I woke up at about six in the morning and was on my way. I wanted to get a jump on the Chicago traffic. I got to the park a little before ten, just as the park was opening. I know the park opens at eleven, but I decided to not turn my watch ahead. It goes without saying that at some point in the day someone did ask me what time it was. I was nice enough to add the hour for them, and give them the right time.
Timbers just towers over the parking lot. It is really an impressive sight. After getting in I made a beeline for Timbers. There wasn’t much of a line, but I found it odd that the line was stopped at the entrance to the station. Even though sometimes rows were open. I figured out later that the locals must have been trained on the Wolverine Wildcat, more on that later. After a two train wait I got a ride in the front row. I thought it was good, plenty of floater air and the third hill was nuts.
I then hopped in the last row and wow, was that some ejector airtime! The drop after the turnaround also ripped you out of your seat. The trick track was a bit rougher in the back. I even caught a guys hat as it flew off of him on the first drop.
I decided to then hit some other rides. The park was crowded, but I figured since it was hot, that it would empty out when the water park opened. I went over to the Wildcat. It took about 25 minutes to get on since they only run one train. In fact, 2/3’s of the coasters here run only one train. I can’t imagine how bad capacity would be on a very crowded day.
Anyway, back to the ride, when there is a line they ride op will only let a certain amount of people in the station to fill up the rows. Is that why people wait at the entrance to the station on Timbers for the people to board the train? I had to sit somewhere in the middle. This ride was supposed to be a copy of the Phoenix. If that is true, the only similarity I found was the tunnel before the lift. The ride was ok, but not in the same league as Phoenix as far as air time goes. It is in a nice location right next to the lake.
I passed on the mouse because the line was way out of the que. I picked up some fresh mini dounuts that were very good. Snoopy and Charlie Brown were also by the entrance. Corkscrew was up next. I think I waited 25 minutes for a back seat ride. The station was a bit of a jamboree, the exact opposite of Wildcat. The ride ops were kind of slow, but then I realized this was an old Arrow looper, where you have to step on the pedal of each train to open the restraints. The first drop was ok, the corkscrews were a little rough, and that was it.
Zack’s Zoomer was a walk on. Nothing much to it, but good for a kiddie wood coaster. I decided to skip the Big Dipper. I didn’t see any adults riding by themselves, so I didn’t want to be the first. I didn’t need the credit that bad anyway.
I walked over by the water park, which was now crowded. I got on a swan boat. The park looks nice from inside of the boat. The Mad Mouse now only had a ten minute wait. This was my first Arrow wild mouse. The Hershey Park mouse was much better.
The corner of the park by Timbers was totally dead, as everyone was in the water park. Trabant was a disappointment. I was hoping for more of a Wipeout from Kennywood type ride. It seemed like a kiddie version of it. The Tilt A Whirl was fun. The Thunderbot was a blast from the past, as I always loved the Haybailer at SFGAm. That and of course they blasted “Life’s Been Good To Me” by Joe Walsh. Almost thought I was at a carnival.
It was now two and Timbers was now a walk on. I rode it about 12 times in a row. Front, back, middle, it was all good. It was now running even faster than in the morning. With each ride, I loved it more and more. The ride op gave the spiel about being the second best wood coaster in the world. Someone must have asked him what one was because he said “Its in Santa Claus Indiana and called the Raven.” I just happened to be wearing a Raven shirt at the time, so that was kind of funny.
I broke up my Timber-fest to get one more ride on the Wildcat. The station was now empty so I was able to get a back row seat. It was better than in the middle, but I guess I just wish they did a better job of copying Phoenix. The Sea Dragon ran a really good program, and I loved the setting.
After that I rode Timbers about 8 more times. What a great ride. It’s probably my third favorite, behind Phoenix and Raven. I left about 5:30 ….or was that 6:30 ?
Overall it was a nice small park, with a really awesome coaster. I don’t know if they own any of the land surrounding the park, but if they do they have a ton of room to build out. Perhaps making a full loop around the lake. *** Edited 7/21/2004 5:16:21 AM UTC by ChiDan1972*** *** Edited 7/21/2004 5:17:12 AM UTC by ChiDan1972***
Good TR, and if I lived in Chicago, I think I'd be playing "hokey" quite often in the Summer. Shivering Timbers is my personal favorite.
Nobody I know ranks Timbers #2, either. Most have in their top five, but usually at #3, sometimes at 4 or 5.
However, it's a great coaster, well worth the drive from Chicago, and it's a good trip report.
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