Tower drop rides? Been there, done that. Opening later this summer, the new Haunted Mine Drop at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park will be the first ride in the world to plummet riders underground—about 120 feet down inside Iron Mountain, to be exact.
The same ride designer who brought you sweaty palms and second thoughts while you stood in line for the mountaintop park’s Giant Canyon Swing has dreamed up this new thrill. (He also created Las Vegas’s Stratosphere Tower Big Shot, among other rides.) Glenwood Caverns’ owner, Steve Beckley, never thought a tower drop ride atop a mountain was possible, given the risks of lightning and wind storms, and the unlikelihood of getting the necessary county permits. But those challenges were all resolved when he brainstormed the concept of a ride that would drop straight underground. The resulting hole took 10 months of careful digging, so as not to disturb nearby caves and the park’s year-round tours.
The ride experience starts during the queue—you’ll be greeted as though you are a miner starting the first day of work. Once you’re seated, ghostly holograms will tell spooky stories from other turn-of-the-century mines in the region. After they explain that this fictional mine had to close because of eerie activities, the floor vanishes and you’ll free-fall to the bottom of the mine shaft … gulp.