Shiver Me Timbers---And Bring A Change of Underwear
Jul 4, 2000
Pros: Best waterpark around
Cons: Price of food!!! Outrageous
This 4th of July weekend, my wife came home with a pair of tickets for Michigan's Adventure. This is an amusement park located about 8-10 miles north of the city of Muskegon Michigan.
We live about 2 1/2 hours away from there, so we packed up early got the daughter almost awake and set out on the "family outing". We had been to Michigan's Adventure before, so this time we were a little more prepared for what we would find.
One thing that I did not remember is that the park did not open till 11:00A.M. We hit the parking lot at a quarter to 10:00, and I suddenly had that sinking feeling like the Griswald's in National Lampoons Vacation. The park was deserted! Was it closed for repairs or something? We got up as close as we could and finally found a sign that told us we were just early.
So needless to say we were very near the front when it came time to get in. One thing to warn you about. If you get there early they will let you go into the first "holding tank" part of the park. Here the people are herded into a space until they let down the barriers and the stampede can then ensue to their favorite rides.
Second thing to keep in mind is that the water park does not open till noon. So don't wear your suit in or you will be fried by the time you get a chance to hit the water!
Next thing to remember is that everything inside will cost 300% more than the normal going price! Be prepared. You have the ability to travel back and forth to your vehicle. Use it! Stock up there on drinks, food and anything else you might need for the day.
Now here is what you will find inside. On the amusement park side, you will find the best rides in Michigan. There is some truly awe inspiring roller coasters!
The coaster that receives the most notice is called Shivering Timbers. This coaster is over a mile long and reaches a height of 125 feet. It reaches a top speed of 55 mph but this is not the features that make this a great ride. What sets this one apart is first, it is a wooden coaster. You feel every bump, jolt and dip as you are hurtled around what you think is a rickety old contraption. This feeling you get by hearing the wood creak and rattle makes this attraction a fantastic ride. The other thing that makes this ride unique is the three major hills to start off the ride. Each one is a dip of about 120 feet at a very steep angle. Most leave there stomach somewhere in between the first and second hill! This is a must ride for coaster enthusiast.
The second coaster is called The Wolverine. This is another wooden coaster that gives you the feeling of being in an old mine car hurdling down a mine shaft! Creaking wood and rattling noises makes you wonder if the ride is going to hold together till the end. The other thing that makes this ride great is the way it is laid out in such a compact manor. All the turns are very tight and toss you back and forth. This is also a must ride on your trip there!
There is also a new coaster ride called Mad Mouse. This ride is a compact metal coaster that is very fast and has 10, 90 degree turns! It passes you back and forth with no type of railing or outer barrier to spoil your view! This also gives the impression of being hurled out into space as you go through all the quick turns. This is also a fun coaster ride.
Then you have The Corkscrew. This is one that will send you on two different 360 degree inverted rolls. On this ride it happens so fast you never get the chance to realize that you are upside down. This ride is the one that most of the weak stomached will opt to take since there is really not much of the G-force that hits you like the other coasters. It is a very smooth easy rolling ride with only one hill and very wide turns before you hit the corkscrew. It is also a very short ride. I dare say that it takes less than a minute. This is a good ride, but not one I wanted to repeat. (Though I did ride it many times since this is my daughter's favorite.)
Then there's Zack's Zoomer. This is another wooden coaster on a much smaller scale than the major rides. It is still a decent ride but not as much fun as the other two wooden coasters at this park. This would be a good ride for the beginner. It is not fast but it does have some nice tight turns and the dip does create a little feeling of weightlessness.
The last coaster is called Big Dipper. It is a much smaller ride and designed for the little ones. Since the youngest in our party is 15 we did not ride this one. It looks to be a very slow moving coaster that has no major dips or serious turns. Something for anyone to ride.
The next ride I want to tell you about is Chaos. If you have ever been inside of one of those gyro balls where they strap you in and you rotate within the two axis, you will know what this ride is about. You are strapped into a car that can rotate 360 degrees. This is hooked to the outside of a circular wheel that starts out horizontal and then can clime to a complete vertical! It then rotates much like a coin does when it begins to stop spinning. All the while you are still rotating at 360 degrees! Let me tell you, do NOT eat right before this ride. You will end up wearing your own lunch!
