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Michigan's Adventure (MiA) Discussion Thread


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Please post as soon as you can.

On a day where the park was packed, Thunderhawk's station was a ghost town when I was there the other day... I'm guessing the honeymoon finally wore off! (Or maybe word has finally gotten out to enough people about what a terrible coaster it is... )

 

Thunderhawk is stated to be one of the best SLC's out there right now. Compared to others, I actually rather enjoy it. In addition, since its opening, the park has consistently brought in crowds that continued to increase annually. They're up to around 750,000-800,000 people per year as of the last time I heard. That's really well for this park considering they were only getting 400,000 when Shivering Timbers opened.

 

Ok, I don't think you're saying this, but please tell me you don't actually think that Thunderhawk is the sole reason for the park's increasing attendance all these years?! Yes, I'm sure it was a draw for a few years, because people around here were starved for a major new addition at the park (much as they are now.) But the increasing attendance in the years since has more to do with a rebounding economy, and more people vacationing on the West side of the state as a result. GP are also naive about things like the coaster being an old one, relocated from another park. Believe me: every non-enthusiast I told about that, was a little disgusted that MiA got "leftovers" as was I. But whatever...

 

Thunderhawk may be ok for some, but long term, something more accommodating to guests who don't like getting banged around (which is most of them - especially among non-enthusiasts!) like a Hyper would be a very wise addition for the park, if they want to hit that higher attendance mark. Imagine what a quality addition like that would do for the park, considering what Thunderhawk did, in spite of all of its deficiencies!

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Thunderhawk opened in 2008 and attendance jumped rapidly.

 

The economy didn't rebound in the summer of 2008 and leading into 2009...it actually was beginning to crash.

 

But no I am not saying it is the sole reason, but it was one of the main reasons. The park had, however, seen attendance growth in the seasons preceeding leading all the way back to 2003. But that was the biggest single jump in the history of the park. And it has been stated numerous times by management that the addition of Thunderhawk was the reason for the success. You spend that on a ride and get that enormous turnout. The park was just riding the wave and probably never even thought of another coaster following it (but seeing as that was so long ago, I hope a new coaster is on the table. I really want the Chance Hyper GTX rumor to be true)

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^ Wild Thing brought VF over a million guest for the first time in 96. Magnum was so popular at CP, that they put them in at VF, Dor, and WOF in the 90's. They were and still are extremely popular. Hopefully in the upcoming years we get something of importance to the park.

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Thunderhawk opened in 2008 and attendance jumped rapidly.

 

The economy didn't rebound in the summer of 2008 and leading into 2009...it actually was beginning to crash.

 

Believe me: I know this timeline very well, as I was trying to raise a family of five with three little kids during that time, and it was the beginning of the end of our financial stability as a family, that we're just now getting over...

 

I recognize that its addition bolstered attendance through those early years. But it's not still drawing people in like that now. Now, it's a burgeoning economy, and the park's proximity to the prime vacation destination of Lake Michigan that is fueling the crowds.

 

But no I am not saying it is the sole reason, but it was one of the main reasons. The park had, however, seen attendance growth in the seasons preceeding leading all the way back to 2003. But that was the biggest single jump in the history of the park. And it has been stated numerous times by management that the addition of Thunderhawk was the reason for the success. You spend that on a ride and get that enormous turnout. The park was just riding the wave and probably never even thought of another coaster following it (but seeing as that was so long ago, I hope a new coaster is on the table. I really want the Chance Hyper GTX rumor to be true)

 

This only seems to reinforce what I (and all of us MiA fans, really) are saying, that a major roller coaster addition to the park could only boost attendance even more! If they saw such a tangible increase out of Thunderhawk, which automatically turned off the healthy contingent of GP that don't like inversions, imagine what they'd see from an Intamin Hyper or Mega-Lite, or a Chance Hyper GTX! So I think we're in agreement on that - even if I cannot in good conscience call Thunderhawk a good roller coaster! (FWIW, I'd agree that it's the best of its kind - but that's not saying much to me...)

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Thunderhawk opened in 2008 and attendance jumped rapidly.

