Waterworld…not with Kevin Costner…
Waterworld was set on a particularly steep section of the park. The entire section was on an incline until it leveled out a bit at the top; the end of the incline also marked the end of Waterworld. The first slide you saw back in the Action Park days was Kamikaze, a simple three dip body slide that was built into the hill. There would be a short, straight section after each dip that would dissipate your speed in preparation for the next drop. Depending on how heavy you are, you could catch some air on the final dip. This was, however, the least dangerous or wild slide in Action Park.
On the left, down a nondescript path, was where the Tarzan Swings were located. A pair of slides, named Cannonball Falls, sat right next to the Tarzan Swings in a separate pool; both sitting in a densely wooded ravine. Just below the Tarzan Swings was a small stage area for shows. I distinctly remember looking at the board in front of the show venue with Marc Weiner (of Weinerville on Nickelodeon fame) of all people billed to perform. Continuing the hike up to the top of hill, you’d first come across Aerodium on the left and finally by a grouping of vertical slides called Geronimo Falls.
Lets start off with the Tarzan Swings which were, and probably still are, a spectacle of pain. The swing was huge first off; the beam to hold them must have hovered 30 feet above the water. Usually these Tarzan swing type things have a 6 foot drop at most. The swing platforms here had to have been around 15 feet high. There were three swings, each consisting of a cable attached to a triangular shaped grab bar.
The goal of this attraction was to successfully swing over the bulk of the water and let go at the pinnacle of your swing, but this is what would normally happen:
- You grab onto the bar and stumble off the platform.
- You forget to tuck your legs in to avoid hitting the surface of the water.
- You face plant into the pool.
I remember seeing one kid not let go of the swing at all; he reached the apex of the swing and started traveling backwards before slamming into the padded wall just under the platform. He then dropped like a dead bird into the water and had to swim the entire length of the pool to get out…which is not fun at all.
While I’m at this point, I’ll talk about the pools at Action Park; simply put, they are all freezing cold. Even today in the Mountain Creek era they’re still pretty damn cold. The Roaring Springs section must have no heat whatsoever in their rock basin looking pools. After waiting in a long line in the sun, the sudden rush of cold water upon entering a pool is like a shock. Some people’s reactions reminded me of one particular episode of the Discovery Channel show Man vs Wild where survival expert Bear Grylls leapt into an ice pond and proceeded to flail around and nearly hyperventilate while trying to get out.
The worst pools were the Tarzan Swing and Cannonball Falls splash pools. Both are in an intense shade provided by the wooded surroundings, and both look like pools that were simply made from lining the ravines with plastic. The depth of each pool is around 15 feet and the shade makes it look dark and murky (thanks Mike D for the info!) When at the park, I distinctly remember the ride ops announcing that the pool was 30 feet deep, which was sort of terrifying to think about.
Anyway, right next to the Tarzan Swings was Cannonball Falls. This is the ride where I actually hurt myself on! Add me to one of the countless people hurt at Action Park! Cannonball Falls (or just Cannonball) were a pair of short, black tubed waterslides. I think you’re supposed to race the other person down the slide. They packed a surprising punch despite being relatively unassuming looking. Riders go down a tiny drop before sliding down a steady downward grade featuring an S shaped turn. Riders gain a lot of speed before being shot out of the tubes, which hover some 10 feet above the water. The way I was ‘hurt’ on this was when I was shot out of the tube; I fell into the pool on my side and basically landed on my arm. Nothing serious, but not comfortable either. I guess I really can’t even say I got hurt, but I’m sticking with it!
I believe Cannonball Falls were removed in the 2010s sometime. Sad 🙁
Here’s an on-ride/off-ride video of Cannonball Falls. I love how an on-ride video exists even though you can’t see anything. Thanks to BuLLNJ5 for uploading!
