Managing Editor - Jacob Timmons
Senior Editor - Amanda Webb
Creative Director - Sarah Chapman
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Dollywood showcases stunning features of the new coaster, Lightning Rod, and the hot-rod-inspired ride vehicles.
Construction progress on the most anticipated new theme park attraction of 2016 is moving ahead at “lightning” pace. Dollywood recently showcased Lightning Rod, the park’s new record-breaking coaster, during a construction tour.
Upon arrival at the ride site, onlookers can’t help but notice the coaster’s massive lift hill, which now sits high above Dollywood—more than 20 stories to be exact. The first 165-feet drop propels riders to 73 mph. The ride’s innovative twin summit airtime hills were also on display. Thanks to the undulating topography, which the coaster races along during its 3,800-feet journey through the hills and valleys, surrounding Dollywood, much of the track is hidden from view inside the park. Its position serves to heighten anticipation for those waiting to step aboard the thrilling ride.
The tour featured a glimpse at Lightning Rod’s hot rod-themed ride vehicles, which closely resemble tricked-out speed machines from the 1950s. With the ride’s blisteringly quick top speed, Dollywood guests will soon feel the same adrenaline-packed rush hot rod mechanics have after stepping behind the wheel of one of their newest creations for the first time.
The ride, located in Dollywood’s Jukebox Junction, provides guests with nearly 20 seconds of airtime. The coaster train has 12 cars, carrying two passengers each, for a total of 24 thrill-seekers per train.
Dollywood’s development team has tapped Rocky Mountain Construction (RMC) as the ride manufacturer. RMC is no stranger to out-of-the-box coaster projects, having designed many first-of-their-kind attractions around the world. Lightning Rod employs several unique features including the lift hill launch, twin summit airtime hills, a 90+ degree banked breaking wave turn, a 90+ degree outside banked turn, and a non-inverting half loop.
Lightning Rod has already earned quite a following from roller coaster enthusiasts, thanks to its unique attributes. Lightning Rod not only is the world’s fastest wood coaster but also the world’s first launching wood coaster.
For more information about Dollywood’s Lightning Rod visit Dollywood.com or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.