 

The economy didn't rebound in the summer of 2008 and leading into 2009...it actually was beginning to crash.

 

Believe me: I know this timeline very well, as I was trying to raise a family of five with three little kids during that time, and it was the beginning of the end of our financial stability as a family, that we're just now getting over...

 

I recognize that its addition bolstered attendance through those early years. But it's not still drawing people in like that now. Now, it's a burgeoning economy, and the park's proximity to the prime vacation destination of Lake Michigan that is fueling the crowds.

 

But no I am not saying it is the sole reason, but it was one of the main reasons. The park had, however, seen attendance growth in the seasons preceeding leading all the way back to 2003. But that was the biggest single jump in the history of the park. And it has been stated numerous times by management that the addition of Thunderhawk was the reason for the success. You spend that on a ride and get that enormous turnout. The park was just riding the wave and probably never even thought of another coaster following it (but seeing as that was so long ago, I hope a new coaster is on the table. I really want the Chance Hyper GTX rumor to be true)

 

This only seems to reinforce what I (and all of us MiA fans, really) are saying, that a major roller coaster addition to the park could only boost attendance even more! If they saw such a tangible increase out of Thunderhawk, which automatically turned off the healthy contingent of GP that don't like inversions, imagine what they'd see from an Intamin Hyper or Mega-Lite, or a Chance Hyper GTX! So I think we're in agreement on that - even if I cannot in good conscience call Thunderhawk a good roller coaster! (FWIW, I'd agree that it's the best of its kind - but that's not saying much to me...)

 

I'm sorry to hear about what the economy did to you. I know it hit many hard and I am thankful that we do appear to be rebounding a bit.

 

The thing is the market. I don't know how long it would take for the park to hit 1 million people. But its possible.

 

Believe it or not, following Thunderhawks opening in 2008, Muskegon tourism promoters were working with Cedar Fair to try to bring a Michigan's Adventure official campground, motel & indoor waterpark. Mark my words, but remember the Jourden family owns Duck Creek across the street. I see them eventually selling that to Cedar Fair and that becoming the official RV Resort for the park.

 

Then there was the quote from Camille-Jourden Mark "As long as we continue to get a return on investment, we will continue to invest". The infrastructure upgrades going on behind the scenes have been great, but she was quoted with "big capital on the way" last year and she wouldn't say that just for infrastructure. So fingers crossed.

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Then there was the quote from Camille-Jourden Mark "As long as we continue to get a return on investment, we will continue to invest". The infrastructure upgrades going on behind the scenes have been great, but she was quoted with "big capital on the way" last year and she wouldn't say that just for infrastructure. So fingers crossed.

 

Wow! That's great to hear! Pardon me, however, if I take an "I'll believe it when I see it" attitude regarding it... It's simply been so long waiting for major capital investment (and yes, it's an investment, I get that) at this park, that I've become quite cynical about it... However, all is not negative, and I DO have good things to say about MiA as well, but I'll get into that later - in that mythical TR that is forthcoming!

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Wow! That's great to hear! Pardon me, however, if I take an "I'll believe it when I see it" attitude regarding it... It's simply been so long waiting for major capital investment (and yes, it's an investment, I get that) at this park, that I've become quite cynical about it...

 

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but I'll get into that later - in that mythical TR that is forthcoming!

 

I'll believe it when I see it

 

At any rate, I'm sure we'll start hearing something soon about this "major capital". But it could be just about anything honestly. And it could be within the next five years too. I do expect a waterpark expansion and/or a standalone water slide (like a ProSlide Rocket) added eventually. I feel its only a matter of time before something like that comes to the park. Same with a Disk-O.

 

The chain is in the best shape it has been in in a long time (along with the highest season pass sales ever). The park is also extremely healthy, so its only a matter of time.

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I think once the dust settles at the paramount parks, we will actually start seeing some love again

 

You really touched on what definitely "hurt" MiA, and the other smaller CF parks... When CF purchased the much further along, and more potentially lucrative Paramount parks (not to mention taking on that HUGE debt load!), all major additions for the smaller parks quickly became a thing of the past, at least for a while! Hopefully, that changes soon, but honestly, with the return they're getting from places like CW and KD (as well as Carowinds, to a lesser extent), I don't see them switching focus anytime soon, really...

