Dollywood theme park is busy putting the finishing touches on an exciting new attraction, Mystery Mine. This new roller coaster, the first ride of its kind in the United States, is nearing completion as the park approaches its opening day.
According to Dollywood, this $17.5 million attraction is the largest capital investment in the company's history.
Dollywood has invested a lot in new attractions over the past several years. Last year, the theme park introduced the new $6.5 million Timber Tower thrill ride. In 2005, Dollywood spent $5 million for a 3.5-acre expansion of the park's Country Fair area and added ten new family rides. In 2004, the park built the $7 million award-winning wooden coaster, Thunderhead.
"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 while announcing the ride.
Mystery Mine is part of a one-acre expansion of Dollywood's Timber Canyon area. You may be familiar with the area since the Thunderhead roller coaster can also be found here.
Keeping with the area's 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.
The new ride promises to offer plenty of thrills for Dollywood guests.
On board guests will encounter a 95-degree, 85-foot vertical drop, a weightless inversion known as a "heart-line roll" and a "rollover loop" that Dollywood describes as a double inversion which consists of an upward half-loop and a half-roll.
Mystery Mine will also mix in a few high-speed twists as the miner cars travel through a series of uncertain encounters including a fall from a collapsed trestle and a plunge into an abandoned tunnel.
When announcing the ride Parton promised there will be a few things about Mystery Mine that guests will just have to discover for themselves.
"I've got a few more tricks up my sleeve (referring to Mystery Mind) 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," said Parton.
Dollywood noted that state-of-the-art special effects will add to the overall ride experience. The entire attraction will last about two-and-half minutes.
"I'm so proud of Dollywood and all we've accomplished through the years," Dolly Parton said. "Maybe I'm most proud of Dollywood being named one of the top three theme parks in the entire world. That's why I thought it was important to build a world-class roller coaster like Mystery Mine – it's got a world of surprises in store for folks."
Last year, Dollywood was one of three finalists for the 2006 Applause Award, an international honor in recognition of foresight, originality and creativity, plus sound business development and profitability in the theme park and attractions industry.
With Mystery Mine nearing its completion, the park is finishing up a two-year design and construction process.
Dollywood reopens for the 2007 season on March 31. Mystery Mine is the fifth roller coaster at Dollywood.
To see construction photos and video of Mystery Mine, be sure to visit the official site: mysterymine.com
Type of Ride:
85 feet at 95-degrees
Seven 8-passenger Mine Cars
2 minutes, 30 seconds
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee