I visited Indiana Beach yesterday with my family. I hadn't been there since I was a child (early 90's), and after reading reviews on this site, I was hesitant. I was surprised to find it pretty much how I remembered it but with more rides. If you go expecting to have the type of experience you'd get at a modern thrill park, you will be disappointed. But where it lacks in thrills, it makes up in vintage amusement park charm. It was perfect for our kids (ages 7 and 8) who are at that awkward stage where the kiddy rides bore them but they're not quite ready for the big thrill rides you'd find at a park like Six Flags. So I definitely recommend Indiana Beach for families with young children.
That being said, here are my criticisms:
Several of the rides weren't operating due to short staff and renovations. The worst was the Flying Bobs. It's listed as a ride on the website, but we found it a rusty, halfway disassembled eye sore.
The staff was a strange mix. About half were very nice, clearly loved their jobs, and offered A+ service. The other half were miserable. It's always sad to see mopey staff at an amusement park.
The Haunted Castle was a bust. 90% of it is so pitch black that you can't see your hands in front of your face. It made it difficult to meander through the tight hallways. It also managed to scare our children, who are usually excited about spooky things. They loved the animatronics, which were cheesy but entertaining. The first few pitch black hallways were fun, but it quickly grew annoying. My kids grew scared and we left the attraction early. A little light would have gone a long way.
At Cedar Fair parks they have a policy that all food vendors must provide free ice water. It's a good policy since buying $3 drinks all day adds up quickly. We went to Dog and Suds at Indiana Beach and asked for ice water and she said she couldn't. It wasn't a burden on her, the restaurant was empty. Instead, she gave us a cup of ice and directions to the nearest water fountain. Several of the ice cubes had foreign debris inside of them so we dumped them out. The water from the fountain tasted like it was sucked right out of lake Shafer. So be prepared to either pay or drink gross water every time you get a little thirsty.
Finally, there's a lot of hype about the "world's best tacos", so I had to try them. The Taco Shoppe service was poor. They have a not-so-inviting sign that reads "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone". And to top it off, the tacos were bland and chewy like school cafeteria food. I love authentic Mexican food, and those were not good tacos.
So there are several ways in which Indiana Beach could improve, but overall we enjoyed our day and plan to return later this summer or next year.
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