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Dollywood adds world’s fastest wooden roller coaster for 2016

PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee — Lightning Rod, which will be the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster and the world’s first launching wooden coaster, will be added to the Dollywood lineup starting in March 2016.

The $22 million ride marks the single largest attraction investment in the Dollywood Company’s history.

Themed after a tricked out 1950s-era hot rod, Lightning Rod launches riders from zero to 45 miles per hour more than 20 stories up its lift hill to one of the ride’s first airtime moments.

At the crest of the hill, riders face twin summit airtime hills before dropping 165 feet. Lightning Rod propels guests along its 3,800-foot track to a top speed of 73 miles per hour, the fastest speed for a wooden coaster in the world.

“Lightning Rod reminds me so much of those colorful cars cruisin’ up and down Main Street in downtown Sevierville back when I was in high school,” said Dolly Parton at the August news conference announcing the new ride.

Located in Dollywood’s Jukebox Junction, the coaster train will comprise 12 cars, carrying two passengers each, for a total of 24 people per train.