The day started out pretty good. Headed out of Flint, MI right around 10:00am. Not to bad for my family for a day trip. Had a close call on the way there, I got clocked doing around 80 mph. (My cruise control has been broken for about a month now and I have a lead foot.) He pulled out and shot right up on my tail, was glued there for about a mile. Then he pulled off on the exit ramp. My heart was beating so hard. The police were out pretty heavy all weekend, so I made sure to keep it under control the rest of the way and on the way home.
Pulled in the parking lot at 12:30, pretty good turn out. sucks that the platinum passes don't work at the gate there yet. It took almost 20 mins. to get our tickets. There were 3 people in line ahead of us. Not a big deal but it'd be a nice upgrade in the next few years.
The day was hot and sunny. The thing that's lacking for sure is the amount of shade. The trees are still atleast 10 years away from providing adequate shade in most areas of the park. They need to add some canopies for ride lines and a few more areas on the midways with seating available. Once the trees grow in they'll be in great shape in quite a few areas.
The coasters were great, My 5 year old worked his way up to Shivering Timbers and a few of the big water slides. Grand Rapids is a great ride, again with the trees thing but the potential is happening.
The park is really lacking in family service though. There were no areas for my wife to go to breastfeed the baby. She couldn't go to the first aid area and was told to either do it on the midway or use the changing rooms off the water park. She opted for the changing rooms since the place was so busy. That was tough she says because of the busy factor as well. A family care center like CP has would be a nice welcome addtion. Even just a small addition to the first aid building. Heck open up a closet somewhere for a nursing mother.
I didn't get to ride Thunderhawk. When the line actually shortened up enough for my taste it went down mechanical. Next year. Shivering Timbers was as great as ever. Wolverine Wildcat is a new favorite of my sons. The kiddy coasters are just as cramped as ever. But the selection is good and the kids really love 'em. It's really a great park to start the kids out with. They could have used a few of the rides from GL that CP put in. But they do have a good amount of rides that build up a kids confidence.
We spent about 3 hrs in the waterpark. It was full but the lines moved fairly quickly. It got hard to keep an eye on the kids it was so full in there. The toddler area is nice, kind of lacking in supervision though. Could have been a staffing issue though.
Tube rental is required! if you want to ride any slides in a decent amount of time that is. Can you bring in your own tubes? If they're the same size and such?
Overall we had a great time, spent around 7 1/2 hours there total. Didn't get to ride everything we wanted that day, but thats what next time is for. Other than the lack of shade and somekind of privacy for the nursing moms all was top notch.
I was there as well that day and I totally agree about the canopies and lack of avail. seating. It was a scorcher Sunday and the park was more crowded than I have ever seen it.
Timbers never fails to disappoint us and the crew was dispatching quickly as usual resulting in less than 10 min waits for all of our rides.
No loss on not riding Thunderhawk as somehow they managed to make it an even rougher ride than when it was at GL. It has been down at least once a day on all three times I was there this season as well the majority of the day when a co-worker went last month.
I noticed numerous employees walking around taking surveys that were really geared toward "family" vs "thrill" experiences. Not sure if CF is doing this at their other parks but it was nice that they were looking for some customer input on the park. I did however notice a some disturbing behavior by a couple of ride operators such as overhearing ops on the mouse picking out people in the line to "staple" and the girl running the Falling Star closing her eyes and putting her head down as soon as she started the ride up (this was around 1pm).
We ended our day by making our yearly trip to eat dinner at Whitlow's Forerunner. It's just off US-31 at Airline road just south of the park. They have the best perch dinner in the area (about 10 pieces for 12 bucks) and a crazy front room filled with stuffed hunting trophies that has to be seen to believed. Not the native Michigan type mind you but bears, big cats, a polar bear and dozens of African Safari type mounts.
This was by far their busiest Labor Day weekend. There was an article in the local newspaper recently about the area economy and people vacationing close to home and the park benefitting. This seems to be the case.
I stopped in for a few hours Sun. morning and and hit the water park for a few on Mon. morning. The wait for the rides and water slides were quite short considering the amount of people there. I don't know they were in the afternoon.
They lost a lot of their larger shade trees (and a few rides) in the spring of '98 when a couple of heavy wind storms hit.
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