Leaving our Country Inn and Suites in Holland, Michigan (which is where we found ourselves after our 12 hour journey from central Pennsylvania the day before), we headed north to visit and photograph the lighthouses in Grand Haven, Muskegon and Whitehall and at around 11:30 am we were pulling into the (relatively empty) parking lot of Michigan’s Adventure. In a short time we had bought our tickets and were looking over the map of the park. We decided to start at Big Dipper and take the coasters in order.
First up was Big Dipper. Walk on. One for the count, what can I say, nothing more, nothing less. Not extremely noteworthy, but then again, it is a “family” coaster (more like an over grown kiddie coaster) and I wasn’t expecting anything great.
Next: Zach’s Zoomer. Walk on. This little Junior wooden coaster was kind of fun. I grabbed one ride on it. Michele then decided to give it a try as well, so I rode it a second time.
Corkscrew was next on the agenda. Michele decided to pass this one up, so I ventured on alone. Walk on. Remembering the beatings on rides like BGT’s Python and the similar Gold Rusher at Carowinds and Steamin’ Demon at Great Escape, I picked a seat in the front part of the train. I don’t find things quite as rough up there. Corkscrew really surprised me. It wasn’t rough at all and was actually kind of fun. I exited and then walked around to the queue for a second spin. Front seat this time. Going up the lift, I saw Michele standing in the entrance way, just where the one part of the corkscrew is overhead, with the camera. As the train roared through this part of the course, I looked up…. Or would that be down... to the ground where she was standing. Not sure how that shot came out; we haven’t gotten the pictures from the trip developed yet. (if the past is any indication of things… we will probably get around to dropping them off sometime around Thanksgiving…. I really need a digital camera)
The only real line of the day was for Mad Mouse. I think I waited around 10 minutes. One ride on this one. It’s a mouse… nothing special.
We then made our way to the back of the park. Realizing that she can’t quite handle coasters like she used to be able to (Zach’s Zoomer basically ended her day), Michele decided to find a nice shady bench and wait while I rode Wolverine Wildcat and Shivering Timbers.
Wolverine Wildcat would have been a walk on, but I had a two train wait because I opted for the front seat and there were already 4 people lined up there. Most of the other seats were empty. Anyway… This coaster surprised me. I heard so many bad things about it, but found most of them untrue. It was a fun coaster with good speed… especially on those low bunny hop type of hills between the turn arounds. (A later back seat ride on this coaster however gave me a slight preview of the roughness it could throw out)
Then it was time for Shivering Timbers. I have heard a lot about this coaster… and I will admit that seeing it as you drive in is very impressive. Front seat ride… no wait. Was it fun… yes. Was it a good coaster… yes. Was it the greatest thing ever built on the face of the planet… not hardly. There comes a point where even too much of a good thing gets boring… Shivering Timbers pushes very close to this line. I love out and back coasters… but ST just seemed to get monotonous. I wasn’t all that impressed with it.
At this point we grabbed some lunch… fries and a slice of pizza (Michele liked the name of the pizza… Bosco… and had flash backs to her favorite character on the recently canceled “Third Watch” on NBC). I told Michele that I wanted to grab a few more rides on W-Wildcat and ST. I did three more on W-Wildcat for a total of 4. The fourth (and final) ride on this coaster of the day was the above mentioned “back seat” ride. Now that seat was Painful!
Giving W-Wildcat a rest, I headed off to ST again. This time I chose the back seat…. And what a fortunate decision that was! I am usually a front seat person… but I found the back seat on this coaster just so much better…. So four more back seat rides followed. As unimpressed as I was with the front seat is just how impressed I was with the back.
The last ride of the day, as we headed toward the exit, was on the Log Flume. Michele rode this too (she doesn’t have a problem with the drops… its just the sudden changes of direction and the roughness that gets her). A fun flume… but nothing special.
The last stop of the day was at the one shop just inside the front gate and bought some stuff (key chains with little stuffed Peanut’s characters hanging from them). Just out side of the store were two large fiber glass statues of Snoopy in a scout uniform (for Camp Snoopy no doubt) and Michele said to get her picture with him, which I did. She then told me to stand there while she snapped the picture. The kid working the register at the store was watching us and then asked if we wanted a picture together. We said okay, so he locked his register (there were no other customers) and stepped around the counter and out of the door to shoot the picture. We thanked him and were then on our way.
All in all I was pleasantly surprised by the park. It is not huge, but it is nice. The employees all seemed friendly, the ops seemed efficient, the place seemed clean and it looked very nice. Not saying I would make a special trip back to Michigan just for this little park… but if I would ever find myself in the neighborhood (read: with in 100 miles) I would definitely consider it.
