End of Summer Trip: Day 3 Michigans Adventure
My only visit to Michigan's Adventure was in 2001, which was the first year Cedar Fair operated that park. Back then I thought the park was ugly, but Shivering Timbers was excellent. After 12 years I was curious to see the improvements Cedar Fair has made. As we were pulling into the parking lot, at 9:30, I could already see the improvements. We walked up to the front gate and entered the park. Michigan's Adventure doesn't have early entry for platinum pass holders. We did however get in line for Mad Mouse.
At 10:00 they opened the ride and were on the 2nd train of the day. This wild mouse coaster looks identical to the one at Valleyfair. So I'm guessing it's an Arrow. The ride itself is very enjoyable, especially for a wild mouse.
We then headed for Shivering Timbers. Only had to wait a train for front seat. In fact Michigan's Adventure was empty. Never waited more a few trains for anything. I had Shivering Timbers as my 6th favorite wooden coaster before this trip; It's still my 6th favorite wooden. A front seat ride is incredible on Shivering Timbers. It's loaded with big drops, killer air time, and a very smooth ride. The trick track area is the rough spot. In fact It's very rough, and needs to be retracted. The final helix is even much smoother than I remember. We rode Shivering Timbers 7 times, 6 of which were in the front seat. We did try the back seat once. Shivering Timbers is a true out and back. Think Magnum XL 200 in wooden coaster version. In the back seat it was very smooth on the way out and loaded with insane air time, think of the Voyage's first few drops. On the return it was too rough to enjoy it. This is how it was in 2001. Shivering Timbers is a front seat ride. My kids really liked it, but not nearly as much as I did.
Next we went to Wolverine Wildcat. We ended up riding it twice, both times in the front seat. Once again this woodie was running better than on my last visit. A little bumpy in a couple spots, but very enjoyable. I think the back would have been a little rough. They were only running 1 train, so we never did find out.
Next we walked over to the new Lake Side Gliders. Not only did these flyers look great, but they are some of the best I've ridden, if not the best. You can really get these things completely sideways. The ride fits the park perfectly, and is a fantastic addition. We meant to ride it again, but being that this was the new ride, it was the most popular. There seemed to be a 3-4 cycle wait the whole day.
Next we went over to the kids section and grabbed a ride on Zach's Zoomed, a junior woodie. For a kids coaster, its really fun. I really enjoy most wooden coasters, as long as there not bone jarring rough. We then grabbed a ride on Big Dipper, a kids steel coaster. Also in the kids section they have a ride called Drummer Boy. They are full sized tea cups and you can really get them spinning super fast. The carousel is in that section also, and is beautiful. Lots of different animals. Haley rode a goat, Hayden a Dragon, and a rooster for dad.
We then headed to Corkscrew, a small Arrow Looper. We waited a few trains and sat somewhere near the back. The ride is nothing great and a little rough. There's a drop, a turn, 2 corkscrews, and the brake run.
Next up we walked over to Thunderhawk, a Vekoma invert. I rode this coaster at Geauga Lake and this was the only coaster that Michigan's Adventure has added since my last visit. I wasn't looking forward to riding this. The ride looked great and was in a very photogenic spot. We boarded the front seat and it was actually a really good ride. Almost as good as a B&M invert. The was no head banging, it was very smooth, and forceful. I wonder how the pulled that off. Why can't all the Vekoma's be like that? We rode it a total of 3 times in various seats. For those of you with big shoulders like me, ride with pressing your shoulders up into the restraints. It's more comfortable.
Michin's Adventure has a good collection of flats and they are in great condition. I think we rode every adult flat, except the Ferris Wheel. They have a Scrambler, a Matterhorn, a Yo To, a Tilt A Wirl, a Wipe Out, and an awesome pirate ship in an awesome location.
We also rode the flume, which was decent. My kids favorite ride at the park were the bumper boats. There is no additional charge and you actually ride them in the lake. Another great ride for the park.
Overall Cedar Fair has done a great job transforming this park into a really nice place. You can see the Cedar Fair improvements, without losing that small park feel. Its really pretty, reminds me of Darien Lake. On my last visit the park was only worth the stop because of Shivering Timbers. Now this is a place that is very fun and quite enjoyable. Really glad we stopped there. My kids really liked the park.
We left the park at 7:00 and drove to South Bend Indiana and got a room. Next up Indiana Beach.
Thunderhawk was one of the last SLC's built in the US. Vekoma did something to calm the "wheel whacking" that is present in the other SLC's (I think the wheels are spring loaded, much like the B&M inverts.) I've never ridden it at MA, but at GL, it was noticeably less violent than Mind Eraser at SFA and T2.
Mad Mouse is in fact an Arrow.
Glad to hear Shivering Timbers is running in pretty tip-top shape with the exception of a few places. I always found the back seat to be a bit 'bouncy,' especially at the troughs of the drops, but I actually preferred it over the front.
I believe Wolverine Wildcat only has a single train as I've never seen more than one train operation. It's line can get rather lengthy at peak hours. Did you happen to notice any re-tracking or a lack of trim brake? Last year, the trim killed the double up-double down element.
Regarding Thunderhawk, I always thought it was strange that I really enjoyed it, but it's the only Vekoma SLC I've ridden. I suppose the later SLCs really are smoother. People were looking at me funny when I told them I mini-marathoned it last year (10 rides).
It's great you made it up here! I wish more people would come up to Muskegon and ride the great one two punch of woodies. Perhaps a third in the back of the park through the wooded area would really bring attention to the park! We can only hope!