With no other major plans for the weekend and decent airfare, rental car, and hotel readily available, I decided to fly out to Grand Rapids, MI for the weekend. My sole purpose was to finally ride Shivering Timbers, a coaster that always seemed to be out of my reach just because of its location. Everything went smoothly and I found myself at the park shortly after 1pm. The parking lot was pretty full already, and the weather was gorgeous, not a good combination for empty lines. I went to Pass Services and without any problems got a comp ticket with my Dorney season pass. Soon I was inside the park.
The park is very much like every other Cedar Faire property, lacking cedar (or any other kinds of trees) and being more like a permanent Fair (but nowhere near as badass as the Wisconsin State one!). The ground was covered in bright white concrete everywhere, not good for sunny days without sunglasses. I ducked and weaved my way through the RCT-like walkways and soon found myself at Shivering Timbers. The line was down to the bottom of the ramp and both trains were running, so it was only about a 15 minute wait. Soon I was off in 1.2 for my first ride on this behemoth. After my first ride, I wasn’t really sure about the ride. There was some light airtime, but nothing else. After a while it actually got boring and redundant. I was warned ahead of time to let it warm up, so I decided to finish credit whoring and then come back to try it again.
Next on the agenda was the nearby Wolverine Wildcat. The line was pretty long and the darn thing only has 1 train, but I needed the credit and the coaster looked promisingly similar to Phoenix. Well, 45 minutes later I had seen enough of the layout to think, “yeah, it looks like they modeled this after Phoenix.” It has a tunnel like Phoenix, 3 bench PTCs like Phoenix, a double up and double down, and low to the ground bunny hills. Sadly, this thing could never be like Phoenix even if Dick Knoebel forgot he owned Phoenix and let it go for 5 years with no maintenance.
Following was the Corkscrew, with the greatest station design ever! Its an Arrow corkscrew, reminiscent of last week’s Canobie Corkscrew, and yet it still managed to Judo chop me several times during the course of the ride. Then it was time for Zach’s Zoomer, the Scooby-doo type kiddy woodie. This also had no wait (I think by this time everyone had moved on to the water park portion of the park) so getting my credit was easy as pie (with no snakes involved). It was a bit rougher than the Scoobys though, with more jostling and CCI tracking issues. It was only while riding ZZ that I finally discovered the mysteriously hidden Big Dipper. I didn’t see an cycling, so I thought maybe it was closed (it is a Chance ride after all). Lucky for me, it was opened, just didn’t have any wait. By the time I got there, a bunch of kids did too, and soon we were all having a great time on this coaster. (OK, well maybe they were, I was just hoping none of my patients were vacationing in Michigan at the time). I did like the flowers in the shape of the Big Dipper constellation in the center of the ride.
My final credit to achieve was the Arrow Mad Mouse. It had a full queue when I arrived at the park about 2 hours before, but now had only about a 20 people waiting. This was my first Arrow mouse, and I must say, it took them a while, but Arrow finally learned from other coaster companies. They took Intamin’s stadium seating, CCI’s trick track, B&Ms banked turns, and Mack’s mouse layout and incorporated them all into one ride. Too bad mice aren’t supposed to have banked turns, and the trick track is just weird. Still, the ride wasn’t painful (probably the smoothest Arrow ever!) and it was pretty fun, which is what its all supposed to be about.
