Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Visit to Michigan's Adventure Amusement Park

Over the Memorial Day weekend, we decided to take a quick jaunt to Michigan. We enjoy the southwest corner of the state, with its quaint towns and beaches, attractions and especially the wineries. We usually seem to end up there at least once a year, and this was our first trip to the area of 2009.

This year we decided to go a little further north along the Lake Michigan coast to Muskegon, Michigan. We didn't find much around Muskegon to recommend it as a destination, but our real purpose for going that far north was to visit Michigan's Adventure Amusement Park, which our kids were excited about doing.

Michigan's Adventure is one of the Cedar Fair parks, which include Cedar Point, King's Island, and Knott's Berry Farm among others. I've never been to any of their other parks, though I've heard really good things about Cedar Point (in Sandusky, Ohio) and Knott's Berry Farm (near Anaheim, California). It was, on this Sunday before Memorial Day, very uncrowded. Almost all the attractions had no wait, the lone exception being the Shivering Timbers wooden rollercoaster. (Once was enough for me on it, anyway. It shook so much that I had a headache and a neck ache when I got off it.) They have several coasters, none overly large. Their biggest (besides maybe Shivering Timbers) appeared to be a suspended coaster called Thunderhawk. There were several others, including the Wolverine Wildcat, the Corkscrew, Zack's Zoomer, one called the Mad Mouse (not running when we were there) and a kiddie one called the Big Dipper.

There was also a nice selection of other rides, including a Ferris Wheel, a swing ride, a driving ride, a whitewater raft ride, a log ride, and a whole bunch of spinning rides. They also feature a nice water park which is included in your admission, with plenty of slides and tube rides, a lazy river, and three wave pools.

The park was very clean, and there were a whole bunch of employees running around, including security and lots of management types. One sit down restaurant (a counter service place) was in the park, and plenty of other little stands and carts to buy food and drinks, including "Dippin' Dots". At $25.00 per person admission (less $3.00 per person because of a coupon we found in one of the brochures we picked up at the Michigan Welcome Center) with a parking fee of $8.00, I wondered how they can be profitable, especially if crowds like Sunday's are normal for a good part of the year.

I could see going back to this park on our next visit to southwest Michigan. Combined with attractions in Saugatauk and Holland, and with Warren Dunes State Park and Beach and all the wineries and shops, it wouldn't be difficult to fill up a week in the area.

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