There were a few spots of construction along I-96, but the 15 mile stretch just east of Grand Rapids was completed so although the signs were still up, there were no orange barrels to contend with. "That was a treat in itself.
We were on the road a bit after 10 am and arrived at the park well before 1 pm. The predicted partly cloudy skies were nowhere to be seen with barely a few peeks of sunshine the entire day, but the temp was comfortable. The park was busy enough to provide waits of at least 15 minutes on the coasters and Logger's Run had a full queue stretching down the midway. It was nice seeing the park as busy as it was, even with the waterpark already opened.
We rode Timbers in the back, green train, and were treated to a slightly rougher ride than I remembered, but still full of air. Wolverine Wildcat, having had some major work done on it, was running smoothly, but didn't seem as fast either. Again, likely because it hadn't had a chance to really warm up.
Man, the food service was s l o w. Ian got in line at the place just outside of WW while I made a trip to the restroom and hadn't moved at all when I returned. The pizza/sub place next to Thunderbolt had no line when I went to the restroom, and since neither Ian nor Donna really wanted burgers (they were considering getting grilled chicken sandwiches), we opted to head over to the pizza place only to find 4 people ahead of us when we got there. I don't think anyone could move as slowly as the workers were there.
After some discussion and seeing the tiny subs that were $3.50 with an additional 50 cents if you wanted lettuce and tomato, we decided to go for a whole pizza. The meal took $26 out of my budget, and although expensive, the pizza was adequate. They really need to improve the food service at this park in quality, options and service.
We rode Falling Star and Wild Mouse before deciding to hit Wildwater Kingdom around 3 pm. The waterpark was pretty busy, but it appeared the longest line was for Funnel of Fear, although I suspect all those cloverleaf tubes made it look worse than it was. After locating a couple of lounge chairs to drop our stuff, we headed toward the Snake Pit slide. I walked into the water and turned right around with a "you two have fun". The water was freezing. If the sun were shining, I'd probably have ventured in, but with clouds and a stiff breeze, I felt I'd enjoy myself more just relaxing with my book.
I read for a while, then napped, which was just fine with me after having spent the first 5 days of my vacation painting rooms in my house. After a couple of hours, I got up and wandered a bit, trying to locate the kids.
I had an interesting conversation with another guest. She was there with two children and said the water on the Funnel and the Lazy River wasn't as cold as the wave pool and slides, but trying to maneuver those awkward cloverleaf tubes and the large raft tubes for the family slides were difficult. Again, another improvement that MiA should seriously consider...install some automatic tube ramps!
She also leaned close and whispered "look behind you". There was a gentleman with greying hair crammed into a black speedo who was suffering from the mushroom effect. Damn...I thought those things went out in the 70's! She said he was standing in line for a slide ahead of her and her 5 year old earlier. Her 5 year old asked "mommy, did that man lose his bathing suit?" She explained that it was a bathing suit, to which her child exclaimed loudly "well, he needs a new bathing suit!" LOL! Out of the mouths of babes.
By the time I wandered back to the lounge chairs we'd claimed, Ian and Donna were there snuggled in towels. They rode several slides and spent time in the wave pool, but avoided the Funnel due to the long line and not wanting to deal with carrying the tube up the stairs. The waterpark appeared to be emptying out, and it began sprinkling lightly, so they changed into dry clothes and we dumped the damp stuff into the car.
It was about 6:30 pm and we figured we had enough time to catch another ride on Timbers.near the front of the blue train and were treated to a much faster and smoother ride. We grabbed a quick spin on Tilt-a-Whirl before before hitting the road home. Since the kids both had to get up for work, we wanted to be home well before midnight and still allow time to grab a late dinner on the road.
We stopped at a Denny's just outside Grand Rapids, and with darkness settled in and full bellies, the kids fell asleep well before we hit Lansing. That stretch between Lansing and Howell is trance inducing, so I made another stop at the rest area there just to walk around and wake up and grab a cup of the godawful coffee from a machine. We were home by 11 pm.
Overall, I had a nice day, although I wish I weren't such a wuss and forced myself into the cold water. The waterpark is certainly the gem at MiA and Timbers is icing on the cake.
They really need to improve the food service at this park in quality, options and service.
Especially the OPTIONS. My wife and I had a hard time finding anything there back in June. Come to think of it, we settled on pizza as well.
tiny subs that were $3.50 with an additional 50 cents if you wanted lettuce and tomato
That struck us odd too. Not sure about everywhere else, but in my little corner of the world (southern PA), all SUB's contain lettuce and tomato... with out that it's not a sub... it's just a sandwich on a long bun.
I know what you're saying about the tubes though, I was actually quite suprised that a conveyor wasn't installed with FoF. I still haven't ridden it because the one time we went to the waterpark it was probably about an hour wait to ride and NO water ride is worth that kind of a wait.
I do agree the food service could be better. I don't remember it being THAT bad last year (when I went about once a week) but there is definitely room for improvement.
I was really disappointed when we went up 2 weeks ago and the park was closed (and emptying) because of a power outtage. That was a little disappointing after having driven the whole way out there. I wish we had more time this summer to do stuff, but it just seems to be flying by.
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