As you make your way past the start of the Kamikaze, you would have noticed a large round building to you’re left called Aerodium. This was one of those faux skydiving machines with the giant fan to simulate skydiving. I remember going into the building to see the people first hand attempt this feat. The noise in the building was deafening and the whole place rattled like hell when the fan was at full speed. Most people would never make it out of the building due to their inexperience. Occasionally you would see some hotshot rise up from the structure and hover 15 or 20 feet above the building.
If you make it to the top of the hill, you can turn around and see the spectacular view which overlooks many of the mountains and valleys of northern NJ, lined with tiny (and probably expensive) houses; or you could hop on Geronimo Falls, a pair of steep speed slides. I has heard that this was one of the tallest vertical drop slides in the US, only topped by “Summit Plummet,” at Disney World’s Blizzard Beach.
Geronimo Falls was purportedly the site of an Action Park death. I’ve never found the report on it, so it’s pretty suspect. The story is that some person sat up while going down the slide, despite all the warnings to lie down while riding, and tumbled off. I could see it happening to be honest.
Two things I always remembered about this slide complex were that there was like a 10 foot section of the taller slides that were covered. Perhaps they put them there to prevent someone from falling off the top (maybe the story is legit!) The complex also had a wooden bridge going over the run-out for the slides. It was a great vantage point to watch riders drop down the slide and rumble under the bridge in a mist of water. The opposite side of the bridge just lead to a tree line and some weeds from what I remember.
There are a few more slides in Waterworld, none really that spectacular. They had a couple of kiddie river rides which rarely ran. They also had this old serpentine mat slide that was built into the hill. I think they were named Sidewinder. I remember the “lifeguard” (ie. kid that stood at the top of the slide) didn’t even care about spacing out riders. He just stood there and said “go, go, go, go…” and everyone and their brother piled down the slide. I waited a sec before heading down myself. The slide itself was pretty neat with a couple of tunnels. You could go pretty fast, barring you don’t fold over the mat or something.
Funnily enough, back in 2004 or so at Mountain Creek, I was talking to one of the lifeguards at the top of Sidewinder. I asked if I should go down and the bleach blond surfer looking kid said: “um…you know just wait a second because I’m not sure. I sort of just guess. (chuckle)” Some things never change.
DoD3 reader Ari F. has a wild story to share about the seemingly un-assuming Serpentine/Sidewinder Slides:
Back in the late 80s I went to Action park with my family; I must have been 15 or so at the time. The Serpentine was the first ride I went on. I got to the top, the lifeguard said “go”, and off I went. Of course no one told me you have to curl up the front of the mat. Not curling up the front of the mat results in vastly reduced speeds. In fact the slide was built in such a way that if you didn’t have sufficient speed around certain turns you just stopped and you had to push yourself down until you built up enough momentum. Well that is what happened to me. Which would have been bad enough but the fun didn’t end there…
After I slowed to a crawl and began pushing my way down, I briefly took a look back over my shoulder behind me and I see a 250 pound woman rounding the last turn coming at me at top speed. All she has time to do is say “Hold on to your mat Kid!” and it was a good thing she did. I complied and shut my eyes tight and ‘Pow!’ she slammed right into me. We raced down the rest of the slide at top speed. I screamed the whole way down. I felt like that bald guy in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome who ends up riding on the front of the speeding train.
So we are flying down the slide and then I begin to think “What the hell is going to happen in the splash pool! This lady is going to squash me.” So I prepared myself and just as we hit the splash pool I pushed downward and she flew right over me. We both smiled and went our merry ways, both happy that I avoided injury.
The Wave Pool
If you go all the way to the top of the path, you’ll stumble upon the giant wave pool. Somebody died here as well! It seemed like a fairly tame wave pool, but it apparently had some sort of odd rip-tide which led to unprecedented numbers of rescues each year. Maybe that’s just BS, I don’t know. One thing I remember was that the entrance to the pool section had these posts with sprayers that shot freezing cold water. The water in the pool was also cold, even though it’s in direct sunlight.
