June 24, 2009, 2:47P

Timber-Rider

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This will be pretty short.

I invited my older brother chuck to go with me to Michigan's Adventure on several occassions, and, yesterday was the first time he accepted the offer. It was 90 plus degrees here in Michigan, so soaking in the water park was certainly on our minds. Keep in mind that my brother has not been to the park in 20 years.

We arrived at the park just before noon, to find the lot fairly empty, and, after wining about paying the $8.00 parking fee. We entered the park, and he was all smiles. He even thought the corkscrew was new, and I had to remind him that he had been on it before. We skipped Corkscrew, because the line was all the way out to the gate.

There seemed to be large crowds of people in the park, so, the empty lot was kind of deceptive. We made our way back to Shivering Timbers, bypassing loggers run, because it also had a long line. But, when we arrived at Shivering Timbers, there was no wait.

My brother was nervous about riding ST, and, was going oh crap all the way up the lift hill. His very words throughout the ride..was "oh god!" White nuckled all the way to the end. I asked him what he thought of it. And he said, it scared the crap of him. he said he'd never been on a coaster where you spent so much time off the seat. Then I took him for a second ride in the front! his expression! HOLY CRAP!! that's fast! If you ask me, I would say it approached 70..lots of air on every hill.

Well, we rode one more time on ST...no wait. And he wanted to go on the Wildcat. So, we went on it, even though I hate it, because it is usually quite brutal. So, after waiting 20 minutes in line, we did the Wolverine wildcat. SHOCKER! the ride was totally smooth and fun! There was a little damage on the double drop...but, mild compared to years when it felt like you were hitting it like a ton of bricks. Nice ride.

Next, I talked him into walking over to Thunderhawk. He did not want to ride thunderhawk, after getting it confused with King Cobra at Kings Island..(Long Story) I explained to him that they are 2 differnt types of coasters, and he had nothing to worry about...Another shocker! There was no wait for Thunderhawk! onl one train running.

My brother was very nervous, almost white going up the lift hill. And, another shocker! Thunderhawk was totally smooth, and fast. he laughed all the way through the entire ride...and wanted to go on it again! So, I took him for another front seat ride on thunderhawk...and he said, yeah! that was much better! But, still thought Shivering Timbers was the scariest ride in the park.

It was very hot in the park..(90's + humidity) So we went to wildwater adventure. Couldn't figure out why there were no lines for the rides, it's because everyone was in the Lazy River, and the wave pools. We are talking tube to tube full in the river. The lines for the slides weren't bad.

We waited only 40 minutes for the funnel of fear, maybe 15 minutes for the mineshaft, and 20 for the runaway river. If, you are not familiar with the three, they are all multi-person raft rides. We did a few tube slides, and, wandered over towards adventure falls, and Grand Rapids.

My brother was surprised by how soaked we got on the falls, and, I idecided to take them up on the bridge, to feel the force of the wave. We got a mild soaking, because a bunch of girls had the best spot. So, we decided to wait for the next boat...then some park employee comes up, and says, you only get one splash...move along. WHATEVER!!!

We took a spin on Grand Rapids, which had a half hour wait. And, got totally soaked again, but, it seemed kind of sluggish compared to the first year it opened. But we both enjoyed it, but weren't about to wait in line for it again...just way too hot.

We took a couple rides on some of the flats. Did two more no wait rides on Shivering Timbers, and a second smooth ride on the wildcat, and then back to Shivering Timbers for another front seat ride, and we decided we both had enough. (I was burnt to a crisp.)

And, we did all of that between noon and five. As we were pulling out of the parking lot, I noticed the driveway for the new RV park across the street. Looks like it might turn out to be a decent place. Looks like it might even open this summer.

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June 24, 2009, 3:13P

Timber-Rider

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There was a question a while back in the general buzz about what is new at Michigan's Adventure, and, I mentioned the raise in the parking, and, some prices going up. My brother was shocked at the prices of the food, and, wondered why there wasn't a law prohibiting the park from ripping people off, when they are hungry...Oh well.

