Pros: Reasonable admission, Water park included, smaller park and less crowded
Cons: Everything inside is expensive, not convenient places to stay
We just visited Michigan Adventure for the second time last weekend, and all in all, it was a great trip.
Michigan Adventure is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Unlike Disney World, there really wasn't much "celebrating" being done that I could see, but it's an interesting fact that it has been around that long.
Admission to the park is $24 per person, with children under 2 being admitted free. It opens mid-May and closes mid-September, due to Michigan weather being so unpredictable. Admission price includes both the amusement park and the water park, which makes it a pretty good deal, since Cedar Pointe and most others have a separate admission to the water parks. This park is fairly small, with around 60 rides.
The park opens at 11 a.m., with the water park opening at noon, depending on the weather. It must be at least 65 degrees or higher for the water park to open. Closing time varies by the time of year, closing as early as 5 p.m. to as late as 10 p.m. The water park closes earlier, usually around 7 p.m.
Parking is $7. You may not bring coolers, food, beverages, etc. into the park, but you can get your hand stamped and return to your car throughout the day.
Michigan Adventure has 6 roller coasters. Two wooden roller coasters are huge and dominate the scene from the parking lot. Shivering Timbers is over a mile long, and you can see it extend across the length of the parking lot. The other wooden coaster is The Wolverine, and has a lot of turns. In addition, there is a Corkscrew roller coaster; Zach's Zoomer, a smaller wooden roller coaster; The Big Dipper for kids and Mad Mouse, which is a small coaster with lots of 90 degree turns that is really awesome.
For people who like to spin, there's the Trabant, Scrambler, Thunderbolt, Flying Trapeze, Tilt-A-Whirl, Falling Star and Sea Dragon.
For little kids, they have Flying Elephants, Airplane and motorcycle rides, a carousel, Frog Hopper, Winky The Whale, Drummer Boy, and Kiddie Cars.
You must wear a swim suit in the water park area to participate in any of the water rides. The park is quite strict on what is allowed, no zippers, metal, etc that can catch on any of the rides or tubes.
As you enter the water park area, there are showers and changing rooms for your convenience.
Two log rides are considered part of the park, but do not require swim suits. Grand Rapids is new this year and a huge log ride that lasts 2 minutes. In addition there is Adventure Falls which comes down at a very steep angle for a huge splash. Loggers Run is the nice and easy log ride, which is best for younger riders and gets you the least wet.
There are two wave pools, which are my kids' favorites, we spent at least 3 hours there alone. Plastic chairs and loungers are arranged around the pools for non-swimmers, but there are never enough chairs for all the people. I noticed many groups that staked out several chairs with the stuff but never actually used them, which was unfortunate for those of us who wanted to sit more than swim.
Jolly Roger Pirate ship is a little play area looking like a pirate ship in the water. Kids have a lot of fun there running around.
Funnel of Fear is one water ride we haven't tried, but looks awesome for older kids. You go down a slide into a giant funnel.
There are several water slides and a lazy river for a cool, relaxing journey.
For very small kids there is a Half Pint Paradise, which bans kids over a certain size so your little one can play safely.
There are tons of lifeguards in the water park area, and they do a good job of keeping an eye on things.
Food is available throughout the park, but it is expensive! Also, note that prices posted do NOT include tax, so when I ordered a drink at $2.50 and a pretzel at $2.50, I have my $5 ready, but it was $5.30.
New this year is an actual sitdown restaurant called Coasters. It has seating outdoors as well as indoors with air conditioning. This was a very popular place for a break, with huge lines and very limited indoor seating. It sells burgers and mini corn dogs, basically, along with fries and shakes.
All throughout the park are vendors selling various food items from ice cream cones, Dippin Dots, mini donuts, funnel cakes, pretzels, french fries, cotton candy and soft drinks. They do sell souvenir cups for $4.50 with refills available for $1. The one good deal I found was cotton candy on a stick freshly made for only .25! This is a part of the 50th anniversary celebration.
Shortly after entering the park you will find Boardwalk games, such as quarter pitch, water pistol games, Shooting Hoops, and so on. Also, near the water park is an arcade with games which earn tickets that can be redeemed for prizes.
My favorite part of any trip, shopping! There are a couple of stores in the park. Near the entrance is Snoopy Boutique, selling all things Snoopy. My son had to have a pair of Snoopy slippers for $13. They have clothes, collectibles and candy. The Corner Store has a very interesting collection of items, ranging from silly souvenir type things such as pencils and pens, to unusual jewelry, wooden boxes, dragons, shirts, stuffed animals and more. Near the water park is Wildwater Adventure Outfitters, perfect if you need a swimsuit, cover up, or sunscreen.
There are go karts for both big and little kids. It's $5 for one trip and $2 for passengers. Rocky Point miniature gold is $3 each. And for the really crazy, I mean brave, there is the Rip Cord Adventure, where you "plummet and soar" 15 stories for $30 for one person, $20 each for 2 flyers or $15 each for 3 flyers. I have never tried this, and never will, thank you.
If you can make this a day trip, great. If not, there are not any really good choices of hotels. There are no hotels or motels near this park at the same exit, although there are campgrounds down the street. Your hotel choices are basically in downtown Muskegon, usually several exits back on the freeway.
Our family has always enjoyed our trips here, and prefer it to most of the other amusement parks we've been to.