Michigan's Adventure 7-27-08

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Last Sunday, my wife, 6 year old daughter, and I went to Michigan's Adventure with some friends and their 3 year old son. We had a wonderful day. The weather was great and the park was terrific. I really think that Michigan's Adventure is over criticized. It is not a huge park, but there are lots of great things about it. It is an especially nice park for a family with young kids to visit.

We spent about half the day in the water park. The lines for the water slides were very long. The six year old and the three year old played in three different kids areas. The four adults took turns watching them and going to some of the other attractions. I discovered the Hydroblasters just outside of the water park. These are the wet/dry water slides that are located in the amusement park section. They are a lot of fun. It is nice that your raft is transported to the top for you. Also, the conveyer belt system for getting started is nice. You just sit in the raft, get situated and the employee starts you down. You end up on a dry run way so that you don't get splashed too much. You really could ride these in your clothes and get less wet than you do on many water rides.

The rest of the water park is all stuff that I've seen before. There are tube slides, body slides, speed slides, two group tube slides (one in the dark and one in the open), and the Funnel of Fear. Unfortunately, the water park was swamped so I didn't get to go down that many water slides. There is plenty to do in Wildwater Kingdom with several kids areas, three wave pools, a lazy river and all of the slides.

The amusement park itself was not too crowded at all. The lines were very reasonable with a 15 minute line for Mad Mouse being our longest wait of the day for rides. The park really was pretty busy, but since most people were in the water park it wasn't bad. I got on all of the roller coasters and several other rides, even though most of my day was spent with the kids.

Wolvering Wildcat - I think that this roller coaster is criticized way too much. It is not a huge wooden roller coaster and it isn't overly smooth, but it really does have a fun lay out that I have really begun to like over the past couple of years. There are some quick changes of direction and a double up - double down that make this ride unique to others that I have been on.

Shivering Timbers - I hadn't ridden this masterpiece in quite awhile. It was just as much fun as I remembered. The trip out seems to last forever. I lose track of just how many hills there are. The trip back has tons of bunny hills, some great head chopper effects, and the unexpected trick track which is a little jarring but not uncomfortable. The ride ends with a very intense and fast double helix. You really fly through the entire course. This is still the best wooden coaster that I've been on.

Zach's Zoomer - This got to be my daughter's first wooden roller coaster. She was quite nervous, but once we got going she loved it and wanted to ride again. Great junior wooden roller coaster. It is made small enough for young ones, but exciting enough to be fun for adults too. The seats are very comfortable with plenty of room for even big adults like myself as long as I was riding alone or with a small kid. There is no seat divider which makes it very accomodating for parent's to sit with their arm around their young child.

Corkscrew - This is your ordinary Corkscrew coaster. It is pretty fun and no more or less rough than others of its type. Very quick ride, but I enjoyed it. I have to give lots of credit to the guy who was unlocking the restraints. He had the old fashioned pedals on each car to work with, but he danced down the row quickly and with great grace. He had people in and out of the car in no time.

Big Dipper - This is your ordinary kid's coaster. I was really jammed into the car with my daughter, but I guess the sacrifice was worth it for the smile on her face. They send you around the course two times. Not a bad kiddie coaster at all.

Thunder Hawk - This is the first SLC that I've ever been on. I've heard real horror stories at the roughness on these rides. I, however, found the ride to be very enjoyable. It is a very fast and intense layout and it definately doesn't flow as smoothly as Raptor (the only other invert that I've been on). I like the two across seating which I think offers a different sensation that the four across seating of B&M's. Thunder Hawk is a great addition to Michigan's Adventure. I look forward to riding it many more times in the future.

Mad Mouse - I really enjoyed this ride and so did my wife and six year old daughter. We rode it two times because my daughter liked it so much. I've never been on an Arrow mouse coaster before, but I loved the smooth ride and the quick direction changes. It is definately much less intense than Wildcat at Cedar Point. The fun factor is very high on this one. The hair pin turns really make you feel like you are going to visit the parking lot. Also, the seats are extremely comfortable and the stadium seating gives everyone a great view.

Grand Rapids - This is a very fun and long raft ride. I really liked it. The rapids are pretty active but not violent. There aren't a ton of waterfalls, but there are just enough to get you comfortable soaked by the end of the ride. I rode this twice.

Overall the park is looking better this year than ever. Cedar Fair has done a very nice job with Michigan's Adventure. The park felt very alive. The landscaping around Thunder Hawk and Grand Rapids looks great.

One additional note. My daughter and I had the drum on Little Drummer Boy going so fast that I actually had to stop and give the spinning a rest before continuing the spinning in the opposite direction. This is a kid's ride that everyone who doesn't mind spinning can enjoy.

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