TPJThemeParkJames

Lightning Rod

Dollywood

Speed in a 50s style hot rod car on the world's first launched wooden rollercoaster...

Theme ParkDollywood
Park AreaJukebox Junction
TypeRollercoaster
AudienceThrillseekers
Opened13 June 2016
ManufacturerRocky Mountain Construction
ModelTopper Track
Length3800 ft
Inversions0
Max Speed73 mph
Duration2½ minutes
Speeding over one of Lightning Rod's airtime hills

Speeding over one of Lightning Rod's airtime hills

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.

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