Villain Mountain

This dark ride I dreamed up when I wanted to create a combination of several
of my favorite types of rides: a dark ride, a rollercoaster, and a run-away mine train ride.
I threw in the aspect of being able to select different routes, too. The only company I
know who has made a dark ride with alternate paths is the Sally Corporation.
Do you think they would build this one?

Lucky Strike Mine Logo

The Lucky Strike Mine

Overview: Take a wild ride with Lefty and Calvin as you explore a new underground section of their mine and face the dangers they have uncovered.

Ride-Type Overview: A combination roller coaster/dark ride. Riders are able to choose a route at several points in the ride to explore different areas so there is repeat ride value. Sudden drops in the dark add to the thrill factor of the ride. The ride track is split into multiple block zones. Two computers monitor the location of all cars on the track. If a car enters a zone too soon or doesn’t exit a zone in a pre-determined amount of time, the computers shut down the ride for safety reasons. Animation is controlled by sensors set in the track, triggered when the car passes over it. Each car has a small computer on-board that operates the buttons that allow guests to choose their path and relays this information to the computers that will control the track-switches.

Setting: A mining company around the turn of the century.

Ride Vehicle: A four-seater coaster car: two rows of two. Shaped like a large mine cart. In front of each rider are two buttons with either an arrow pointing right or left on it. On board audio allows music, sound fx, and dialogue to be heard by the riders. Under each seat is a sub-woofer speaker to simulate the feeling of an explosion. An on-board computer in each car allows for the operation of the selection buttons and transmitting that info to the ride computers.

Characters:     -Lefty: owner of the Lucky Strike Mining Company
        -Calvin: Lefty’s partner; not as bright as Lefty

Exterior: The entrance to the ride looks like a clap-board building, very large, with the company’s sign on top. Humorous ads for fictitious items are posted along the outside of the building. The building, and the whole ride, has a slightly cartoon feel. Nothing is too serious except some of the monsters inside the ride. Right next to the doorway into the building is a large sign advertising for help wanted and describing the job duties.

Interior Queue: The queue is all in-doors. Riders walk past Lefty’s office, the chow room, supply room, etc. All have a slightly cartoon-like feel and jokes can be seen. Sound and animation are used. Everything is far enough away from the queue line to discourage vandalism by guests. Items are hung from the “rafters” and walls. An old phonograph plays music with funny lyrics. A telegraph room contains a telegraph sending out a message but no one there to write it down. At one point right as riders enter the building, the words “WE QUIT” in fresh red paint are scrawled on the wall. The observant guest will catch on to this and other clues. One room you pass is a bunk room and voices of Lefty’s employees can be heard talking about something strange in the caves and how they aren’t going to stay, even if he paid them a million dollars. An attendant is at the end of the queue loading the pre-show theater. A single rider line and an express line also go through, by-passing most of the regular queue.

Pre-Show Theater: This is where Lefty and Calvin explain what’s been going on. The lights go down and a “magic lantern” show begins. All slides are drawings, not real life.

[Slide shows The Lucky Strike Mine building]

Lefty: Welcome, folks. Calvin and I are so happy you decided to come work for the Lucky Strike Mine.

Calvin: We sure are!

[Slide: Lefty digging with a pick axe. Lefty and Calvin in front of their new company.]

Lefty: I started the Lucky Strike Mine 10 years ago on this very spot. I was prospectin’ all by myself when I found a vein of uranium. I mailed my best friend, Calvin, to come help me out. We entered into a partnership and the Lucky Strike Mining Company was born! We have 100 men working for us.

Calvin: Uh-uh, we HAD 100 men working for us. There’s something we need to tell you about.

Lefty: We’ve been needin’ some help ever since we broke into that new section of the mine.

[Slide: Hole with rubble in front of it and workers looking apprehensively inside.]

Calvin: The crew started complaining about strange sounds at night and supplies an’ stuff goin’ missin’. We ain’t never heard or seen any of these things…

Lefty: ‘Cause it’s all stuff an’ nonsense! Those fools won’t go near that shaft and most of them have already started to pack their belongin’s. In a couple of days there won’t be anyone here ‘cept me an’ Calvin.

[Slide: Calvin hammering up the help wanted sign you saw at the entrance.]

Calvin: So we advertised for some new help.

