After months of waiting, Dollywood’s ‘Lightning Rod’, the world’s fastest wood roller coaster is officially open to the public on Monday, June 13th.  Dollywood guests will be able to step behind the wheel of Lightning Rod, which is not only is the world’s fastest wooden coaster, but also the world’s first launching wood coaster. The Lightning Rod ride is another incredible addition to Dollywood’s impressive list of world-class coasters.

Dollywood's Lightning Rod, the world's fastest wood roller coaster, opens to the public June 13th.

Photo credit: Maria Smith, TravelingMom of Many

When arriving to the Lightning Rod ride at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN, you can’t help but notice the first massive lift hill which sits 20 stories high above the theme park. This hill can actually be seen from the Smoky Mountain cabins dotting the mountainside near Dollywood. Even for roller coaster enthusiasts, the hill looks formidable.

Don’t worry though – Lightning Rod just looks scary. The record-breaking roller coaster has been in a technical ride rehearsal since May 23 and riders will all be completely safe.

“I knew we really had something truly special when we started talking about building Lightning Rod,” said Dolly Parton in a recent press release. “It’s going to bring people from all over the world to Dollywood so they can experience all that speed and excitement. I just can’t wait to hear what everyone thinks when they burn rubber on that wild ride through the hills in our newest hot rod! I know one thing; it’s definitely going to flip your wig!”


What to Expect on Lightning Rod

Dollywood's Lightning Rod, the world's fastest wood roller coaster, opens to the public June 13th.

Photo credit: Dollywood

After reaching the top of the massive lift hill, riders encounter the ride’s innovative twin summit airtime hills before racing down the 165-ft. first drop. At this point, the ride reaches a world record-breaking 73 mph at the base of the drop. From there, the coaster races along its 3,800-ft. track through the hills and valleys surrounding Dollywood. Thanks to the rolling topography of the region, most of the track is hidden from view inside the park. This makes the anticipation even greater for those willing to step aboard this thrilling ride. They truly don’t know what to expect!

Dollywood has become known for impressive roller coasters like this one, called the Eagle.

Photo credit: Maria Smith, TravelingMom of Many

Roller coaster enthusiasts are excited about the many unique attributes this new wood coaster brings to thrill seekers. While many people have come to Dollywood over the years for its shows and music scene, others now flock to its Pigeon Forge location for it’s many gigantic and innovative roller coasters like the exhilarating Eagle.

The ride is located in Dollywood’s Jukebox Junction, which has recently been renovated. The hot rod-themed vehicles in the Lightning Rod ride closely resemble tricked-out speed machines from the 1950s. They have carried that feel with them through the queue (which you can expect to be long) and around the ride. The goal is for Dollywood guests to feel the same adrenaline-packed rush hot rod mechanics feel after stepping behind the wheel of one of their creations for the first time. Check it out this summer at Dollywood…if you dare.

Read more about all there is to do at Dollywood from Christian TravelingMom, Teronya Holmes.