If you go up a nondescript stairway to the left of the pool, you’ll come to the Surf Hill racing slides (renamed Riptide in the Mountain Creek era.) Surf Hill was one of those giant 8 lane racing slides with maybe 3 or 4 dips to traverse. The slide was built into a massive hill and had lengthy straightaways between drops. Like the aforementioned Sidewinder slides, these too were ridden headfirst on mats.
Despite having plenty of room for the slide and straightaways, they didn’t leave much room for a straight section to end the slide. Instead, Surf Hill had short water filled pits in each lane followed by a large curved wall covered with slick padding. If you’re going too slowly, you’ll slam into the pit of water and the mat will smack you in the face; too fast and you’ll fly across the pit like a rock skipping across water and slide up the wall before tumbling down. It was kind of a lose/lose situation.
Check out the comments section below for a bunch of great Surf Hill stories; it seemed to be right up there with the “best” of Action Park!
“Most people would never make it out of the building due to their inexperience. However, sometimes you would see some hotshot rise up from the structure and hover 15 or 20 feet above the building. I doubt that thing made much money for its size and probably it’s cost, but it was interesting”
I went on it in 1995 or 1996 and I know I got back change from my ten dollars, I want to say it was only like 7 or 8 dollars extra to do it.
I got massive street cred with my friends for doing it. I fianlly went sky diving a few years ago and actually, I was in more fear for my life at Traction Park then I was when I did the real thing lol.
I beleive doing the Aerodium garners some sort of post Action Park internet cred as well. lol Few can say that they have done one of Action Park’s three most infamous attractions: Cannonball Loop, Aerodium, and their bungee jumping. And I guess to some extent the ‘expert’ run of Alpine Ski Slide.
I guess I could see how the faux skydiving could be scarier, at least at Action Park. There’s just something about Action Park’s lax safety coupled with a giant whirling fan that might cause for alarm. Haha
Thanks for dropping by!
I remember this place, the roller slide was called the Aqua Scoot! I loved that thing. I personally never got injured in my multiple visits between 87 and 91, but I remember those guys with their shirts off and a nice Alpine Slide burn. Those looked like they hurt. This was a great stroll down memory lane, I look forward to going back someday. I am in the midwest now and hating it
Yeah I wish California had a looping waterslide
Aqua Scoot! That name does ring a bell now that you mention it! I actually remember many waterparks having those types at slides at one time.
Wow.. I thought I forgot about Action Park for good..
I had worked there for 7 years both seasons..
For the first few years I worked Food and Beverage, then ride attendant, Then finally once I was old enough and they had an opening I was allowed to work as a mechanic in motor world.. I rememebr breaking in the Lolas after they got new engines.. all we did was drive them up into water world and back down over and over again to break them in..
I remember the battle action tanks mechanics shop had some prototype or homebrew air cannon that would shoot a tennis ball from the tank cage well up past 94.. I wonder what happened to it. if anyone knows the make or has plans drop me a line.
I spent most of my time on the dock at the super speed boats, I remember one day clearly . There was an asian woman on the paddle boats in the adjacent pond and a lightning storm was rolling in. Unfortunately she panics and couldnt figure out how to work the boat controls..
we has one speed boat with a larger engine than the reast of them and it was our tow boat(for capsized recoveries) and a plaything for us to show off to the girls with.
I remember that we endedn up having two lifeguards stand on the edge of the foating dock that separated the two ponds, I disengaged the transom lock and headed straight at the dock head on.. because it was tilted my way it resembled a ramp, I then launched my boat onto and over the dock landing in the paddle boat pond. I then hooked her up with a line and towed her back to the area where the paddle boats were funneled into the boarding area.
The ride attendant girl hooked the boat with her boat hook and helped the woman out.. I was a hero for 15 mins.
In the winter I was a snowmaker.
I remember riding my skate board to work and having my mother pick me up after .. I lived in augusta so it was not a short trip… Fellow emploee parents passing by would often pick me up if they had the room so it wasnt too often that I skated the whole way.