Lefty: Pay is a dollar a day plus mess hall grub. Any precious metals or stones found are split 50-50 with the owners—

Calvin: That’s us!

Lefty: --and the team who found them. So just go through those doors on your left and we’ll meet you at the station.

The doors open and lights come up. The guests exit into the loading area queue.

Loading Station: The wood walls give way to cave walls supported by timbers. Flickering lanterns illuminate the area. The queue holds a limited number of people. If the queue backs-up the ride operators stop running pre-shows until the queue can accommodate more guests. The size and length of the pre-show and the loading capacity will be matched so that a constant stream of guests are going through the pre-show and to the loading area. The cars are loaded two at a time. They dispatch together but the second car advances and stops until the zone ahead of it is clear of the first car. Guests unload at a different station so guests entering the car are not held up by exiting ones.

[Vehicle Storage / Maintenance]: Vehicles are taken off right past the load area. A track switch allows empty cars to quickly enter the maintenance/storage area without having to traverse the ride first. The storage area is located behind and under the loading area and queue. The exit for storage is just before the unload area. This layout is beneficial for several reasons: 1) A malfunctioning car can be pulled at the load area so it doesn’t travel the ride empty. 2) As the queue line drops, cars are quickly removed without sending empty ones. 3) Cars can be quickly inserted into the cycle when capacity needs to be increased.

Elevator: The car rolls through a tunnel lit by lanterns (the car is entering the show building proper). Soft, slow banjo music is playing. The car comes to a stop in a larger room, in front of a large wood panel – the entrance to a freight elevator. Mining supplies are scattered around as well as storage crates. Lefty is standing next to the controls to the elevator. Calvin is standing at the top of a ladder right next to the elevator. He looks like he is standing at the top of the elevator cage. Another set of tracks leads off into a dimly lit tunnel to give the effect of more tunnels on that level.

Lefty: Hey folks! You got here quick! This here freight lift will take us down to the new tunnel.

Calvin: We’ll follow you down on top of the lift. There’s another mine car already down there.

Lefty: Yeah. I think 2 sets of miners get things explored a darn lot quicker then if we all stay together.

Calvin: Come on Lefty. Quit a’staulin! It’s time we got down there!

[The lift door swings open like a large gate]

Lefty: Ok, ok. In ya go, everyone!

[Inside the elevator is darker than the previous room. A few flickering lanterns are on the wall but they shed very little light. Through slats in the walls you see rock walls. Lefty and Calvin’s voices can be heard from above you because they are “riding on top of the elevator” as it “descends”. The sound of the lift door closing is heard behind you.]

Lefty: Here we go!

[The sound of old machinery is heard. A rumbling is felt in the car provided by the sub-woofer. The actual lift begins to raise the vehicle up the shaft to the top level of the ride path for it’s gravity powered trip, but behind the few slits and cracks in the elevator walls, faux rock walls are moving up to give the riders the illusion of descending]

Calvin: I can’t wait to go explorin’. It’s my favorite part of mining!

Lefty: And I have to go with you or you’d jump all my claims.

[The lift appears to slow down then stop. The track the car sits on has limited movement and gives the car a “bump” to simulate the elevator stop]

Lefty: We’re here, folks. Hurry up and meet us outside.

[The sound of Lefty and Calvin walking and climbing off the top of the elevator are heard. The wall in front of the car swings outward and the car proceeds into the dimly lit tunnel. The car takes a few tight turns and enters another cavern.]

Tunnel Entrance: Lefty and Calvin are sitting in an identical mine car. The banjo music is heard again. Your car stops at the top of a ledge. The tracks go over the edge and toward two tunnel entrances at the end of the cave.

Lefty: There it is, folks. The tunnel that’s scared off our workers.

Calvin: And I still don’t see nothin’ wrong with it.

Lefty: Now some instructions before you go. At certain points in the mine you can select a different path. Those buttons in front of you will light up and flash [Buttons light up and flash], like that. All riders get a choice but in case of a tie a random selection will be made for you.

Calvin: Now here’s your first decision. There’s two paths up ahead. Each rider make your choice. Lefty an’ I will take the one you don’t.”

Lefty: You got 10 seconds to decide!

[When a button is pressed it goes solid. A rider can change their selection as many times as they want during the selection period]

Lefty: Hold on! Here we go!

Calvin: Yee-Haw!

