Michigan's Mis-Adventure - 9/11/04

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Monday, September 13, 2004 9:52 AM
Da' Wifey and I went to MiA as part of our "Wine Getaway" weekend - we we hitting the wineries in the southwest section of Michigan. You have to try the wines in that part of the state...good stuff - especially our three favorite wineries - Fenn Valley, Tabor Hill and Round Barn Winery (which used to be called Heart of the Vineyard).

But this is coasterbuzz, not wine buzz (which is what we had Sunday night after we opened a couple bottles at home) so back to the TR.

Got to the park at around 1:30...Despite the fact it was a clear and sunny 80 degree day, the parking lot was virtually EMPTY...the last lane that had cars in it was only halfway through the Mad Mouse!!

We go in and head straight for the Mad Mouse. I got Vicky to go on it with me...she was laughing and screaming at the same time...I have bruises on my arm from her grabbing me. Good fun mouse. 7/10

Went from there hitting the Falling Star on our way to Shivering Timbers. Only the red train was running and we got on in the second to last row. VERY rough ride...Vicky did not like this one at all. I experienced a severe case of anticipointment, but decided I'd be back later. 6/10

We were hungry so we walked all over trying to find food that sounded good. There wasn't any. Half the food stands were closed...all the rest only served hot dogs and hamburgers. C'mon, I am not asking for high cuisine, but they need to have more food options! I asked one of the food stand people if I was missing any places to eat...her response was, "C'mon, this is the burgeoning metropolis of Muskegon...all we have is what ya' see." Oooookay...this'll be a long day...

So we proceeded to have hamburgers...which were cold and lifeless. I decided to get a hot dog because I was still hungry...it too was lukewarm. To steal a line from 'Playa...I'd rate the food at MiA as "Cold Fries BAD" - oh wait... I can't because EVERY BOARDWALK FRIES STAND WAS CLOSED!!! 0/10!!!

After the food debacle, we walked around just looking at the park, very clean...but with as few people as were in attendance, it damn well should have been.

We, or should I say I, went to Corkscrew - Vicky was done riding coasters after ST's thrashing...Not as bad as some Arrow loopers (Shockwave/GASM), but not as good as others (Demon). 6/10

From here we went back across the park to the Wolverine Wildcat where again I rode solo (stopping along the way at Vicky's favorite ride at the park - the falling star). WW is my favorite coaster at the park. Great airtime, great leterals pretty smooth ride. I'd give it 8/10.

Went over to Timbers and decided to sit mid-train to try the different ride there. It definitely was different, but yet the same. It was even rougher than the back. Rating now dropped to a 5/10 but again I vowed to return to see if maybe the front was what everyone raves about because, to this point, I really was not liking ST at all.

Strolled back across the park mostly people watching - which brings me to my next issue with the park. Dress code...why have one if it's not going to be enforced??? Everywhere we looked girls were wearing string bikini tops.

According to the dress code on the map brochure, the dress code states,


"Shirts, shorts and shoes must be worn in the amusement park at all times, including entering or leaving. Swimwear must be sufficiently covered."

Needing to recover from ST's latest assault on my back, I rode Zach's Zoomer. Grat kids coaster, was bummed that in the future I would not be able to ride this one with Katie because I am so tall. I had to practically sit sideways to fit in. 7/10

I then rode the Big Dipper. Good, fun kids steel coaster... 6/10

Had a funnel cake for desert - which, other than the ice cream next to it at the food stand by the entrance, was the only dessert option that was open in the park. As always, it was yummy, but despite that, food still rates a 0/10 for lack of selection.

We headed back to have me give Timbers one last try - in the front row this time...I had my second worst wooden coaster ride in my history (Rolling Thunder being the worst - but not by much). The train was shuffling wildly both side to side (even on the straightaways!) My neck and back are still sore a day and a half later. I don't understand how this POS rates so high in the golden ticket awards... a generous 1/10

We then left the park and headed back to our hotel (the park was closing soon anyhow - hours were from 11a-6p) so we could get ready for dinner and rest up for the wineries the next day as well as apple and blueberry picking.

