The white-cap rushed in my direction. Just before it reached me I jumped and bobbed atop the wave as it swept past, then floated back down til I felt the ground beneath my feet and prepared for the next one. Another afternoon at a Lake Michigan beach? No, I was in the wave pool at Michigan’s Adventure.
Owned by Cedar Fair, proprietor of such well known amusement parks as Cedar Point and Great America, Michgan’s Adventure bills itself as two parks for the price of one. There’s the water park, Wildwater Adventure, and the amusement park with its exciting roller coasters, ferris wheel and spinning rides.
We started out our day in the water park. We had our choice of over a dozen body slides and inner tube slides, including my favorite, the Funnel of Fear. The kids spent some time in the splash pad area, Beach Party, with water guns, waterfalls, bridges and slides. The majority of our time, however, was spent floating in the lazy river or splashing about in one of the three wave pools of varying strength, which we all loved.
An extra $60 (as of summer 2012) bought us a private cabana: a tent with four shaded lounge chairs and a table with four chairs. You can have up to six people per cabana, so that works out to $10 a person. Seating at the waterpark is limited, and seating under one of the few umbrellas more limited still. My husband prefers to spend most of his time reading while the kids and I enjoy the waterpark, and the last time we went he scored one of the coveted shady spots beneath an umbrella, and soon found himself hemmed in on all sides by strangers. Loud, obnoxious strangers. The cabana was the perfect spot for him to relax and for the kids and I to rest in between slides and dips in the pools. We decided to go to Michigan’s Adventure on a whim, and called that morning to reserve a cabana. We were able to get the last one, but I advise calling in advance to be safe.
We left the waterpark for the amusement park, but waited to change out of our swimsuits until after we’d gone on a few of the wetter rides, like Grand Rapids and Adventure Falls. Adventure Falls ends with a white wall of water coming towards you, a splash so big that it not only soaks the people in the boat, but those standing on the bridge above as well.
Michigan’s Adventure has introduced new “Fast Lane” passes. For an extra fee, you’ll be able to use the special Fast Lane entrance to the ride, which leads right up to the boarding area. The pass is good for 14 of the amusement park rides, and includes several premium rides like Shivering Timbers and Thunderhawk, as well as less thrilling – but still fun – rides like Tilt-a-Whirl and bumper cars. My family took advantage of the Fast Lane passes and were pleasantly surprised to find that lines were almost non-existent in the Fast Lane – while regular riders waited an hour in the beating sun, we’d encounter maybe one other group ahead of us. Also, Fast Lane riders were allowed first pick of seats on some rides, so we could get those front row spots that the kids love. The ride operators seemed exceptionally courteous as well, which is always nice. These advantages came at a price though. The cost of the passes varies depending on the day and size of the group. For example, our party of four on a Saturday paid $40 each, on top of the cost of admission, but a couple would pay $50 per person. On Wednesday it would have been less, but then, the lines tend to be shorter on weekdays.
4750 Whitehall Rd
Muskegon, MI, 49445