Haunted Mine Drop named Best New Amusement Park Attraction of 2017 | VailDaily.com

Haunted Mine Drop named Best New Amusement Park Attraction of 2017

Daily staff report

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — The voters have spoken, and they chose the Haunted Mine Drop at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park as USA Today's Best New Amusement Park Attraction of 2017.

The Haunted Mine Drop, which opened in July, is the world's first drop ride to go underground, dropping riders 110 feet down — reaching 4Gs of acceleration — inside Iron Mountain in Glenwood Springs.

It earned the No. 1 spot on the 10 Best Readers' Choice travel award contest from a pool of 20 candidates selected by an expert panel made up of nationally acclaimed writers and editors covering the theme park, amusement and travel industries. The list included attractions from renowned parks including Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort, Six Flags America and Dollywood.

"I'm elated by this news. As a small, family-owned park, we were humbled just to be in the running for this award alongside such icons in the amusement industry," said Nancy Heard, general manager of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park. "To come out on top? Well, that just means so much to us." 

Take the Drop

The ride experience begins in the queue as guests learn they've arrived for their first day on the job at the Glenwood Mining Corporation, which has just re-opened after a grisly mining accident more than a century ago.

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Theming inside and out by St. Louis-based Creative Visions creates an old mine atmosphere, with a wood and rusted tin exterior and moving gear visible in the upper section of the building.

Once inside the building, the storyline continues with mining relics, vintage signage and video effects until the new employees enter the drop room where they'll be lowered into the mine. A Pepper's ghost, an illusion technique invented by Professor John Henry Pepper and English engineer Henry Dircks in the 1800s, appears to tell the real story behind the mine's closing so many years ago.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is no stranger to USA Today's travel awards. In addition to the two honors for the Haunted Mine Drop, the Giant Canyon Swing was named one of the 10 Most Extreme Theme Park Rides in the USA; Glenwood Caverns and the Historic Fairy Caves was named one of the 10 Best Caves and one of the 10 Best Places to Go Underground; and the Alpine Coaster was named one of the 10 Best Roller Coaster Rides of Your Life.

For more information about the park, including hours of operation and a list of which attractions are open, visit http://www.GlenwoodCaverns.com or call 800-530-1635 or 970-945-4228, ext. 0.

If you go …

Glenwood Caverns is about an hour’s drive from Vail west on Interstate-70.