Today, Dollywood revealed their exciting plans for 2016 by announcing the world’s first launched wooden roller coaster, Lightning Rod.


Themed after a 1950s hot rod, Lightning Rod fittingly starts out with a 0-45 mph launch up the first hill. After teasing riders with two quick airtime hills at the top, the train plunges down the impressive 165-foot drop. At the bottom, the coaster reaches a top speed of 73 miles per hour, becoming the world’s fastest woodie. Dollywood has yet to release the exact incline of the drop, but it looks like about 80 degrees steep, which will be up there for the steepest drop on a wooden coaster as well.


During the ensuing race through the woods, pure adrenaline meets riders as the train swiftly takes on heart-chilling maneuvers like over-banked turns, airtime hills, and a “quadruple down” drop. I was disappointed to see that Lightning Rod will not have any inversions, but at least riders will be treated to twenty seconds of airtime during the 3,800 foot long course.


Costing the park $22 million dollars, Lightning Rod will be the park’s biggest investment in its 30-year history. Watch a video of the coaster below:

What a great looking ride!

Lightning Rod looks like another big hit by Rocky Mountain Construction and I can’t wait to try it out next year. What are your thoughts on Dollywood’s groundbreaking roller coaster?

Read next: Lightning Rod Construction Update

Images © Dollywood


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