In March of 2007, Dollywood invited its guests to take a ride on the Mystery Mine, its haunted mine car roller coaster that, at the time, was setting records and was the first roller coaster of its kind in the US. This steel Euro Fighter style coaster features inversions, loops and at the time the steepest drop in the country. Mystery Mine is still packing the people in with the wonderful theme-ing and the fact that it is one of the fastest rides in the park. Located in Timber Canyon, it is on the hill as you walk toward Adventure Mountain and River Battle and it is just right up the hill from Thunderhead.
Mystery Mine is a Euro Fighter style roller coaster. This design of coaster is the invention of the Gerstlauer corporation. They build roller coasters all over the world and the trademark of this type of roller coaster is the beyond vertical drop. In other words, one of the drops along the track will descend at greater then 90 degrees. This type of drop really pours on the speed and the g-forces, making the excitement and thrill for the passengers even greater. At the time Gerstlauer installed this ride for Dollywood it actually had the steepest drop in the world, though that spot has now been taken over by the Steel Hawg at Indiana Beach.
The theme of Mystery Mine is that you are entering an abandoned, condemned and haunted mine shaft. You start your journey with a quick drop and several tight turns before the lift kicks in and pulls you straight up the main climb. After this drop you are sent outside the mine building over the walking crowds below and into an Immelman style u-turn and then back into the mine. Inside the mine shaft there is an explosion of dynamite as the car sets off through the last pieces of the track: a 95 degree drop, after which you are pitched back into the outside world to a camera flash, taking your picture, before you start a barrel roll and a final half loop. After the loop, you arrive back at the station. The whole trip took you 2 and a half minutes, you reached speeds of 48 miles per hour and you were inverted in the safety of your car twice. This is a stunning roller coaster that is still calling to thrill seekers from around the world.
- Best New Theme Park Attraction for 2007 by Theme Park Insider
- 48th on Amusement Today’s Best 50 Steel Coasters for 2997
- #2 New Ride of 2007 by Amusement Today
Mystery Mine is one of those rides you have to experience to believe. The line does get long, the ride is not very long but you will see people get out of line after riding it and get right back in line to ride it again. This is still one of the biggest thrills at Dollywood. Combining aerial acrobatics, great theme-ing and of course, plenty of safety. Mystery Mine promises to bring on the thrill for decades to come.