Planning to visit Dollywood soon? The park announced that Lightning Rod, their new launched wooden coaster, will not open in time for the park’s opening weekend.

Lightning Rod will not be open to the general public at this time due to extended ride commissioning. Lightning Rod is an innovative ride featuring new technology never before used on a wooden coaster. The ride manufacturer asked for additional time to commission the ride.

Rocky Mountain Construction, the manufacturer of Lightning Rod, is asking for more time to get the innovative launch system just right before opening. In the meantime, the park released a video of the coaster making a test run:

The ride looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun, and you can tell that the park has put a lot of work into it. Check out the following “Under the Hood” updates from Dollywood explaining some of the construction process:

Are you planning to ride Lightning Rod? Stay tuned for more updates on when the coaster is opening. In the meantime, leave a comment and tell us which part of the ride looks the most fun.

Read next: Why I’m Not Upset that Lightning Rod is Still Closed


  1. I feel a lot of the delay might be related to the design of the lift. Mainly, the way the launch mechanical structures are anchored to the wooden supporting structure.

    The launching is by its very nature going to cause a great deal of force; I feel this is not something that they could fully understand until a real train was launched.


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