Dollywood: Riding Mystery Mine Is Something One Must Do When Visiting The Park
Dollywood goes above and beyond when it comes to coasters. Mystery Mine is one of their crowning achievements. The Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter might be the most elaborately themed coaster in the world. It’s one Dollywood has every right to be proud of.
You’ll notice from the queue that this isn’t your typical Euro-Fighter. Themed to an abandoned mine, the entrance and load station look the part. There’s a lot of detail within the ride, and you’ll find a great deal of it here.
The Euro-Fighter model does get a bad rap for being a tad rough. Mystery Mine is no exception to this. This is your typical Euro-Fighter train. You’re seated 4 across in 2 rows for a total of 8 riders per car. Just your typical Euro-fighter model.
Here’s where the ride gets interesting. Instead of your typical non-themed track, Dollywood opted to theme the ride inside and out. You spend a good portion of the coaster inside what’s supposed to be a mine. There are fire effects, screens, and lighting, all which create a very interesting atmosphere.
As a coaster, Mystery Mine is a tale of two halves. The first portion consists of a very tame coaster. It’s the second half of the ride that gets you, though. You’re sent down a 95-degree drop (once the steepest drop in North America), and go into some crazy elements like a heartline roll and dive loop.
Had the second half of Mystery Mine not been as intense, you could almost classify this as a kids coaster. It’s nice to look at, and the themeing is very elaborate, but the coaster itself suffers from a lackluster first half. There’s not enough thrill on the second portion of the coaster to warrant it as a 5-star coaster.
If you’re going to Dollywood, you must still ride Mystery Mine. It’s a great experience. It might not be the strongest of coasters, but the themeing inside and out of the ride make it a major hit. All Mystery Mine proves is that Dollywood is willing to go out and spend the money needed to make an amazing ride.
Mystery Mine has its faults. Fortunately, they aren’t enough to bring this coaster down. It’s a real treat to get to ride this Euro-Fighter. If you like well-themed coasters, this is the one for you. Just be ready for the second half of the ride.