World’s First People-Powered Roller Coaster

People-Powered Green Dragon | Greenest Roller Coaster on EarthGreen Dragon - Greenwood - UK
Happy Earth Day! Today, I thought I’d write about the most eco-friendly roller coaster. Not only is it good for the environment, it even gives the riders some exercise. The aptly named Green Dragon located at the UK amusement park Greenwood Forest was the world’s first people-powered roller coaster when it opened in 2004.

It’s a family coaster that has its riders walk up a hill and gather in a little cabin called a funicular (pictured below). From the weight of the passengers, the cabin slides down an incline. Via a pulley system, it lifts the empty train to the top station. Now riders climb the hill once again and climb aboard their empty train.

People-Powered Coaster - Green DragonOnce aboard the train, gravity carries them down a swooping path through the wooded area. At the end of the ride, riders get off at a separate exit station. The next new set of riders climb into the cabin, raising the empty train and the cycle continues. The Roller Coaster Database lists Green Dragon’s top speed at only 25 mph, but according to reviews it seems much faster, especially in the helix. For more on Green Dragon and Greenwood Park check out Chris Simon’s review.

Pedal-Powered Ride, Not a Roller CoasterSkycycle - Pedal Powered Coaster
The Skycycle at Washuzan Highland Park in Okayama, Japan received a ton of Internet buzz last year. Everyone deemed it a pedal-powered roller coaster, but it’s technically not a roller coaster at all. It’s basically a bicycle on a fixed track and doesn’t meet the requirements to be considered a coaster. Even worse people confused an actual roller coaster (also with a white track) near the ride as part of the same track, making Skycycle seem even crazier. While it’s not actually a coaster, the views from Skycyle look amazing!

What do you think of Green Dragon and Skycyle? Leave a comment below.