[The track brake releases and a LIM launches the car over the edge. The banjo music starts up with a very fast, tune to match the hectic pace of the ride. It speeds toward the tunnel entrance. Suddenly, strange lights and fog appear at the mouth of the tunnel. A creepy chanting sound can be heard. Lefty and Calvin can be heard from the speakers in the car]

Calvin: Great Jumpin’ Gehosafats! Lefty! Look at that!

Lefty: What in tarnartion is that?!?

Calvin: It must be what scared off our help!

Lefty: Don’t worry, folks! We’ll save ya!

[This dialogue is heard as the car enters the mist and darkness. Strange lights are seen in the darkness around you. The track switch can not be seen but has switched to the chosen path]

Bats: A dark cavern. The car makes a few small turns. It goes through an archway into a bigger room. Red eyes are seen everywhere and loud squealing of bats. The banjo music keeps it fast pace. Small bats whip through the air. The car reaches another room with no bat eyes or screeching. The music stops and the car comes to a stop. The bats can be heard far off in the distance. This room appears bat free. Breathing sounds are heard. There is a dim glow illuminating the cave. Creepy music begins slowly as huge red eyes appear above the car. Gigantic bats are illuminated with a huge music crescendo. Bat screeches are heard again. A giant bat directly in front of the car descends at the moment as the car takes off [LIM launch]. The lights go out as the riders see the red eyes coming down. The car goes under the bat and the banjo music starts it’s furious pace. The track merges with the Spider scene in the pitch black tunnel.

Spiders: A dark cavern. The car swerves through a few tunnels. Glowing, neon colored spider webs appear. A few at first, then lot of them. Spiders become more and more frequent at the center of the webs. Spiders can be seen crawling across the walls and dropping from the ceiling. They are hairy and have strange glowing markings on their backs. The car comes to a stop in a large cave. A gigantic “queen” spider is in front of the car, above the track. Suddenly, two large spiders are lit up on rocks on either side of the car. Insect like screeching, hissing, and clicking is heard. The car takes off and the banjo music takes off, too. Other large spiders can be seen. Some of them spit “venom” on the passengers as the car takes off [LIM launch]. The queen spider begins descending towards the car. Banjo music is fast and furious again. Lights go out as the car passes under the spider. “Venom” drips on the passengers as the go under and enter darkness. The track merges with the Bat section.

Cave Choice #2: The car is stopped on a section of track in the dark. A large fan blows air past the car. With the car firmly held, the track section slowly tilts forward so it is angled downhill. This gives the illusion of the mine car speeding down an incline while the animation is going on. A lantern lights up. It is being held by Calvin. He and Lefty are in a car next to the rider’s car. A spinning section of rock can be seen behind them, again to make it look like everyone is speeding along. The lantern barely illuminates Lefty and Calvin, and the spinning wall. The choice buttons on the console begin to flash. The banjo BGM is not too slow, not too fast. Sound of metal rolling on metal to simulate the car still traveling down the tracks.

Calvin: Tarnation! That wasn’t good!

Lefty: Them varmints almost had us, Calvin! But I’m sure glad  there weren’t and bats/ spiders back there! I can’t stand snakes/spiders. [Depending on the room you just went through, Lefty mentions the creatures you saw] Where’d they all come from?

Calvin: I have no idea Lefty, but we gotta find a way out of here. Make a choice folks and we’ll meet up with ya further down the line!

Lefty: [The lantern Lefty is holding goes out as well as the choice buttons. All is pitch black. ] Whoops!

[The brake holding the car releases, sending it down a steep hill. Lefty and Calvin’s voices are heard crying out in surprise as they go down the same hill. The banjo music starts up at full speed]

Egyptian Tomb: [The car enters a dimly lit tunnel. The walls are made of stone and hieroglyphs decorate them. Egyptian artifacts can be seen in niches and alcoves. The car moves into a throne room and stops in front of a dais with two thrones on it. A mummified king and queen sit there. The banjo BGM has stopped. Torches around the throne come to life making things brighter. The king and queen mummies eyes begin to glow. They raise their heads. The king raises his arm and points at the riders]

Mummy King: [In a frighteningly evil, mummy voice] You have desecrated our tomb. You will perish and your soul will spend eternity in torment. [It chuckles and lowers it’s arm. Both heads lower and the eyes go out. The torches go out. It is dim once again]