I'd rate the park overall as a generous 4/10 and that's being generous as Vicky rated it a 2/10 based on ST being so rough, food stalls being closed with not options and lack of adherance to posted rules for clothing. She was appalled at how many food stands were closed - especially since they were the ones with other food options, leaving only the hotdog and burger stands open. We were not impressed with the park, at all...

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Monday, September 13, 2004 10:01 AM
While I thought Timbers was also WAY overrated, I too think 4/10 is a *generous* appraisal of the park. The "fries" were not only cold, they were unsalted and undercooked...:(

On the positive side, I thought MiA's MOUSE was the star attraction of the park. Wildcat was considerably rougher when we were there, but I understand there's been considerable work done to the ride since then...

They're smack-dab in the middle of *lumbering central*, did Paul Bunyan come and whack down every tree in the park? ;)

Food selection, quality, and quantity were WAY substandard, and the staff attitudes matched...I considered MiA to be the *antithesis* of WoF in Kansas City, which was a small CF park with a HEART...

P.S. George...come to NorCal with us for the www.gilroygarlicfestival.com event next year, good wine AND good garlic...:)
*** Edited 9/13/2004 2:03:20 PM UTC by rollergator***

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Monday, September 13, 2004 10:29 AM
I thought ST had a blue train and a green train. When did the red one pop up?
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Monday, September 13, 2004 10:46 AM
Maybe it was the green one...I think blue was on the storage track...perhaps I got thrown around so much I went color blind temporarily.
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Monday, September 13, 2004 11:14 AM
They do only have blue and green trains (at least for the past two years). The storage bins in the station also match the two trains.

I look at the park this way.. they do not have THAT much to offer to public in the way of rides (for now). I strictly went there last year for the first time for ST, and ST alone. I loved ST from the first ride, and rode it many times (front row). I liked the cleanliness and friendliness at the park last summer, but it was not enough to bring me back again for quite some time.

Much to my surprise, I happened to have spent many weekends in Michigan this year, and with a CP season pass, it made sense to spend a few hours at MiA every few weeks. My last trip report dealt with a super crowded day there (http://www.coasterbuzz.com/forum.aspx?mode=thread&TopicID=39201), and stressed their poor customer service.

It does not suprise me of your finding so many food stalls closed down. And seeing the dress code not upheld, again shows for the lack of the customer service at MiA this year. It really got worse and worse as the summer went on.

Few rides, fewer examples of good customer service, will mean fewer cars in the lot in the future. Their attendance may be up in general for this year, but treat the peeps poorly, and watch what will happen.

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Monday, September 13, 2004 11:52 AM

Strolled back across the park mostly people watching - which brings me to my next issue with the park. Dress code...why have one if it's not going to be enforced??? Everywhere we looked girls were wearing string bikini tops.

Somebody's wife reads CoasterBuzz...Somebody's wife reads CoasterBuzz....

*makes 'Whaaaaa-CHHHHHHH!' whipping noises* ;)

-'Playa

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Monday, September 13, 2004 12:18 PM
Nope, she doesn't read coasterbuzz...nice try ;)

(My issues with it stemmed from the fact I kept getting spiked in the ribs from her elbow...even when I wasn't looking!!! ) *** Edited 9/14/2004 2:22:48 AM UTC by redman822***

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Monday, September 13, 2004 12:20 PM

Strolled back across the park mostly people watching - which brings me to my next issue with the park. Dress code...why have one if it's not going to be enforced??? Everywhere we looked girls were wearing string bikini tops.

And that's a bad thing how? ;-)

Yeah, good old Michigan's Adventure...doomed to forever reside in my bottom 10 amusement parks, since I doubt I'll be back...ever.

But Timbers was running great when I was there in 2002, and it's still lodged in a 5-way tie for #1 in my woodie rankings (out of 68 woodies). Just couldn't get enough of it. Pity the park is so far out of the way and pathetic.

