World’s Fastest Wood Coaster Set to Open March 2016
PIGEON FORGE, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dollywood is giving coaster fans a chance to jump aboard Lightning Rod,
its newest record-breaking offering, before the final pieces of track
are even in place!
Thanks to Los Angeles-based 3D Live, anyone with a smartphone can stream
via YouTube 360 optimized, point-of-view footage of Dollywood’s
Lightning Rod and take a virtual ride on the world’s fastest wooden
coaster. The pioneering 3D technology is new to the amusement park
industry, and something 3D Live CEO Nathan Huber says will revolutionize
the way guests visit a theme park.
“This year has been crazy for us,” Huber explained. “We’re doing a bunch
of great new stuff, and we said ‘let’s jump in to this world (theme
parks).’ This is something fun and we see a huge future of bringing
people virtually to theme parks.
“Imagine hospital patients that may never be able to go to a theme park.
Now, this is at least the first step in bringing that experience to
them. There is something about creating these immersive experiences; you
can take something that would be difficult for them to experience and
make it accessible. Now they can sit in their living room, put on a VR
headset and be inside the park for a minute.”
The opportunity to work with Dollywood and its innovative new coaster
was something Huber said was the perfect fit for his company’s
“It is an honor,” Huber said. “I spent so much time in Tennessee (Huber
graduated from Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee)
that it is an honor to be working with Dollywood. We love the
opportunity to be able to explore and find ways to deliver information
to people. We’re excited to continue pushing boundaries.”
Due to working on the footage for Dollywood, Huber already has been able
to make several circuits of Lightning Rod—albeit virtually. When asked
about his thoughts on the thrilling new ride, Huber was quick to respond.
“It is scary,” he said with a laugh. “I like scary rides. It looks like
it is going to be a ride to freak me out when I get a chance to come to
Tennessee to ride it, which is going to be as soon as possible. Watching
this ride, I’m just like, ‘wow!’”
Lightning Rod is the newest member of The Dollywood Company’s collection
of award-winning attractions. In March 2012, Dollywood opened the $20
million Wild Eagle, the country’s first wing coaster. The company
introduced RiverRush, Tennessee’s first and only water coaster, at
Dollywood’s Splash Country in 2013. FireChaser Express, the nation’s
first dual-launch family coaster, was added at Dollywood in 2014.
Dollywood mainstays Thunderhead, consistently among the world’s top five
wood coasters, Mystery Mine, Blazing Fury and Tennessee Tornado round
out the park’s list of innovative coasters.
For more information about Dollywood’s attractions, please visit www.Dollywood.com
or call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD.
About The Dollywood Company: A highly awarded and widely recognized
leader in the amusement industry, The Dollywood Company consists of the
150-acre Dollywood theme park; the 35-acre Dollywood’s Splash Country;
Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins; and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort. As
unique as its namesake and owner Dolly Parton, Dollywood is the 2010
Applause Award winner, the theme park industry’s highest accolade;
winner of nearly 30 Golden Ticket Awards; and recipient of 24 Brass Ring
Awards for Live Entertainment (more than any other theme park in the
world). In 2014, Dollywood was named a top three theme park by USA
Today. Dollywood, celebrating its 30th anniversary in
2015, is open nine months a year (late March through early January) and
offers rides and attractions, shows, and a dozen crafters authentic to
the East Tennessee region. Dollywood’s Splash Country, recognized by the
Travel Channel as one of the country’s most beautiful waterparks and
named 2009’s Must-See Waterpark by the International Association of
Amusement Parks & Attractions, operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Cabins offers luxurious cabin accommodations
overlooking Dollywood. The 300-room Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort
provides guests spectacular mountain views and family-friendly amenities
next door to Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country. For
more information, call 1-800-DOLLYWOOD or visit dollywood.com.
Operating days and hours vary.
For B-roll, photography and more information, visit the Dollywood Media
Room at http://www.dollywood.com/Media/Media-Room.aspx.
Pete Owens, 865-428-9486 or 865-755-7972
Ramey, 865-428-9484 or 865-640-3805
Public Relations Manager
Davis, 865-428-9601 or 865-591-1002
Liston, 865-428-9629 or 865-919-7001