Most of what is new in the park, are food stalls, tons of them. There is probably some kind of snack every 100 feet. There are also several new midway games, that nobody was playing. Multitudes of employees in the park wanting to take your picture around every corner. And, certainly improvements in landscaping...there is no construction going on behind the wildcat. Nothing has changed there.

One thing that has changed is the locker policy. You pay $10.00 for a locker, and when you return the key you get $5.00 back in beagle bucks. (Which is actually a $5.00 coupon) If you don't want, the beagle buck they offer you a sport mug of pop, which you can have filled, and get a refill. I suggest using the coupon for something else.

Also, and interesting, but expensive new drink alternative. A $9.95 drink wristband, for all you can drink pop while you are in the park. This might be good for people from out of the area. But, if you live within a few hours, save your money, and bring a cooler that you can keep in your car. I allways bring my own pop. I set a time for a pop sunscreen fix, and I am set for the day. Two trips is all I need, there are plenty of drinking fountains for water.

Another word of advice...eat before you get there!!! Food is crazy expensive. An ice cream cone that was once $1.50 is now over 3.00. Most burgers, fries, individual slices of pizza, are 4.95 and up. A cheeseburger basket at Coasters was $8.95 not including a drink.

There is a burger King, Mcdonalds, taco bell, and a few other restaurants just a short drive away. Will save you a bundle of cash! The money you save off food, could get you a few rounds of miniature golf, and go kart rides.

Hope the information was useful.

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June 24, 2009, 5:51P

DaveStroem

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The food prices seem pretty typical for a CF park. We always bring a cooler and make sandwiches for lunch on our park days. Then we hit either fast food or a sit down restaurant on our way home.

We hope to make it up there this year.

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June 24, 2009, 6:12P

Timber-Rider

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That is my main arguement with the food prices, and parking at Michigan's Adventure, it is based on chain wide procedures, and not local economic sense. If they contiue to price the park like the rest of their parks, which are much larger than Michigan's Adventure, people here will not be able to afford to go there.

They are constantly replacing the value that the park used to be, to streamline it, and make it like all their other parks, and it is simply not the same experience. Just looking at a menu at the coasters cafe makes locals mouths drop to the floor! Considering that you got the same crappy meal a couple years ago for 1/2 the prices of what they are charging today. You see the uphill race to rake in the bucks over guest happiness, and return visitors.

I think this is one of the reason's why Cedar fair wanted this park so badly. It costs the least to run, and probably makes huge profits. Just what they charge for parking alone, makes them a but load of money every day. It is a money making machine. Saturdays, the park is a zoo.

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June 24, 2009, 6:27P

Lord Gonchar

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Timber-Rider said:
That is my main arguement with the food prices, and parking at Michigan's Adventure...people here will not be able to afford to go there.

Just what they charge for parking alone, makes them a but load of money every day. It is a money making machine. Saturdays, the park is a zoo.

So which is it? :)


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June 24, 2009, 7:45P

DaveStroem

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So from this same argument, people have stopped going to the movies? The prices there make CF look cheap.

Also what makes you think that Sandusky, Ohio or Cincinnati, Ohio are that much better off then western Michigan. Things are tough all over.

CF is a business and there job is to get as many $$$ as then can out of us. This is their responsibility to their stockholders.

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June 25, 2009, 6:35A

spiritman

The Timbersfest group ate at Mary Lynn's catering and it was the best park food I have ever had. It was outstanding. I think they were charging around $10 a plate for the GP at Backyard BBQ which is the same deal as Mary Lynn's.

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June 25, 2009, 6:49A

spiritman

After looking at MiA's website I see that you can purchase a meal ticket with price of admission or just purchase a meal ticket at $12.95. Backyard BBQ is run by Mary Lynn's Catering. This is an all you can eat meal.
The Timbersfest group did not eat until 6:45 pm so I was very hungry and ended up having 3 heaping plates of food, several soft drinks and an ice cream! A very good deal anywhere if you ask me.

