Lightning Rod Review: Dollywood Launched Wooden Coaster

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7 Responses

  1. John says:

    Great review, thanks very much! Looks like a fantastic new edition.

  2. Michelle Veni says:

    Your review is spot on! Got lucky and rode twice yesterday! Exhilarating doesn’t even cover it, almost amnesia inducing! It’s hard to comprehend what happened, and begs for a follow up ride to maybe “remember”…we sat front seat and that was incredible! I also love the back car, but was afraid that the intensity would be too much! Glad we skipped it! The ride broke down while we were in line, but my boys and I sat first in line right outside the doors for almost two hours! We were the first ones on once they reopened! I wasn’t missing my chance, and also nearly came out of my skin when we saw it was open! Everyone was hot and exhausted from being there since 9am, so we missed the “dark” ride, but thanks to your stellar review, have a #1 to do when we go back!

  3. Heiko Hartmann says:

    Overall, I loved Lightning Rod. However, and I never thought I would say something like this, I would have preferred if it had less ejector airtime. Especially in the quadruple down I felt like I was smashed against the lapbars, it even started to hurt my legs.
    In my opinion the coaster is too fast in some of its elements, there is no spot on this ride where you feel weightless – most of the time you are ejected (or slammed) into the restraints.
    But besides that, wonderful, speedy ride and definitely Top10 material.

  4. crizzy says:

    This ride is insane. It has Skyrush level intensity and ejector airtime. It actually beats El Toro IMO for ejector air, especially in the back. You can’t see anything ahead of you for much of this ride, the way it was designed. Lastly, this coaster feels like it picks up speed after the drop, it is insane. You are accerating like mad down that quad down at the end and screaming by the time you hit that last turn around. I LOVED it. My new favorite woodie. One of my favorite coasters I have ridden out of over 200.

  5. T says:

    Rode it over July 4th week. Fast and intense. The best part of the ride is the launch and first two drops. Things get blurry from there. It seemed difficult to enjoy the ride elements because you flew through them so fast. Agree with prior review that airtime was more like slamming up and down against the seat and restraint. Thunderhead is the best coaster in the park in my opinion.

  6. Tom says:

    We rode in the next to the last car (fake car) and the ride was really rough and jerky. I’m a senior and made a bad decision to take this ride, especially at night. The climb and fall was a blast but the sharp turns were more than my neck could handle. Unfortunately, still having headaches after 2 weeks. So, if you are a senior, at lease don’t ride in the last car.

  7. Jim says:

    I’m fortunate to live about a half hour from Dollywood having moved here middle of 2016. Lightning Rod was one of the reasons that I had to get a season pass and I have been at the park 7 or 8 times so far this season. Unfortunately, Lightning Rod’s technical difficulties have continued and may have even gotten worse in May. The past two visits to the park it was down all day. I kept checking the park’s app and the coaster spent most of the past two weeks closed. Which is really unfortunate because when running, this is an awesome ride. The review above is pretty well spot on about how good this thing is. I’ve ridden it about a dozen times so far this year and since you don’t really get a choice which seat you are in during busy times, I have had a good sampling of the ride from front to back. The front is by far my most favorite position in the train. The middle is a good solid ride and lots of fun. And the two times I’ve ridden in the back I have not noticed any of the hard jerkiness Tom described above. To me, it is a smoother ride back there. Maybe even without enough momentum in the train to make the 90 degree outside turn as effective as it is in the front. I felt I slumped towards the ground during the curve. I’ve had a few conversations with first timers before getting on the ride. And the best thing I could come up with to describe it is “Deliciously Intense!” I sure hope that Dollywood and RMC can get the bugs ironed out of this beast soon because it is pure shame to have it sitting idle while disappointed guests walk by and can only imagine what it is like. When it is running, it is easily my #1 favorite wooden coaster.

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