Lightning Rod

Roller coaster in the United States
Watch the on-ride POV
Lightning Rod
Location Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA
Status Operating since June 13, 2016
Cost $22,000,000 USD
Manufacturer Rocky Mountain Construction
Product Topper Track
Type Wooden - Launched - Terrain
Riders per train 24
Propulsion LSM lift hill
Height 80 feet
Elevation change 206 feet
Drop 165 feet
Top speed 73 mph
Length 3800 feet
Inversions 0
Drop angle 73°
G-Force 3.5

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.[1] Shortly before the attraction's scheduled March 19, 2016 opening, the attraction was announced to be delayed due to launch system problems.[2] It started technical rehearsals with guests on May 23, 2016 before officially opening on June 13.[3] Since then, the ride has had many technical problems due to its unique launch system.

In July 2018, Lightning Rod was shut down for an extended period of time. The ride reopened on October 10 after changes were made to the lead car.[4]

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.[5][6] 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.[7]




6 cars per train. In each car, riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows, for a total of 24 riders per train.

The trains are based on hot rods.



External links

Fastest wooden roller coaster
June 13, 2016 - present
Preceded by
Fastest wooden roller coaster
June 13, 2016 - present
Succeeded by

Articles on Dollywood