Last edited by spiritman, June 25, 2009, 6:50A

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June 26, 2009, 4:24P

Timber-Rider

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What type of food do they have at this BBQ? If it is actual BBQ food like ribs, and macaroni salad and stuff like that. Not interested. I don't like anything with BBQ sauce on it. Also, I went by the catering area, and there was nobody there. (It is right behind turboblaster)

Certainly they are going to go all out on a large group event like Timbersfest, but what are they going to offer on a daily basis, when there is no event. I don't know the answer to the question, but, I'm guessing that it would not be the same as what would be offered if there was an event going on. I went by the service stand for that area, and nobody was going there. Looked pretty dead to me.

If the food is decent, i would say that 12.95 isn't bad. So why gouge on everything else? Could it be because this all you can eat venue is not operated by Cedarfair? I did some homework in the park, and discovered that some attractions in the park have contracts with the park to be on the grounds, and are not operated by Cedarfair at all.

I talked to a girl who does characture art, and she said they are not owned by cedarfair.It is called Kaman's, they do events and parks all over the country. I found what I learned very interesting. So, the next time you get your face painted, a characture, temporary tatoo, jewlry at the park, thank someone else for bringing it to you.

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June 26, 2009, 4:41P

Timber-Rider

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Lord Gonchar said:

Timber-Rider said:
That is my main arguement with the food prices, and parking at Michigan's Adventure...people here will not be able to afford to go there.

Just what they charge for parking alone, makes them a but load of money every day. It is a money making machine. Saturdays, the park is a zoo.

So which is it? :)

So? Which is what? I used to be able to afford to go to Michigan's Adventure once or twice a month, sometimes 3 times a month, without a season pass. Now that Cedarfair owns the park, I am lucky if I can afford to go once all summer.

A lot of you who do not see my point, do not know the value of what this park used to be. I have been going there since the 1970s. I can remember when admisson to the park was only $6.00. and that includes when they had the corkscrew and loggers run.

I think even back when Shivering Timbers was built, and a majority of wildwater adventure was built, you could get in for $15.00 and parking was only $3.00. Most complete meals were only around $6.00, and lockers were only 50 cents. You could get an ice cream cone for a buck.

We are basically paying for what Cedarfair has added to the park since. If you look at waht has been added in the last 8 years. It's really not that much. Most of what they have was already there.

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June 26, 2009, 4:53P

Lord Gonchar

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Timber-Rider said:
So? Which is what? I used to be able to afford to go to Michigan's Adventure once or twice a month, sometimes 3 times a month, without a season pass. Now that Cedarfair owns the park, I am lucky if I can afford to go once all summer.

That's what I figured.

But that's not what you said before. It's not that "people" can't afford to go (which isn't true if the place is a 'zoo' as you put it), the problem is you no longer see the value in going. The fact that it's a zoo on Saturdays says people do still see the value.

So why not buy the season pass? Seems like that $90 for an entire season would be cheaper than 3 visits a month all summer long - even at those ultra-relevant 1970's prices you listed.


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June 26, 2009, 5:06P

Timber-Rider

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DaveStroem said:
So from this same argument, people have stopped going to the movies? The prices there make CF look cheap.

Also what makes you think that Sandusky, Ohio or Cincinnati, Ohio are that much better off then western Michigan. Things are tough all over.

CF is a business and there job is to get as many $$$ as then can out of us. This is their responsibility to their stockholders.

My point had nothing to do with the job market. it had to do with overall park value. They seem to think what works at Cedar Point, and their bigger chain parks like their new aquired parks like Kings Island, which both offer ten times the entertainment value that michigan's adventure lacks, should have the same food prices that those parks have, even though the food does not even compare to what those parks offer.

Take your theater prices for example. Would you not be upset if you were paying the same price for a movie ticket, for a theater that was owned by a company that allows theaters to remain the same, while they turn others into a theater extravaganza? While they continue to neglect the one you are paying to go to. Even though you are paying the same prices for everything minus...great tasting freesh popcorn, while the one your theater offers is just ok? Or, would you be more likely to be happy going to your theater at prices that are in line with it's over all value?

