-As of Late Friday, August 7th, I have added new images to this article!

For months, the rumors have been swirling around Dollywood’s major 2016 expansion. The roller coaster commuity has been speculating and reporting on anything that came up. Recently, Rocky Mountain Construction posted a job listing for Pigeon Forge, Tenessee. This confirmed suspicions that Dollywood would build a RMC woodie, but today the announcement finally came, and the ride looks amazing!    

The wooden coaster, which will be titled “Lightning Rod,” will be the world’s tallest and fastest wooden coaster. The ride will start with a 45mph launch up the first hill. It will send you speeding into the ride’s very first airtime moment. After the 200 foot climb up the hill, the  cars will be sent into the 165 foot tall drop. At the bottom of the drop, the ride will reach a maximum speed of 73mph, which will make it the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster.


The $22 million roller coaster will also feaure a total of twelve airtime moments which will provide 20 seconds of airtime during the ride. In the 3800 foot long course, the ride will not feature any inversions, but the airtime moments should provide a unique and thrilling ride.

With overbanked turns and a unique quadruple down element (4 drops in a row), this ride is set to thrill guests starting in March of 2016.

I am excited for this new roller coaster. Although I think an inversion or two would be fun for this roller coaster, I am excited for this unique and airtime filled ride. I also like the custom Hot Rod trains that will be featured in the ride.

Lightning Rod 90 Degree Bank View 2

Lightning Rod 90 Degree Outside Bank

Lightning Rod First Drop

Lightning Rod launch

Lightning Rod Non-Inverting Half Loop

Lightning Rod Scope

Lightning Rod Twist and Shout

Overbank Scope

Are you excited for Dollywood’s 2016 coaster? Do you want inversions on this coaster? Comment below or let us know on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! You can also find us on YouTube, Google+, and Tumblr! Thank you for visiting Theme Parks and Travels! Be sure to follow us here on WordPress and share with the buttons below!

Images via Dollywood

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