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Lightning Rod Status

You’d have people debate it for the rest of time, but I’d say yes. All new physical track done in one renovation would qualify it for me.

(of course, IF that’s what happens here)
 

Hixee

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Of course - if Hulk is a new cred (which it is), then a full track replacement with IBox in one go would be.
 

CrashCoaster

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A question I have is who's gonna be paying for these upgrades? Herschend or RMC? I mean the issues with the ride are on RMC's end, but the upgrades could be Dollywood's decision, rather than a freebie from RMC for the inconvenience.
 
Maybe a mix of both? Or maybe's its a package deal for a future Raptor? Herchend buy a new Raptor and get the conversion for free. We can only hope that's the case.
 
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Hixee

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A question I have is who's gonna be paying for these upgrades? Herschend or RMC? I mean the issues with the ride are on RMC's end, but the upgrades could be Dollywood's decision, rather than a freebie from RMC for the inconvenience.
In all honesty, I suspect it's a complicated and highly secret agreement. I bet there's some sharing of the costs, but quite who gets to pay for what (and whether this was settled in or out of court), will likely stay locked in the Dollywood/RMC vaults for all eternity.
 
In all honesty, I suspect it's a complicated and highly secret agreement. I bet there's some sharing of the costs, but quite who gets to pay for what (and whether this was settled in or out of court), will likely stay locked in the Dollywood/RMC vaults for all eternity.
Would Herschend really go to court with RMC? They risk loosing their good relationship with one of the most popular and innovative manufacturers in the world. While RMC has hundreds of other potential customers and couldn't care less, except for the potential loss of reputation within the industry.
 

Pokemaniac

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Would Herschend really go to court with RMC? They risk loosing their good relationship with one of the most popular and innovative manufacturers in the world. While RMC has hundreds of other potential customers and couldn't care less, except for the potential loss of reputation within the industry.
If enough money was on the line, they definitely would. Losing relations with a supplier is hardly a deal-breaker if you have tons of other suppliers to choose between.

And for RMC, a loss of reputation would be somewhat disastrous as well. They literally live off their reputation, after all.
 

Hixee

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Would Herschend really go to court with RMC? They risk loosing their good relationship with one of the most popular and innovative manufacturers in the world. While RMC has hundreds of other potential customers and couldn't care less, except for the potential loss of reputation within the industry.
It's been a grueling four years for Dollywood not being able to properly run their star attraction - I'd be pretty fed up of the whole thing by now. Court proceedings don't necessarily have to turn ugly too, they can just be a part of the arbitration process.

Who knows!

I missed your previous comment, but I like that idea the best. If you buy a Raptor we'll swallow the cost for fixing LR - that sounds like a win-win. ;)
 
If the launch is the source of the hours upon hours of downtime, could they just get rid of it?

I know it's far from ideal but is Lightning Rod designed to run with a traditional lift hill? I guess any park would take a more reliable coaster without a gimmick than maintaining such gimmick and trying to get it to run as intended for 3 years... After all, the ride has plenty of good elements after the launch, right?
As already pointed out, it seems the latest problems aren't launch related. But if they were, would anyone really miss the launch if it were replaced with a chain lift? It's pretty underwhelming and I don't think it adds much to the ride.
 

CanobieFan

Active Member
And for RMC, a loss of reputation would be somewhat disastrous as well. They literally live off their reputation, after all.
Eh, maybe not so much. They had a *death* on a ride when they only had 3 coasters to their name and have still built some 18 more since, including ones for the same park operator as the fatal coaster... And basically EVERYTHING they've built since, has pushed the design even more.

One could also look to Intamin… who have managed to sell sell sell to parks that still to this day have issues with rides they've sold.
 

Trax

Member
I think the launch is indeed a problem with a ride, albeit not the only one.
But as they trimmed the launch quite a bit, it is obvious to me, that they wanted to protect the electrics.
 

jay37415

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A question I have is who's gonna be paying for these upgrades? Herschend or RMC? I mean the issues with the ride are on RMC's end, but the upgrades could be Dollywood's decision, rather than a freebie from RMC for the inconvenience.
The local news around Knoxville is reporting that "it is being repaired due to a recall." If that is true, I would assume RMC would be footing the bill.

For those mentioning the "speed bump," I rode it in August and did not feel it. It didn't feel that rough to me.
 

jay37415

Member
What new addition is going into Wildwood Grove, out of interest?
There has been a long-standing rumor that Wildwood Grove would get a "Phase 2" expansion. If you look behind the fence near Dragonflyer, you will see about ten acres of land cleared. Last summer (I believe), Dollywood sent out a survey to season passholders asking what the new type of coaster should be. There was also a survey concerning a dark ride theme.
In March 2020, Dollywood was set for a BIG announcement. That got cancelled due to COVID so we do know something big is coming.
 

jay37415

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Double Post Time!

Stopped by the park today. There was no indication of any work going on to the front half of LR. There is a Security Guard at the Employee Lot so I couldn't get to see if anything is happening to the back of the ride.

One very interesting thing I wanted to share. One of the theories floating around is that LR will get the Iron Horse treatment with some reprofiling in spots. The theory says that Dollywood is going to rebrand the coaster to a new name. (Lightning Rod: Supercharged?). BUT I bring that up because I noticed ALL Lightning Rod Merchandise is on clearance in the park right now. Most stuff is 75% off. SO It is a strong possibility that the theory is correct.

I rewatched the "Lightning Rod Documentary"
at around 2:00 Alan Shilke says when the bidding process began for the coaster, they were competing against other coaster companies including steel. It was implied that RMC is the one who came up with the idea for a launched wooden coaster. not Hershend. I once read that RMC's original proposal included inversions but Hershend didn't want them and inversions weren't in the final design. So, other than marketability, I don't think Hershend cares if it's a wood coaster or not at this point. I am hoping to see the final turn get an "Immelman" on top and would be crazy for the big drop after the "dolly humps" get reprofiled to 90 degrees.
 
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Jackson

Member
Double Post Time!

Stopped by the park today. There was no indication of any work going on to the front half of LR. There is a Security Guard at the Employee Lot so I couldn't get to see if anything is happening to the back of the ride.

One very interesting thing I wanted to share. One of the theories floating around is that LR will get the Iron Horse treatment with some reprofiling in spots. The theory says that Dollywood is going to rebrand the coaster to a new name. (Lightning Rod: Supercharged?). BUT I bring that up because I noticed ALL Lightning Rod Merchandise is on clearance in the park right now. Most stuff is 75% off. SO It is a strong possibility that the theory is correct.

I rewatched the "Lightning Rod Documentary"
at around 2:00 Alan Shilke says when the bidding process began for the coaster, they were competing against other coaster companies including steel. It was implied that RMC is the one who came up with the idea for a launched wooden coaster. not Hershend. I once read that RMC's original proposal included inversions but Hershend didn't want them and inversions weren't in the final design. So, other than marketability, I don't think Hershend cares if it's a wood coaster or not at this point. I am hoping to see the final turn get an "Immelman" on top and would be crazy for the big drop after the "dolly humps" get reprofiled to 90 degrees.
I'm not expecting any inversions, but yeah, we're getting steel track if I had to guess. New trains and (maybe) a new launch as well.
 
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