Michigan’s Adventure is an Affordable, Action-Packed Amusement Park
Theme parks can be awesome! And…they can be overwhelming with kids. After two decades of Florida life, some time working as a cast member, and many years of Annual Passes to Disney World, my family couldn’t wait to try the mitten’s local fun park, Michigan’s Adventure.
My husband calls me his DPS (Disney Positioning System), since I can find my way through every back alley in the land of the Mouse. I know all the best food and can hit 7 Disney rides in 2 hours.
My kids were part of a Disney homeschool community. We did Epcot scavenger hunts. They munched on edamame and tried on kimonos while learning about Japan and visited the beluga whale when studying oceanography.
I was wondering how Michigan’s Adventure would measure up. We purchased season passes to try it for ourselves.
Some of the perks I found at Michigan’s Adventure were:
It is much more affordable
Food and necessities can be easily retrieved from parking
The weather is more agreeable for summer days outside
You spend much less time waiting in line
Kids can revisit their faves without fear of missing out
Water park admission is included
With some simple planning, it’s easy to have a blast with Charlie Brown and his famous beagle.
Here are 5 steps to help keep you from going crazy at Michigan’s Adventure, just 1-1/2 hours from Lansing, in Muskegon.
My 5 Tips for the Best Day at Michigan’s Adventure
1 – Get the Most Bang for Your Buck with Season Passes or Special Bundle Pricing
Everyone knows that Michigan’s Adventure is known by thrill-seekers for their 60+ rides and 7 roller coasters.
Did you know that you can ride a 1-mile coaster, that is over 125 feet tall, traveling up to 65 miles per hour? You can also splash away the day at Wildwater Adventure water park and find fun for the whole family in the new 2020 Peanuts®-themed area, Camp Snoopy.
You can do it ALL while staying on track with your budget too.
Michigan’s Adventure offers many ways to save on tickets. Annually, they offer season passes, some with food discounts and free parking. We usually upgrade my pass to Platinum to include the free parking, and save on the rest of the family’s, with the regular season pass.
Currently, they are offering a Funday Bundle for $49.99, that includes a day’s admission, parking, and a single meal deal. Every Memorial Day weekend, military members are given free admission and discounts.
Specials can also be found in the free coupon book, Great Deals, that you already receive in your mailbox.
For 2020, Michigan’s Adventure has many park updates posted here, including details about an exciting special offer. All Michigan’s Adventure 2020 season passholders for will receive an extension through the 2021 season.
Admission is good for both the theme park and water park. Plan to get there early to ride all of the more popular rides before the dreaded wait times increase. You’ll also find closer parking, but bring extra money for parking, especially if you’d like to upgrade to preferred spaces.
You may also want extra money for these options:
Lockers at the front gate or in Wildwater Adventure (cash or credit, no debit)
Dining and snacks
Fast Lane wristband, to skip the lines for rides
Photo Pass, frees your hands from carrying a camera or phone
Cabana rental at the water park
2 – Lay the Groundwork for a Great Day With These Plans
Check the weather. Michigan’s Adventure offers no rain checks. We know how unpredictable Michigan Mother Nature can be.
Confirm hours of operation. These vary throughout the season and amongst the two parks.
Download the park map to plan your attack route. What does the teen have to ride today? How can I reduce the tantrum possibilities by not repeatedly walking the toddler past the train she wants to ride, All. Day?
Where are the closest bathrooms to long-wait rides for moms with tiny bladders like me? Check height requirements to curb day-of disappointment.
Get a Parent Swap pass at the Group Sales office to avoid waiting in line twice if you have littles that cannot go on bigger rides.
Pack the necessities. Sunscreen and shades are a must. I always bring a water bottle that can be refilled at fountains throughout the park.
Make your Michigan’s Adventure trip educational. Try these physics activities with older kids before you go.
3 – How to Have Safe Kids & Peaceful Parents at Michigan’s Adventure
If a family member needs special attention, review this page. They have thought of everything from Boarding Passes to decrease wait time for those with autism or mobility challenges, to a Kid Track system to keep families together.
I always dress my “vivacious” son in a bright colored or unique shirt. That way, he is easy to spot quickly in a crowd.
Take a photo of each child as you enter the park. It makes a quick reference if they are separated from you in the park.
I tuck a card with my name and phone number inside a snack-size zipper bag and place it inside each child’s sock or pocket. They’ve never needed to use it, but I feel better knowing I can be reached if they wander off.
As you enter the park, find a tall landmark that can be seen from all locations. Establish it as a meeting place if you have older, independent teens or if anyone becomes accidentally distanced from the group.
4 – Dress Smartly With One Outfit for Two Parks
While the kids are always masters at looking cute, a little extra planning means a lot less to carry and much more comfort.
Shirts, shoes, and shorts or pants are required on all theme park rides. However, things like zippers, denim, and rivets are forbidden on water slides. Without packing a suitcase, how do you stay prepared for both parks?
We wear rash guards and swim shorts and explore the theme park first. After a day in the sun, it feels so good to hit the water attractions and we don’t have to walk around soggy.
We just wrap up in towels for the ride home or keep a change of clothes in the car. Sometimes we wear swimsuits under clothing, to make the change quicker without the back-and-forth to the car.
For babies and toddlers, plan on water shoes and extra swim diapers at Whitewater Adventure, as they are required. Life jackets are available to use at no charge for kiddos under 48 inches.
Don’t forget the towels!
5 – Food Options for a Day at Michigan’s Adventure
“Mo-om, I need a snack.” It’s inevitable that someone will get hungry during your visit to Michigan’s Adventure. Although outside food is not permitted inside the park, special allowances are made for dietary restrictions.
There are many options inside the parks, including vegetarian and gluten-free choices too. Whether you crave a cold smoothie or bratwurst from a buffet, the dining locations at Michigan’s Adventure have you covered.
Since coolers are not allowed, but re-entry is, we often keep a lunch-filled cooler in the car. This way we can enjoy a healthy, inexpensive meal from home, tailgate style.
I like to use water bottles, filled ¾ way and frozen, as ice packs. After lunch we take them into the park for cold drinks all afternoon. You may even find some of these camping hacks helpful for meal ideas or food storage.
Usually, the kids don’t want to stop playing to eat a large meal. Burgers and fries plus roller coasters can equal trouble. Those are great opportunities to visit local Muskegon restaurants and remember everyone’s favorite activity of the day, before the drive back.
What’s your favorite thing about Michigan’s Adventure?