Credits achieved, I walked around the park, took some pictures, did some shopping, took some photos of Timbers from outside the park, and then went back in for some more rides. Finally Timber’s line was just outside the station, so it was about a 2 train wait for any row. I rode in the front row and knew it had finally woken up, as there was more air on every hill than before. Sadly, it still just didn’t have anything else to offer. Then I rode in the back row, where the airtime was so good that I was being yanked down the hills. The clincher though was the laterals I finally got in the turnaround followed by a violent jolt right after the straight track before the return. It was then that I knew this coaster wanted me to like it. A couple more rides in the back car and I was ready to call it quits. I loved the ride, ranking it right up there below Phoenix, Colossos, and Grand National, but higher than Avalanche, Hades, Loup Garou, and Rampage. I could have stayed and ridden it more, but I was beginning to tire of the constant walking around, the sun and lack of shade, and I was getting hungry. And so I left Michigan’s Adventure for some McDonalds and relaxation at my hotel. I’ll definitely try to get back to Michigan’s Adventure someday in the next couple of years, hopefully to ride a new good coaster. If not, there’s always Shivering Timbers, the best woodie in Cedar Faire’s arsenal (which, in reality, really isn't saying all that much!)
Here we are at Michigan's Adventure, exciting huh?
Behold, Shivering Timbers, guardian of the parking lot
Its got 2 trains running, something no other coaster at the park can do
Oooh, Wolverine Wildcat, kinds looks like Phoenix
And it has a tunnel at the start like Phoenix. But its no Phoenix, never!
Wow, look at that awesome station for the Corkscrew. Wonder what architect designed that? Pure genius!
With not a single vertical loop in the park, I was forced to take a picture of this to fulfill my 'desires'
Zach's Zoomer was the park's kiddie wood coaster, named after the owner's son (you guessed it, his name was Zach)
The Big Dipper kiddie, notice the Big Dipper in the flowers, awwww how cute
Arrow's finest piece, the very smooth Mad Mouse (though I'm sure if it has OTSRs it'd be brutal)
New for 2005, the Funnel of Fear. I feared not get any closer to the waterpark without risking severe damage to my camera from Michiwomen in bathing suits
I can't believe you haven't made it to ST until now! About time!
Your TR absolutely captures what everyone who has ever been there has said in their TR's.
It's kinda funny.
Nice pics too. I also think that almost everyone who has been there has taken the same pics, same angles. It's just not the greatest laid out park. But ST is good. Much better at night. You should make your next visit at Timbersfest!
FWIW--I have ST ranked at #24. Good ride, just repetitive.
^^Agreed, its very repetitious. You get to the turnaround and think "oh good, now I get more of exactly what I just got." Fortunately, with the few surprise laterals, it spices it up a bit. The helix is nice, too bad its not more in the middle of the return. The air is still amazing though.
I may have ranked it so high because I just came off of riding it. Maybe it will slip down a little bit later on, but I really did like it better than Hades. Those two dead hills coming out of the tunnels kinda ruin the continuity for me on Hades. Shivering Timbers has something I really like, airtime and laterals, but it needs to be more mixed up, like Phoenix, which I rank #1 wood.......at least until June 19, 2006, then we'll see what happens
^I was preparing my stomach for October, November, and June. I would have went to Famous Dave's, but I only had $20 on me, and didn't feel like finding an ATM. If only McDonalds would have had the McRib!
I made my maiden voyage to MIA this summer as well. Shivering Timbers pretty much makes that park. I had similar fate that Derek did. The first few times I rode it, I thought it was "ok." It slowly got better throughout the day though. It got really good. Amazing. I freakin' loved the ride. This was one coaster that lived up to all of the hype for me.
The park itself is so prime for expansion. If there was ever a park that was perfect for turning it into a mega park, its this one. Unfortunately, location is not really working on their side. On top of that, something needs to be done about capacity there. The one train operation really kills Wolverine Wildcat. Overall, it's a fun little park. Just can't go expecting a whole lot. I really hope CF doesn't screw this park up. They could really do a lot with it. Really hope they throw a B&M invert in their sometime soon.
Apparently when it first opened and wasnt nearly as rough there was pure floater in the front seat over every hill, even in the return run.
However with the tracking going bad over the last couple years the trains lose alot of speed. Though, if you ride in the back seat there is INSANE ejector on every hill going out. Coming back in the airtime isnt as intense but its alot of floater with the trick-track and then the great helix.
Its 4 hours from me which sucks, but I make the trek once a year. Its worth it.
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