The Haunted Mine Drop at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park isn’t the tallest drop tower in the world – just the deepest. No other drop tower goes underground like the Haunted Mine Drop’s 110-foot descent into Iron Mountain. Riders say the darkness below the surface multiplies the intensity of the experience.
The Haunted Mine Drop is also one of the few drop towers embedded in an active narrative. Riders take the role of Glenwood Mining Corporation miners showing up for their first day of work at the site that had been shut down years ago because of a deadly accident. While they wait to enter, they listen to scary mining tales. After the drop, ghosts at the bottom finish the story before the workers ascend to the surface. Similar context-enhanced drops include the recently-opened “Mission Breakout,” a Guardians of the Galaxy-themed ride that replaced the “Twilight Zone Tower of Terror” at Disney California Adventure, and “Tower of Terror” at Tokyo DisneySea that retains the haunted-hotel narrative.
Competition among amusement parks is fierce for the highest and tallest drop towers. The highest is The Sky Drop at 1,591 feet 2.45 inches atop the mast of Canton Tower in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, although the actual drop is just 101 feet 8.47 inches. That surpassed the Big Shot in Las Vegas that is a 160-foot drop but sits on top of the 921-foot Stratosphere tower. The tallest, at 415 feet, is Lex Luthor: Drop of Doom at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California, which surpassed the 390-foot Giant Drop at Dreamworld in Australia in 2012. Lex Luthor is embedded in the Superman: Escape from Krypton tower. The tallest freestanding drop tower in North America is the 335-foot Falcon’s Fury at Busch Gardens in Tampa, which comes with a special twist: it’s the first face-down drop tower because guests are turned 90 degrees to see the ground before they plummet.
There’s no competition for deepest drop tower. There’s only the Haunted Mine Drop at Glenwood Caverns Amusement Park, on top of Iron Mountain at 7,000 feet above sea level.