5 Reasons Why (I Think) Thunderhead is Better than Lightning Rod

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5 Responses

  1. CED says:

    This isn’t April 1st yet. That’s how serious this article you wrote should be taken.

  2. Nick says:

    Hopefully I’ll be able to fully weight in on this in two weeks, so since I’ve yet to ride LR I’m also team Thunderhead at the moment. I’ve never been on a bad GCI. I just timed them on YouTube and from the top of the lift to the first brake, LR is 46 sec and TH is about 51 sec. I count 12 elements on LR (though the three after the first drop seem very similar) and about 15 on TH.

  3. Josh says:

    Thunder head isn’t that fun and it’s rough as crap and last weekend I went on it and the restraints wouldn’t stay latched and the people in the station told me and my kids that it happens all the time. My kids I looked at them like they was crazy for still running it that way. And as for the track I’m surprised it’s still standing. I used to work there at Dollywood with a contracted company and if you seen some of the stuff I seen rigged on that one and Tennessee tornado you wouldn’t ride either one. As for lighting rod it’s best when ridden after dark. And it’s less strain on you body then thunderhead.

  4. JT says:

    #6 TH actually runs reliably. And yeah you gotta love all the triggered RMC fanboys over this article lol but I do agree with this assessment and I also think LR is incredibly overrated and overhyped. Lets face it, it had the worst reliability/downtime of any modern coaster that it became a poster child for theme park memes and parody videos for unreliable rides. Also I cannot stand the uncomfortable RMC trains that squish your thighs and shoulders and beat up your shins. I marathoned rides on TH while LR was and and done despite it being a slow day at the park. Ironically I was gonna get one more ride on LR before I left for the day but it as broke down again. (who woulda thought? lol)

  5. Jonathan says:

    Okay, I’ll admit I thought this was a rather crazy opinion when I first read this article, but after visiting Dollywood again last month I 100% agree.

    The launch on Lightning Rod is *significantly* slower in 2021 than it was in 2016. This means that the pre-drop, which previously offered loads of floater airtime, is now taken at a much slower pace. Honestly, this used to be my all-time favorite element on any coaster, so riding it again was a big letdown. The rest of the ride was blazing fast and quite intense, but the forces were all a bit too abrupt for my tastes.

    Thunderhead, though—man has that ride improved with the retracking. I thought it was extremely smooth and thrilling, and with such a short line, riding it over Lightning Rod is a no-brainer.

    I did not see this coming, but Lightning Rod dropped from my #3 to #10, and Thunderhead rose to #8. If Dollywood were to increase the launch speed and run two trains to shorten the line, I would hop back on the Lightning Rod bandwagon, but for now, I’m with you Kyle.

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