I remember the first timecard system they put in.. you got a card with punch holes in it.. you’d slide it into the clock in the managers office, bang in a few codes and pull the card back out.. the funny thing was that if you didnt punch out say on friday night and then came back monday morning, you could punch out then back inand get paid for the weekend.. apparently one of the parks downfall was the accounting department.
Thanks for the memories..
Thanks for dropping by sigmaz; that was some great stuff! I always like hearing stories from Motorworld since I never really hung around in that section all that much and don’t really know the full details of that section. At the time I was too young to drive the cars or anything so I just stuck to the waterpark.
Also, skateboarding from Augusta to Vernon doesn’t sound like fun at all! Besides the fact that it’s a long trip, I would think that it’s very hilly as well!
The Cannonball Loop was opened. I rode the Cannonball Loop. My pre-pubscent friends and I would gawk at the holy grail of water slides everytime we went to the park. And one spectacular day my wildest dreams came true, they were actually asking for patrons to ride the slide. It’s funny how many people who bragged that they “…would totally do that!” had somewhere else to be when they were actually looking for riders. I volunteered. I was led up to the slide and then had my height and weight measured. The more I think about this, the crazier it becomes because I couldn’t have been more then 12 or 13 and my parents were no where around to give consent to their kid signing up for a suicide mission. When I got to the top of the slide the park attendant (who I doubt was an engineer) hit me w/ a garden hose to essentially lube me up in order for me to make it through. I prided myself on doing everything at “Accident Park” but this moment of truth was scarier then the rest. A crowd had formed as I got into the slide and I felt like Evil Knievel climbing onto a stars and stripes motorcycle. I got the go ahead and sent myself down the pitch black tube. When you’re sure you are going to die your mind records everything. I vividly remember the sensation of my feet going up as I realized “Here comes the loop!”. I remember being ecstatic when I had cleared the pinnacle of the loop, however the worst was yet to come. Apparently my sub 100 lbs body was not heavy enough for the ride and rather the sticking to the slide on the back end of the loop, I actually fell to the bottom of the loop. I smacked the back of my head on the slide and was nearly knocked unconcious. It was then I saw light as I sputtered out of the exit of the tube into the splash down pool which about 8 inches deep. I was able to orient myself enough to get to my feet and smile with pride as the stunned crowd cheered for the little kid who just went down the most dangerous water slide of all time. It was closed again within minutes and although I went to the park a dozen times after that day I never saw that slide opened again. I have no fear of amusement park rides after going on that death trap. There is nothing that will be built as dangerous and poorly supervised as the cannonball loop again. It was truly a perfect storm for water park aficionados.
That was a great story! Falling from the apex of the loop must have been just awful. At least you didn’t slow down and fall in the other direction however; then you would have been stuck in that section at the base of the loop. I can’t imagine how terrifying that would be, basically coming out of a momentary disorientation only to find yourself in some small dark space. lol
I worked there for several years as a lifeguard, and a few things.. The tarzan swing and the cannonball pools… The pools were only 15′ deep and yes freezing cold, they were fed from a spring fed lake at the top of the mountain. The bottom of the pool was not lined with anything they were concrete pools that had large rocks/boulders around them. The water was crystal clear. As a guard I would be able to sit on the stand (10′ tall) and I could spot and tell if there was a dollar bill on the bottom and if it was within 10 – 15′ of the stand I could tell you what denomination it was. it just seemed dark because of all the shade in the area.
