Trip Report - I-X Indoor Amu***t Park '99
Brook Park, Ohio - 04/26/1999
"Cleveland: You Can't Get There From Here."
It's springtime again, and that means it is carnival season! Now, I
personally don't ride a lot of rides at carnivals, mostly because it is
too darned expensive. But a notable exception to that rule is the
annual I-X Indoor Amu***t Park at the I-X Center in Cleveland. The
timing of the carnival is such that I can easily combine a visit with a
trip to the Cedar Point Season Pass Processing Center, which is exactly
what I did today.
I started by sleeping in. I had planned to leave home at about 9:00am,
but as it turned out, that was about when I woke up. It was a quarter
to ten before I managed to pull out of the driveway, and just before
Noon when I made it to Cedar Point. They have streamlined their season
pass processing process a little this season; now there is no typist
and they are using four cameras, so the line for the photo shoot is
basically gone. It's still a fiddly process, though. Someday maybe
they will convert to a computerized system like most other parks
(including all of the other Cedar Fair parks). I also got my parking
pass. Dan Haverlock suggested that it would be nice if they had put
the Magnum 10-year logo on the parking pass...let me now state that you
DO NOT want a Magnum 10-year logo on your parking pass...that's on the
employee passes, and if you have the logo, you can't park on busy days!
I finished up at Cedar Point and headed out for a leisurely drive to
Cleveland. I stopped at a Finast (grocery) store on US-250 and bought
my ticket for the I-X Indoor Amu***t Park ($12). Hungry, I ended up
at a little restaurant in Huron on US-6 about a block East of the road
coming down from OH-2. The place is called Lemmmie's, and it is named
for the Lake Erie Monster that occasionally attacks and devours
sailboats, maybe. I had a grilled ham and cheese sandwich which was
good; the colorful cole slaw is a house specialty and really is quite
good. The kind of place that Mark McKenzie would send us to (right,
Mark?). It's a breakfast-and-lunch place, though; today they closed at
2pm. I suspect that will change after Memorial Day as the demand for
the local ice cream ratchets up. For a review of THAT product, consult
CP Irvine, if you can find her.
Since I wasn't in any real hurry, I tried to pick out a route to the
I-X that avoided the customary hassle of getting from OH-2/IR-90 to the
Turnpike to IR-480. Well, I managed to avoid that hassle this time,
but ended up driving all around Elyria instead. I pity you Cleveland
folks, living up there where all the major roads run parallel to each
other and everything that isn't Interstate is 25 mph. Yeesh! Next
time I'll just take the turnpike. Why they can't put in a proper
interchange from OH-2 to the Turnpike is beyond me.....!
I finally arrived at the I-X Center, where parking is now $6.00. I
swear, parking fees are really starting to annoy me.....! I presented
my advance-sale ticket and proceeded onto the show floor, where I began
taking notes. Right inside the front door is a pair of brand-new
kiddie rides that are rather interesting; both have full diamond-plate
decking, very fancy enclosures including Lexan panels, and flashy
lighting packages. Both are clearly from the same manufacturer. The
one ride has a bunch of what look like personal watercraft which travel
a climbing and diving circular path while an additional control rod
extending from a mechanism at the center of the ride points the nose of
the tub in or out. The other ride is a circular kiddie jeep ride with
vehicles that have Hampton nameplates. Now, I don't know who built
these rides, but if they are Hampton they are almost but not quite
entirely unlike any Hampton ride I have ever seen before!
(UPDATE: The 4/19/1999 issue of Amu***t Business says the Wave was
built in winter quarters by Drew Bates)
The building is set up in a series of generally parallel aisles with
rides everywhere you look. This is the largest collection of
whirl-N-hurl rides you are likely to see in any one place...although it
just occurred to me that there was no Tilt-A-Whirl present. Anchoring
one corner of the hall is the "Space Coaster," a mid-range Zyklon
portable which proved once again to be the old Holiday World
Firecracker. With four cars on the track, this one was moving about
360 PPH at a 40-second interval, which is about the limit with four
cars. Two additional cars were sitting on the storage track, but one
was missing its front wheelset. The ride is still running well, but I
must warn potential riders to beware of the brakes near the end of the
ride...on the quick dip/S-curve just before the turnaround to the
station. They are braking the train there HARD, hard enough that the
"rolling brake" assembly just ahead of the station has almost no
effect. When we hit the trim, I unexpectedly slid forward and impacted
against the front of the car. Whoops! Incidentally, my memory is
fuzzy...Didn't the Firecracker have latching lap bars? It doesn't now;
today it just has the grab-handles and seat belts like most other
The adjacent corner of the hall contains a Reverchon "Whitewater"
portable flume. I didn't ride it, as with little or no sunlight in the
hall it didn't seem like such a good idea, but it was clearly a popular
attraction. That flume is a big one, too...bigger than the Wild River,
it has two lifts and two drops, and moves lots of people.