[There is a loud explosion and smoke on both sides of the car. It quickly clears and rotting mummies in guard clothing are on each side of the platform coming towards the car. The car takes off [LIM Launch] and the quick banjo BGM starts up. You enter a room with sarcophagi. The lid of one standing upright swings open to reveal a moldering mummy with glowing eyes. More lids begin opening as the car weaves between them to the far side of the room. Moans and growls escape from the open coffins. Thuds come from inside some of the closed ones, as more try to get free. A mummy pops up from one laying on the floor. You zoom past to another room. It is long and narrow. Long wooden spears spring from holes in one side of the wall trying to impale you. Some mummies are in the middle of pushing a large column onto the track. It is tilting and sand falls from the ceiling where it is moving. As you go by it falls toward you. The car slips past into a dark tunnel and out of the scene. The strange lights are seen]

Cave Banshee: [The car enters a tunnel of rock with wooden beam supports. The car comes to a stop at the junction of several tunnels. Banjo BGM stops. Dripping water is heard echoing. Then a voice echoes through the tunnels.

Banshee: Come to me…. [A beautiful lady appears ahead of the car. It starts moving towards her] I’ve been so lonely….Hurry!…..[As the car approaches the lady turns into a hideous ghoul. It lets out a loud shriek. The car makes a sharp turn away from the Banshee. Banjo BGM starts up]

Banshee: Noooooooooo!!!! [Rumbling starts that can be felt in the car. Beams begin to sway. Loud groaning of  rock is heard. “Dust” falls from cracks in the ceiling. The car speeds down tight tunnels with an avalanche threatening. The Banshee’s voice is screaming in fury behind the car. A doorway appears ahead with the strange lights inside. Beams begin toppling over the track. Just as the car reaches the doorway, the Banshee jumps out from an alcove. The car goes through the doorway into the lights and then darkness.]

Cave Choice #3: The same set up as Choice #2 happens. The car is stopped in a brake, a blowing fan gives the feeling that it is still rolling. The track section tilts forward. A lantern lights up. Lefty is holding the lantern. He and Calvin are in the mine car just like before. Banjo BGM playing. Sound of metal rolling on metal to simulate the car still traveling down the tracks. The selection buttons on the console light up.

Lefty: [If you just visited the Mummy scene] Calvin, them mummies meant business!

Calvin: Shucks. Dealin’ with them was easy. One tug on the bandages and they fall to pieces!


Lefty: [If you just visited the Banshee scene] Calvin, I need to change my long john’s. That thing was scary!

Calvin: Naw. Aint nowhere as scary as my first wife. But it might have been her cousin.

Calvin: We been searchin’ for a way out folks. I think it will be at the end of this here track we are following.

Lefty: Calvin, who did build this track here?

Calvin: I don’t know, Lefty. But they sure built it in some dangerous areas. Make a selection folks!

Lefty: [The lantern has been getting dimmer during this time and now goes out along with the selection buttons] Uh-oh! We gotta find a way out soon, Calvin! We’ve run out of lamp oil!

[The car is released to proceed down the hill. Calvin and Lefty’s voices are heard shouting in surprise as the riders take the drop. Banjo BGM has picked up]

Alien Temple: The car is in a chamber with strange tiled shapes on the walls and strange sculptures. An evil, chanting sound starts and will continue to get louder as the car proceeds. Figures in black hooded robes appear. Some carry/hold items. Some have their arms raised as they chant in front of the weird statues. Their faces are never seen. Their eyes glow blue. The car stops in front of a doorway with closed stone doors. Symbols cover the stone lintel. The priests stand around chanting which has reached a fevered pitched. As the final chord is reached the symbols begin to glow. A low rumbling is felt and the doors slide open with the sound of grinding rock. Priests stand all around the car, including some directly behind. There is nowhere to go but forward. A large slimy tentacle rises next to the car. It looks nothing like an octopus tentacle-it is purple with evil barbs and suckers on it. The car launches itself through the doors as the banjo BGM picks up full speed. The doors close behind you as you enter the room. A heartbeat sound echoes. Walls are covered in goo and slime. Skeletons of victims lay chained to walls. Slime can be seen flowing down portions of the walls. Large holes and cracks are in the floor. Large tentacles already poke out of them and weave around, but some of these have mouths on them that spit slime out. The car weaves between them towards the far end where an altar is. As you get near it, a huge eye on a stalk rises from the hole in front of the altar. It follows the car as it passes to the exit. A tentacle reaches out for the car as it enters the exit tunnel.

