"Titler" wrote:Shame Alton cant produce something with theming as good as that anymore, and its only a small park!
"Titler" wrote:So Dolly Parton obviously has more skills to make a well themed ride than the likes of Tussauds?
The park opened up around 9:30, a little ahead of schedule. We made our way up to Mystery Mine. The ride is very impressive the way it is situated atop the hill, overlooking the Timber Canyon area. A queue had already formed in front of the ride...we were told it would open at 10am. A little after 10, they opened the ride. We wound our way through the entire queue and up the stairs into the station. Once inside the station, you can enter the single rider line or the general line. There were four of us so we chose the general line. They have the ability to load/unload two cars simultaneously, however today it was one at a time. The cars are very easy to get in and out of, and are very comfortable in my opinion. They have the typical horse-collar style restraint - no seatbelt to mess with. We were given the thumbs up and off we went. We were the third car of the GP that left the station.
Immediately out of the station, you take a small but quick dip. There is a lot of scenery to take in such as birds with red l.e.d. eyes staring at you, sound efx, etc.. The pacing at first is very slow, but heavily banked so that you can take it all in. After going around a corner, you come to "The Crusher" and a lot of mist and fog. You take the little dip under the crusher and then whip around a 90-degree turn and come to a stop as you approach the first lift. Off to the left side you see the giant gears that are featured in the videos. Two ravens engage a lever which activates the lift, so to speak. It's all very well designed and cute. You begin the first vertical ascent, which is a strange feeling if you're not accustomed to it. At the top, you take a dip before going over the trestle, then you get your first 95-degree drop, which is another surprising feeling. The horshoe turn is great as well. You continue through some tight turns, then the block brake, more tight turns and high banked curves, then you enter back into the building and once again come to a stop before the 2nd lift. There you find more great theming, lighting and music. After a short pause, you go up the lift. On the sides are more birds with l.e.d. eyes, and at the top of the ceiling is the screen with the scene of the lightning hitting the windmill. Unfortunately the screen was kinda small. It could have filled the entire ceiling, but it didn't take away anything from the experience. At the top of the lift is the big surprise. The fireball scene was not functioning the first two times we rode it, so on the third ride it was very shocking. After you ascend the 2nd lift, the taller of the two. you go out a little bit and pause once again. Directly in front of you is a scene with dynamite and the explosion. There are fiber optic 'fuses' that are lit and go to the dynamite. After the dynamite is lit, there is a pretty big natural gas explosion about 10 feet, maybe, in front of you. You could feel the heat on your face and it was very scary to me that it was that close. I wondered for a minute if my face was singed. After the 'explosion', the brake released and you are faced with the big 95-degree drop, which is breathtaking to say the least. You fly out of the building and you are immediately in the heartline roll, which is intense on the outer seats, not as much in the middle seats, then you find yourself upside down, and not going very fast, you come down, then you have another pop of airtime before hitting the brakes, and finally you're back in the station.
For the first day of operation I think the crew did a fantastic job. Loading and unloading seemed very smooth to me. The only problem I heard was from a friend of mine who said that one of the kicker wheels leading to the lift did not work properly, and they had to manually push the coaster onto the lift...so pretty good for day one.
Overall impressions are great. The theming exceeded my expectations both inside the ride and the exterior of the ride. The ride is very novel. It had a lot of blocking in it, so we hit the brakes quite a bit. The 2nd half of the ride is very fast paced. I found the right side of the coaster car to be smoother than the left side. On the left, I noticed a bit of head banging. To remedy that, you should extend your head out in front of the horse collar. After doing that, there were no banging issues.
Believe it or not, towards the latter part of the day Mystery Mine was a 5 minute or so wait, so we took advantage and rode it at least a dozen times. Each time we discovered something new and different about it. I'm not sure if all the theming was on today, but there may be more to discover. My friends said they saw some some things that didn't look functional, so they're probably keeping some things off until 4/13. So you should all get to Dollywood this year and ride it. It's full of a lot of very unique elements that none of us have seen before. This is a credit worth getting. Hope you enjoyed my t.r.