Michigan's Adventure & BS

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Timber-Rider's avatar
I went to Michigan's Adventure on Monday June 16, 2008. Probably the least crowded day I have seen at the park in years. So, I don't understand why Cedar Fair went out of it's way to make it so unpleasant.

First of all, I arrived at the park at 3 p.m. which only gave me about 4 hours to ride before the park closed. Not that it would be a problem with the very light crowds, it was how some of the rides were operated that had me stumped.

Shivering timbers was no problem, the ride was a walk on, and the ride ops were doing their usual good job. The coaster performed it's usual air-time packed ride, and then it's on to the photo natzi booth.

"That's very inappropriate behavior" being said to almost every rider who walked up to see their faces on the ride. One of them said it to me, just because I did a gene simmons tounge to the camera pose. If I am going to pay $8.00 for a picture of me on a rollercoaster, I'll give the camera the finger if I want to! How stupids is that. Certainly made me not want to buy anything from them.

On to Thunderhawk. Again, more BS. Why is it so hard for a park that has a new signature ride, to fill every seat on the ride when there is a half hour wait? They were only running one train, and sending it through only using 5 of the cars each trip.

It really irritated me when I asked the ride op, why they weren't filling the trais, and they told me it was because it wasn't busy enough, and they were only allowed to fill so many cars when it was slow.

So, they have people waiting in line for a half hour because it isn't busy? I didn't see them doing this on any of the other coasters. And, what really had me steaming, was that the shorter the line got, the less cars they filled. keeping a line the whole time. Why?

Another issue was food. prices have gone up at least a $1.00 for everything. A hot dog basket was $6.00 and that doesn't include the pop. The food was way over priced. Good thing there is a Burger king, and a Taco bell just a short drive away...I allways eat there first, or on my way home.

I also rode the Wildcat and corkscrew. Boring!

Did 8 rides on Thunderhawk, 6 back to back rides on ST with no wait. And, went home.

Not, a horrible visit. But probably the most boring and unpleasant experience I have had at MA.

Did I mention that Thunderhawk was pretty rough? I would like to know where they refurbished...unless you call a fresh layer of paint refurbished.

The ride looks great, and the landscaping is very nice. I just hope they get their act together before the big crowds arrive. If they continue to run the park like they did on Monday. I'll bet a lot of people won't want to go back again.

Did I also mention that almost every portable food stand was closed? And, that parking went up to $8.00 as well?

Another disapointment was my on ride video of Thunderhawk. Not at all what I thought I was buying. More like me in a commercial for Michigan's adventure, then a memory of my ride on thunderhawk. certainly not worth $16.00

*** Edited 6/18/2008 12:53:38 AM UTC by Timber-Rider*** *** Edited 6/18/2008 12:59:11 AM UTC by Timber-Rider***

I always say you make a park what you want it to be. We (MiG Crew) went into the park last Monday (9th) and had a great time. Now considering the day we had had (flat tire in Lansing), we could have pissed and moaned about how sucky the park is and what not, but you know - I look at this way.
  • Parking: $0
  • Park Admission: $0
  • Food Cost: $0
  • Having a great day with my wife and bro: Priceless

The only reason we went there is because Derrijk had never been to the park and we were going through the area back to Chi-Town from Canaba's Wonderland. It was a very laid back day and we had a blast the whole 2 hours we were there. You should really check out my PTR once I get it done.

So long story short, you can either piss and moan or do the best with the hand you are dealt that day.

...oh and everything is better when it is free. Thanks Platnium Pass and Secretsssss

SWOOSH -- MidwestInfoGuide.COM

You are lucky that parking was $8.00. That's what I think parks should charge if parking isn't free. It's inappropriate behavior to have your middle finger at any camera in any park, or at any place in society.

Do that anywhere else, and you might get into a fight with someone. Sure, you aren't doing it to anyone in particular, but people still shouldn't be doing that. I agree with the coaster that they didn't want to fill. They did at Dorney Park on Thunderhawk.

They are just too lazy to check all the restraints so they just leave some of them empty. The workers are hardly doing anything anyway with one train, so what's the big deal? There was a line for Thunderhawk too. They were doing it for Magnum too. And remember, they won't let you reride. Kings Island still lets you even though it's Cedar Fair.

