Dollywood Theme Park Building $22M Wood Roller Coaster

Posted at 7:10 PM, Aug 07, 2015

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (AP) -- Dollywood has been building a new $22 million roller coaster called Lightning Rod that should be ready to launch visitors through the eastern Tennessee theme park in March.

The new ride themed after a 1950s-era hot rod has been billed as the world's fastest wood coaster by reaching speeds of 73 mph.

The Lighting Rod will launch riders up 20 stories from a standstill to 45 mph. Riders will experience 20 seconds of airtime along the 3,800-foot track. The top speed will be reached down a 165-foot drop.

The $22 million price tag marked the largest single investment in The Dollywood Co.'s history.

Entertainer Dolly Parton opened Dollywood in 1986 in Pigeon Forge. It’s located near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

(Copyright 2015 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)