Lightning Rod…This name brings anger to the coaster community. Many have missed their chance to ride possibly one of the best coasters in the world! Leaving many disappointed. Yet some people including myself were lucky enough to ride it over the summer. As of now it’s currently open, but over the Summer it was a hit or miss. I can’t express how lucky I feel to ride when it was supposed to be down my entire trip!
As soon as you step into Jukebox Junction, you step back in time to the 50’s! Diners, Elvis music, and most of all, Hot Rods take center stage. On the far left side of Jukebox Junction, you’ll find a repair shop with a giant Lightning Rod sign out in front. You’ll enter through glass door in the building and take a left turn into the repair garage. You walk outside down to the second building where you go inside again. You’ll see tools, car parts, and the welding shop! Then you go up stairs to the second floor where there’s even more theming! There is more or less the same stuff, but it does have an awesome painting on the wall of a hot rod! Then you go up one more flight of stairs and you reach the station. The station is pretty wide and doesn’t offer too much. A few flags hang from the ceiling and the walls look like brick. The gates are more classic like as the mechanisms for the gates is above you and not under the floor. There are 12 rows, like any RMC. The first ride, I got front row. Just a heads up, it’s no preferred seating. But they are a bit nicer about it than some other parks and might allow to pick your row if you ask.
The trains are just like any other RMC trains. The only real difference if the headrest. The headrest is a bit hard, but provides zero issues. It has the same seat belts seen on Intamin rides and some of the Six Flags coasters with lap bars. They have 2 golden tabs that open when you pinch them together. The lap bars are just as stiff as Twisted Colossus’ lap bars.
Leaving the station you are greeted to engine noises similar to those found on Cedar Point’s Top Thrill Dragster. Then you hit the LSMs which launch you uphill similar to Maverick at Cedar Point. The acceleration is like Full Throttle’s which is not very strong. The launch seems to last like 10 seconds. You can feel/see the train rattle up the launch. When you crest the top, you experience some incredibly strong ejector. every airtime moment on this ride is equal in strength to Maverick’s camelback.
Then you go into a small, X2 like dip before going down the real first drop. The hump features airtime, but the drop doesn’t really have any due to it not being very steep for it’s height. It has the biggest RMC drop along with the shallowest drop, so no surprise the airtime on the drop is lacking.
At the bottom of the drop, you get a pretty bad rattle, but it only lasts for a second or two. Next you go into a giant wave turn! This wave turn probably has 3-4 seconds of strong ejector…but sideways! Coming out of the wave turn, you experience another rattly section which last about the same amount of time.
Then you get whipped into an outward overbank which gives another moment of strong sideways airtime. The transition into the element is similar to the green high five on Twisted Colossus.
Coming out of the overbank, you do a quick 180 and jump right into an airtime hill. This hill provides some strong sustained ejector! Also you’re banked going through this hill at probably 45 degrees. So you get some lats as well. Then you go into a double up where the first part of it provides a pop of strong ejector. Then you go over the top of the hill cresting the top of the double up/ beginning of the quadruple down. This provides some amazing sustained ejector!
The quadruple down is extremely intense! Non-stop thigh-rippin’ ejector! It has a similar feel to TC’s double down, but double the size and a lot more intense! The lats are pretty crazy on it too as the first two drops of it don’t bank at all yet they are still changing direction. The last bump of the quadruple down gives up and does provide some banking, giving less airtime, but still equally as strong!
Then you go over a small ejector like TC’s after the first drop, but once again, much stronger! Finally you finish with the world’s first non-inverting half loop, which provides some decent positive G’s, but then finishes with one last moment of crazy ejector!
Overall this coaster is just mind-blowing and is by my favorite coaster (both wood/steel) that I’ve ridden! So intense from start to finish. I’d say this is the third most intense coaster I’ve with Superman: Ultimate Flight at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and Green Lantern: First Flight at Six Flags Magic Mountain, being slightly more intense. Compared to the California RMC’s, they are very tame in comparison…especially TC. The loading procedure is pretty slow for this ride. The way it operates is similar to Full Throttle where the second train has to wait in the brakes for awhile after the ride is done.
Overall I’d give this coaster a 10/10! I highly recommend making the trip to the park for it!
If you have any more questions about the ride that I didn’t answer in this post, comment below and I’ll be happy to answer!