Last night I learned about a demented New Jersey amusement park...and began to appreciate growing
up in Saskatchewan.
Action Park opened in 1978, promising "The Action never stops...at Action Park!" They claimed
to have dozens of extreme-yet-safe rides, including a water slide that had a fricking 360 loop at the bottom. They
sent down some crash dummies, and the dummies always came down with smashed heads and missing limbs. What they did was, to
quote a Weird NJ.com user, "...after this, you were instructed to take off any jewelry you might have on and herded to
another station. An attendant there would then hose you down with icy-cold water. This pre-rinse was necessary to make sure
that you were wet and slippery enough to make it around the loop. After a quick "keep your head down" instructional lesson,
off you went into the "Humonga Cowabunga" -style straight-down speed tube that did not end in a flat slowdown lane but a full
size 15 or 20 foot roller-coaster-style loop. When it was all over, the slide shot you into kind of a puddled wet mat instead
of an actual pond or pool." Now, how many ways can this go freaking wrong? Well, apparently an obese
woman went down and got stuck in the top of the loop. The action never stops, kids.
Sometime after, the ride closed and the slide was left up as a twisted reminder.
Well, if having your arm wrung off wasn't your thing, how about losing some fingers? The
Alpine Slide was the most popular ride in the park, with ads of old women and mothers with babies going down the slide. However,
60% of the park accidents were at fault of the slide. The rider would sit on a small sled with an emergency handbrake and
be shot down either a 80 degree slide or a less-than-gentle curved one. But you could pull the brake and escape. However,
pull too fast and the cart either trips over and you bash your face, or you fall off the whole track. Pull too slowly and
drift down the ride, and the dork behind you rams into you. Alpine Slide caused 14 fractures and 26 head injuries during ONE
YEAR. Two people died as well - 1980, a 19-year-old boy fell off the track and smashed his head on a rock, instantly dying.
In 1985 a group of kids snuck in overnight and rode the slide, but one boy went down the fast slide, hit a rock, flew through
the air and hit a tree.
There was also the Tarzan Swing...you got onto a platform a story over a huge watery pit, grabbed
hold of a rope, and swung around before throwing yourselves into the cold water. Forget cold. Witnesses say it was an Arctic
Freeze kinda cold. So cold many people forgot how to swim when they got in...in 1984, an adult jumped in the water, had a
heart attack from the shock and died. Otherways to hurt yourself were to jump at the wrong time and hit a decorative rock
or tree, fall on another kid or smash into the pit wall.
If you like speed, (I do not mean amphetamines), there was Motorworld. You would get into a
Super Go-Kart and drive around, but many riders played bumper cars on said Karts. There were several hideous head-on collisions.
The cars didn't go very fast, having their speed pre-chosen by the state, but the employees had been known to jam tennis balls
in the mechanism to outdo the speed block.
One thing to note was the over-abundance of beer kiosks at Action World. Hell, for every ice
cream stand there were two beer stands. This resulted in dozens of park-goers and attendants getting drunk off their asses.
As well, the attendants were usually in the range of 14-25, every fifth one drunk or high. What fun.
I find it questionable that there's always someone falling into water in the above video.
The park was closed in 1998, when it was purchased by a large company. They dismantled much
of the rides, and two years later, built a safer park called Mountain Creek. They even builts some resort condos around the
new resort as to make it more family-friendly. If you ride the gondula, apparently you can see the place where the Alpine
Slide used to be.
I can't help but think of Kingsmen Park, the tiny park in my hometown. There were seatbelts,
safety cages, weight and height limits all over the place. Hell, the only accident I've heard of was when some kid
fell off the Merry-Go-Round and got skinned a little. Meanwhile, with Action Park...
Truly frightening, readers.
Before you go, get a load of the 1988 TV ad. "There's something for everyone!"
"Okay, concussion for Harvey, scraped arm for Maria, and a broken leg for
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