The riptide slide was called Surf Hill… when it first opened the 2 left most lanes (looking down from the top, or the right most from the bottom looking up) were the “expert lanes” initially they had a ramp and I can remember going down with friends and family and it wasn’t uncommon to get 10 – 15′ of air off the things… landing was sometimes a bit tough, but I can remember people and us included doing flips and twists off that thing. The trick to it was to use more than one mat the more you had the faster you went. Too many people got hurt and they redid the ride to make it a much smaller ramp. the employees were able to secure a section of the new lining it’s was about 4 – 6″ thick and we cut 2 hand holds in the front of it… I wasn’t crazy enough but I knew and watched several friends going down using that mat… they would go so fast that they would end up hitting the first 12″ of the water puddle at the bottom meant to slow them down and it wouldn’t do a thing.. They would end up literally slamming into the padding at the end of the lanes hard… a couple of them hard enough that they needed help getting out from where the padding and the floor met.
Only 15 feet deep?! Aw man…that’s takes all the odd mystique out of the pool. lol Actually, I saw a photo of those pools drained on another site and it did look only 15-20 feet with slabs of concrete at the bottom. Although, I distinctly remember a lifeguard at AP saying that they were some 30+ feet deep, but I guess it was just to weed out anyone thinking they could do the attraction while not knowing how to swim well.
That Surf Hill story literally had me laughing! It just amazes me that Action Park thought it was a good idea to add in ramps for riders to rocket over. And then employees fashion up a mat made of that super slick crap, that’s just too much. I can just visualize the scene of some kid going at like 40mph head first and completely overshooting that little slowdown pool. lol It’s too bad they got rid of that slide…
Thanks for commenting Mike!
i remember this exactly as he described. we would go every year when i was a kid. there was always people trying to find a mat, yet we would always have like 3 or 4 stacked. im glad you confirmed that it did make u go faster, i always wondered if i carried that extra wieght for nothing! lol man i wish this place was still around, i rode every ride there (except loop) many many times and managed to never get seriously hurt. i will try to find old picsand vids i knw we have somewhere and send in…
I remember one time when I was going down Surf Hill and after one of the bumps I went soaring into the air and landed two lanes over from where I had started and when we got to the bottom, I plowed into the kid who had been riding in that lane and ran right over him before I stopped.
It was spectacular.
I remember snakes in one of the pools. I rode this tube down a long slide and half way down i fell of the tube landing painfully in the pool with less skin on my legs then when i started the ride with. But just when i thought my ride of death was over I see this huge snake swimming right at my face. I was only 8 and i couldnt swim very well, so their i was flapping my arms and legs screaming for help because of this snake and the fact i was bloody and in pain, and not one person came to my aide. All the children were pushing me down in the water and they were trying to get out of the pool, I though i was goin to drown or be attacted by this snake. THANK GOD for my older brother, because he pulled me out.
When i was 7 I rode 1 of their tube rides and i was going so fast my tube almost reared off the slope which was very high off the ground. Also the tide pool was the worst being so little the waves would knock me over and afew times a almost drown because the lifeguards were to busy watching the women then watching the children. The place always had nasty snake infested water and half the rides would brake down during the few hours you would spend at the part. Even the kiddie pool with those little bumper boats was a death zone. Once I seen one of the boats start to sink with a child in it, you would think that the lifegaurds would have leaped in the pool to get the kid out, but No the parent had to be the one to jump in and unbuckel the child before the boat sank drowning the kid… Though the park was full of danger, it still provided me with alot of fun and some great memories.
i rose the canonball loop. man that sucker beat you up.
I am curious if there’s any remains of action park left. was mountain creek built on the old site of AP? did they leave any remnants? is there anything to explore?
I don’t know if anything of Action Park is left actually. Everything in the waterpark was pretty much reused by Mountain Creek, and some of the most known attractions (Cannonball Loop, Aerodium, etc) were simply removed. I know they have one river attraction that pretty much sits un-used for the most part. The Surf Hill slides might still be “standing but not operating” as well but other than that I’m not sure.
By looking at Google Earth, it doesn’t look like Motorworld is around at all; at least I can’t spot any tracks or anything. You can check out Mountain Creek on Google Earth at ’41°11’24.78″N 74°30’30.55″W’ and see if you can see anything. That giant field just to the west of Mountain Creek might be where Motorworld was.
