Tennessee Tornado

Roller coaster in the United States
Watch the on-ride POV
Tennessee Tornado
Location Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA
Status Operating since April 17, 1999
Cost $8,000,000 USD
Replaced Thunder Express
Manufacturer Arrow Dynamics
Product Custom Looping Coaster
Designer / calculations Alan Schilke
Type Steel - Terrain
Riders per train 28
Hourly capacity 1,360
Propulsion Chain lift hill
Height 163 feet
Drop 128 feet
Top speed 63 mph
Length 2682 feet
Inversions 3
Duration 1:48
G-Force 3.7

Tennessee Tornado is a steel roller coaster located at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA. Opened on April 17, 1999, it was designed by Arrow Dynamics and is the company's last Custom Looping Coaster installation. The ride's track and supports were engineered by Ride Centerline.[1]


On June 30, 1998, Dollywood officially announced Tennessee Tornado, with a statement from Dolly Parton.[2] The Thunder Express station was reused for the new coaster.[3] Dollywood would hire Arrow Dynamics to build Tennessee Tornado.

The ride opened for the first time on April 17, 1999.[4]



When Tennessee Tornado was announced, Dolly Parton added that the ride would incorporate an element nicknamed the "iron butterfly". This is not a butterfly element, rather the vertical loop and sidewinder which combined resemble a butterfly.[2] The roller coaster uses the more modern track style, which Arrow Dynamics introduced in the 1990s. It also has large tubular supports, a departure from the lattice-style supports used by Arrow since the 1970s. The support structure is similar to that of Bolliger & Mabillard roller coasters and the failed Drachen Fire roller coaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Tennessee Tornado was one of the first Arrow Dynamics computer-designed coasters. In addition, it had a smooth and comfortable ride experience.

Ride experience

When the train exits the station, it makes a left turn and goes straight into a shed. Inside the shed, riders hear tornado sirens. The train exits the shed, makes a right turn and then climbs the 163 foot tall chain lift hill. At the top, riders make a right turn and drop 128 feet straight into a tunnel, reaching a max speed of 63 mph. After the tunnel, riders head into a 110 foot tall vertical loop. The train goes past a wagon and makes a right turn. Riders flip into a second vertical loop and a sidewinder, before going through several turns. After the turns, the train approaches the final brake run.


7 cars per train. In each car, riders are arranged 2 across in 2 rows, for a total of 28 riders per train.



  1. "Rides List". Ride Centerline. Retrieved 2022-04-22.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Dollywood Will Build a Major New Coaster for 1999". Ultimate Rollercoaster. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  3. "Rare Tennessee Tornado Construction Photos". Coaster101. Retrieved 10 March 2020.
  4. "A Blast From The Past - It's A Decade For Dollywood's TN Tornado". NewsPlusNotes.

External links

Articles on Dollywood