Take an Early Ride on Dollywood's New Wooden Launch Coaster, Lightning Rod

November 17, 2015, 9:05 AM · ORLANDO — Dollywood is building the first launched wooden roller coaster for its 2016 season. But thanks to some virtual reality technology, you don't have to wait until next spring to see what it will look like to ride.

This morning at the 2015 IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando, Dollywood introduced a 360-degree virtual reality animation of its upcoming coaster. Built by Rocky Mountain Construction and themed to the hot rods of the 1950s, Lightning Rod will feature a top speed of 73 miles per hour, a 165-foot initial drop and 12 airtime moments, as well as two overbanked turns. (You will want to watch the video in Chrome to see the 360-degree playback.)

In addition, Dollywood released construction footage of the new coaster, which we have embedded below, along with a traditional computer-animated POV of the entire ride.

Lightning Rod is scheduled to debut when Dollywood opens for the season in March 2016.

Replies (2)

November 17, 2015 at 1:14 PM · Looks great!
November 18, 2015 at 11:22 AM · Dollywood is getting better all the time.

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