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Thunderhawk gets too much hate from enthusiasts just because it is an SLC. I personally have never ridden another SLC, but I can say that the GP does in fact love the crap out of that ride, at least from what I've seen and heard. I don't think I've ever heard a complaint about it being too rough. It's surprisingly smooth and incredibly forceful. I'm somewhat new to this whole coaster enthusiast thing, so I was part of the GP not too long ago. To those that don't know any different and haven't been to a better park with better rides, Thunderhawk is pretty mindblowing. Pretty much all my my non-enthusiast friends prefer it over ST (I think they are insane, but they do).

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Hmm, I don't get it. Every time I ride Thunderhawk, I get off the ride and regret it. I also have never ridden another SLC, though expect to ride one at Canada's Wonderland in a couple of weeks. I think I'm spoiled cause I frequently will drive the 4 hours to CP.

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^I have never had an issue on Thunderhawk and I ride it quite often and have since it first opened. Its pretty tame for an SLC. I've actually had worst headbangs on other coasters than I have on Thunderhawk. And the GP does love it. I take some GP friends there every now and then (two of which are close to making the conversion over to coaster enthusiast) and one still swears Thunderhawk is the best in the park. The other still goes for Timbers being the best.

 

But watch out for Flight Deck. Ouch! But, I'll still ride it haha

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Having been on many B&M inverts, id take Thunderhawk over some of them. So of them (cough Patriot) just dont tickle my fancy. ThunderHawk is forceful, and intense. Tight turns and tight inversions. Id laugh if MIA copied KK and had there next coaster be lightingHawk to go with Thunderhawk

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Y'all are crazy!

 

I had a huge, well thought-out, informed, and well-written rebuttal to all the Thunderhawk love here, but I deleted it to avoid starting a major argument. We'll just have to agree to disagree, and I'll just leave it at what I stated above and go back to writing my MiA TR!

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Y'all are crazy!

 

I had a huge, well thought-out, informed, and well-written rebuttal to all the Thunderhawk love here, but I deleted it to avoid starting a major argument. We'll just have to agree to disagree, and I'll just leave it at what I stated above and go back to writing my MiA TR!

 

We want a huge photo trip report

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Y'all are crazy!

 

I had a huge, well thought-out, informed, and well-written rebuttal to all the Thunderhawk love here, but I deleted it to avoid starting a major argument. We'll just have to agree to disagree, and I'll just leave it at what I stated above and go back to writing my MiA TR!

 

We want a huge photo trip report

 

Now, I warned you, I'm not much of a picture-taker! But I did get some I'll be posting! It's just slow going while In watching my baby (right now, I'm on my phone, which is why I've been forced to take a break from the TR.) My wife will be back from work before long, and hopefully I'll get free to finish it (I apologize in advance, but I'm a bit long-winded! )

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Any surprises in your trip report?

 

Some aspects of my attitude about the park changed, which surprised me a little. I was surprised by how much my kids like Corkscrew. I was surprised it was as busy as it was. There were probably a few other things, but for the most part, it was an enjoyable day, and the park is very similar to how I remembered it! One thing that was NOT a surprise, is how much I enjoyed the addition of the Lakeside Beer Garden!

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Okay! Time for my Trip Report, and State of the MiA address, from my first visit to the park since Grand Rapids was the new thing!

 

After Thunderhawk was added, after years of clamoring for a "new" coaster, I was pretty offended (ok, I know that's lame, but that was a long time ago, so cut me some slack!) at what I perceived as a slight of MiA, and decided not to return to the park until they added a new major coaster. Well, in that game of chicken, I lost, as I decided I was ready to return, and show this park, which was a staple of my own childhood, to my kids!

