Michigan's Adventure, Muskegon, Michigan, USA
My friend David had been asking for another trip to Michigan's Adventure this summer, so we made plans to go on Tuesday. But, the local weather reports were not looking good. 80 percent chance of thunderstorms, So, he called me around noon, and we decided to go.
There is a lot involved in us getting there. First I have to drive to Cutlerville to pick him up, get gas, lunch, and then drive an hour to the park. There was quite a bit of road construction on highway 96, so we didn't get to the park until 3 p.m. And, for a Monday, the park was surprisingly busy.
The first thing we noticed while entering the park, was that the Mad Mouse coaster was closed. That, and only one toll booth, and one entrance were operating, so just getting into the park took 20 minutes. Of which we spent heading for the restroom, after the longer than normal drive.
The park was pretty busy, The corkscrew had a half full que, and Zoomers Que was full as well, so I was thinking it was not going to be a good day. So, I figured if we were going to do any riding, we would have to do it first, even though it was already scorching hot. (near 90?)
We went to Thunderhawk first, and I was surprised that there was no line, with two train operation. There were quite a bit of people in the station, but we were on in less than 10 minutes. Thunderhawk was very smooth, with little head banging, and my friend liked it a lot. It was his first time on, but, didn't want to ride it again.
Next we went to Grand Rapids, which had a half full que. I was guessing over an hour wait, so we skipped that and walked back to the other side of the park, where we took a short ride on the bumper cars, and then a spin on the Sea Dragon. I wanted to do the log flume, but friend didn't so we went to the Wildcat instead. Which had about a 20 minute wait.
The Wildcat was actually kind of fun, I noticed that they made the tunnel before the lift a lot darker, there is a brief moment were you can't see anything, so that was cool. The ride itself has greatly improved, very little roughness, but still hits on the double down. But, with a train full of riders, it seems a lot faster.
Next, we go to Shivering Timbers. Oh, my management, what are you thinking! this is your star attraction don't ruin it! All, I have to say is, it was pretty brutal. There is still great airtime, but, the train seems like it is bouncing off the rails, especially going over the bigger drops, and then slamming at the bottom. The swoop turn was almost Mean Streak ruin, and the double helix was mind numming. It's nowhere near as bad as Mean Streak, but one ride was enough.
By now, we were both sweating bullets, and we went to the water park for the rest of our visit, including an hour long wait for the Funnel of Fear...but, it was worth it! The Funnel of Fear is probably one of the best rides in the park. That and the big wave pool by the Snake Pit slides, which were also fun. However, the water park was packed as always, so we didn't do a whole lot other than swim in the wave pools.
One major complaint. My friend and I were told by a security guard that we could not walk through the park with our shirts off. Even though there were dozens of boys around us who he said nothing to. So, I'm guessing if you have hair on your chest there is a difference?
I walked around that park for years with no shirt on, and you have a water park with thousands of shirtless guys, and you move 100 feet away, and suddenly there is a shirt issue? Seems pretty stupid to me.
Maybe you should tell some of these girls flaunting their breasts in the bikini tops, that they need to put a shirt on too. I don't want to look at saggy breasts all day, why not say something to them.
I aslo complained about the parking policy, and the food prices to a girl who was taking a survey. She was very friendly, and agreed with almost everything I said.
Besides a few minor complaints it was a good visit. I also want to mention, that the park looks great.
I noticed at Dorney they are more strict about wearing bathing suits on the ride side. They now have a guard at the entrance and exit to the waterpark area stopping people. The only problem is that if they close the back entrance to the watepark, you have to walk through part of the ride area to get to the rapids and splashdown boat so the guard made an exception that day. Maybe it's a Cedar Fair thing?
I don't think it was a swimsuit issue. My friend and I were in our street clothes, we just had our shirts off because they were soaking wet after riding the water rides. We were actually getting ready to leave the park near the entrance to the corkscrew when we were stopped.
We were carrying our shirts, and wet stuff and had our towels drapped over our shoulders. So, we didn't get what the big deal was. We told him we would change in the bathroom, but, since we were so close to the park exit, we just left, and none of the employees at the exit said anything to us.
The girl who was taking the survey was kind of surprised when we told her about the shirt issue. Like I said, it must just be a guy thing, because all the women in the tight bikini tops get to walk around like that all day almost shirtless...so what's the deal? Maybe I'll wear a tube top next time I go, and see if they say anyrhing.
I might get a lot of crap, but, at least they can't bitch me out for not wearing a shirt. If they tell me I can't wear it, I'll stop every woman in the park wearing a tube top and tell them they have to take theirs off too. And, it's not a sexual thing. I could care less.
We were at the park yesterday too. I first rode ST in the morning and didn't think much of it. We went back later in the afternoon and got some great rides. I didn't think it was rough at all except for the final helix. Where you were talking about the train hitting hard on the 3rd hill (???) was our favorite part.
I was surprised with the crowds, but the waits were weird. 1-2 train waits for ST & TH and 20 minutes for most all the other coasters.
We decided that we wanted some better rides, so we left at 4:00 pm and drove to CP for a few night rides.
Today I am paying for it. 22 hours and nearly 800 miles of driving in one day has left me mostly worthless today.
In answer to your question about Shivering Timbers. I noticed roughness mainly going up the first thrill hills. As the train is nears the top of each hill it feels like it is jumping up and down the track, and as it drops to the bottom, it hits pretty hard, and you can feel it in your neck and back...as too much downward force.
In the swoop turn, I can only describe it as uncontrolled fishtailing, as the car shudders left to right. And the trick track throws you around quite a bit more than it used to. I don't think I need to describe the helix, we all know it's like riding really fast around in a circle during a major earth quake. Sometimes, it's so bad, your vision gets blurred by the violent shaking.
But, a lot of the ride is still pretty good, and the airtime is till there. If you were able to ride ST during it's first year of operation, todays ride just doesn't match the smooth, super fast, and exciting ride that it was. I sure hope that the park will take note, and repair Shivering Timbers before it gets worse.
However, I can't think of any other wooden coaster that I like better than Shivering Timbers. It's just a great ride, and the park needs to do a better job of keeping it that way.
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