TR: I-X Indoor Amusement Park

TR: I-X Indoor Amusement Park

Post by Dave Altho » Sat, 09 May 1998 04:00:00

Trip Report:  I-X Indoor Amu***t Park
Cleveland, Ohio - 4/26/1998

Note:  I think the I-X Indoor Amu***t Park has shut down by now,
but I thought you might want to read the report anyway...

On Sunday Sean Flaharty (whose name I now know how to spell) and I
headed up to Cedar Point to get our season passes, then off to
Cleveland for the I-X Indoor Amu***t Park.

While Columbus was 60-some degrees and threatening rain, Cedar Point
was COLD! and WET!.  We even had to drive through a couple of inches
of standing water on First St. just to get to the Causeway.  We
headed for the Season Pass office and nearly froze in the process.  
Nothing in the park was seen operating, and the tubs are still off of
the Giant Wheel.  I did notice that the chain-lnk fence separating
the perimeter road from the main- and marina parking lots has been
replaced with a split-log rail fence, which some pedestians will
probably appreciate.

We collected our passes, then met Dan Haverlock, who has already
posted his report in the thread, "Quick Cures for Motion Sickness."  
Since we were heading East, and since Sean had never seen it before,
we headed out the Chaussee.  For those of you not familiar with the
geography of Cedar Point, I'll fill you in...Cedar Point is, in fact,
a long (I can never remember whether it is 11 miles or 17...)
peninsula, about a mile wide at is widest point.  The peninsula,
then, forms the Southeastern edge of Sandusky Bay.  The Cedar Point
resort is built on the tip of the peninsula, and the remainder of the
land is residential.  A two-lane road runs down the lake side of the
peninsula from the resort's main parking lot all the way down to
US-6.  Officially, that is Cedar Point Road, but ever since the first
automobile road down the peninsula was constructed in 1914, it has
been known as the Chaussee.  We drove down this road, and found out
just how wild the weather really was.  It was barely raining, but
strong winds (seagulls in the CP parking lot were flying backwards!)
had whipped the lake into a small fury, with waves crashing against
the boulders at the side of the road and pelting us with very heavy
spray.  There was a lot of mud on the road, and in a couple of
places, the water on the road was deep enough that I was glad I was
driving a Ford. [Footnote 1]

So returning to dry land was something of an adventure, and Sean was
apparently impressed with some of the real-estate.  But we were on a
mission.  Moments later, we were speeding [Footnote 2] down OH-2
headed for Cleveland.

It's not that hard to find the I-X Center, as it is adjacent to the
Cleveland Hopkins Airport.  It seems I always make the same mistake,
though, exiting the Airport Expressway one exit early.  Fortunately,
it is an easy error to recover from.  We finally reached the parking
lot, and walked through the rain to the building.  It only takes a
few seconds to notice the Chance ferris wheel sticking through the
barrel-vault in the roof.

Once inside, the I-X Center ***s you with the sights, smells, and
most obviously, the sounds of an evening carnival.  Most of the
regular overhead lights are turned off, so that the midway lighting
on the rides casts a soft, ever-changing warm glow over the site.  We
immediately got our bearings and made a beeline for the "Scorpion."  
The ride had a plastic banner over it, leading us to think the name
was specifically for this event.  A quick look at the ride revealed
that it was, in fact, a Pinfari Looping Star.  More specifically, it
was the Amu***ts of America Looping Star, which I have ridden at
the Ohio State Fair.  No track record update for me on this one!

The Looping Star is a neat coaster.  Just putting three three-car
trains on a 50'-tall coaster is pretty neat.  Shooting a
non-trailered 3-car train through a 28' nearly-circular loop is
incredible.  To be able to knock this thing down in a few days and
truck it across the country is simply amazing.  Though I have ridden
this coaster a few times, this was my first ride in the second car.  
In the back of the train, there is some nice airtime on the first
drop.  Up front, you don't get the air on that drop, but you do get
catapulted out of your seat and into the unpadded shoulder bars when
you pull out of the loop and into the steeply-banked helix.  In the
middle of the train, you get a little of both.  One suggestion for
riding is to pull the shoulder bar down locks positively
(won't fall down) into the notch immediately ABOVE wherever you set
it...but because it is unpadded, it is sightly more pleasant to
remain secure in the seat than to crash unexpectedly into the bar.

From the Looping Star, we started hitting flat rides.  We started
with the Highflyer, which is ARM's single-boom version of Farfabbri's
Kamikaze.  Those of you who have read my rantings against shoulder
bars already know what I think of this ride.  To ARM's credit, their
shoulder bar extends downward further than Farfabbri's does, meaning
that you don't have quite as far to fall when you fall out of your
seat at the top of the loop, but it still hurts.  We got off and
headed for the Ring of Fire.

The ride actions of the Highflyer and the Ring of Fire are very
similar.  Ring of Fire is a somewhat more comfortable ride, except
that it is far more cramped and much more difficult to enter and
exit.  By the time we got done riding, it was time to meet Twister
Dave.  So we collected in front of the Chance Inverter, which was
down mechanical...apparently something to do with the lap bars.  The
Inverter has six rows of four seats; each seat has an
over-the-shoulder lap bar similar to that used on Chaos.  A safety
bar...essentially a long flat spike...drops down from in front of the
seat to safety the lap bar, much like the secondary bar on a Top
Spin.  When loading or unloading an Inverter, be wary of this looks like it could be hazardous, and I won't be suprised
if it changes on the next production model.  Anyway, once the lap
bars are secure, the boarding step on the side of the ride tub folds
up so that the tub will clear the boarding platform.  All of these
items...lap bars, safety bars, and tub step...are motorized and
computer controlled, not from the operator's console, but, as on
several other Chance rides, from a set of controls and a display
panel mounted on the outside of the ride tub.

