I finally rode my 100th coaster!
Early in the year I decided to make Shivering Timbers my 100th. I was at 94 after my June trip, which was a few lower than I had expected. I was a little afraid that one of the six coasters at this park would be closed on my trip and that I'd fall short. Everything worked out perfect though. I don't think I could have picked a better ride to make my 100th coaster. Read on…
Michigan’s Adventure – 07/12/2002
We arrived around noon and stayed until 9:00. I planned to arrive when the park opened but I forgot about the time zone change (again!). This gave us more than enough time to do everything in the park. It was still light out when the park closed at 9:00 which was kind of a bummer since I would have loved to get a ride on Timbers after dark. We spent about three hours in the water park during the afternoon.
This park seems to be very well kept. Everything seemed very clean and tidy. The rides were well maintained and looked great. I could tell some rides had been recently painted and the general upkeep of everything was pretty impressive. The bathrooms were really clean by amusement park standards.
As far as park atmosphere goes, well there isn't much. This place seems more like a collection of rides than an amusement park. There's little theming or landscaping. I just didn't "feel" like I was at an amusement park. It kind of reminded me of a larger version of Indiana's Fun Spot.
The waits for the entire day were minimal. The longest we waited in the amusement park was about 10 minutes. This is really remarkable considering most of the coasters only had a single train. The water park was a little more crowded. At one point we waited about 20 minutes just for a raft for large enclosed slide, Mine Shaft.
The biggest surprise of the day was the Shivering Timbers supporting cast - I didn't expect much out of the "other" coasters at Michigan's Adventure, but I really enjoyed all of them, except maybe Wolverine Wildcat. The park has a pretty good coaster collection going but the overall capacity of the coasters isn’t too hot. This may be a problem as the park expands.
Shivering Timbers ( excellent, 7 laps ) - The anticipation I had for this ride was greater than any I've had for a coaster in a long time. I'm happy to say Timbers did not fail to deliver. This coaster gives a whole new meaning to the word airtime! I was blown away by the sustained, standup airtime on every hill. I expected that this ride would loose a lot of its energy by the end, but even after all the hills, it hits the helix finale with a great amount of speed and power. Other than one good jolt on the middle of the first drop, the ride was very smooth all the way through. I found the blue train to be somewhat better than the green one and I prefer the front of the train to the back (best seat is 1.2, IMO). This is truly a world-class ride and is a serious contender for my number one spot when I re-evaluate. Being that I’m an airtime nut, this was a perfect choice for my 100th coaster.
Corkscrew ( good, 2 laps ) - I really misjudged this ride. I expected your typical Arrow head-banging but instead got a perfectly smooth, although short, ride. The coaster looks great with its new paint job.
Zach's Zoomer ( good, 2 laps ) - For a coaster of this size, it's really a lot more fun than you would think. The trains are understandably small so we rode separately but I was all smiles throughout this entire ride. There are some surprisingly good drops on this small wooden coaster. This one reminded me a lot of Beastie at PKI but I actually liked Zach's Zoomer better.
Mad Mouse ( good, 2 laps ) - This was my second wild mouse coaster and I found it much better than Roadrunner Express at SFKK. The brakes were not very noticeable and the hairpin turns were really fun. The middle of the ride has a couple of really surprising drops which make this one a winner in my book. The park was running all but 2 of the cars so the capacity seemed to be pretty good. I really like the elevated rear seats in the four person cars. This provides a great view no matter where you sit.
Big Dipper ( Average, 1 lap ) - Each ride on this kiddy steel coaster is good for 2 laps. The park lets adults ride without being accompanied by a child. Not the most thrilling ride in the world but it was smooth and enjoyable. The coaster has a unique curving lift hill, which I thought was pretty neat. The cars are actually pretty roomy for a coaster of this size.
Wolverine Wildcat ( Poor, 2 laps ) - This was the only we rode that we really didn't care for. The coaster looks great and the layout provides many hills, which would suggest lots of airtime. Unfortunately, the actual ride is awfully bumpy which kills off a lot of speed and thus provides very little airtime. I was really shocked at how bad this ride ran since there are quite a few sections that have obviously been recently rebuilt and/or retracked. I rode both near the front and near the back and didn't notice any difference in the ride experience. I will say the pre-lift tunnel is pretty cool though. For a coaster with such a promising layout, it really fails to deliver the goods. I'd love to see some more work done to get this ride running up to par.
I rode the Flying Trapeze (yo-yo), Sea Dragon, and Tilt-A-Whirl solo. We both rode the Dodgems and the Giant Gondola Wheel. All of them were decent rides and the Ferris Wheel provided some great aerial views of the park. I didn't ride Thunderbolt or the Trabant, but I watched them and the both looked awfully slow.
The park has a couple of water rides. The Log Flume, Loggers Run, might be the driest flume I’ve ever seen. Near the back of the park is Adventure Falls (Shoot-the-Chute). Once of the stranger sites of the day was watching this ride run without any water spilling down the drop. I’m not sure if there’s a problem with the ride, or if it always runs like that. Since we spent some time in the water park, we didn’t ride either of these.
The park’s Skycoaster has a great location, which swings riders out over the water. I may try one of these things someday but I decided against the $30 single rider price at MA. There is also a mini-golf course and go-karts back behind the Corkscrew coaster.
So what does this park need? Well, to start… How about some more bathrooms! Did I count wrong or are there only two sets of bathrooms in the entire park? At one point, we had to backtrack across the entire park before we found a bathroom. The park could also use some shade and landscaping to make it more visually appealing.
One strange thing about the park is that the kiddy rides are spread out across the entire park. I’d like to see the park make a dedicated kiddy area like the other Cedar Fair parks. In the water park, they really need a lift for those multi-person rafts for the Mine Shaft and Mammoth River slides. It’s not easy to carry those large, mutli-person, rafts all the way to the top.
One final note… I noticed some earth moving and construction going on across the lake. Is it possible that we could see the park expand in that direction to form a complete loop around the water? This seems like a good possibility to me and would be great for the park.
I had a really good day at this park despite its shortcomings. I think this park has the potential to be a really great park with the right improvements. I have mixed feelings about Cedar Fair running this park so it will be interesting to see what the park is like a couple years from now.
Thanks for reading,
About the bathrooms, there are 5.
1) Next to Zach's Zoomer.
2) In the long building near the Mad Mouse.
3) In the Wagon Pizza Building.
4) The changing rooms at the water park.
5) Behind Boogie Beach.
The Beast and Night, They go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly
Steel: 1)MF, 2)Goliath, 3)Magnum
Wood: 1)Villain, 2)Beast, 3)Roar(SFMW)
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