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If you’re anything like us, you’ve been awaiting the big announcement of the new ride at Dollywood for 2016! What we know is that the new Dollywood roller coaster has been in progress for over a year; construction takes approximately 9 months in addition to the planning process. Keep reading for all of the details of the new Dollywood roller coaster!
June 18, 2016 Update
Unfortunately, the Lightning Rod Roller Coaster has been closed. It was opened temporarily, for just a few days, but the roller coaster’s manufacturer has initiated a recall on one of the mechanical parts. The recall, by Rocky Mountain Construction, has initiated the recall for most of its coasters around the world.
No details have been released regarding the reopening of the coaster, but we will keep you updated on any additional changes.
Lightning Rod Roller Coaster Officially Opens
After weeks of anticipation, as of June 13, 2016, the Lightning Rod roller coaster is officially open! It’s the world’s first wooden launch coaster! Take a look at this video for a ride on the coaster:
Lightning Rod Roller Coaster in 3D/Virtual Reality
This is definitely one of the best roller coaster “tours” out there! Dollywood released a virtual reality version of their Lightning Rod roller coaster, and you definitely want to hit play! If you’re on your phone, while you’re watching the video, you can move it around and see all around the coaster. If you’re on a desktop, you can click and drag to see what’s around the coaster. Go ahead, try it out!
Click Play to Watch the Dollywood Roller Coaster Announcement
At the Dollywood announcement, the Dollywood team announced all of the details of the new “Lightning Rod” roller coaster, plus you’ll even see Dolly sing a few popular 50s and 60s songs like “Born to be Wild,” “Mustang Sally” and “Fun, Fun, Fun.”
Here’s What We Know About “Lightning Rod” – New Ride at Dollywood for 2016
Set to open in March 2016, it will be a wooden roller coaster with a 1950s and 1960s hot rod cars theme. The new ride at Dollywood will be located near the Jukebox Junction area where the Cas Walker area used to be. Want a sneak peek of what it will be like to ride on the Lightning Rod? Watch the video below!
Take an Animated Ride on Lightning Rod
What to Expect on the New Ride at Dollywood
Each of the train cars will be modeled after a 1950s hot rod, and will hold up to 24 people per ride!
According to Dollywood, the ride will have urethane wheels on a steel railing and will be the first wooden roller coaster in the world to take advantage of launch technology, using a 1,500 horsepower launch system! It will also be the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster, reaching up to 73 miles per hour! And if you think it can’t get any better than that, the new Dollywood ride will feature 12 airtime drops, so you’ll feel like you’re coming out of your seat at least 12 times!
When you’re riding the coaster, you’ll shoot up a hill then drop 165 feet at a 73 degree angle. It’s when you drop to the bottom of that hill that you’ll hit 73 miles per hour! According to Dollywood, the coaster will be an extremely smooth ride – which is not always common for wooden coasters.
The ride doesn’t go upside down or feature any loops, but it’s going to provide so much air time with twists and turns that you’ll have just as much fun without going upside down! This ride is great for anyone who doesn’t like roller coasters with loops, but enjoys the twists and turns at fast speeds.
Record-Breaking Dollywood Roller Coaster
After the completion of this coaster, Dollywood will be home to the World’s Fastest Wooden Coaster and the World’s First Wooden Coaster with Launch Technology.
Dollywood’s $300 Million Investment
The new ride at Dollywood 2016 is the largest investment that Dollywood has made into a single attraction throughout the history of the entire park. By the time the ride is complete, it will likely cost over $21 million.
This new ride at Dollywood is the latest addition of the $300 million park investment which also includes the FireChaser Express, the new ride at Dollywood for the 2014 season.
Purchase Dollywood Tickets
To receive free cancellation on your Dollywood tickets, be sure to purchase them through Visit My Smokies. Click here for Dollywood tickets and get the best deal with free cancellation!
Ready to start planning your vacation so you can experience the new Dollywood roller coaster? Take a look at all of the beautiful cabin rentals in the Smoky Mountains to start planning your trip right away! We can’t wait to see you soon!