Michigans Adventure15th June 2003
We arrived at Michigan's Adventure to the final hand out of the trip, some specially printed t-shirts produced just for us by the park. These earned a particularly loud cheer, and some people were heard to remark that they were actually nicer than those provided by the club for the trip.
This was my second visit to Michigan's Adventure, and as such I was particularly looking forward to riding Shivering Timbers again. Unfortunately, this proved to be a disappointment; what was once a number one coaster has degenerated greatly presumably due to lack of maintenance. On my previous visit there was airtime over every hill; now, there is only shuffling. Worse yet, the furiously intense helix at the end of the ride is now quite painful. Hopefully the park will restore this ride to its former glory at some point in the future.
Shoddy maintenance work was also in evidence on the Wolverine Wildcat, with only the baby wooden coaster running well. Zach's Zoomer proved to be the surprise hit of the day, though to be fair neither Corkscrew or Big Dipper were likely to win that accolade!
At this point we returned to the coach to pick up swimming gear, and we went into the water park. I spent several hours in here trying out the wave pool and the various water slides. I took my first ride on a so-called Kamikaze slide, a very tall and steep slide into water. This was good fun, though the splash landing was quite sore, so I opted not to try this a second time.
The biggest problem with Michigan's Adventure as a park is that there simply are not enough attractions to cover a full day. We still had several hours left to spend before our evening exclusive session, and to be frank, we were bored. Steve decided to break the monotony on the Adventure Falls splash ride, and got well and truly drenched for his trouble. Meanwhile the rest of us decided to try the Loggers Run flume, which fortunately wasn't too wet. Then, truly scraping the bottom of the barrel, a number of us rode the Tilt-A-Whirl and Flying Trapeze attractions, both of which were running very slowly by European standards.
After a delicious meal, we were given an hour and a half to make the most of Shivering Timbers. If the ride had been up to its former standard this could have been quite interesting, given the potential complications brought on by airtime on a full stomach. Even still, only the truly hardy stayed on for more than ten circuits; the ride was simply too rough to ride any more than that.
The Roller Coaster Club of Great Britain15th June 2003
There is no doubt that Andy Hine of the RCCGB organised an amazing trip to a very high standard. It was a real privilege to meet so many like minded people, and to ride so many new coasters. There were no problems with the routing or travel, and only one issue at a hotel which is hardly the organiser's fault.
However, participants need to be aware that there are two sets of rules on any RCCGB trip; one set for the ordinary patrons, and a set for Andy Hine and his special friends. This can cause a considerable amount of bad feeling; see my report from Frontier City for more. Additionally, there are persistent rumours that Andy makes a substantial profit off these trips. I would like to think that these are malicious lies. However, since Andy refuses to release accounts one can only assume that he has something to hide.
Those who are prepared to pay money to have someone organise trips for them could do far worse than the RCCGB; however, those operating on a tighter budget might be better off looking elsewhere.
If any participants in the trip would like some digital photos (2272x1704 resolution, approximately 2MB each), please get in touch with me by e-mail.