 

First off, the players... I have an 11 year old son, Ian, who can ride everything, and just went to CP and did it all (Except TTD - that was still too scary for him) earlier this year. He is an avid RCT player, and has really gotten into coasters over the past few years, like his proud papa! My daughter, is 8, and already it is apparent she is nowhere near the "scaredy-cat" my oldest son was, when he was younger. She'd ride any coaster on the planet already (I even convinced her to ride Falcon's Fury when we go to Busch Gardens Florida in a couple years... for $10!), and while she isn't quite tall enough to do so yet (only 50" currently), she'll be ready when her height catches up! My final child (for coaster riding purposes - I have a 1 year old who isn't quite ready yet!) is almost 7, and he is barely 48" in shoes, so he just made it onto the bigger coasters at MiA. He is more like his sister, than his older brother, and is ready to take on pretty much any coaster, right now!

 

Okay, so we headed off to the park this past Tuesday, hoping that going in the middle of the week would offset some of the crowds typically seen during the Summer months. Well, it may have done that, since I'm not sure what the weekend crowds there are like these days, but it was still VERY busy by my standards (I typically avoid amusement parks in the Summer months, preferring either May or September visits), and that was a little disappointing. We got to the park early, and were parked right up front. We got into the park quickly, but as we were there around 10:40, the rides hadn't opened yet, and we got stopped by the Lakeside Flyers. People started to pile up, and my hopes of getting a quick ride on Shivering Timbers started to dissipate...

 

When they finally let us go, me, and my three oldest kids (the ones I mentioned above) walked quickly back to Timbers, being careful not to go too fast and get yelled at for running. We made good time, and if we had wanted to be on the first train, we could have, as long as it wasn't the very front, or back. That's not what we were gunning for, however, and my oldest two kids got in the front line, and my younger son got in line for the second row with me. We were still set to ride the third train of the day, however, so that wasn't too bad! The first train went up the hill, and... e-stopped... The ride ops were laughing, and shaking their heads, and we had to wait until a couple of other guys (one of them a mechanic) came into the station. The train started moving up the hill again shortly after that, and it completed its circuit just fine! They ran a few trains through after that, and then resumed operations. It was a little bit of a delay, but not too bad, and before we knew it, we were on the train!

 

For perspective, the tallest wooden coaster my daughter had been on before ST was White Lightning at Fun Spot, and she loved it! Rode it 10 times, arms in the air! My younger son had never been on a coaster bigger than The Dragon, at Legoland Florida. So this was a BIG step-up for him! But he handled it with no terror at all - leading up to it, that is... Riding with him that first ride was hilarious, as he seemed legitimately terrified screaming down that first hill, and growing in panic each subsequent hill after that! I was a little worried, that he would change his mind, and decide this coaster-riding wasn't for him. However, after we got off, terrified as he may have been (check out the on-ride photo below, to get an idea!), he was ready to ride it again! That's my boy! My daughter also was blown away by the ride (again, check out the on-ride photo!), but she was super excited getting off, and champing at the bit to get back on! That's my girl! My oldest, Ian, loved the coaster, and immediately placed it among the best he'd ever ridden! That's my boy, once again!

 

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The kids first ride on Shivering Timbers... Priceless!

 

We utilized the Parent Swap service all day, which was really nice! I was that jerk-off parent who when I got the re-ride, took advantage of the choice to always get the front seat! Sorry, people waiting all that time for the front! (Not that sorry, though, because you didn't have to watch a frisky 1 year old for the duration of the time you were in line!) After that first Timbers ride, my wife went through the exit with Ian, and enjoyed her first ride in years! And when I say years, she literally hasn't ridden a coaster in... I don't even know how long! Having kids, being pregnant, and dealing with some other issues has presented her from truly enjoying coasters for a while now, so it was great to see her out, and riding the rollies again! She was my ride partner for most of my early coaster enthusiast days, when I really piled up the counts, so it was great to see her edging back in the game! She's going with me to SFGAm in less than two weeks for my Birthday trip out there, and the kids are staying home. So that will be a nice opportunity for us to get to ride together again, finally!

 

I went on Timbers a second time after that, and this time waited almost half an hour. Like I said, it was pretty crowded... Not crowded like I've heard some talk about (2 hour waits), but not what I was expecting for a weekday. However, I am spoiled, going on weekdays in May usually when I go to parks, so I guess I shouldn't have been all that surprised, really... I was just really hoping to walk on or station wait all day, and except for Thunderhawk, that wasn't the case... So, on my second ST ride I grabbed the very back seat with my daughter, to see how that would treat me. Well, it was rougher than my first ride, but had more airtime, which was great! Oddly, I starting feeling like maybe I have been overrating this ride, having it as high as #7 overall in my coaster ranks... I was definitely considering moving it down at this time, but would give it more rides, and more thought.