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Monday, September 13, 2004 5:06 PM
Sad to see that nothing has changed much since my one and only visit back in 2002. At that time I swore I wouldn't return until I had a reason to because a disappointing Timbers sure wasn't reason enough. I'll return to SFKK over and over again before I head back to Muskegon. No service, no food choices, no shade, no fun.

What I remember most is two separate instances when the GP verbally assaulted and physically intimidated the ride ops who were just trying to do their jobs. It's easier to understand the apathy when you see what the staff needs to deal with on a daily basis. Rough crowd, I tell ya. Not dangerous rough, but rude, ignorant rough, if you know what I mean.

Is MiA CF's SFAW? Huh? Never mind....

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Monday, September 13, 2004 5:47 PM
Blue and green trains were running on ST when I visited early June this summer. I'm wondering if the trains were fully loaded when you rode it Redman. I know I had some great rides on it with fully loaded trains. Maybe that's the difference I experienced vs. your experience. Just a thought.
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Monday, September 13, 2004 6:14 PM
It all depends on when you visit the park if you ask me. On bonus weekends barley anybodys shows up to the park, so its a waste of money for them to have to pay to keep some of the food stalls open when their getting barley business. Its much smarter to shut down the food stalls that sell stuff you can get at another food stall. When barley anybody shows up dont expect for them to just waste there money, keeping everything open so one person can get food where you can pretty much get anywhere else. Theres only a couple of food items that are sold at only one place in the park. SO when the parks pretty empty the close those second locations. I do realise that with the water park closed it makes food options even harder, but the park isnt going to just try and loos money. When not enough people come into the park to at least break even, there going to make cut backs after cut-back untill they do. Thats how a business works. If you want to experience the park with everything open go between memorial day-labor day. Before and after that time period not everything is open. So dont complain that the park was trying to make money, and not lose it, cause thats all they were doing when they shut certain things down.
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Monday, September 13, 2004 6:32 PM
Great TR Redman! I still don't understand what's so great about Shivering Timbers. It delivered about as much airtime as The Racer- forwards at PKI, which was really disappointing for something so raved about and being a huge out-and-back. I would say "maybe I need to go back", but it sounds like I would still feel the same and I don't think the park is worth going to with no new coasters and being so underwhelmed by the place anyways. Doesn't sound like CF changed anything *important*.

+Danny

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Monday, September 13, 2004 6:55 PM
It used to deliver airtime like no other coaster out there. Sad it came down to this. Makes me sad and wish the Jourden family still owned the park as I am sure the maintenance of Timbers would be better. Though they did have their own problems too.
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Monday, September 13, 2004 7:49 PM
are you kidding me beast7369, CF finnalty gave the wooden coasters the fixings that they needed. THe jourdons were horrible at maintnence, take a look at WW before CF bought it and two years after they had tome to fix the thing. The jourdons just didnt know how to maintain wooden coasters. CF does. the only reason that TImbers was smoothest when the jourdons owned it was becasue it was brand new, and the last year they had the park, the thing was pretty rough. CF has done a great job with that thing,m yeah it has one or to rough parts. And the reason the turns are rough is becasue they were poorly desingned and it just tears its self a part cause it goes flying int them. And as far as airtime goes, obviously you havnt sat in the front, or back before, cause its absalutly amazing, and beyond anything iv ever been on 9except for jack rabbit, ONE element). Obviously Best7369 you dont know what your talking about becaseu the jourdons didnt have the money to get there coasters retracked professionaly, and as far as maintnece and everything else goes. There still the same maintnence guys that were there pre CF, and the same lady still runs the park. Timbers is much better off with CF.
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Monday, September 13, 2004 9:17 PM
^I stopped taking you seriously at "finnalty"... I started laughing at "that thing,m yeah". :)

+Danny, myes

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Monday, September 13, 2004 10:22 PM

RockingRollerFarm said in an incoherent form of English:
On bonus weekends barley anybodys shows up to the park, so its a waste of money for them to have to pay to keep some of the food stalls open when their getting barley business. Its much smarter to shut down the food stalls that sell stuff you can get at another food stall. When barley anybody shows up dont expect for them to just waste there money, keeping everything open so one person can get food where you can pretty much get anywhere else. Theres only a couple of food items that are sold at only one place in the park. SO when the parks pretty empty the close those second locations.

