Are You Ready to Brave Dollywood's Lightning Rod Coaster?

February 22, 2022

Do you think you’re brave enough to conquer Dollywood’s Lightning Rod coaster? Find out!

Have you heard about Dollywood's newest roller coaster? The Lightning Rod coaster is zooming past iconic theme park rides worldwide to become one of the top coasters of all time. This Pigeon Forge coaster shatters records and gives visitors the thrill of a lifetime!

About the Lightning Rod Coaster

This wooden roller coaster follows the story of Johnny Revere, or as his friends like to call him, Johnny Rev. Johnny is an engineering wiz and loves to work on cars to make them as fast as possible!

He's opened up his garage and invites you to test out his latest speedy creation: Lightning Rod.

Located in the Jukebox Junction area of Dollywood, Lightning Rod is easy to find. Just listen for the roar of the coaster as it launches up hills and takes sharp turns around the mountainside. Of course, you can listen for the high-pitched shrills of passengers, too!

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Dolly did not miss a beat when creating the newest attraction in proper Dollywood fashion. From the line queue to the ride itself, every aspect of this coaster is meticulously designed to replicate car garages from the 1950s and 60s.

Take note of the scorching red and orange flames along the side of the cars, along with the classic garage and hot rod decor throughout the attraction entrance and queue.

Photo Credit: Martin Lewison / flickr

What You Need to Know Before Riding the Lightning Rod Coaster

To put it bluntly: If you don't like roller coasters, drops, or high speeds, do not ride the Lightning Rod coaster.

This coaster is not for the faint of heart! Just check out some of these exhilarating specs:

  • Zero to 45 MPH Launch = 1500 Horsepower
  • Trick Hill (Twin Summits)
  • 90+ Degree Bank Breaking Wave Turn
  • 90+ Degree Outside Banked Top Hat
  • Twist and Shout
  • Step Up
  • Quadruple Down
  • High-Speed Airtime Hill
  • Non-Inverting Half Loop
  • 12 Total Airtime Moments
  • Top Speed: 73 MPH
  • Carries 24 Passengers Per Ride

And remember, it's a wooden roller coaster! So while every effort was made to ensure a smooth ride, this isn't easy to accomplish on a wooden coaster. Meaning you will be rattled around throughout the ride. But hey, that's half of the fun, right?

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On top of the coaster being exceptionally fast, it's also long. This 3,800-foot roller coaster track takes 3 minutes and 12 seconds to complete. That's a lot of time to be zooming around mountainsides and screaming at the top of your lungs!

Before you ride (that is if you think you're brave enough!), keep in mind that the following safety restrictions are in place:

  • Guests must be at least 48" to ride.
  • In addition, visitors wearing hard casts will not be allowed to ride.
  • Guests approaching 6 feet 4 inches in height or 200+ pounds in weight may be asked not to ride due to the nature of the attraction.

If you are unsure about the restrictions, test seats are available for guests at the front line queue. It is in your best interest to try these seats out before waiting in line.

Also, in the case of severe weather and/or temperatures, the ride may cease to operate for the safety of all passengers and park guests.

Aerial view of the Lightning Rod Coaster under contraction at sunset in Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA

photo credit: The Greystone Lodge On The River via Facebook

Tips for Riding Lightning Rod

If you meet all of the safety requirements and have the guts to hop on the Lightning Rod coaster, use these tips to make the best of your experience!

Go Early
Due to the notoriety of this new coaster, the wait times can be extensive. To control the crowds during my last trip to Dollywood, the ride operators periodically "close" the ride entrance to deter guests from accessing the line.

If you're a coaster fanatic, I recommend hopping in line the minute you get to Dollywood. There is no need to warm up with smaller coasters—take the plunge and get in line!

Be Ready to Wait
As with most amusement parks, you'll wait in line for a while before riding. However, with Dolly Parton's attention to detail, the theming throughout the line queue is perfectly entertaining and makes the time fly by.

Sit in the Front
If possible, sit in the front car for the ultimate ride experience and the most air time. Roller coaster fans swear by this, as the back seat on this ride can be a bit rough. Plus, why not amplify the thrill when you're on the world's fastest wooden roller coaster already?

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Prepare for Unreal Speeds
Everyone who rides this epic roller coaster says the first launch up the ascent is life-changing. Riders reach approximately 40 mph before the drop and a maximum of 73 mph by the end of the fall. With this launch, you feel as though you'll fly right off the track (don't worry, you won't).

Between the crazy drops and the intense speed, this is one coaster you'll never forget. However, for roller coaster beginners, do not base the ride's speed off of what you see from the ground—it's far faster than you expect!

Close up of an empty cart for the Lightning Rod Coaster, an old style red hotrod with flames down the side, at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA

photo credit: Dollywood via Facebook

Do You Dare Ride the Lightning Rod Coaster?

Do you think you have what it takes to ride Dollywood's Lightning Rod coaster? All in all, this record-shattering wooden roller coaster is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you should not miss!

To skip the ticket line and head straight for Lightning Rod, purchase your Dollywood tickets from Tripster Pigeon Forge today.

When Did You First Ride the Lightning Rod Coaster? 

Let us know in the comments below!

  1. I used to love roller coasters but this one almost gave me a heart attack for real. It felt like the waist strap (no shoulder straps) was going to give way and send me flying the whole ride. I wasn’t able to even get on another roller coaster the rest of the day because of the TRAUMA. Also, older women with bladder control issues…be warned. The speed and force may cause some issues that will have you headed to change clothes.

    • Karen C. says:

      This traumatized me today. This was our first ride, and I haven’t been on rides in yrs. I’m overweight so was extremely concerned about that. They were not concerned. I screamed bloody murder from the moment it took off, felt like it wasn’t going to hold me, felt like it would never end, and nearly passed out towards the end. And partly crying. Never reacted this way to a roller coaster before.
      My voice is almost gone. We couldn’t do anymore Rollercoasters. I was so afraid I was going to die.

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