Tuesday, June 12, 2001 7:52 AM
Timbers Fest 2001 at Michigan’s Adventure Trip Report June 9
Everytime I thought I was right there….it was just a little further. Thinking I just might catch a glimpse of Shivering Timbers before getting to the gates of the park itself. Well, I did not even see any portion of the park until I was right on top of it. Every little breath I took as we got closer the anticipation of what lay ahead grew 10 fold. Quickly upon turning into the parking lot I finally got see Shivering Timbers. And what I saw in real life abruptly proved that pictures of this ride just don’t give it justice. It has quite a majestic beauty to it. The rolling hills and pristine natural wood just wet my appetite. It was upon seeing this that I decided to save it for that last coaster of the park on what turned out to be a gorgeous day. The sun shining without even the slightest hint of rain, even though the weather was predicted to take a turn for the worse. Thankfully weathermen are wrong more often than they are right. After we pay the parking fee and find a place to park, we go register for the Timbers Fest 2001 event. Wow, no line to sign up? Where was everyone? Well I guess they either beat us to the park or were not there yet. Never once was any line more than 10 minutes throughout the day. Now that is the kind of lines I like. No need for an exit pass when you have lines like that. We decided to go to our left and start in the kiddy section of the park.
We skipped over the Big Dipper, although it did look like a really neat little kiddy coaster. For the first coaster of the day we started with Zach’s Zoomer. Let me tell you first off it may be small but don’t let its size fool you. For a kiddy woody it sure did pack quite a punch. It has some airtime. Something often missing in a kiddy coaster. It also had some suprisingly good laterals too. A great way to start off the coaster riding of the day. It especially seemed popular among the younger ones. Right out in front of Zach’s Zoomer is where they are putting in the yet to be completed Bee Bop Boulevard. Yes it was still under construction at this time. There is still some missing concrete. But the idea behind this car ride should prove to quite a nice addition to this quaint little park.
We then darted across the midway to pick up a nostalgic ride on the Corkscrew. One of last of a dying breed of coaster. It is a very small and compact coaster. It only has corkscrew inversions. No loops. Nothing fancy to it. It turned out that despite it being an Arrow ride it was quite smooth. Well at least in comparison to other Arrow looping coasters. Actually it was my first time being on an authentic, unadulterated, original corkscrew. The station is quite an interesting design. It is kind of an old-school futuristic look and appeal to it. The rides itself, while the transitions are typical and rough, overall the ride has aged quite well, and was small but fun. It really did not have much to offer on the thrill scale however. But it more than made up for it in the nostalgia.
We then decided to hit a couple of flat rides. Well if all you want to do is Coasters this is not the place to do it…YET. We hit Thunderbolt, which is a typical carnival type of flat ride. It was rather fun and they had some good music playing on the ride. On one sad not however they did not run it backwards like they do at the carnivals. The ride op popped on and stated that it was Cedar Fair who decided to not allow them to run it backwards anymore. Oh well, can’t win everything I guess. Then we had a nice lazy photo session on the Giant Gondola Wheel. Then we hit the Scrambler. Wow…this scrambler must be on speed. It was the most intense and probably faster scrambler that I have been on in a long time.
Now it was time to get back to real reason we came…riding coasters. To the Madmouse we go. This is your typical wild mouse. There are brakes all over the place but they only had on set turned and it was near the end of the ride. All in all a fun, quirky, compact coaster. It was not quite as good as Hershey’s Wildmouse but it fun nonetheless.
Back to some more flat rides to break up the day. We hit Falling star. Definitely not a ride meant for moderately large people. OUCH! Then to the Flying Trapeze (a small swing ride). This is an utterly amazingly fun swing ride. It felt faster (maybe because it was smaller) than most. It is a nice way to break up the thrills for the day. Then the Tilt-a-whirl. Not too bad but a typical Tilt-a-whirl. Then Chaos. Again not a ride designed for moderately large people. I barely fit in it. We decide to take in some fries over by the Wolverine Wildcat.
After our fries we hit the Wolverine Wildcat. Now this is quite a picturesque ride with being right on the shore of a nice little pristine lake. It looks very similar to a cyclone clone…but it really is not. The ride starts off by diving out of the station into a tunnel. Which really helps you lose your sense of direction. It is a fast ride with lots of turns and bunny hills. This coaster is not big on airtime but did have some good laterals. The first 2 turn though were rather slow. Overall a fun ride not to be missed.