That's the problem I stated in my trip report, RRF. They had all the food stands open that sold hamburgers and hotdogs. Every single one of them was open yet they had the one and only boardwalk fries closed. If they had one of every type of food stall opened, I wouldn't have complained. But they only had the hot dog and hamburger stands open.

The pizza stand? CLOSED!

The Boardwalk Fries stand? CLOSED!

The Kettle Corn stand? CLOSED!


RockingRollerFarm continued in a different post but still in an incoherent form of English:

CF finnalty gave the wooden coasters the fixings that they needed. THe jourdons were horrible at maintnence, take a look at WW before CF bought it and two years after they had tome to fix the thing. The jourdons just didnt know how to maintain wooden coasters. CF does.

(snip)

CF has done a great job with that thing,m yeah it has one or to rough parts. And the reason the turns are rough is becasue they were poorly desingned and it just tears its self a part cause it goes flying int them. And as far as airtime goes, obviously you havnt sat in the front, or back before, cause its absalutly amazing...


CF knows how to maintain forceful wood coasters? REALLY??? Then what do you say about Mean Streak???

One or two rough parts??? I guess I'll have to agree with you there...there was one rough part. It lasted from the top of the lift hill until the start of the brake run.

I sat in the front, middle and back rows...all rows sucked. And yes, the trains were full. *** Edited 9/14/2004 2:30:04 AM UTC by redman822***

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Monday, September 13, 2004 10:33 PM
I went too MA this August and found ST to be a GREAT ride!!!! The air time in the back was awesome and the front was almost as good.
The ride gives you what you want from a great wooden coaster, great air time and great lateral movement, and a little roughness which is expected on a wooden coaster. But not painful roughness as i rode the ride at least 40 times and would have ridden it more if i could. And the best part is the ride-ops dont staple you in at ALL,they just made sure it was engaged and no more and didnt ruin the ride like many ride ops do when they staple you in.
The park leaves alot to be desired but ST makes it worth the price of admission!!
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Tuesday, September 14, 2004 10:34 AM

redman822 said:
(My issues with it stemmed from the fact I kept getting spiked in the ribs from her elbow...even when I wasn't looking!!! )

Gonna share a little *questionable gator wisdom* with George for a sec....if you're gonna get poked in the ribs anyhow, at least make it worth your while.

The park with NO dress code whatsoever, for those interested, is Trimper's on the MD Eastern Shore...;)

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Tuesday, September 14, 2004 11:47 AM
I went there once last summer. The park itself was dead. The waterpark was packed. Timbers was so-so. The mouse rocked. Didn't care much for the rest.

Thank goodness I wasn't a victim of those fries!

I get fussy with my fries ya know. ;-)

I wasn't impressed with the park at all and I doubt I will go back until they get something worth going to. I was there about 2 hours and got bored.

The park and employees were very nice, but I couldn't believe how small the park was. It was worth a freebie ticket I guess. :-) The park has A LOT of potential, and I hope to see Cedar Fair pay more attention to it in the near future. ;-)

-Tina

*** Edited 9/14/2004 3:50:12 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

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Tuesday, September 14, 2004 4:06 PM
Timbers is a strange coaster. The first few years it ran, rides were outstanding. Never had I been that blown away by a wooden coaster before.

Last year during Timbersfest, I saw a side to ST that wasn't good. The ride became so rough that most people wouldn't ride it during ERT. When I decided to leave, there were 12 people want to ride and most of them were waiting for the front.

I didn't go to Timbersfest this year as I thought the coaster would be running the same. I did hear from those that went that it was running much better but now it sounds as if the ride is not running up to par once more.

There was a time when I felt Timbers was "all that" but I can easily see why a lot of folks claim it to be overrated. I know how you feel as I had the same thing happen to me when I first rode the Cyclone at Coney Island. I had heard so much about it and was really looking forward to riding it but ended up leaving the park after 4 rides or so. I just didn't see what the hype was about.

-Sean

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