Get Ready. Get Set. Spinout! Six Flags America: The Park that is Full of Disappointments
I have been upset before because I wanted a pic of myself on Son of Beast and they wouldn't print it due to someone else flipping off the camera. I did get one later. I wasn't mad at the employees, but at the stupid patron. $8.00 seems pretty cheap for parking.
Timber-Rider's avatar
Thanks to everyone who responded to my post. I have just a few comments.

First of all, I am a Michigan resident. I live just 45 minutes from the park in Grand Rapids, and, I have been going to the park since the 1970's when it was Deer Park Funland. So, I know quite a bit about it's history. It has had a lot of ups and downs, and my visit on Monday, was certainly a downer.

It just seems to me, if Cedar Fair wants people to visit this park, they would make it more inviting. There should be no obstacles for the guests. as the guests are the ones who are keeping them in business. In relation to Tunderhawk, why make people wait when there is no other reason, than the ride is not making it's quota for the day. Let the people have fun. If I owned the park, I would never allow a ride to not run at full capacity if people were waiting to ride. It just seems pointless to me. They are going to run it anyways, why not fill every seat?

As for my comment about flipping off the camera on Shivering Timbers, it was just a comment. I have never, and wouldn't ever flip off the camera. I just think being scolded for trying to have a little fun, for something you might be paying for kind of takes all the fun out of doing it.

Lets go back to the old mirror house. You know, the old fun house with the crazy mirrors that make you look stupid, and you make a bunch of faces and poses to see just how silly you'll look. Fun times. Imagaine how it would be if you had some stiff worker telling you. You can't make that face...can't make that one either...that ones inappropriate too. And, then he bans you from the mirrors. Does that sound like fun? Not fun at all.

As for parking being cheap. $8.00 would be reasonable at Cedar Point, but, this is Michigan's Adventure. It's on a crappy country road in the middle of nowhere. The parking lot is almost as big as the park itself. $4.00 would be more reasonable.

Indiana beach is about the size of Michigan's Advenure, and they don't charge a dime for parking. But, I will say one thing, when that lot at Ma is full they are certainly raking in the bucks. And, using it for what? Certainly not on ride operations, or, actually having all their food booths and games in operation...as evidence of half of them being closed when I was there on Monday.

The only upside to Cedar Fair and Michigan's Adventure, is that it is certainly better landscaped and cleaner than it ever was under the previous owner. So they get a million thumbs up for that.

But, if they keep operating it like they did on Monday, I think a lot of people will be very disappointed when they visit this park in the future. I will certainly hope that my next visit will be better. I usually visit two or three times a year.

*** Edited 6/19/2008 2:57:49 AM UTC by Timber-Rider***

Timber-Rider's avatar
My next question is for Swoosh. I'm just curious about how you can have a platinum pass, and say that you paid 0 dollars for everything. It may seem like you are getting things for free...you certainly aren't. Unless you are getting perks the rest of us are not getting.

Isn't a platinum pass like $150.00 per person? I would think if you average out your park visitis for the year, plus additional coasts for stuff that you might buy in the park while you are there. plus the coast of gas to get there. You obviously can't be spending nothing.

I'm also curious about how you can spend zero dollars on food. As food is not included in the pass. As far as I know the only thing that is included is admission and parking. Unless you are like me, and, don't eat when you are there.

The only reason I'm asking, is because I thought about getting the pass. But decided the price of gas was too high to travel to too many parks this year. That, and the fact that they no longer have a pass for just MA and Cedar Point.

So, you tell me. How does having a $150.00 pass have you spending nothing? I would certainly like to know your secret.

Spinout said: I agree with the coaster that they didn't want to fill. They did at Dorney Park on Thunderhawk.

Supposedly that is no longer an issue this season as they were trained by someone to open all rows at all times (I have yet to see any chained off rows this season). Last year it was ridiculous, they had the entire back half of the train closed off almost every time I was at the park even if it was a 2 - 3 train wait.

If crowds aren't enough to warrant 2 trains ok, but the 1 train they are running should have all rows open and it's a shame to hear Michigan's Adventure is doing that.