I think, you would be looking for somewhere else to go...don't you? And, what if they started charging $8.00 to park the car at your theater, when the glam theater is only charging $10.00. hey, maybe you could get a season pass to the theater...only $150.00, but you still have to pay to park the car, and seats are $5.00 bucks, but you get a coupon for $2.50 cents when you return your seat pass, which you can use next time.

A strecth I know. But think about it.

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June 26, 2009, 5:44P

Timber-Rider

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The $15.00 price was not in the 70's it was in the 90's. the price did not go over $20.00 until Cedar Fair took over the park in 2000. And the parking price was only $3.00 until 2000. Food prices, and the locker policies also changed with Cedarfair. most complete meals in the 90's were around $5.00 to $6.00 drink included. now they are over $12.00

For a little park history.

In the 1970's you could get a hot dog, fries, and a drink for $1.50. The year before the corkscrew was built (1979), admission to the park was only $3.00 and there was no charge for parking. there was a nice collection of rides back then, including a very nice anitque car ride called Mutleys Putt Putts, the spider, Bumper cars, Titlawhirl, scrambler, ferris Wheel, several kiddie rides, Carousel, a petting zoo, and, lots and lots of deer to pet and feed. This is back when it was very heavily wooded, with a very nice train ride through the woods, that circled the park.

They also had picnic pavilions scattered around the park, and, you could bring your own food into the park. We had many family picnics there, and it was allways fun back then. It was a pretty busy place. It was when they added the Corkscrew, that the popularity of the park skyrocketed.

Even though the Jourdens didn't do much to spruce up the place, the rides they added over the years, and the addition of the waterpark, turned it into a very nice place to visit. the addition of Shivering Timbers put them in the spotlight.

There is a rumor that Six Flags also wanted to buy the park. The owners went with Cedarfair, saying that they seemed like a more solid company. probably old news...but worth discussion.

Just a comment for Lord G. You'r comment about relevant 70's prices is incorrect, considering that a majority of the food concessions, and the waterpark were not even there in the 70's. A mjority of what you see in the waterpark area, and around Shevering Timbers was not added until the late 80's. a majority was added in the 1990's.

Most of the attractions added by Cedar fair were added in 2000, and they are all waterpark attractions. the Sky Coaster and go carts. the only rides cedarfair have added to the park in 9 years are Funnel of fear, Grand Rapids, a relocated dodgems, Coasters Cafe, and, Thunderhawk. The rest is all landscaping, a few concessions, and games. A new restroom was added by Thunderhawk...and the swan boats.

The rest of the attractions were built by the previous owners,

Last edited by Timber-Rider, June 26, 2009, 6:49P

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June 26, 2009, 6:18P

spiritman

Hey Timber-Rider the food at BackyardBBQ was your basic ribs, burgers, chicken, dogs but very nicely done. I am not sure but I believe they serve at pre scheduled times so that may be why it was dead.
I usually pack a lunch and go out to my car anyway because I don't find park food to be the best, cheap or not. The Game Day Grill at CP is an exception.
Doesn't CP have a BackyardBBQ as well?

I really don't care about most flat rides as they tend to make me nauseous.
I go to a park primarily for coasters-good ones like T-Hawk, Timbers. If Cedar Fairs intentions are to gradually add world class rides to the park then I am willing to pay the going rate for parking, admission etc. If not then they should be willing to cut the public a break somewhere. As it stands for me the park is too limited for my coaster cravings as there are only so many times you can ride the same two coasters without becoming a tad bored. I don't find Wildcat to be even worth my time.
I love the Muskegon area and feel the park is in a great location. It would be a shame if CF doesn't build this park up.

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June 26, 2009, 7:08P

Timber-Rider

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See there is the difference. I have no problem paying a hefty price tag for a meal at Cedar Point, becuase I know I will be getting my moneys worth, and have multitudes of choices of what to eat...and, varied choices of pricing on those meals. At Michigan's Adventure, it's all more of the same, and, not that great tasting for the price.

