In an announcement of epic proportions, Dollywood revealed their 2016 launched wooden coaster to the world today, to be known as Lightning Rod. The coaster will be the world's first and fastest wood launch coaster when it opens in March of 2016, and will also be the park's largest single investment at a cool $22 million. The ride will be built by Rocky Mountain Construction.
The attraction will start in the park's Jukebox Junction area, which pairs nicely with its cars themed as "tricked out 1950s-era hot rods." Soon after departing the station the trains will be launched upward more than 20 stories at 45 miles per hour - quite a way to start the ride!
The ride will then navigate the landscape on the top of the hill, zooming through elements like a giant 90 degree banked wave turn, a 90 degree outward banked top hat and a "twist and shout" element. As with many other Rocky Mountain Construction rides, the track will feature many extreme moments of banking - and in total about 20 seconds of air-time.
The end of the ride will see a couple more small hills and then a highly banked upward turn that Dollywood is calling a "non-inverted half loop" leading into the final brakes.
This is the full announcement teaser that was released today along with the ride's announcement. In total, the ride's track stretches 3,800 feet and there will be 12 separate moments of air-time given to riders over the 3 minute, 12 second ride.
Watch this post for more information coming soon from Scott & Carol, who were at the park for today's reveal!