(Review Credit: Ember)
Well, you get plenty of time to eye Shivering Timbers‘ four huge hills as you drive into the Michigan’s Adventure theme park, because it’s right next to the parking lot, and is basically the only thing you can see until you get to the park gates. Once you’re inside you can either head on over towards the behemoth right away… or work up to it by going on some of the other rides in the park first. (Personally, I would recommend the latter; once you go on this big woodie, everything else in the park will seem like kiddie rides. )
Now, a great feature of all the parks owned by Cedar Fair— you know which ones they are, because they all have the Charlie Brown/Snoopy/Peanuts theme— is that no one ever tells you where to sit! You can just choose whatever row you like best. As you probably know from my other coaster reviews, I typically state that you get the best ride when you’re the back row, or as close to it as possible. However, I have to warn you that for this particular ride, I recommend getting as close to the front row as possible. Shivering Timbers‘ back-row ride is wild, whereas the front-row ride is wonderfully exhilarating. If you want the wildness, go ahead and get in the back; but please, at least try the front rows first.
Okay, so once you’re through the line, have chosen your seat, and are buckled in with the lap bar down, the coaster train rumbles out of the station down a little dip to the left and then engages the chain. It’s a long way, so relax for the moment and enjoy the view— it’s actually quite nice. Once you’re 120 feet up, a waving American flag warns you that the brink is only a few short feet away, so get ready to experience the great, weightless feeling of flight!
Blazing down the first, 120-foot, 53-degree drop, the train accelerates to 65mph; then, barreling up the next 100-foot hill and cresting it, you’re suddenly and smoothly lifted high off the seat— stopped only by the belt and lap bar, you feel completely weightless, as close to actually flying as you’ll probably ever get. You’re barely back down into the seat and then you’re cresting the next 95-foot hill, weightless and soaring again. Down another valley, you then soar one last, all-too-short time over the final, 50-foot hill.
Once you’re past those awesome-airtime hills, you enter a huge U-turn, then dive down to meet a plethora of some rather large and fast bunny-hops with a surprise side-to-side-jolting bit of ‘trick track’ hidden among them. And finally, you arrive at a powerful horizontal spiral to close out this excellent wooden coaster.