FRUITLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan’s largest amusement park has officially opened for the season.
Michigan’s Adventure opened its doors on Friday, welcoming hundreds of visitors, including many students taking a last-minute field trip.
Communications manager Laure Bollenbach said she is hopeful to see all the hard work done in the offseason pay off with a busy summer.
“We start the day we close; disassembling rides, changing out parts, painting, doing all kinds of things,” Bollenbach told News 8. “Then in about December, we start hiring and we start with our returning associates and then we move on to filling new spots with people.”
The park will be closed for a few days over the next couple of weeks but will get into full swing on June 8, open every day through Aug. 28. The park is also open on Labor Day weekend. The water park, Wildwater Adventure, will open for the season on June 11.
For those looking to beat the crowds, Michigan’s Adventure expects them to be a little muted for the first couple of weeks. Numbers typically pick up after school gets out.
“We actually hire all summer long, so we continue to hire in as our attendance ramps up,” Bollenbach said. “June can be a little unpredictable sometimes, but we all know July and August in Michigan is pretty amazing.”
The biggest change for the park this year isn’t something you can play or ride, it’s how you pay. The park is now completely cashless.
“So far, we had a couple of preview days and things have gone really well. It does make things faster,” Bollenbach said. “It cuts down on the cost here to the park and it just makes things go a lot more smoothly. And it’s a simple process. You just put your cash in a machine. You get prepaid visa card out. And if you don’t use everything you put on that card, you can use it anywhere outside of the park. So, you can use the rest up on your groceries or whatever you’re doing the rest of your week.”
Some of the old classics will look a little different. Both Mad Mouse and the Corkscrew, which have been at the park since 1979, got fresh coats of paint and are sporting new colors. The Coasters restaurant has also switched to a cafeteria-style service, which park officials believe will flow faster than before.
Camp Snoopy is back for its second year. The renovated area for smaller kids was supposed to open in 2020 but was pushed back a year by the pandemic. Camp Snoopy has five rides, including the Woodstock Express roller coaster and a playground.
Two attractions are expected to be shut down for the season. Bollenbach said the bumper boats will be out of commission for the summer and the Flying Trapeze will be shut down through July at a minimum. Attractions can be closed for several reasons and with minimal notice. Signs posted at the front of the park will tell visitors which attractions are closed.
Bollenbach also recommends visitors download the park’s mobile app. It includes an interactive map of the park, shows wait times for rides and includes special offers available only to app users. That is available for free in your smartphone’s app store.
Michigan’s Adventure is also offering a season pass for $79 plus fees. That is available for purchase through Michigan’s Adventure’s website through June 12.