PIGEON FORGE (WATE) – Wes Ramey with Dollywood confirms the Lightning Rod is out of technical ride rehearsal and in normal operating mode. The ride fully opened on Friday.
The Lightning Rod has run smoothly with no problems since the beginning of August, according to Ramey. The original opening of the ride, billed as the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster, was scheduled for March 19. It was delayed until June because the manufacturer needed additional time. The ride opened for a few days, then closed again after the coaster’s manufacturer issued a recall for a mechanical part.Previous story:Dollywood’s ‘Lightning Rod’ closed for recall
The Lightning Rod is the first launched wooden coaster in the world, launching riders up the lift hill at 45 miles per hour. It is also be the fastest wooden coaster in the world. The coaster’s hot rod themed trains will race down a 165-foot drop reaching a top speed of 73 miles per hour.
Riders experience about 20 seconds of airtime, when they are lifted out of the seat during the ride along the track that is two-thirds of a mile long. The coaster train is comprised of 12 cars, carrying two passengers each, for a total of 24 people per train.