Dollywood's new ride for the 2007 season is a mystery no more with the theme park's announcement of the $17.5 million Mystery Mine steel roller coaster.
Marking the largest capital investment in the company's history, Mystery Mine brings a one-acre expansion of Dollywood's Timber Canyon area, also home to Thunderhead™, the world's No. 1 wooden coaster. In a continuation of the area's lumber camp theme, Mystery Mine is set in an abandoned coal mine where eight-passenger mine carts immediately plunge riders into darkness before continuing along a 1,811-foot track through the ruins of an early 1900's mine.
"I've had to keep my big mouth shut about the Mystery Mine, but I can tell you now, it's the most exciting thing to come out of these hills in a long, long time," Dolly Parton said. "And I've got a few more tricks up my sleeve that I'm still not telling you about until it opens at Dollywood next year, but I can guarantee you it's well worth the wait!"
During Mystery Mine's 2.5-minute journey, passengers encounter a 95-degree, 85-foot vertical drop in addition to a weightless inversion known as a "heart-line roll" and a "rollover loop" or double inversion which consists of an upward half-loop and a half-roll. Mystery Mine also features an Immelmann maneuver. Named for German World War I pilot Max Immelmann, the maneuver begins much like the first half of a traditional vertical loop. As the coaster car approaches the loop's apex, it is inverted and travels back in the direction in which the car first entered the loop. Rather than completing the loop, the coaster car rolls on its axis, becoming right-side-up while simultaneously turning away from the loop. The coaster car exits the Immelmann maneuver almost in the same direction in which it initially approached the loop.
Passengers will encounter several high-speed twists as the miner cars maneuver their way through a series of uncertain encounters including a fall from a collapsed trestle and a plunge into an abandoned tunnel. Mystery Mine, the first ride of its kind in the U.S., also incorporates state-of-the-art special effects.
Artist renderings and ride simulation video of Mystery Mine may be viewed at www.mysterymine.com.
Dollywood is a 125-acre family adventure park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Open nine months a year, Dollywood offers more than 40 rides and attractions; live entertainment featuring country, bluegrass, gospel and mountain music; and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. For more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit www.dollywood.com. Operating days and hours vary.