Location: Muskegon, MI
This family friendly amusement park located in Muskegon, Michigan has been a From deer to extreme rides will be the story of Michigan’s Adventure in Muskegon Country. Many aren’t aware that Michigan’s largest theme park actually started out as a deer park and zoo. The park was originally opened in 1956 by L.R. Beardsley, Dr. E.S. Gillam, Hardin Dey and Martin Kasichke as a petting zoo and kiddie land. A train was installed in 1958 to take people around the park and that sparked an interest in one man who eventually decided to purchase the park and turn it into an amusement park.
Roger Jourden purchased the park in 1968 and began to sell all of the animals and attractions that were in the park to purchase new attractions that he would add into the new park. He named the park Deer Park Funland in an attempt to keep the history of the old park alive. Jouden began adding flat rides like the Ferris Wheel and Tilt-A-Whirl and eventually had the money to purchase a roller coaster from Arrow Dynamics in 1979. The park was a success through the early 1980s and then a milestone was hit for the park and change was coming.
In 1988, the park got a new general manager and the park was renamed to Michigan’s Adventure. The next seven years, the park invested millions of dollars into the park to add new rides, coasters, and scenery. The midway was redone and a water park expansion was added as well. 1997 was one of the biggest years for the park as the world famous Shivering Timbers wooden roller coaster was built.
In 2001, Cedar Fair had intentions to buy Michigan’s Adventure and they did so for $28 million dollars. The transition period was bumpy at times but the company invested over $5 million in the first year to add new rides to the park. The company continued to pour money into the park to get it up to standard with the rest of their parks. In 2008 the company added a SLC called Thunderhawk after it was moved from Geauga Lake.
Today the park boasts 53 rides with seven roller coasters. Shivering Timbers is the most famous and has tourists and enthusiasts coming from around the world to ride her. The park also has a great Snoopy themed kids area and a waterpark that everyone can enjoy. Next time you take a trip to the Great Lakes State, make sure you hit up the largest theme park there.
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