Lightning Rod is HERE! World’s Fastest Wooden Roller Coaster is now open!


Are you a roller coaster enthusiast?  If so, then you are in for a real treat at Dollywood!   After months of anticipation, excited Dollywood guests will be able to step behind the wheel of Dollywood’s Lightning Rod when it officially opens to the public on Monday, June 13. The record-breaking coaster has been in a technical ride rehearsal since May 23.

Not only is Lightning Rod the world’s fastest wood coaster, but it also is the world’s first launching wood coaster. The ride marks another incredible addition to Dollywood’s impressive list of world-class coasters. Upon arrival at the ride site, onlookers can’t help but notice the coaster’s massive lift hill, which sits high above Dollywood—more than 20 stories to be exact.

“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!”

Once launched to the top of the lift hill, riders encounter the ride’s innovative twin summit airtime hills before racing down the 165-ft. first drop. The ride reaches a world record-breaking 73 mph at the base of the drop. From there, the coaster races along its 3,800-ft. track through the hills and valleys surrounding Dollywood. Thanks to the rolling topography, much of the track is hidden from view inside the park, serving only to heighten anticipation for those waiting to step aboard the thrilling ride.

 Lightning Rod already has earned quite a following from roller coaster enthusiasts, thanks to its unique attributes.

 “Just as Dollywood has already reached iconic status in the amusement industry, Lightning Rod has the potential of being that rare breed of coaster which is considered an icon 25 years from now,” said David Lipnicky, Vice-President, American Coaster Enthusiasts. “Lightning Rod’s quadruple-down might be the single most anticipated element on a wood coaster in maybe a decade.”

“This is a big year all around the world in terms of new coasters,” Lipnicky continued, “but it’s undeniable that Lightning Rod is generating more buzz among coaster enthusiasts than any other new ride this year.”



The ride, which is located in Dollywood’s Jukebox Junction, provides guests with nearly 20 seconds of airtime. The coaster train is comprised of 12 cars, carrying two passengers each, for a total of 24 people per train.

Lightning Rod’s hot rod-themed ride vehicles, which closely resemble tricked-out speed machines from the 1950s, have been noted as being some of the most unique coaster trains in recent memory. With the ride’s blisteringly-quick top speed, Dollywood guests soon will feel the same adrenaline-packed rush that hot rod mechanics have after stepping behind the wheel of one of their newest creations for the first time.

For more information about Dollywood, please visit or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

No Comments
  1. shoppingduck says
    That looks too fast for me, but my kids would love it.
  2. momknowsbest15 says
    I felt like I was on the ride. I think my stomach dropped a lot
  3. Rachel Mouton says
    Oh my goodness! My kids rode the Lightening Rod while we were in Pigeon Forge last week. It was so much fun :)
  4. Chrishelle Ebner says
    Wooden roller coasters are so much scarier than metal ones to me. I want to try this so badly now!
  5. Dawn McAlexander says
    We went there when the ride was supposed to open. Unfortunately there were still some safety concerns and we didn't get to see it in operation. I have to go back now and see it run!
  6. Alfonzowords says
    mad love for rollercoasters! but my friends are chicken and I end up going alone lol. Great post
  7. Amy Jones says
    This looks WILD. I'd be one of the first in the waiting line for this!
  8. Ana De Jesus says
    I have never heard of Dollywood but I do like rollercoasters, especially when they are fast! I am a thrill seeker!
  9. Karlyn Flores says
    Those looks a fun ride I want to try this with my cousins. Glad you share this
  10. mskathykenny says
    Oh gosh. It made me cringe. It's so scary just on the video alone. I can't even imagine myself there. I would just fall apart.
  11. tp keane says
    oh my god, that looks so scary and fun. Shame I have vertigo and back problems, otherwise I'd be on it in a flash.
  12. Elizabeth O. says
    I wouldn't call myself a roller coaster enthusiast but it's nice to be able to join the fun from time to time whenever I find myself in an amusement park with an exciting roller coaster as one of the main features. I'm curious about this one! What a heart-stopper!
  13. Inspiring Kitchen says
    This sounds like a super fun and wild ride. I love roller coasters and I would love to try this.
  14. cris says
    Jeeeeze, they still make these in wood? Haven't they heard of metal? Not sure I'd be happy going on this. That said, I get dizzy walking.
  15. pjkuhn says
    My grandchildren we just on this one. They loved it. The 5 year old didn't try it, the smallest one was too much for him, but Dollywood has fun rides for the younger ones, too.
  16. Jay Simms says
    My husband loves roller coasters, me not so much. I showed him this and he want's to go and try it along with my 7 year old daredevil.
  17. sparkofsouthernmoms says
    LOL! I think this is where I would drawl the line. I do not do heights!
  18. cgmjemus says
    Reblogged this on cgmjemus's Blog.
  19. Kathy says
    That looks like so much fun! I am such a huge fan of roller coasters. I love thrill rides. I hope I'll be able to go on this one someday!
  20. hautebeautyguide says
    I love wooden roller coasters. The creaking noise adds a bit more fun. We have one across the bay! I would love to visit this one.
  21. The Mad Mommy says
    Oh man, I was terrified of roller coasters for a long time and then, I loved them. Now, I am too old for them, lol.
  22. Lexie Lane says
    Wow, I've never been on a roller coaster like that. I am a little bit afraid!
  23. Nikki Jenner says
    This roller coaster sounds really exciting. I would like to see it in person.
  24. Nicole Escat says
    This is the fastest roller coaster? I would like to experience this too!
  25. Liz Mays says
    You can't beat a classic wooden roller coaster. Since the trend is steel now, I love that they made this one wood!
  26. Rosey says
    Pretty sure I'd love to ride that one. My first coaster was made of wood so I have a soft spot for 'em.
  27. ana fernandez says
    My husband loves roller coaster! He will enjoy this for days haha
  28. The Trophy WifeStyle says
    Omg I just love roller coasters!!!! I wold love to give this a ride
  29. Anosa says
    I don't do roller coasters, I think I just passed out a bit lol
  30. Fashionable Librarian says
    Easy and roller coaster cannot be in the same sentence with a straight face...LOL
  31. Fashion Travels (@tauyanm) says
    omg! i would totally love to ride this!! i love the video! enjoyed watching it!
  32. Dawn gibson-thigpen says
    yep i would totally ride this ride. i used to go to so many parks and ride tons when i was younger.
  33. She rocks the suburbs says
    I love wooden roller coaster, this looks amazing, I definitely want to try it now!

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