Yesterday, Coaster Hub was lucky enough to attend the media day for Haunted Mine Drop at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. The ride far exceeded my expectations and quickly became my new favorite drop tower attraction even taking the edge over Disney’s Tower of Terror.
From the second you enter the queue line, you are quickly immersed in a completely different environment. The theming is very reminiscent of Silver Dollar City or Dollywood, and seeing that this is the park’s first attempt to theme an attraction, they had an enormous success in totally transforming the environment for riders. Once you enter the building, a miner greets you on a screen giving the “new recruits” instructions. There are various objects in the queue to complete the mine theming such as flickering lanterns, shovels, pickaxes, etc. The next section of the queue has another screen which gives a short speech about the history of the mine, with some comedic remarks throughout. The queue as well as the building has such a prominent level of detail that you completely forget what lies ahead.
Upon entering the ride, you see your vehicle sitting idle waiting for your mining journey. The restraint system has to be one of the best features of the ride. Each seat has only two small seatbelts as opposed to bulky harnesses, which not only elevates the free fall sensation, but also creates a very comfortable and roomy ride. Once seated, the lights shut down and you are greeted by a ghost of a past miner. He flies around the show room giving a story about the mine’s dark history, and without even knowing, the floor had slid out from underneath your feet. From here, a voice yells “Fire in the hole!” and a few seconds later you are plunging over ten stories downwards. It is difficult to explain how intense the free fall sensation is on this ride, as no drop tower thus far has given me an experience even remotely comparable to this. While many drop towers are 100, 200, or even 300 feet taller than Haunted Mine Drop, this free fall feels not only longer, but as previously stated, much more intense. At the bottom of the mine, you are greeted by a skeleton as well as some more minute theming details. Being over 100 feet underground, you can feel such a distinct temperature change as well as the smell of the rocks which just adds that much more to the story of the ride. This puts you in such an immersive scenario that cannot be experienced elsewhere.
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, Soaring Eagle, and Creative Visions far outdid themselves with this attraction. Haunted Mine Drop sets the bar very high for the standard of all future drop towers. We here at Coaster Hub are very excited to see what the park has in store in their future, and we highly recommend planning a trip as soon as possible, because this is a ride that you can’t miss. We would also like to thank the staff at Glenwood Caverns for putting on such a great event and having some of the best workers that you can find at a theme park.