Dollywood’s Lightning Rod Opens to Guests June 13

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–After months of anticipation, excited Dollywood guests will be able to
step behind the wheel of Dollywood’s Lightning Rod when it officially
opens to the public on Monday, June 13. The record-breaking coaster has
been in a technical ride rehearsal since May 23.

Not only is Lightning Rod the world’s fastest wood coaster, but it also
is the world’s first launching wood coaster. The ride marks another
incredible addition to Dollywood’s impressive list of world-class
coasters. Upon arrival at the ride site, onlookers can’t help but notice
the coaster’s massive lift hill, which now sits high above
Dollywood—more than 20 stories to be exact.

“I knew we really had something truly special when we started talking
about building Lightning Rod,” said Dolly Parton. “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

Once launched to the top of the lift hill, riders encounter the ride’s
innovative twin summit airtime hills before racing down the 165-ft.
first drop. 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, much of the track is hidden from view inside the
park, serving only to heighten anticipation for those waiting to step
aboard the thrilling ride.

Lightning Rod already has earned quite a following from roller coaster
enthusiasts, thanks to its unique attributes.

“Just as Dollywood has already reached iconic status in the amusement
industry, Lightning Rod has the potential of being that rare breed of
coaster which is considered an icon 25 years from now,” said David
Lipnicky, Vice-President, American Coaster Enthusiasts. “Lightning Rod’s
quadruple-down might be the single most anticipated element on a wood
coaster in maybe a decade.”

“This is a big year all around the world in terms of new coasters,”
Lipnicky continued, “but it’s undeniable that Lightning Rod is
generating more buzz among coaster enthusiasts than any other new ride
this year.”

The ride, which is located in Dollywood’s Jukebox Junction, provides
guests with nearly 20 seconds of airtime. The coaster train is comprised
of 12 cars, carrying two passengers each, for a total of 24 people per

Lightning Rod’s hot rod-themed ride vehicles, which closely resemble
tricked-out speed machines from the 1950s, have been noted as being some
of the most unique coaster trains in recent memory. With the ride’s
blisteringly-quick top speed, Dollywood guests soon will feel the same
adrenaline-packed rush that hot rod mechanics have after stepping behind
the wheel of one of their newest creations for the first time.

For more information about Dollywood, please visit
or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.

About The Dollywood Company: A highly-awarded and widely-recognized
leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the
150-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country;
Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort; and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins. As
unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010
Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade;
winner of nearly 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 25 Brass Ring
Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the
world). In 2014, Dollywood was named a top three US theme park by USA
and TripAdvisor recognized Dollywood as a top 20
worldwide theme park in 2015. Dollywood is open nine months a year (late
March through early January) and offers rides and attractions, shows,
and a dozen crafters authentic to the East Tennessee region. Dollywood’s
Splash Country, recognized by the Travel Channel as one of the country’s
most beautiful waterparks and named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the
International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates
from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The 300-room Dollywood’s DreamMore
Resort provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly
amenities next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash
Country. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin
accommodations overlooking Dollywood. For more information, call
1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit
Operating days and hours vary.


Pete Owens, 865-428-9486 or 865-755-7972
Director of
Ramey, 865-428-9484 or 865-640-3805
Public Relations Manager
Davis, 865-428-9601 or 865-591-1002
Liston, 865-428-9629 or 865-919-7001