Courtesy of Dollywood

Dollywood's “Lightning Rod” is ready to ride.

June 22, 2016

UPDATE 06/23/2016: The ride has shut down again, this time because the motor "locked up," causing a lot of smoke (though no actual flames, as has been reported on social media). The spokesperson says the issue has nothing to do with the recent recall.


The “Lightning Rod” roller coaster at Dollywood, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, reopened Wednesday, three days after being shut down because of a mechanical recall and just a week and a half after its grand opening.

The $22-million coaster — with speeds up to 73 mph, two “airtime hills,” and a 165-foot drop — is billed as the fastest wooden coaster in the world. The ride's manufacturer, Rocky Mountain Construction, issued a nationwide recall over the weekend on a part and ordered parks to shut down any rides using it, according to The Tennessean.

The ride now has been repaired, however, and is ready for visitors, Pete Owens, Dollywood's director of communications, told Travel + Leisure.

Courtesy of Dollywood

"I knew we really had something truly special when we started talking about building Lightning Rod," Dolly Parton, Dollywood's namesake, said in a release about the ride's opening. “It's going to bring people from all over the world to Dollywood so they can experience all that speed and excitement.”

Courtesy of Dollywood

The roller coaster was inspired by the hot rods of the 1950s. “Lighting Rod reminds me so much of those color cars cruisin’ up and down Main Street in Sevierville back when I was in high school,” said Parton.

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