We then hit the last of the flat rides that were available to us….the Sea Dragon. It is a nice swinging ship set out in the middle of the lake. It’s placement really makes it a fun ride. We decide to skip over Loggers Run (which looks like a fun log flume) and Adventure Falls (a short boat ride that provides a big splash).
Finally to the big boy we have been waiting for, Shivering Timbers. We rode somewhere in the middle and I have to say I was quite amazed with the airtime on this ride. Airtime is something that is not lacking on Shivering Timbers. It was a quick but long ride. From the parking lot it looks like a series of waves in the ocean. The turnaround and helix had some nice laterals especially for an out-n-back coaster. We would ride several more times later in the day during ERT so we did not ride it again until ERT even though we wanted to do so.
Lunch came in about 3pm. It was a nice little backyard style lunch. They had hotdogs, burgers, and barbecue chicken…along with the usual condiments. During lunch they had Janice Witherow (of Cedar Point) and Roger Jourdan (of Michigan’s Adventure) speak on the sale and transition to Cedar Fair. One thing that got many accolades was that they spoke of how Dick Kinzel rode Shivering Timbers and loved it. He made Janice tell us that the ride was too much fun the way it is to add brakes to the ride. He wanted to assure us coaster lovers that they have no intentions of ruining the experience on the ride. Janice had yet to ride Shivering Timbers. But she was looking forward to riding it at ERT.
After lunch they took us on the now famous photo walk where we got to go behind the scenes and take up close pictures of Wolverine Wildcat and Shivering Timbers. They started us out behind Wolverine Wildcat. The side opposite of the lake. That provided many with some great photo opportunities. From there we were off to Shivering Timbers. Wow…what a walk. I can’t believe how long the ride really is. They informed us it was about 5300 feet long. Making it one of the longer woodies out there. The walk provided us with some really neat up close shots of the ride. And we got to wave at the people on Shivering Timbers as they whizzed by. If you were close enough you caught a breeze from the passing train. Some of us got to take some souvenirs of pieces of bolts and nails and rail pieces from under the ride itself. I think you had to ask to take them though. I did not ask so I did not steal myself a souvenir.
After the photo session we had a little time to blow in between then and ERT. So we decided to hit the swings, Ferris wheel, scrambler and Madmouse one more time. Just as fun the second time around.
After they got all of the GP (General Public) out of the park we got into our ERT. It was supposed to be from 7-10pm. Well let’s just say we went into some overtime. All in all we got in 14 more rides on Shivering Timbers. We got lucky enough to get in on the first run out in ERT. We took a vacant middle seat. Still as refreshing as the first time. Eventually we did the back seat. Now here is some major whiplash type of airtime. The air was so much there that I had a pack of Certs mini mints in the pocket of my shirt and they just floated right out as if they were weightless. Now being the Mintaholic that I am I was not happy. Oh well. I just did expect them to float away. Then we eventually made into the front seat. We quickly found that the front seat had some pretty forceful ejector type airtime. I quickly began to realize I was barely on my seat in the front. Which is quite a nice surprise, as most coasters don’t have much airtime in the front seat. While waiting in line for our many trips on Shivering Timbers we heard chants of “Save the station”. It was instigated by the ride op. I know it has to do with the Corkscrew station but I am not sure that they were referring to the one at Michigan’s Adventure or somewhere else. Janice Witherow (of Cedar Point) made a few laps in there and really enjoyed the ride but had to take a breather once in a while. We ended up spending most of our time in the front seat for the rest of the night. 10pm came and went without any sign of closing the queue line. We rode about 3 more times before they closed the queue lines at about 10:45pm. But on our last run we decided we would take up the front seat one more time. Rather than go for a bunch of non-stop runs. Turned out we were the last ones for the front seat. So we got into the last loaded train of the night too. We went around and came back. They asked if anyone wanted off. Everyone said NO! So they did not even pop the lapbars. We then were on our way to a surprise second run in the front seat without getting off the ride. After the second run they made us get off despite our sad little puppy eyed look to our faces.
All in all the hospitality here could not be beat. Not even by Cedar Point. Which is by far one of the best as that comes. And the fun had by all was wondrous.
Welcome to Deja Vu...home of the world wide wait.
Craig the Coaster Freak
Tuesday, June 12, 2001 9:50 AM
YES! The Timbers will not be touched! Can't wait to see what happens here in the next 5 years!
Shivering Timbers- for the love of Michigan's Adventure, just ride it.