Timber-Rider said:
Isn't a platinum pass like $150.00 per person? I would think if you average out your park visitis for the year, plus additional coasts for stuff that you might buy in the park while you are there. plus the coast of gas to get there. You obviously can't be spending nothing.

Aren't you one to quibble? No wonder you didn't have any fun. :)

Technically you're right, but if he wasn't expecting to attend MiA when he made the decision to get the pass, it wasn't a part of his cost-benefit analysis for getting the pass. Hence his visit was "free" to him since he chose to spread the cost of the pass over his visits elsewhere.

I can't blame you for being upset over the Thunderhawk loading though.

I have stuck my tounge out at the camera along with my thumbs in my ears and fingers extended on ST several times and have been greated with nothing but smiles and laughs from the picture booth personel and or other riders checking out their pics. Perhaps you encountered someone with their undies in a bunch that day.

When I was there (MIA) on Sun. the 15th, TH was closed. On my two previous visits, June 1st and 8th, TH was a walk on in the morning and only a few people on each train. Both trains were running and I got a solo ride on each of those days.

I will try to stop in tomorrow (22nd) and see what happens when I stick my tounge out again on ST and how they are running TH.

My name is Mike, and I'm a coasterholic.

Wow it sounds like someone was grouchy as hell on their visit. I can say that I did not encounter any of those issues on my visit on June 1.

Timber-Rider said: Did I mention that Thunderhawk was pretty rough? I would like to know where they refurbished...unless you call a fresh layer of paint refurbished

I disagree. If anything, for some reason, Thunderhawk seems far more agressive than it did at Geauga Lake.

I agree with Swoosh, you have to make the best of each visit. The only time Michigan's Adventure really sucks is when it is hot as hell. The park could use some shade trees or shaded pavillions to help deal with the heat.

Coastermania (2003-2018). Coaster EXT - Geagua Lake (2005-2007). The Big Chill at The Big House 12.11.10 - University of Michigan v Michigan State University - World Record Attendance for an Outdoor Hockey Game - 104,073. 2016 100th Indianapolis 500 - Sold Out (aprox. 375,000)

matt.'s avatar

Swoosh said:
I always say you make a park what you want it to be.

I'm all for having the right attitude and dedicating yourself to having fun with every park visit but if I'm laying out a good amount of money for entry and my day is what *I* make of it, the park isn't really doing it's job.

I've had bad experiences at parks and still had fun because I made it fun, but I'd still rather go where I don't have to grin and bear it, for sure.

I can sort of see only running one train on a slow day (sort of), but not loading the whole train just doesn't seem to make a lot of sense.

Not loading an entire train could make sense if there were only a hand full of people in the station. A few people might have to wait an extra train cycle to ride, but overall more people can ride when fewer restraints have to be locked. However, if the wait is much over 10 min, leaving extra rows closed doesn't make any sense. From what was said, it sounds like a short wait was not the case.
Right---this doesn't sound like the "rope the middle car or three" off.

If they are making the rope-off decisions at the ride (as they do at CP) that makes sense. If they are making it park-wide based on attendance, meh.

Timber-Rider's avatar
For anyone who is interested, there were not any rows roped off on Thunderhawk. There was a girl sitting at the entrance to the station directing people to their seats. And, she stopped the line when the train was only half full.

No one was actually waiting in the station. She just allowed enough riders in for each train. The train was loaded and sent up the lift, and then she let in the next bunch, and stopped the line leaving at least 4 to five rows empty at random.

Sometimes she would send people to a different row. the less busy it was, the less people she let in. Which is why I thought the whole thing was so stupid. Especially when the wait was over a half hour at one point.

There were actually 5 people working the platform. 2 guys checking restraints, a second girl by the exit, and a third girl at the controls. It all seemed so un-organized. Sort of like when the opened the Grand Rapids ride a couple years ago.

The line for Grand Rapids was 2 hours long on a day I was there. They would load only one raft, and send it through the entire course of the ride, before they sent the next raft out. The rest sat on the lift waiting to be unloaded. Maybe 6 rafts total.