 

Next up was Wolverine Wildcat. My wife went through the line with the kids, and I stayed off with my 1 year old. That was an adventure, keeping him happy the whole time. The wait for that ended up being the worst of the day - a solid hour! Needless to say, I was a bit of a grumpy pants after they finally got off the ride. However, a front row ride on WW, and a much better experience on the ride than I remember from previous visits, and I was feeling better about the day again! I was still not too happy with how crowded it was, but maybe things would get better in that regard...

 

Turns out they did, and in a hurry! My oldest son and I grabbed the train over to Thunderhawk, and my wife was going to meet us with everybody else after walking around. None of my other kids are tall enough to ride T-Hawk yet, and we couldn't take the stroller on the train. So Ian and I got in line... for the front row, since there was no line for any other row! Given how crowded the front of the park was, I was pretty surprised to find the park's "marquee" coaster, pictured on all of its advertisements, a ghost town. It was a nice blessing, because frankly, that coaster isn't worth waiting for at all, in my book! I will say that I actually enjoyed my first ride, in the front seat. I told my son how to ride it with your head forward, going with the elements, and we came off ready to ride again, since there was no wait. I should have just walked away with my pleasant memory of the coaster, because we rode third row that second time, and I got off in pain... I rode it exactly the same way as the first time, but it was much rougher just two rows back! Not cool, Thunderhawk, not cool! Just when I was ready to forgive you for the bad rides (and stealing my cell phone) back in your Mind Eraser days... Even my son thought it was noticeably worse that second time, and came away unimpressed with the coaster on the whole. But he liked you more than Big Dipper, Thunderhawk, so you've got that going for you!

 

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I was impressed with the Thunderhawk station! It's definitely better than when it was Mind Eraser at Geagua Lake, and this view of Shivering Timbers loping through the trees was awesome!

 

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I will also admit, in spite of despising all of the ketchup and mustard colored coasters in Cedar Fair's lineup (they must have gotten a crazy good special on red and yellow paint back in the early 2000's!), Thunderhawk IS a photogenic coaster, especially when looking across the pond! This is taken from the line queue, when I stopped briefly to snap it before getting on my fateful second ride...

 

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Looking across the lake/pond...

 

So, we hobbled (well, I hobbled at least) away from there, looking for my wife, who had apparently gotten waylaid with the kids back at the Lakeside Gliders. Understandable. But, by the time I got there (after briefly wandering down into the Lakeside Beer Garden to check it out!), they were back at Thunderhawk. So back we went! At this time, we decided we'd better get into Wildwater Adventure, since the afternoon was getting on!

 

I'm not going to blow by blow the waterpark, so here are my thoughts about it... It's always been the better of the two parks, and that is even more clearly the case with all of the fabulous additions they've made in recent years! It's a VERY nice waterpark! I didn't even have time to do half of the slides there, since it was so crowded, and we still had a lot of ground in the dry park to cover. I hit my old favorite, the Mine Shaft, and me and the two oldest loved it. It's just as great as I remember it being! I also was impressed with the wave pool, at least compared to the most recent one I had been in, at Kalahari. It had actual huge waves at the center of the pool, and they were mildly frightening! Good stuff! I rode the left slide of the Snake Pit, which I guess isn't the best one, but the best one, the center one, stopped working right before I got up to it... Bummer! The left one was still fast, and fun, and if the lines weren't so long, I would have tried to ride at least one other tube. The highlight of the waterpark for me, however, was Funnel of Fear! It was there last time I went, but the line was too long, so I didn't ride it then. I was resolved that I would not pass it up again this time, no matter what! The line WAS indeed still really long, but we waited it out anyway, in what ended up being the second longest wait (to Wolverine Wildcat) of the day. Now, I have never ridden a Proslide Tornado before, so I didn't really know what to expect. Let me just say: it was a blast! Between seeing my daughter, directly opposite me at the top of the tube when we hit that drop, and her expression as we plunged straight down, and me actually getting airtime when I went up the back end with my hands in the air, it was one of my best experiences of the day! When we were doing our "3 Favorite Rides" at the end of the day (my almost 7 year old son's idea!), both my daughter and I had that in our top 3 - for me it was second only to Timbers! (FWIW, everybody chose ST as their favorite... Surprise, surprise!) So, getting back to Funnel of Fear, it gets a big thumbs up from me, and I will definitely be sure never to pass on riding one of those slides again in the future, no matter the line! The toddler play area was fabulous as well, and my 1 year old really enjoyed himself there, while we were doing FoF. Couple that with the stellar Beach Party kids area (which I actually wanted to play on, it looked so cool!), and Wildwater Adventure is a fantastic kids' water park, in addition to an adult one (I see you lurking over there Surfside Beer Garden!) Two thumbs up to the water park, even though it's ALWAYS too crowded for my taste, and I just fried like a lobster while there due to all the sun that day!