Vampire Castle: The car is inside a castle. Tapestries hang on the wall. Torches burn barely illuminating the place. The car enters a room with a large marble coffin in the center. Moonlight pours through a window and falls on the coffin. The car stops. Banjo BGM is silent. The coffin lid rattles then flies open. A pillar of smoke rises accompanied by ghostly screams. Then all is quiet. Using the Pepper’s Ghost effect the Vampire Lord fades into view. He looks part human but with bat-like facial features, and dressed in the suit of an era gone by.

Vampire: Didn’t you see the sign outside? Trespassers will be eaten. [Laughs in a very evil way. He pulls a switch and he disappears. All lights go out]

The car launches forward into a hallway. Banjo BGM is at full speed. A suit of armor swings an axe at the car. A portcullis drops in front of the car which takes a hard turn down another hall. Suits of armor holding crossbows line both sides. The arrows are shot at the passengers as they ride by. Turning another corner you see the Vampire standing in front of you. He gestures. A huge axe pendulum swings in front of the car and splits a suit of armor which falls into two halves at the waist. Another turn into a new hallway.

Vampire: You are mine! [Howl of fury]

At the end of the room is the Vampire hovering above the track and exit doorway. He has leathery bat wings that are flapping and he has transformed more into a bat-like creature. Another portcullis falls down as you pass under. The vampire creature goes  straight at you as the lights go out. The howl fades into the darkness.

Dragon’s Lair:  The car comes to a stop and the BGM stops. Lights slowly come up. You are in a huge cave. A large, colorful dragon is asleep nearby. Opposite the dragon are bodies scorched to skeletons. His breathing can be beard.

Calvin: Psst! Hey folks, over here! [Calvin and Lefty are standing on a rock ledge] We found a way out. Just sneak quietly past that there dragon and follow us.

Lefty: [Loud whisper] Hurry! We don’t want it to wake up. Just look at those poor fellas!

The car rolls slowly forward. Banjo BGM begins to play, one note at a time almost as if it’s a chord for every footstep you would be taking. Suddenly, Lefty breaks wind. The car stops right in line with the dragon’s head.

Calvin: [Loud whisper] Lefty!

Lefty: Ooops!

The dragon sniffs the air. It’s eyes open and it raises it’s head and roars.

Calvin: Come on! Run!

Banjo BGM at full tilt. The car takes off. Loud thumps are heard and felt. The dragon is chasing you. Roars echo everywhere.

Lefty: It’s after us!

The car weaves through archways and holes. At one point the dragon’s head pops through a hole and breaths a stream of fire above the car. You enter another room. Ahead is another freight elevator with tons of explosives packed around it. Calvin and Lefty are standing on top of the elevator.

Calvin: Inside folks! We’re gonna take the express back to the surface!

The does not stop in this room. The riders see it for a few seconds and are inside. The car stops inside and the door closes. It’s very dark inside. BGM has stopped. Lefty and Calvin’s voices are heard above you.

Calvin: Lefty! Light the fuse! That over-grown lizard is almost on us!

Lefty: I’m tryin! I’m tryin! [Dragon roars and stomps continue to get louder]

Sounds of a match being struck, then the sizzling of a fuse are heard.

Lefty: Got it!

Calvin: Everyone hang on!

There is a huge explosion. Flashing lights appear between the wood slats of the lift. The section of track quickly raises and drops the car to simulate the landing.

Lefty: YeeHaw! We did it!

Calvin: We sure did!

The car rolls out of the elevator into a cave similar to the one at the start. Lots of boxes and crates are stacked everywhere. Lefty and Calvin are sooty and a bit burned around the edges but otherwise OK.

Calvin: Thanks for all your help, folks. Our first bit of business is to seal up that tunnel again.

Lefty: I sure don’t want any of the things we seen to escape.

Calvin: Take care! [Both men wave. Banjo BGM plays as car passes a tall stack of crates. On the other side is the dragon. He is singed like Calvin and Lefty are and looks miffed at being blown up. His head follows you as you pass by. The car enters the unload area and the riders exit.

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UPDATED 5/10/2007