|Watch the on-ride POV|
|Manufacturer||Rocky Mountain Construction|
|Type||Wooden - Launched - Terrain|
|Riders per train||24|
|Propulsion||LSM lift hill|
|Elevation change||206 feet|
|Top speed||73 mph|
Lightning Rod is a wooden launched roller coaster located at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA. Opened on June 13, 2016, the ride is the world's first launched wooden coaster and the world's fastest wooden coaster. It is also a prototype launched Topper Track coaster by Rocky Mountain Construction. The ride is one of two roller coasters built by Rocky Mountain Construction to not have inversions, the other being New Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas.
Lightning Rod was revealed at an event featuring Dolly Parton on August 7, 2015. Shortly before the attraction's scheduled March 19, 2016 opening, the attraction was announced to be delayed due to launch system problems. It started technical rehearsals with guests on May 23, 2016 before officially opening on June 13. Since then, the ride has had many technical problems due to its unique launch system.
In September 2020, Lightning Rod was closed for the remainder of the year. The following month, during a question-and-answer session at an enthusiasts' event, a park representative revealed that some of Lightning Rod's track would be replaced with steel I-Box Track in an attempt to improve its reliability. The layout was not changed. In total, 2,160 feet of the ride's track was replaced with I-Box Track during the refurbishment. The ride reopened for the first time with the new I-Box Track on March 12, 2021.
In September 2023, the park announced the removal of the ride's LSM launch due to consistent reliability issues and downtime. It is estimated to reopen during the 2024 season with a standard chain lift.
The trains are based on hot rods.
A hot rod model
The welding shop area in the queue line
The highest point of the ride
The over-banked curve
The LSM lift hill
The train without the lead car
- "Dollywood To Add World’s Fastest Wooden Roller Coaster for 2016 — $22 Million ‘Lightning Rod’". https://media.mypigeonforge.com/dollywood-to-add-worlds-fastest-wooden-roller-coaster-for-2016-22-million-lightning-rod/.
- "Dollywood’s Lightning Rod Opening Delayed". Coaster101. March 16, 2016. https://www.coaster101.com/2016/03/16/dollywoods-lightning-rod-opening-delayed/. Retrieved February 8, 2022.
- Niles, Robert (June 13, 2016). "Lightning Rod opens officially at Dollywood". Theme Park Insider. https://www.themeparkinsider.com/flume/201606/5108/. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
- "Lightning Rod Reopens at Dollywood After Months of Downtime". Coaster101. October 11, 2018. https://www.coaster101.com/2018/10/11/lightning-rod-reopens-at-dollywood-after-months-of-downtime/. Retrieved May 25, 2021.
- "Lightning Rod at Dollywood Receiving New Track in 2021". Coaster101. November 16, 2020. https://www.coaster101.com/2020/11/15/lightning-rod-dollywood-retracking-2021/. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
- Ozana, Rus (November 14, 2020). "Lightning Rod Update". American Coaster Enthusiasts. https://www.aceonline.org/news/539176/Lightning-Rod-Update-.htm. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
- "Dollywood’s Lightning Rod Launch to Become Traditional Chain Lift in 2024". Coaster101. 2023-09-12. https://www.coaster101.com/2023/09/12/lightning-rod-converting-to-chain-lift/. Retrieved 2023-09-12.
- on the Roller Coaster DataBase.
|Fastest wooden roller coaster|
June 13, 2016 - present
|Fastest wooden roller coaster
June 13, 2016 - present