So, if you wonder why they have ques at Michigan's adventure. Trust me. They use them. Have seen almost every que full. 2 hour wait for the Wildcat, (trust me..if it's over a half hour it's not worth it.) 45 mintue for Shivering Timers with 2 trains running. An hour for the mad mouse. Even a half hour for the corkscew...full que.

The worst I have ever waited was for the Funnel of Fear. Extremely packed that day, over 2 hour wait. But, it was totally worth it. The line for it is usually long, hope to go on it again sometime. It's one of the best rides there.

Thunderhawk will be rough anywhere it goes, what it's called, or what color it is. It's the nature of the ride and the SLC's as a whole.

-Congo Falls - 90 rides (one day) -Murder of the Orient Express (1980-2003)
Made it back to the park on Mon. the 23rd. For the first hour, ST was a one train wait. Both trains were running and averaged half full. Running a little slow at first but picking up speed with every ride as she warmed up. Still air galore. Got in four rides then headed back to TH.

TH was running both trains and also a one train wait. They were filling every other row and when I asked the ride op directing people to their seats why he said it was to evenly distribute weight for a smoother ride until the park gets busier. Makes sense I guess. Got in four rides there then headed back to ST for one more ride, a 4 or 5 train wait by now. Stuck my toung out, made a face, and thumbs in the ears with fingers extended for full effect. The pic turned out pretty good and the gal in the pic booth was only upset I did not want a copy. Not really "upset", just tried her darndest to get me to buy the pic. Then I headed home to get some sleep.

My name is Mike, and I'm a coasterholic.

CoasterDiscern's avatar
I'm going to add that refurbishing a ride can be very difficult. A lot of people would disagree with me when I say how much the weather plays a role on a coaster. Top gun at CW is more rough then ever before. You know what the harsh winter days can do to your driving roads when their freezing and thawing constantly. And look how long TG has been standing, over twelve years. Things start to happen to the rides that you cannot see or deal with. Replacing the track on the SLC coasters is not an option. Thunderhawk is even worse because its been dismantled and put back together again. But some rides hold there shape and never loose their unity. A perfect example is Vortex at CW. Standing since 1991 and still smooth. Incredible to say the least. I wouldn't want to be the one trying to get TH smooth as butter right after the winter or spring and ready for opening. NO THANKS! Try to respect the ride first.

I'm a little confused as to the parking issue you all are discussing. I wish I could pay eight dollars at my home park. Its ten dollars here and I'm still not satisfied or acceptive of it. Ten dollars a car, times how many cars on a busy saturday, equals how much in property taxes. Maybe the parking fair is what it should be. I don't have the book logs with every penny that comes into the park. I don't know! As long as there is a huge profit to be made. Wink! wink!

Tongue out on your photo with an eight dollar picture price. Cool! Middle finger out. Not cool!

Ask not what you can do for a coaster, but what a coaster can do for you.
Timber-Rider's avatar
Hey Shivering Timbers. Sounds like you had a lot better visit than I did. Looks like you were lucky to be there when they were running two trains on Thunderhawk. But the even weight thing sounds a little fishy to me. Not, that there might not be a weight issue. Certainly not on the day I was there.

I'm curious to know just how full the line was, when you entered Thunderhawk. When I was there, the line was all the way back around the corner under the lift hill pretty much all day. So, I would think if they were just evening out the weight on the trains, not loading every seat, with that long of a line, weight should not have been a problem.

As for the Shivering Timbers photo booth. When I was there, there were two guys running it. They weren't friendly at all. They both looked like they were bored to death. maybe they were just on the rag, the day I was there. Glad to hear that you were able to find someone friendly.

And, just so you know. The girl that I bought my on ride video from at Thunderhawk was very friendly. She smiled, and even talked to me for a few minutes while I waited for my video.

What else did you do while you were there?

Oh, and as for the $8.00 photo price for Shivering Timbers, don't quote me. That is how much I paid for one last year, the guys at ST were so unfriendly I didn't bother to ask.

*** Edited 6/26/2008 4:40:58 AM UTC by Timber-Rider***

I give this park one or two more seasons until Cedar Fair auctions off everything to concentrate resources on their newly acquired and better attended Paramount parks. sad

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