A few days ago Dollywood officially unveiled a new roller coaster called Lightning Rod. It will be the World’s first launched wooden roller coaster, designed by Rocky Mountain Construction.

Located in Dollywood’s Jukebox Junction area, the ride will have a classic hotrod theme. The ride will start with a 45 mph launch up the first hill. Next, riders will experience a 165-foot drop generating a top speed of 73 mph. Then, the ride will take guests on a wild, non-stop ride through the wilderness next to this part of the park. From the early construction photos, it looks like they’re trying to keep some trees where they can and use the park’s natural terrain to add to the experience.

Here’s a video of Lightning Rod at Dollywood:


Lightning Rod is set to open in March 2016.

Breakdown of Lightning Rod

Lightning Rod looks incredible! The inclusion of a launch will give it a signature difference and also add to the excitement of the start. Since the launch is only 45 mph and its uphill, it shouldn’t be too intense for less adventurous riders. The ride’s 3,800-foot long course has several great-looking features. First, the drop looks good and it’s followed by a headchopper as you pass under the ride. That 90-degree banked wave turn might be one of my favorite features. That looks like a long time to be riding on your side at 90-degrees.

The other highlight from the video was that quadruple down as the coaster navigates its way down the hill. As I’ve said before, I’m a huge fan of terrain roller coasters and I love the idea of being close to the ground, while still providing airtime and speed.

Top Ten Roller Coaster Potential?

Lastly, Lightning Rod looks to have the same type of track as Outlaw Run at Silver Dollar City (Dollywood’s sister park). That ride made my Top Ten Roller Coasters list. I’ll have to wait until March 2016 to see if Lightning Rod can do the same. I can’t wait!

Lightning Rod Adds to a Great Roller Coaster Roster

Lightning Rod will join what’s becoming quite a world-class lineup of great roller coasters: Read reviews of Dollywood’s roller coasters: Wild Eagle (wing coaster), Mystery Mine (themed steel coaster with beyond 90-degree drops), Thunderhead (top-rated wooden twister), and Tennessee Tornado (fun steel looper built on mountain).

What’s Your Take?
How do you think Lightning Rod looks? Are you planning on going to Dollywood next year? Leave a comment below.

About The Author

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

14 Responses

  1. Albert Myles

    Already talking about plans to go next year. This definitely looks to be an amazing coaster. I LOVE Terrain coasters.
    The Quadruple Down and that 90 degree bank look breathtaking. It will be interesting to see if this unseats Fury for my favorite. It definitely has the potential.

    Reply
    • Joel

      I was just at the park yesterday and the hill/mountain that they’re building the Quadruple Down on is massive. You can’t really tell from the pictures, but the top of the hill is way up there! It’s going to be quite a journey down this hill. And this is just one feature.

      Reply
  2. Dan Heaton

    This looks amazing! I need to convince my wife that we should make the trip sometime down the road.

    Reply
    • Joel

      If it helps, tell your wife about the park’s awards for best food, friendliness, and best shows too! Dollywood’s consistently among the top-rated parks for a number of things. See last year’s Golden Ticket Awards.

      Reply
      • That One Guy

        I think storm chaser/wildfire will be the best ride of 2016.

  3. Marcus Langford

    I have never been to Dollywood and have always wanted to go especially after they built Wild Eagle so that it takes advantage of the terrain. With this new ride coming in, it may be time to take a trip over to Tennessee and enjoy the rides over there. In other news, I am looking forward to seeing what new coaster comes to Kings Dominion in a couple of years.

    Reply
  4. Michael

    Can’t wait to ride it and enjoy the food here. And this will be the only roller coaster from RMC (Rocky Mountain Construction) that I will be able to ride. I will enjoy this ride and the food there especially the cinnamon bread and the chicken tenders.

    Reply
  5. Michael

    I played thrillville video game and I am making Crazy One Steel Coaster which is an RMC of The Wild One wooden coaster.

    Reply
  6. Michael

    I still might like El Toro at six flags better than this I don’t know however its still a great ride. Don’t get me wrong.

    Reply
  7. Olga

    Hi Tony,Great question! I have a few weeistbs and this is the only one with Keyword Luv. I’d have to say that since I installed it, my comments have increased. Yes! I will be installing it elsewhere and recommend it highly. You can check it out over here: Best wishes to you and thanks for commenting B

    Reply

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