A major sea sickness creator is the ride called Sea Dragon. which is a large Norse looking ship that just rocks back and forth. One catch though, it almost gets vertical! This will produce, as you physics majors will attest to, a feeling of weightlessness as you start the downward plunge of the arc. Keep in mind that this happens on each side of the arc, once facing backwards and once facing forwards! I see more people getting ill on this ride, than any other. Make sure to try this one also!
Falling Star is the next ride. It is like sitting on a set of bleachers attached to a pendulum. This pendulum starts to swing you right, then left. It keeps rocking you until you go completely over the top! Here again the anti-gravity feel is amazing sense you do not expect it from this normal looking ride! I should have known something was up when I saw the sandpaper type seats to help grip you!
There is also a giant gondola ride. This is the best opportunity to take pictures of the park. You get the birds eye view of everything and you are guaranteed to be stopped at the top!
Logger's Run is the mandatory log ride. This one seems very slow and the drop is not nearly enough to send much of a spray. We even bottomed out once or twice and had to push the log along. Not my favorite ride. It is a very popular ride though and it might have just been our particular log or just a bad day.
For a water ride that creates the ultimate splash though, there is a ride called Adventure Falls. This ride is a boat that takes you up a huge hill and then plunges you down at an ungodly angle to create a mammoth wave! Of course there is a bridge at the bottom for the brave soles or the ones in need of a bath!
The other rides in this park is the normal carnival type rides. There is the kiddie rides such as the airplanes and the elephants. There is the tilt-o-wheel and the flying trapeze. Also you will find a carousel and miniture golf. Soon there will be a car ride and a go cart track.
Now we get to the water park. Here there is 7 main areas. Each is designed for different types of entertainment. There is wave pools, water slides, a kids section and also a great little invention called Lazy River.
Lazy River is a slow moving "river" in which you may relax while floating around on an innertube. The river winds around and will return you to your original take off spot. There is also two different tracks that you can take. One of them will take you through the "rapids" which I would call more of a jacuzzi! After taking in the rides and the water slides, this is THE spot for the old creaking bones. It also has a couple of "waterfalls" where you can cool down if you want to. This is a very relaxing way to spend some time.
Now the water slides. The first set is called The Snake Pit. These are three black, fully enclosed shafts that you ride down in, on an innertube. Each one has a different set of twist and turns. Also since it is in total darkness, you never know what to expect! This can be good and bad. My first trip threw me completely upside down, throwing me off the tube and crash landing at the bottom! Not the most pleasant of experiences.
The other slides of note are called Mineshaft and Mammoth River. These two are rides where you go down as a group in a very large raft. One is in total darkness again and the other is just fast! Both of these are a lot of fun but be warned, you will get mouthfulls of water when you least expect it in the mineshaft.
After all that, there is still three more sets of waterslides that are designed for you to do without the aid of an innertube. They are stretched out on both sides of the wave pool. These are all excellent rides and well worth the gigantic climb to the top!
The last section of the water park is designed strictly for small kids. This is a plus for a lot of families since it is hard to find a spot for small kids in most water parks. There is plenty of lifeguards around and you can rent lockers which is also a plus.
Overall this is a great place to spend a day or weekend. They offer season passes and if I was a little closer this would be one that I would get without a doubt! The water park alone is worth the price of admission. The amusement park by itself would warrant the price of a ticket, both together is quite a bargain!
A couple of things about the park, there is bathrooms at each end of the park but the ones near the waterpark are always packed. This is due to the people changing clothes. Go elsewhere if at all possible. The lines for the rides move very quickly. Do not fret if you see a long line. the most we had to wait was 15 minutes for the giant coaster.
Other than that I think that you will have a good time there and once you have been there, you WILL go back!
This park is also located in one of the most beautiful parts of Michigan. If you get a chance make sure to get over to the Lake Michigan coast. Muskegon is a good size town and offers you anything that need. Plenty of hotels, restaurants and entertainment.
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