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Mystery Mine
Mystery Mine (Dollywood) 01.JPG
Entrance to Mystery Mine
Dollywood
Park section Timber Canyon
Coordinates 35°47′44″N 83°31′48″W / 35.795583°N 83.530059°W / 35.795583; -83.530059Coordinates: 35°47′44″N 83°31′48″W / 35.795583°N 83.530059°W / 35.795583; -83.530059
Status Operating
Soft opening date March 31, 2007 (2007-03-31)
Opening date April 13, 2007 (2007-04-13)
Cost $17.5 million
General statistics
Type Steel – Euro-Fighter
Manufacturer Gerstlauer
Designer Werner Stengel
Model Euro-Fighter (Custom)
Track layout Terrain
Lift/launch system Chain lift hill x2
Height 85.3 ft (26.0 m)
Length 1,811 ft (552 m)
Speed 43.5 mph (70.0 km/h)
Inversions 2
Duration 2:30
Max vertical angle 95°
Capacity 1000 riders per hour
Height restriction 48–76 in (122–193 cm)
Trains 7 trains with a single car. Riders are arranged 4 across in 2 rows for a total of 8 riders per train.
Virtual queue
TimeSaver Pass available
Must transfer from wheelchair
Mystery Mine at RCDB
Pictures of Mystery Mine at RCDB

Mystery Mine is a steel roller coaster located at Dollywood amusement park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Manufactured by Gerstlauer, the Euro-Fighter model is heavily-themed as a haunted mining operation from the 19th century. The roller coaster was Dollywood's largest single investment in the park's history at the time, costing $17.5 million to construct. A large portion of the track is located indoor, where the ride utilizes a series of special effects. It was the first Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter installation in the United States and had the steepest drop of any coaster in North America at the time of its opening. The ride was installed by Ride Entertainment Group, who handles all of Gerstlauer's operations in the Western Hemisphere.

History

On July 7, 2006, Dollywood announced Mystery Mine for the 2007 season. The ride occupies a 1-acre (0.40 ha) expansion area of Timber Canyon near Thunderhead. According to Dollywood, Mystery Mine would feature state-of-the-art special effects, dark ride elements and mineshaft theming. For the ride system, the park hired Gerstlauer to build a custom variation of the Euro-Fighter coaster model — the first of its kind in the United States and the first to feature two vertical lift hills.

Mystery Mine officially opened on April 13, 2007. It was one of the two Gerstlauer Euro-Fighters to open that year, with the other being Rage at Adventure Island in Essex, England.

Ride experience

The ride's story and themes are introduced in the queue as guests enter. Visitors pass old newspaper articles and signs condemning an old abandoned mine shaft, and the queue winds around a rocky area before climbing stairs to the boarding area. During this time, guests occasionally hear recorded audio stating, "If the canary ain't tweetin'...you'll be sleepin'!" Quick-paced banjo music can also be heard playing in the background.

After boarding, the 8-passenger car launches quickly out of the station. A miner's evil laugh echoes down the first small drop as the car rushes toward the first curve. A wall full of cawing crows and a caged canary watch the car as it passes. As it turns the corner, passengers come face to face with a giant spinning rock crusher. The cart quickly drops beneath the grinder and whips around a hairpin curve. As the car slows to a stop, a crow caws loudly from somewhere above and a small lever labeled "mine gas" cranks into the on position.

The car ascends approximately 85 feet (26 m) up a vertical wall of track at a 90-degree angle. Graffiti litters the sheet metal walls on both sides. After reaching the top, the car drops down a short hill outside the ride building. A sign advertises "Burnt out bridge ahead!", and the car swerves across the trestle. A steep drop then sends the vehicle careening up a vertical U-turn. The car proceeds to swing around a few small helices before plunging back into the abandoned mine building, where it slows down. A spotlight turns on illuminating the canary cage seen earlier. A lightning special effect flashes from the shaft ahead, as the canary turns over on its perch, to indicate it died. The car begins to ascend the mine shaft at as crows peer out from behind the broken boards surrounding the shaft. A window effect above riders shows the storm going on outside the shaft. Another flash of lightning strikes the top of the simulated tower protruding above, which collapses onto the window.

Now in darkness, the car stops at the peak of the hill. A lit fuse is heard in the distance and soon becomes visible, snaking along both sides of the car. A green lantern suddenly illuminates, sitting on top of a mound of dynamite in boxes, hooked to the quickly approaching fuse. As the lit portion reaches the dynamite, simulated flames shoot out as the car drops at a beyond-vertical drop of 95 degrees and into a barrel roll followed by a half loop. The car slows enters the final brake run as it returns to the station.

Awards

  • On July 2, 2007, Theme Park Insider awarded Mystery Mine its "Best New Theme Park Attraction" award for 2007.
  • Mystery Mine was ranked 48th on the Amusement Today Top 50 Best Steel Coasters list for 2007.
  • Amusement Today ranked Mystery Mine as the #2 new ride for 2007, behind Cedar Point's Maverick.

Ride Elements

  • Two vertical lifts
  • 95 degree drop
  • Heartline roll
  • Turn-over loop

Gallery

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