When I go to Cedar Point, I go to the Market by Raptor, which is all you can eat. For around the same price as the BBQ at MA. But, if you wonder around the park there are several alternatives. I found a Panda Express in frontier town (Stupid location for a chinesee cafe) But, I got a panda bowl, eggroll and 32 ounce soft drink for only $6.95. And, this was last summer!!! very good deal. I was like...hell yes! I getting that! The food was excellent. at both locations.

Can you find a decent meal that comes with a 32 ounce drink at Michigan's Adventure for $6.95? NO!!! Most complete meals are $8.95 and up. If you call a hot dog, fries, and a soda. a complete meal. that's why it frustrates me. At least the major Cedar Fair parks have decent food. Again, a lot of which was there, before Cedarfair took over the operations of those parks...besides Cedar Point.

If you are going to offer bland park food...offer it at an equally bland price. it's like paying for a steak, and getting a burger shot. not worth it.

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June 26, 2009, 7:36P

Touchdown

Woah, did I just read someone praise CP's food choices, really?!?

MA must be really bad then...

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June 26, 2009, 8:19P

Timber-Rider

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It's not horrible food at Michigan's Adventure, but, it is over-priced for what you get. besides what the Backyard BBQ apparently offers. It is pretty much burgers, fries, hot dogs, corndogs, nachos and pizza, with a small variety of deserts and snacks, like funnel cakes, Ice cream cones, and various candies and kettle Corn. Pretzels and sub sandwiches.

There is only one sit down restaraunt in the park. Coasters cafe, which is very exspenive with more of the same. I think it is the only location in the park where you can get a shake, which is around $3.95 and up, just for the shake, nothing else. It is the only air conditioned eatery in the park. The rest of the food venues have outdoor seating, most are just stands.

There are tons of vending machines that sell 20 oz pepsi products for $3.00 a shot. Which is actually cheaper than park pop.

When you compare Cedar Points food, and Michigan's Adventures food, of course Cedar Points will be praised. But, I have had better food elsewhere. Like Indiana beach at the skyroom restaurant, or at Canada's wonderland...of course nobody beats Disney. Their food is top of the line, and their service better for around the same price.

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June 26, 2009, 10:46P

Lord Gonchar

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Timber-Rider said:
The $15.00 price was not in the 70's it was in the 90's. the price did not go over $20.00 until Cedar Fair took over the park in 2000.

Great. I understand that. It hasn't nothing to do with what I was saying. Here's what you said:

First you said, "I used to be able to afford to go to Michigan's Adventure once or twice a month, sometimes 3 times a month, without a season pass."

Then followed that by saying, "I have been going there since the 1970s. I can remember when admisson to the park was only $6.00."

My response was that visiting three times a month at the 1970's price ($6 x 3 visits per month x 5 operating months = $90) is the same price as the current Michigan's Adventure season pass ($89.95).

So what's the problem? You can visit just as much for the same price you paid 30-to-40 years ago. That sounds like a deal to me.


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June 28, 2009, 1:49A

Timber-Rider

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That would be true if admission was $6.00. But. It's not. It's $25.00, plus $8.00 to park the car. Plus $10.00 for a locker at the waterpark. For one person equals $43.00 for one visit just for the basics. That does not include any food that might be purchased, games, extras, or gifts.

Just for the basics on my brother and I to spend a day at the park, was a little over $60.00. We did not buy anything, no games, no extras. That is just admission, parking, and one locker. I actually spent $80.00 if you include gasing up ther car.

As for your figures, you need to add daily parking ($8.00), and locker rentals at $10.00 per visit. So re-figure that and get back to me.

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June 28, 2009, 2:06A

Lord Gonchar

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Wow. Just wow! I'm not even going to try to explain the $6 thing to you.

We'll play by your rules - no matter how nonsensical they may be. Here's the refiguring you requested:

15 visits (3 a month for 5 months) is:

$90 - Season Pass
$35 - Parking Pass
$150 - Locker

$275 for 15 visits = $18.33 per visit.

That's less than $20 per visit.

I'm still failing to see where $18.33 is a bad value for a day at the park.


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