Dollywood Announces $17.5 Million Mystery Mine Coaster Addition For 2007 Season

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Dollywood, Dolly Parton's theme park in the Smoky Mountains announced its largest expansion ever on Friday. The $17.5 Million expansion will offer an immersive ride experience.

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 1900s 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

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 Operating days and hours vary.

Mystery Mine, scheduled to open at Dollywood in spring 2007, is the United States’ first system based on Gerstlauer’s Euro-fighter ride, which combines an intimate guest experience with hair-raising 95-degree drops. Located in Dollywood’s Timber Canyon area, Mystery Mine is themed as a long-abandoned coal mine with an eerie past. Mystery Mine utilizes a state-of-the-art show experience built on special effects, audio and lots of excitement.

Layout: Steel, sit-down

Vertical lifts: 2     

Track length: 1,811 feet

Ride duration: 2 minutes, 30 seconds

Maximum speed: 46 miles per hour

Tallest vertical drop: 85 feet at 95 degrees

Inversions: 1 Heart-line Roll, 1 Rollover Loop.

Vehicles: 7 cars that carry 8 passengers; 4 passengers per row

Capacity: 1,000 passengers per hour

Area: 1.1 acres

Minimum Height Requirement: 48 inches

Facility Construction: Dollywood Maintenance & Construction

Ride Manufacturer: Gerstlauer Elektro GmbH, Munsterhausen, Germany

Project Producer: B Dudash & Associates, Inc

Scenic Fabrication: Adirondack Scenic, Saratoga Springs, NY

Special Effects: Entech Creative, Orlando, FL

Audio/Video Systems: Edwards Technologies, Los Angeles, CA

Attraction Design: Forrec Ltd., Toronto, Canada

Project Producer: B Dudash & Associates, Inc.

What if there is no light at the end of the tunnel?


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