Christopher Sebela

writer, wronger, rearranger

Action Park was a waterpark/motor themed park open from 1978 to 1996 in Vernon Township, New Jersey. 

Many of Action Park’s attractions were unique. They gave patrons more control over their experience than they would have at most other amusement parks’ rides, but for the same reason were considerably riskier.

Its popularity went hand in hand with a reputation for poorly-designed, unsafe rides; inattentive, underaged, underpaid and sometimes under-the-influence employees; equally intoxicated and underprepared visitors — and the poor safety record that followed from this perfect storm of circumstances. At least six people are known to have died as a result of mishaps on rides at the park, and it was nicknamed “Traction Park”, “Accident Park”, “Class Action Park”, “Danger Park” and “Death Park” by doctors at nearby hospitals due to the number of severely injured parkgoers they treated.

Action Park’s alpine slide descended the mountain roughly below one of the ski area’s chairlifts, resulting in much verbal harassment and sometimes spitting from passengers going up for their turn, who would often be entertained by the accidents they witnessed while at the same time hoping to avoid similar fates.The tracks themselves were made of concrete and fiberglass, which led to numerous serious abrasions on riders who took even mild spills. The tendency of some to ride in bathing suits so they could go on to Waterworld attractions afterwards made this problem worse.

The sleds themselves were a large factor in the injuries. A stick that was supposed to control speed led, in practice, to just two options on the infrequently maintained vehicles: extremely slow, and a speed described by one former employee as “death awaits.”

Some even credit the park for making them learn some difficult lessons. In 2000, one, Matthew Callan, recalled Action Park thus:

Action Park made adults of a generation of Tri-State Area kids who strolled through its blood-stained gates, by teaching us the truth about life: it is not safe, you will get hurt a lot, and you’ll ride all the way home burnt beyond belief.


selectively copypasta’ed from Wikipedia

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