The wettest ride at Dollywood is the Smoky Mountain River Rampage. This white water rafting style ride promises dips, plunges and lots and lots of water. Stepping into the circular boat means that you have agreed to get drenched in the fast moving water. The ride is located at the front of the park, in Rivertown Junction, making it easy to find and of course, making it a perfect last stop after a hot day in the park.
As you enter the line, you are going to notice one thing right off the bat, the line can get very long. It has one of the longest, and most winding queues in the park outside of the roller coasters. This line can really stack up. The wait can take a good bit of time, but the folks at Dollywood have made sure that you stay under the cover of trees and buildings most of the time so that you don’t get too hot before getting really wet. On a similar note, if it starts to rain, that’s the perfect time to head for this ride. For whatever reason, if it is raining people tend to leave the lines for water rides. It doesn’t make a lot of sense but it does seem to happen.
After standing in line for a little while, you will reach the front of the line and you will see a line of circular boats lined up in front of you. The people running the ride will help you into your boat. Make sure that you are secured in your seat before setting off on your journey. The boats bounce merrily along the course before they begin their journey up the first hill. This hill is the start of the fun part. As you top the hill, you get a great view of the surrounding area outside the park, before plunging down the other side. If you are on the downhill side of this plunge, get ready to get soaked. After this plunge, you will be on a twisting course through rapids, beside cascades and close to waterfalls, all designed to get you as wet as possible. Add to that, the fact that the people that are watching you get soaked can add to the fun by firing water cannons at you and you have a ride that is guaranteed to make sure you are cooled off after a hot day in the summer sun.
Once your ride is over, you arrive back at the docks, ready to disembark. After you have gotten out of your boat you can exit, or get right back in line to ride it again. And, if you are lucky and there is no one else in line, they might just let you ride through again without getting out of the boat at all. Either, way you have just been on the wettest ride that Dollywood has to offer. It is exciting, it is fun and it really knows how to take away the heat.
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.
In 2008, Dollywood opened one of the most inventive rides that they have ever put in their park. It is a water ride, but it is so much more. Part water gun fight, part water ride and fully interactive. The riders are not the only ones involved in the ride, the people that are watching the folks on River Battle get a chance to get in on the action as well.
The first thing you are going to notice about River Battle is the fact that it is beautifully made. It is designed with the younger visitors to the theme park in mind and Dollywood has spared no expense in making it look wonderful. The ride is decorated with plenty of Smoky Mountain critters and madness. Frogs, raccoons bees, flowers, parts to old cars, signs and everything else come alive in the lagoon that is the course for River Battle. When you step into the boat and find a seat you will notice that you have a water gun with a spinning handle on it in front of you. The faster you spin the handle, the more water that shoots out of the gun. As the ride gets going you will be able to shoot targets and the decorations and the people walking along the path outside of the River Battle.
And, the people that you are shooting at will have the opportunity to shoot back at you! Yup, the people that are watching the ride can walk to one of the water shooters on the rail along the ride and hose down the people that are on the ride. And you can shoot back at them. In fact, if you want to stay dry around River Battle, you need to give the ride a wide berth, walking in the dry areas around the ride itself. If you stray into the wet parts of the lane around the ride, you will get wet. This pitched battle between the people on the ride, the people on other boats in the ride and the folks walking around the ride is what makes this one of the most fun sections of Dollywood.
River Battle is one of the rides in the park that doesn’t have seat belts, it doesn’t have high speed drops and spins, it is a simple ride with lots of fun and lots of water powered high-jinx. And, after you come off the ride they have family sized dryers where you can get dried off before your next adventure, or… go find another water ride, like Daredevil Falls or River Rampage and see just how wet you can get at Dollywood in one day.