Dollywood’s Lightning Rod Earns “Wooden Coaster of the Decade Award”

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Image Courtesy Dollywood.
Image Courtesy Dollywood.

Roller coaster enthusiasts worldwide have come to appreciate the impressive variety of world-class rides and attractions available on a trip to Dollywood. Now, Lightning Rod has been named the number one coaster in the Top-10 Wooden Coasters of the 2010s.

To wrap up the decade, Coaster101.com is naming the best attractions throughout the theme park industry in a variety of categories. In November, readers nominated their favorite attractions in five different categories. According to the website, “The Coaster101 team gathered the nominations, narrowed them down and ranked them in a list of 10 for each category.”

Coaster101.com writer John Stevenson added, “Lightning Rod was undoubtedly one of the most defining moments of the past decade for wooden roller coasters. From having the first launch on a wooden coaster to the world record-breaking speed, Lightning Rod has amassed widespread acclaim from the coaster enthusiast community.”

Stevenson continued, “After reviewing our readers’ nominations, Lightning Rod was the clear frontrunner for the top spot on this list. From its innovative launch to its world record-breaking speed, Lightning Rod has become a favorite among coaster enthusiasts who have ridden it and a must-ride for those who haven’t. It redefined the limits of a wooden coaster and provided thrill-seekers a ride like no other.”

Image Courtesy Dollywood.

Lightning Rod is currently the only wooden launch coaster in the world, meaning riders hit the gas on the hot rod-themed ride as soon as they reach the lift hill. Once at the top of the hill, riders encounter the ride’s innovative twin summit airtime hills before racing down the 165-ft. first drop. The ride reaches a top speed of 73 mph at the base of the drop. From there, the coaster races along its 3,800-ft. track through the hills and valleys surrounding Dollywood. Thanks to the topography, much of the track is hidden from view inside the park which heightens the anticipation for waiting riders.

The honor is one of many that Dollywood has earned in 2019. The park earned Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards for Best Christmas Event, Best Guest Experience and Best Kids’ Area (Wildwood Grove) this season, while also winning the USA Today 10Best award for Best Theme Park Halloween Event for Great Pumpkin LumiNights.

All of these honors further underscore the quality experience guests have during a visit to Dollywood. The park celebrates its 35th anniversary season in 2020 with the new Flower & Food Festival, returning favorites like the Gazillion Bubbles Show and Great Pumpkin LumiNights, and heartwarming traditions like Smoky Mountain Christmas. Be sure to plan a visit to the award-winning Dollywood in 2020!