Attendees of the IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions) got a special treat today when we got a sneak preview of the new coaster opening up at Dollywood in Spring 2016, Lightning Rod!
Being designed and built by Rocky Mountain Construction, Lightning Rod will feature 3,800 feet of track at a top speed of 73 mph. The mammoth coaster will hug the terrain of the Smoky Mountains and contain twin summit airtime hills, a 90+ degree banked breaking wave turn, a 90+ degree outside banked turn and a non-inverting half loop.
The attraction will be taking up residence in Dollywood’s Jukebox Junction section of the park, which is expected to get updates including new food and beverage options, a new sound system and a much needed face-lift. Lightning Rod is inspired by Dolly Parton’s younger days of cruising up and down the streets of nearby Severville in the 1950’s.
According to legend, Johnny Revere set up shop in a gas station in Severville back in the day. He became the go-to guy for hot rods in town. Now he’s created his fastest street racer yet, the Lightning Rod!
As you can see from the video above shot in October 2015, construction is pretty far along. As long as the weather cooperates, they should be able to open in March 2016.
Check out the video above for a POV of what Lightning Rod will be like! Dollywood continues to innovate and proves to be one of the best theme parks anywhere in the country. I can’t wait to try this out for myself next year.