 

I really wanted to ride Grand Rapids, because I remembered being very surprised, and impressed with it when I rode it last time. I specifically went, prepared to go out and ride it with my flip flops, and swimgear on, since I HATE getting wet in my clothes. We decided we'd better get out there and do it, as we were about done with the water park, and it was almost time to have dinner. We were planning on having dinner at the Backyard BBQ, but it was closing shortly. After going up to Grand Rapids, we saw the line was a bit long, and didn't know if we could make it off in enough time to still get into the Backyard BBQ. So we went back, and checked out the BBQ. Now, I understand you're going to get gouged a bit at an amusement park when it comes to food. I get that. I also get that all you can eat potentially makes inflated costs a better deal. However, while I'm willing to pay $16 for my wife and I, I am not willing to pay that for my 11 and 8 year old! When we saw that they would not be included in the kids price, and the total for our whole family would be $72 (and that's assuming they didn't charge my 1 year old the $8 kids price), we decided to save our money, and just get some snack type food at the park instead, and get something else after leaving the park. I went to get Boardwalk Fries, because it was nearby, everybody was very hungry at this point, and I've liked them in the past. Well, these were terrible, and they didn't even have any condiments (they'd run out) or vinegar, or cheese (they'd run out). So, the kids ate them all anyway, but my wife and I passed... No need to eat carbs if they're terrible tasting... So, that was kind of a waste, and a bit of a let down. I ended up getting two kinds of Dippin' Dots (the worker there says we're definitely getting the next Cedar Fair B&M Giga, BTW!), and the kids AND my wife and I excitedly ate that! Nothing like a wholesome dinner of Dippin' Dots! After all of that, we were pretty much dried off, and decided to punt on Grand Rapids, rather than get wet again. So, that was a bit of a bummer, as I did want to ride it again. Oh well...

 

At this point, we headed back up towards the front of the park, and I got a picture of the family in front of the water and coasters, as is required of anybody attending MiA!

 

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Like I said, I'm not a great photographer, though the shade that kept them from squinting, also kept me from getting a better picture... So, it is what it is...

 

Next up, my wife took the younger two to ride the small rides in the kiddie area, and I took the older two to ride Corkscrew. Or I should say, they rode Corkscrew while I watched. I've ridden that thing enough already, I had no interest in giving it another spin. Besides, I noticed that you could get some potentially good pictures of people riding it, and wanted to try just that. Well, I whiffed on getting a good picture the first time, but it turns out the kids loved the coaster! Who knew? They were eager to ride again, and since I didn't get my picture I wanted yet, I was eager to oblige! I told them to get the front row this time, and they did. I was able to get a couple of nice (for me at least) snaps of them on the coaster, in action, which are below. In the end, I think Corkscrew ended up being the #2 favorite ride of the day for both kids! So that kind of takes my ranking of it as the second worst coaster I've ever ridden and shoves it in my face!

 

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Swooping into the first corkscrew, kids in the front row!

