The Beach has been a "must visit" for our family for years. It used to be a charming little amusement park, reasonably priced, staffed by the friendliest people and had so much to offer, from games, to miniature golf, to food, to clothing and souvenir stores and rides for everyone, from the calm, innocuous ferriswheel to some pretty intense roller coasters.
Our last visit was a terrible disappointment. It had been obvious that things had been going downhill for a few years, but this summer sealed the deal for us as far as not visiting again. First, several of the rides were down. Even though we had paid Kings Island prices, we felt we couldn't take advantage of them because so many of the rides we were looking forward to were either closed for maintenance or were operating on a weird schedule (rides that were open one day were closed the next, etc.). The miniature golf course was gone, replaced by something called Adventure Point. It looked interesting, but not our cup of tea. Zip lining and rock wall climbing are not our ideas of fun. In addition, those features were not included in the price of admission, so had we wanted to take advantage of them, it would have cost an extra $10.
It looked like the new features were all crammed together with some rides uncomfortably close to others.
Thankfully, the water park was still there as well as the Skyroom and Taco Shoppe.
I guess all things change, but it seems to me that Indiana Beach is trying to compete with the "Big Boys" of amusement parks when it has neither the space nor the features to do so. In the process, it has lost the charm and uniqueness that made it such a wonderful place to visit. If you're planning on visiting with your family, expand your budget accordingly because it's no longer an inexpensive place to visit. I understand from speaking with other visitors, camping is no longer a bargain either.
In this economy, with people trying to make every dollar count, it's apparent that IB's visitor stats have dropped. We were there on a summer weekend the first week in August and in years past, the parking lots were jammed. Not so this year. We had no issues parking close to the park and the park itself was practically deserted.
I hope that whoever is managing the park rethinks their strategy and lowers prices in addition to making sure the rides are running, or at least offer discounts on days when this isn't possible. Otherwise, I'm sure that word will soon get around and attendance will continue to drop.
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