held May 11 in the Skyroom Restaurant at the park as well.

Various tribute bands are scheduled to perform at the park throughout the summer to relive what Hurd calls "the glory days" when the park was "a mecca for big-name entertainment." He went on to recall acts like The Beach Boys, Chicago, Sonny and Cher and Janis Joplin.

"If the walls in the ballroom could speak, it would be just amazing," Hurd said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

ADVERTISEMENT