Speed in a 50s style hot rod car on the world's first launched wooden rollercoaster...
|Park Area||Jukebox Junction|
|Opened||13 June 2016|
|Manufacturer||Rocky Mountain Construction|
|Max Speed||73 mph|
Lightning Rod transports Dollywood visitors back to the 1950s with its highspeed hot-rod theme.
The rollercoaster was built by Rocky Mountain Construction and, when it opened in 2016, was the first launched wooden rollercoaster in the world.
Originally the coaster used RMC's topper track technology, but large sections of this was replaced with steel I-Box track in 2021 because of concerns the trains were putting too much stress on the track. This has caused several people to comment that Lightning Rod should now be considered a steel rollercoaster rather than a woodie.
Unlike many launched coasters, Lightning Rod still features a lift hill, although trains are propelled up and over it using a LSM launch system. The track follows Dollywood's hilly terrain to provide a set of thrilling hills, turns and steep drops.
RMC coasters have a reputation for being smooth yet crazy, wild and intense. Lightning Rod is no exception and, although it has had some major design issues which have had to be overcome, it is an exceptional coaster that gives a phenomenal ride experience.
The rear of Lightning Rod's station, and the lift hill on the hillside
One of Lightning Rod's hot-rod themed trains
Launching up the lift hill
Racing around the RMC track
Crossing the hillside
Final hill before the brake run
Returning to the station