Last August, Dollywood announced their latest and craziest thrill yet, Lightning Rod, as this year’s new attraction. Later, the park announced that the ride would open in mid-March of this year, but sadly technical issues delayed the ride’s opening. On May 23rd, the ride finally began its soft opening phase allowing some members of the public to ride. As of today, June 13th, the ride is open for normal operation!
Lightning Rod is the world’s first launched wooden roller coaster. The ride is manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction, and uses their special topper track to provide a smooth and dynamic ride. The topper track has been used on other rides like Outlaw Run to provide a ride full of wild airtime and even inversions. Although Lightning Rod does not feature any inversions, it has some of the craziest airtime elements I’ve ever seen on a coaster. There is everything from lateral airtime to a quadruple down.
Lightning Rod has a maximum speed of 73 mph, which makes it the fastest wooden roller coaster. The 3800 foot long ride features a 165 foot drop and navigates the wooden terrain of the Smoky Mountains.
Finally, here are some videos of Lightning Rod provided by Dollywood:
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