Wednesday, May 30, 2001 12:23 PM
May 26, 2001
Let's get this straight...I had no idea that I was going to Michigan's Adventure. None..nada...not one little clue that that was where I was going to spend my Saturday. This all came to be as part of an early birthday present from my girlfriend Lisa and my friends from home. My birthday isn't actually until next month, but this was the only time they could all get together.
The day started with a blindfolded trip to the park. Like I said, I had no idea I was going to MA. At some point I fell asleep because the next thing I remember is Lisa waking me up and telling me I could finally remove my blindfold. I took it off, looked around, and it came to me almost instantly. "I know where we are!" I shouted, excitedly.
"You do?" she responded.
"Yes! We're anywhere in the greater mid-Michigan area!" Okay, so I had to get some humor in as I was quite excited at that point. And then a little white sign appeared on the side of the road.
"Michigan's Adventure 1 mile"
Before it could fully set in where we were headed, the park just APPEARED out of the trees on the right. But that was only the beginning of it. For not only did the park appear out of nowhere, but so did that....thing. Shivering Timbers just sits there on the edge of the park, almost TEASING you to come and ride. Quite frankly, the ride just does NOT belong there. The coaster belongs at Magic Mountain, or Cedar Point, or...well, just not HERE of all places.
After getting over the shock of not only being at MA, but seeing Timbers, we made our way into the park. Just before taking my first ride on Timbers Lisa grabbed me in a panic and dragged me out of the station and down the entrance. About half way down is when I realized just why she was doing all of this. I looked up to see my group of friends from home walking up to the entrance, grinning and waiting to see my reaction. I had no idea they were coming, so you can bet I was surprised when I saw them. If you want more detail, I was literally jumping up and down at that sight.
The park itself doesn't leave much to be discussed. Although it is small (very small), there are quite a few rides to be found within. The three CCI woodies seem to form the outer boundaries of the park itself, with the other rides found between. Most of the food stands, shops, and games were open and ready for business.
The parking lot stayed rather empty throughout the day and, therefore, the lines were very short. I think the longest wait of the day was two trains for the front seat of Timbers. All of the other rides had walk-on lines and half-empty trains being dispatched. We ran back and forth between the rides so often and were all over the park, so I will just give a review of each ride individually.
I had heard stories about this ride and watched video of it, but nothing could prepare me for seeing it in person. I honestly wonder what the park was thinking when they built that...station. I thought that the hand-carved sign at the entrance was a nice touch. My favorite aspect of the ride, though, has to be the rather...interesting piece of track just after the second corkscrew. If anyone has seen Tim Melago's video they will know what I mean.
The ride itself is a very straightforward layout. After the lift you turn to the right, drop, take a banked right turn around the far end of the station, two corkscrews, and then another right into the station. Nothing spectacular, but a fun ride nonetheless.
This Arrow coaster was my first Mad Mouse/Wild Mouse type ride. I thought it was actually a very good little ride. The visuals are definitely better in the front seat, although the back isn't that bad either. I didn't realize Arrow had adopted Intamin's design for the quiet, magnetic rollback system. If this is a sign of what the new Arrow has to offer, we may be in for some good coasters.
This has to be one of the best kiddie coasters I have been on. Although it took some effort to fit into the cars (darn long legs), once I was in I had a great ride each time. It must be rather odd to see a train running the course with only six college-aged kids riding it. The ride ops sure seemed to enjoy our antics on this ride as well.
I had remembered only hearing negative things about this ride, so I didn't get my hopes up too much before riding. It was probably a good thing that I didn't, as it wasn't anything too amazing. The tunnel at the beginning of the ride was a nice touch. It serves well in disorienting you as it was pitch black in there. And I must say that, although it doesn't offer any real airtime, the double-up into the down-down hill was very fun. It looks so bazaar from the side.
Okay...so I didn't really wait to ride this coaster last. In fact, I actually rode this one first after meeting up with everyone. I just placed it here in the trip report to keep you reading up until this point. Let's face it...there isn't much else of interest in a trip report about Michigan's Adventure other than what the person thought of Timbers. And so with that, I will give my comment on this....ride.
First off, I have to give props to our very own Wolf for doing a fine job on controls. He kept us laughing all afternoon with his comments and jokes. I think my group has officially gained the title of the "Barnyard Crew." The ride was said to be running a bit under the weather on our visit, but I didn't know as I was riding for my first time. And even if it wasn't quite in its full glory, it still blew me away.
I just want to know how the heck CCI was able to cram so much gosh darn airtime into one rollercoaster?!? I mean...every single one of those hills had me out of my seat from beginning to end. I have never felt so much coaster nirvana in one sitting in my life. From beginning to end it just doesn't let up.
And then there is that insane helix. If I had to rate my favorite helices out of all the coasters I have been on, I think the only one to top Timbers would be Legend. But that sister CCI coaster aside, Timbers has a helix that gets mucho respect from me. I found myself holding on through it more times than not as the lateral forces are so strong. With all of this coming just after an entire course of airtime hills makes for an excellent combination. Just one hell of an excellent ride if you ask me. It easily gains a number two spot, behind Legend, on my woodie list.
I had a hell of a good time at Michigan's Adventure. With the lines as short as they were, we were all worn out by four in the afternoon. We piled into our cars and made our way to Pizza Hut in Muskegon for some dinner. Our bodies were all so battered and bruised at that point that it just seemed like the most logical thing to do.
Michigan's Adventure is a park with a lot of potential; I can see why Cedar Fair would want to purchase it. Although the deal has received a lot of criticism from those worried about the future of the wooden coasters there, I am holding my own opinion until we see what CF really does and doesn't do. The park may be small and not offer the same amount of thrill rides as other parks, but I still had a great time. You can bet I will be back there later this season once the water park is open and Timbers is running at its best.
Oooo...now there is a thought to wet my airtime craving.
James Draeger http://draegs.tripod.com/
"Legend is a wooden Jesus"