 

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Aaaand the money shot! Kids are completely upside-down! It may not seem like much to you, but taking a shot like this is a big deal to me! lol

 

We then went to the kiddie area, watched my younger son finish up on the motorbikes, and then went to Zach's Zoomer. I remembered liking this small coaster quite a bit last time I went to MiA. This time around, it didn't strike me as being great, but it wasn't bad either. I actually moved Wolverine Wildcat up over it, but I'll keep it above Thunderhawk, Corkscrew, Mad Mouse, and Big Dipper! My wife and kids rode it first, and then I used the Parent Swap to snag another front-row ride (avoiding all eye contact with the lady waiting for the front with her little kid, who had to explain the Fast Pass concept to him - even though that's not what we were, that's what she thought.) Definitely an enjoyable little kiddie coaster, and a credit to the park that they have it!

 

Next up, was one of my favorite parts of the day! While my wife took the kids to Big Dipper, which I already knew I was going to have no part of (after the belt came flying off riding it last time I was here), I took the baby, and we went to chill at the Lakeside Beer Garden! I love that addition to the park! Even though their beer selection isn't huge, it was nice, and I got a Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy. Now, fellow beer snobs like me are probably like "Well, that's lame!", but let me tell you: on a hot day, a cool, refreshing Summer Shandy really hits the spot, and did it ever! I also snagged a Bratwurst with their combo deal, and even though it was advertised as $14, I only got charged $10! I even asked the worker if that was right, and he said yes. Woo hoo! After my terrible experience with bloated food cost (and terrible food) earlier, this was a welcome change! The brat was great, and really hit the spot after eating only some Dippin' Dots all day, and my 1 year old enjoyed the chips that came with the combo as well! The worker there was really cool, and friendly, and we chatted a bit. All in all, that was definitely one of the highlights of my day!

 

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My beer, and brat, with a coaster in the background! It doesn't get much better than this, my friends!

 

After my wife met up with me at the Beer Garden (rocking a HUGE bag of Kettle Corn - another great deal), we picked the rest of the kids up from the Lakeside Gliders (my oldest getting to ride for the first time), and headed down towards Mad Mouse. Looking back, I wish I would have hit up the Gliders right then as well, but time was running out on our day, and we wanted to get plenty of Timbers riding in the last hour of the day. We looked through some of the shops on our way to Mad Mouse, and I bought an Oreo Churro, because I'd seen them, thought they looked interesting, and the price wasn't very high. I thought it was terrible! But at least it wasn't terrible AND expensive, like the fries, so there's the silver lining. After meandering through the General Store, where everything was 25% off, and finding a shirt I liked, we went over to Mad Mouse. The line was bizonk! I asked the kids if they really wanted to ride another wild mouse coaster (they've already ridden a couple of others), and they said no, so we headed past it, and towards the diminishing collection of flats. I miss the Falling Star some, but I really miss Chaos... Man, that part of the park needs something new BADLY! Stick a couple of flats in there (or somehow shoehorn a Disc-O in there), and it would look dramatically better. Maybe they'll get some of the "classic" flats that Cedar Fair is checking out? I'd love to see a Bayern Kurve and an old school "Whip" flat back there! At any rate, my wife wanted to ride the Thunderbolt, so I stayed off with the baby while she rode it with the kids. I always enjoy that ride too... at our local fair (right next to the Larsen Loop "coaster" - sorry, I couldn't resist!) It's not what I come to an amusement park for, but it is a really fun ride, I'll admit.

 

Quick note here: the log flume shut down about mid-afternoon for some reason. Not sure what was up, but noticed it wasn't running, and was drained. I had been considering riding it earlier, but it wasn't a big deal to skip. The line is always bonkers for that ride, too! I can't remember a time being at the park IT hasn't had a decent line!

