The Cornball Express Media was set for May 18th 2001 and we were more than ready to ride, but as that day approached our emotions were mixed. One of the problems with being so involved in the construction of any project is there is that nagging feeling that the project may not be able to met your expectations. What looks good on paper and grows into what looks like a great coaster can often be a “big disappointment.” How can a ride that we have been building expectations about, for as long as it has been being built, ever reach such a high standard?
“You can hear the engine runnin’; you can hear its mighty roar.
From the brickyard down in Indy, to the wide Chicago shore.
She’s a rollin’, twistin’, turnin’, so might we both suggest?
You get your fannies down here and ride the Cornball Express!”
When we arrived at Indiana Beach on the 18th, it was sprinkling a bit. And an Indiana Beach crew was still working on the entrance/exit; another crew was working on the lighting in the station. Finishing touches and the bridge over the track for riders to exit would have to wait for another day. The important things were done and Cornball Express was ready to roll!
For our 1st ride, we selected the front seat. Rolling out of the station, the track drops slightly and curves to the left, running over the bottom support of the Hoosier Hurricane’s “S” curved lift hill. Cornball’s lift hill runs parallel to the hurricane, but in the opposite direction. Cresting the top of the lift hill we noticed 1) the banking looks very steep 2) the angle of the drop also looks very steep 3) the log flume is very really close and the track on Cornball’s 1st drop is really wet!
Random thoughts were still racing through our minds, when suddenly we went flying down the drop, which is full of airtime. And into an even more severely banked 2nd hill, filled with more airtime.
The 3rd hill hugs around the Tig’rr, with the structures seemingly only inches apart. The drop, which has a great head chopper, catapults you out of your seat as it dives down to within a few feet of the lake. The climb into the 4th hill, which is unbanked and again full of airtime, darts into the “S” curve of the Hoosier Hurricane’s structure.
The steeply banked drop emerges just past the station and dives under the brake run. A floater hill sets up the entrance into the helix, which has good laterals and ends with an airtime filled bunny hill, The second bunny hill also provides good airtime, before you settle into your seat there is a sharp right turn and the train comes to an abrupt stop on the brake run. WOW!
At 57.5 feet, 2206 feet long and a top speed of 46 miles per hour, the minute and a half ride is not the biggest, fastest coaster out there. But, with airtime galore and great laterals it has to be the wildest family coaster out there! Perhaps Denise Dinn-Larrick said it best, “Family coaster? Well…maybe the Addams Family!”