Have you heard about Dollywood’s newest roller coaster? The Lightning Rod coaster is zooming past iconic theme park rides across the world to become one of the top coasters of all time. This Pigeon Forge coaster is shattering records and giving visitors the thrill of a lifetime!
Do you think you’re brave enough to conquer Dollywood’s Lightning Rod coaster? Find out!
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 with the goal of making 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!
In proper Dollywood fashion, Dolly did not miss a beat when creating the newest attraction. 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.
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! While every effort was made to ensure a smooth ride, this is difficult to accomplish on a wooden coaster. Meaning, you will be rattled around throughout the ride. But hey, that’s half of the fun, right?
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.
- 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 of the 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.
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!
Due to the notoriety of this new coaster, the wait times can be extensive. In fact, to control the crowds during my last trip to Dollywood, the ride operators would 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. No need to warm up with smaller coasters—just take the plunge and get in line!
Be Ready to Wait
As with most amusement parks, you’ll wait in line for awhile 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?
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 drop. 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. For roller coaster beginners, do not base the speed of the ride off of what you see from the ground—it’s far faster than you expect!
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!