*** Edited 6/28/2005 5:13:43 PM UTC by SLFAKE***
It's a "nice, small park", but their biggest draw is something you obviously avoided. The waterpark.
I'm glad you gave Timbers a second chance. It has been giving some great floater air this year no matter where I've sat. I've been practically standing on my way down the hills (and yes, I do keep my seatbelt on, and yes its as tight as i can get it, so standing I guess is a figurative thing, but I'm out of my seat no matter what thanks to the well designed air-hills.)
Hopefully we will get a steel coaster on par with ST in the coming years. It would really help to draw more people to the park, and with the water/sewer issue out of the way, maybe we can get one in 2 years.
CPLady said: It's a "nice, small park", but their biggest draw is something you obviously avoided. The waterpark.
I don't do water parks... sorry. Could be the fact that I am not much of a swimmer (not saying you have to be at water parks... but I'm just not that used to the water. I can take or leave the water).
Cedar Fair has done alot of work on the park since I was there in 2001. Alot more attractions, adding a water park was a smart addition, paved alot of the dirt, some land scaping, very much improved. A drop tower would be a nice addition.
I still love Shivering Timbers. The air time is incredible, great action after the floaters coming back through the wood beams, the trick track, the helix at the end, its a classic. I bit rougher then when I rode it years ago, still one of the best.
My one complaint was that I had to pay for parking twice. You have to pay it each time you enter the parking lot. That sucks! I hate to say it but that would never happen at a Six Flags park. *** Edited 6/28/2005 6:54:29 PM UTC by rc-madness***
June 19th was also back during the cold snap where we were lucky to get above 70 and COMPLAINING ABOUT IT.
We were not complaining at all about that! This is the first vacation in 3 years that was not hellishly hot.
Our trip to Ontario, NY, NH and Maine in 2003 was met with record breaking heat. Of course The Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Tennesee in June of 2004 we expected to be hot... and we got what we expected and then some!
My one complaint was that I had to pay for parking twice. You have to pay it each time you enter the parking lot. That sucks! I hate to say it but that would never happen at a Six Flags park.
Actually, when we were there for RRR, we found that VisionLand had JUST implemented this INSANE "pay once, park once" policy, charging guests for re-entry to the parking lot. I haven't heard of many things more likely to create a backlash towards a park....that is bad PR taken to unprecedented levels, IMO.
SLFAKE, I live over here, and I was actually going camping on Lake Michigan with my family. We were complaining because it really needed to be warmer in order to make swimming in the big lake worth it. We swam anyway, but damn was it cold. It did make sitting around a campfire more bearable, so I guess there are tradeoffs.
My daughter was mad at me after the second ride on W Wildcat that I talked her into taking. It gave me quite a spine jarring. I'll have to try the front seat next time.
I loved ST, but just as you said Sflake, there are no suprises. With HW's Legend or DW's Thunderhead, you don't know what is coming next. That makes it more exciting and fun to reride for me. I had ST's layout down after the first ride. Still, it's one of my favorites as well as several other wooden out and back coasters.
adding a water park was a smart addition
CF didnt add the water park, its been there since 1990. They have improved the water park immensly but the only acctual ride they have put in it is Funnel of fear.
Great little park. Much better than the impression I got from reading of other's experiences.
Funny how everyone has a different take on coasters:
I loved ST regardless of where I sat and the back seat was just ridiculous fun.
I though Corkscrew was mildly rough. Just like all the others out there. There seems to be little difference in the ride these coasters give. Not a killer at all, but one lap was enough.
Wolverine Wildcat was very 'meh' - it wasn't a rough ride, it just wasn't that exciting to us.
I've had lots of fun on other family sized woodies, but found a few spots on Zach's Zoomer to be surprisingly jarring.
We pretty much walked on the Mad Mouse. Chose the back for the elevated seats. Eh, it's a mouse.
Did Big Dipper with the kids. Gave the same ride as Gold Rush at Wild Adventures and Joust at Dutch Wonderland - as well it should, it's the same coaster.
The park basically won me over on the general atmosphere and niceness and the overly friendly employees...
...and Shivering Timbers, of course. :)
The Back seat is great for pull over air.
Also of note, The Blue train outperforms the Green one for some strange reason, I think they need a refund or replacement from PTC on that green POS.
Like others have said, The ride gets better late in the day like after the 8pm closing time LOL!
On my first visit I wasn't impressed with ST. Like you said. Monontonus and the second half didn't deliver.
Betwen 9pm and 11:30pm this coaster performs on every hill and the helix at the end that normally is taken at a cruising pace is full of intense latterals.
Im glad you enjoyed your day. Join a crew at Timbersfest one year to see what the raves are about. It's a mildly attended event mainly due to location and you can get 25-50 rides durring ERT alone
Chuck, nice to read TR's when you can't actually get there this year :)
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