Whatever the problem was, it was quickly solved, and passengers began
filing up the steps to board the ride.  Sean, ever the impatient and
adventurous one, climbed aboard.  The rest of us decided to watch, as
we had not yet seen the ride move.  Now...have you ever seen a Weber
1,001 Nacht?  It's a Flying Carpet, like the Chance Falling Star or
the Huss Rainbow, but with riders facing sideways as you look at the
front of the ride.  Unlike the seats on the 1,001 Nacht, the Inverter
has riders face the end of the tub instead of facing the center of
the ride.  The ride action is the same as a Falling Star, except that
the tub rotation (which keeps the Falling Star level at all times) is
in the opposite direction and at double the rate.  This means that as
the boom turns counter-clockwise, the tub turns clockwise relative to
the boom so that when the boom reaches the straight-up 180-degree
position, the tub has rotated 360 degrees and is completely
upside-down.  Platform rotation is gear driven off a pair of drive
shafts much like the ARM Ali-Baba.

I did ride the Inverter later, and while it is a very attractive
ride, its motions didn't do that much for me.  That may be related to
riding it immediately after getting off the Eli Cycloid, but that is
another story, which I will get to in a few moments.  But mostly I
think it has to do with the lack of intrinsic appeal of being turned
upside down in that fashion.

Dave showed up moments later, and we all proceeded to the Zyklon
coaster.  Yes, indeed, this was the Holiday World Firecracker, nicely
refitted with a refurbished loading platform.  In this installation,
a cheap plastic banner proclaimed it "Space Coaster", a Space Shuttle
balloon hung from the ceiling above the ride, and the whole thing was
adorned with little blue Christmas lights.  But the height
restriction signs still said "Firecracker".  When I inquired about
the ride a few months ago, "Evermore" Paula (Holiday World) indicated
that the buyer had also taken the signage, so I suspect the owner
normally calls it Firecracker.

Because of its low capacity, there was a bit of a wait, but it was
worthwhile.  Zyklons are fun rides anyway, but this one was running
smooth and fast...perhaps (dare I say it?) even faster than it ran at
Holiday World.  Lots of fun.  And that's what coasters are about,
isn't it?

From the Zyklon, I managed to talk most of the gang into riding the
Cycloid.  The Cycloid is an awesome new ride from Eli Bridge.  It
looks kind of like a Scrambler, except that where you expect to find
twelve aircraft-style tubs facing in the direction of subassembly
rotation, there are twenty-four Fiberglas tubs (two on each
sub-assembly sweep) facing inward...that is, toward the sub-assembly
centerpole.  Each seat has a ratcheting lap bar which is far more
adjustable (and for riders with a slight paunch, far more
comfortable) than the Scrambler handlebar.  A closer look reveals
that this is different from the Scrambler in another important
regard...the sub-assemblies are not driven by gears off the center,
but by hydraulic motors located on the sweeps.  These spin the sub
asemblies up to 19 RPM CCW before the center even starts to turn.  
This squeezes you back into your seat.  Then the center starts to
turn at up to 8 RPM CW.  This provides a cycling force, kind of like
a Scrambler if you sit sideways.  Then the center stops, and
reverses.  This has the effect of magnifying the total rotation
compared to a ...

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TR: I-X Indoor Amusement Park

Post by RCoaster » Wed, 13 May 1998 04:00:00

> in prior years, the I-X Indoor <BR>
>Amu***t Park has showcased Skycoaster (NO towers, all hung off the <BR>
>ceiling trusses), the Soriani & Moser Top Spin, the Ejector Seat, and <BR>
>the Chance Chaos.  In many ways, the I-X show is like a trade show, <BR>
>in that it tends to be one of the first opportunities to ride these <BR>
>new rides without attending a trade show.<BR>

  What year did IX showcase Chance Chaos?  I've gone up every year, and I don't
remember them having Chaos.  I also have a short memory when it comes to stuff
like that :-)  Was it in '97 or '96?  Just missed ya there, I was up the day
before  :-( Thanks!!  C-ya!!  

"The Future of Roller Coasters"
Matthew Baughman


TR: I-X Indoor Amusement Park

Post by Dave Altho » Wed, 13 May 1998 04:00:00

: > in prior years, the I-X Indoor <BR>
: >Amu***t Park has showcased Skycoaster (NO towers, all hung off the <BR>
: >ceiling trusses), the Soriani & Moser Top Spin, the Ejector Seat, and <BR>
: >the Chance Chaos.  In many ways, the I-X show is like a trade show, <BR>
: >in that it tends to be one of the first opportunities to ride these <BR>
: >new rides without attending a trade show.<BR>

:   What year did IX showcase Chance Chaos?  I've gone up every year, and I don't
: remember them having Chaos.  I also have a short memory when it comes to stuff
: like that :-)  Was it in '97 or '96?  Just missed ya there, I was up the day
: before  :-( Thanks!!  C-ya!!  

It was 1996.  Actually, while Bates Amu***ts puts the show together,
they occasionally book in additional rides...for instance, this year the
Looping Star from Amu***ts of America and the Firecracker
forget who.  Anyway, when they booked in the Chaos, they booked it in from
Chance Rides.  It was the 'old style' Chaos with the silver knee-bar,
rather than the black bar on the newer Chaoses.

Heck, it might have been the prototype...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
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TR: I-X Indoor Amusement Park

Post by Billp » Fri, 15 May 1998 04:00:00

Concerning Chance Chaos at the I-X indoor carnival, it must have been '96 and I
think it WAS the prototype or first production model. They delivered a number
of Chaos rides in 1996. I know #008 was delivered around August 1996.