 

With a little less than an hour to go in the day, it was time to marathon Shivering Timbers! On my third ride, I was back in the second row, this time of the blue train. Now, I don't know if I'm going crazy, but compared to my ride in the second row of the green train, this was brutal! I was bouncing and shimmying all over the place during that ride, and my hip started cramping, and my lower back started hurting! Thunderhawk?! Why are you masquerading as my beloved Timbers!?! At this point, I was ready for a break, and was questioning whether I wanted to ride again while my wife took a kid for her parent swap ride (never in the front seat - she's such a better person than I am! ) I was definitely considering moving it down in my rankings at this point, thinking my memory of its greatness in the past was misplaced... But, I had time for one more ride, so I took it. My daughter and I waited for the front, since I realized that I hadn't ridden it up there yet. We went up the first hill, down in a blaze of speed, and then up again, and... Yes!!! Now, that's what I'm talking about! Up and over the next hill, and... Woo, hoo!!! This is the Timbers I know and love! On, and on, it went! Glorious airtime after glorious airtime! This is the #7 coaster in the world that I rave about! Okay, so you get it... It was an amazing, ride! Last ride of the night, and it was truly breathtaking! My faith in Shivering Timbers was restored, and honestly, it was fitting to represent my faith in Michigan's Adventure being restored - or at least coming to a place of peace, and acceptance regarding what it truly is.

 

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Nice shot of the sun setting against the photogenic Shivering Timbers, as we prepared to ride it for the final time!

 

My family had a great day, and even though it was not without its downside, I came to a greater appreciation for the park that day! No, it's not a destination park, and it never will be. I always have said it could be, if the right owners (like Holiday World's Koch family) were running it, but it is a LONG way from being that, and so much groundwork was laid all along the way by the Koch's to make Holiday World the place that it is today. Even if a new owner took over MiA tomorrow, the park won't be great, until 10-15 years from now. It's just not going to be that place, that I have envisioned it being in my dreams. But that doesn't mean it can't still be good at what it is: a small, family oriented park, with enough between the two sides of the park to keep everybody busy all day! Does it still need a brand new, major coaster addition? Do humans need air to breathe? Of course it could really benefit from such an addition, as it feels like there isn't enough BIG to do, to spread out crowds on busy days. Plus, it just feels like it's missing something, and I believe that something is another steel coaster. Regardless though, even if they never add that coaster, I will return with my family, and we'll definitely have a good time. I think the biggest area of improvement based on my trip, is improving the quality of the food, and decreasing the cost. I don't feel like you can say you're family friendly, when it costs $72+ to feed a family of six. We ate at a nice Mexican restaurant the following day, and I even splurged on the jumbo margarita, and we still spent $20 less! Also, they need to add a path between the two sides of the park. That situation is ridiculous, and they should be ashamed of themselves for not addressing it yet. And no, that fumigating train ride doesn't hack it as the answer, especially when you can't take strollers on it! On the whole though, I liked a lot of the new little improvements (Beer Gardens, Lakeside Flyers, the pretty Thunderhawk station (just put a new coaster in it is all!), and think the waterpark is still among the best! If over the next five years, they add a new steel coaster, create a full circuit around the park, and get some better food options, I think the park will be an amazing little place, and I won't have much bad to say about it!

 

So that's my TR! Sorry it's so long, but that's just how I write! Feel free to ask any further questions about anything I didn't mention, as maybe I'm forgetting something. I just know I need to get to bed now, and have to draw this to a close! I'll leave you with one last picture: the Shivering Timbers shirt I bought at the General Store (at a 25% discount!). Thanks for reading, and long live Shivering Timbers!

 

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I'm not in love with this shirt, but the only other one was orange, which is a color I can't stand! So, Shiver Giver it is!

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Thank you for the trip report. Sounds like a good time. Every year the park seems to be getting busier and busier which is strange with there lack of advertising and new rides. Oh well. Mine shaft is a great slide. Just needs a belt to get the tubes up the hill! And FOF as well

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Totally agree with connecting the paths on the other side of the lake. There has been a service road there for ages. Honestly I would rather see that happen than get a chintzy old flat ride next year. It would open up the park a little more and also create the perfect spot for future expansion. I think the perfect spot for a new roller coaster would be basically right in the land where the train is.

 

Also, I agree on food cost as well. But it's just simple economics. The current prices aren't going to budge simply because the demand for food and drink in the park is so high. I always pack a cooler when I go to any amusement park period. There isn't a single one that doesn't have outrageous food prices.

 

Side note: Still too much Thunderhawk hate

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