Between the coaster and the flume, they did something strange. They
built a large room enclosed with drapery, and put the Eli Cycloid
inside. Some of you may remember me raving about this ride last year.
If you've never heard of it, it is essentially a Scrambler with the
tubs turned sideways. Oh, and it goes *significantly* faster than the
Scrambler. Anyway, they took this beautiful ride and put it in a dark
hole, which they fill with fog, lighting effects, and loud techno dance
music. My personal opinion is that the Cycloid is such a
high-intensity ride that the effects really add very little to the
experience. I think the Cycloid should have sat out in the midway
while a less impressive ride got the smoke and music treatment. Oh,
well...what do I know about the layout of a midway? The ride had a
constant line and riders got off like the RCT sims...occasionally
jumping up and down, and often riding again. A crowd also gathered at
the ride exit to try and figure out what was inside; perhaps they
should have included a specatator's gallery...
Hmmm...what else...Oh, they have an ARM Screamer (at least I think it's
ARM), which is basically an update of the Highflyer. What they did was
to remove the cage to make a near-copy of the Zamperla Hawk. There is
a floorboard under each seat for access, rather thn the Hawk's lifting
platform. I don't think much of ARM's seats (they have some of the
least comfortable seats outside of a Hi-Roller. In my opinion, the
Screamer is better than the Kamikaze but not as good as the Hawk.
They had a Quasar, which much to my suprise was operating, and to my
further suprise was running backwards at about half-speed. Along the
back of the hall was a series of exhibits including a petting zoo, a
dog stunt show arena, a fishing pond, a climbing wall, a series of
sports activities, and a roller rink. They last had an inline skating
rink several years ago; that time it was delimited by the lightweight
poles and drapes normally used to delimit convention show booths. That
was the one and only time I ever tried in-line skates, and I was
personally responsible for knocking the wall down at least once. This
year, they had a much more suitable outside-braced structure. I didn't
+-----------/ Another of those pesky signs \---------------------+
! One of the games set up across the back of the hall is one of !
! those inflatable mesh-covered buildings with a board across !
! the middle with holes cut in it. The objective is to throw a !
! football through one of the holes. This is not immediately !
! apparent to someone walking down the midway, though, as only !
! the roof of the structure is visible from a distance, and the !
! sign on top says, "Quarterback Toss." Now, I don't know about !
! you, but I don't think I am strong enough to toss a !
! quarterback, unless he happens to play pee-wee league....... !
I did wander through and generate a ride list. Some ride names appear
more than once, this is because there are some duplicate rides...for
instance, there were two Yo-Yo's and two Eli wheels.
Oh, speaking of yo-yos, clearly the hot toy on this midway was the
light-up, centrifugally-actuated automatic yo-yo. I wonder if we will
also see these things on the park midways. Oh, and strange as it may
seem, I only saw one close encounter between a yo-yo wielding yo-yo and
an innocent bystander. I was suprised at how responsible some of these
kids were about flinging their yo-yos.
Bates Amu***ts puts on a really good show and this year's I-X
carnival was no exception. The I-X Indoor Amu***t Park runs through
Here's the full ride list:
Wave - Bates - Jet-ski
Kangaroo - Herschell - Helicopter
Baja - Bates? - Circle jeep ride
Dragon Wagon - Wisdom - Dragon Wagon electric
Jump Cycle - Hampton - Jump Cycle
Bat Fighter - Herschell - Sky Fighters w/platform
Swing - Eli Bridge - Swing
Helicopter - Herschell - Helicopter
Combo - Hampton - Combo
Fernwood Express - Zamperla - Rio Grande
Quadzilla - Majestic -
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