PIGEON FORGE, TENN. (WATE) – Dollywood’s newest roller coaster ride Lightning Rod opened Monday.
“I knew we really had something truly special when we started talking about building Lightning Rod,” said Dolly Parton. “It’s going to bring people from all over the world to Dollywood so they can experience all that speed and excitement. I just can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks when they burn rubber on that wild ride through the hills in our newest hot rod! I know one thing; it’s definitely going to flip your wig!”
The Lightning Rod was supposed to be ready for Dollywood’s season opening, but the the manufacture asked for additional time to test the ride. It is the first launched wooden coaster in the world, using launched technology.
In May, some lucky fans got a chance to test the roller coaster for technical ride rehearsals. Wes Ramey, with Dollywood, said technical ride rehearsals are a best practice to allow select riders to experience the ride while the attraction’s performance is being optimized.
So is the Lightning Rod worth the wait? Joshua Michael, one of the lucky guests, said yes. “The best coaster I’ve been on so far,” tweeted Michael.
The coaster’s hot rod themed trains will race down a 165-foot drop reaching a top speed of 73 miles per hour. The ride has 12 cars that has room for two people each. Lightning Rod is in Jukebox Junction.