Theres condos there now
I took my kids to the old timers stomping ground on Tuesday – 8/15/12. Yes Mountain Creek is the old Action Park. Although alot of the attractions we rode are now gone they still have a few Action Park rides there. The Tarzan swing and Cannonball Falls are still where they were, and working. The Colorado River is still working. This is the ride in the big family sized tube. Only now you have to wear a helmet with a full face cage or you can’t ride. The Surf Hill is still working except that they toned it down quite a bit and its called Rip Tide Slide. It still is dangerous however. Back during Action Park there was very little water to stop you at the end of the ride. Now there is about a foot or so of water at the end, if you don’t lift your mat up, the water stops you dead. Now if your body stopped also it wouldn’t be bad. But as my wife and my 17 year old daughter found out the hard way. My wife literally went legs over head and flipped and my daughter went sideways running her legs over the next lane dividers and was cut, fortunately not bad. They took out the Alpine slide and put in an Alpine coaster which is open year round. If your under the age of 15 this might be cool, otherwise don’t waste your time. No I retract that statement, do it for the hell of it, you may enjoy it. The rides I was looking forward to were closed. They were Action Park rides that are still there. They were Thunder Run, The Gauley and The Rogue River. I haven’t found out why they weren’t operating. Thunder Falls was open. The Geronimo Falls section of the park is still open but has changed. They replaced the double white slides with one green slide. You still get an atomic wedgie on this. They closed down the male favorite Kamikaze slide, took out the wooden bridge and fenced in the pool area. They added a funnel ride called High Anxiety. This is the equivalent to Alien Invasion at Splish Splash. Well I think I touched on everything at the park. I found it to be as exciting as when I was in my 20,s.
Thunder run was open this week as well as a couple of weeks ago. The Gauley was closed after an incident earlier this season where a bunch of riders backed up near the end. It was a relatively minor incident, but there were like 4 news helicopters flying over the park afterwards since they had sent several people to the hospital (as a precaution).
Rogue River seems to have been closed all season, I’m not sure why.
Surf Hill was just opened a couple of weeks ago. They rebuilt the slide, as it had been abandoned about 5 years ago.
I’m actually a lifeguard at Mountain Creek now and it’s a ton safer although many of the rides have closed down. Some of the most recent changes are that Rogue River and Thunder Falls are basically permanently shut down. Working bottom of rogue river you can listen to people slam back and forth against the walls inside of the slide and it’s just terrible, better off keeping that death trap closed. Surf Hill is once again called Surf Hill and like it was said before there’s now a good foot of water at the bottom. The Colorado River you need helmets on now, but recently we test rode the old path of the ride however it will most likely remain closed. Well that’s a current lifeguard’s perspective.
Aw man, I can’t believe they closed Rogue River! That actually seemed like one of the tamer ones. The only thing that was bad about it was how it dumped riders into that open pool area. I remember if you were to assume the standard body slide position (legs crossed, arms crossed) you’d go flying down that slide and practically skip across the water at the end.
Wow, they opened the alternate path on Colorado Rapids? If only they’d actually re-open that, as alternate paths made that ride interesting, even though it was rare you went down them.
I seriously hope they don’t permanently keep Rogue River and Thunder Falls closed. In 30+ years, the number if injuries, compared to other rides still open, is from what I understand really low.
Notice how the green slide is not as steep it used to be – or at least it looks like that, note the tracks underneath.
They really should make it as steep as it originally was – and put in a 2nd slide, which would also cut down on the longer lines on the busiest days… oh, and lose the name “H2 Oh No” /call it “Geronimo Falls” again – those three things would make the ride much more exciting, IMO.
I think Surf Hill is still Surf Hill – website and park map still indicated it as such.
As a kid i have always had a strange fixation with roller coasts & amusement parks. Who knows why?!But I have to say that i have been obsessed with Action Park since i found out about it 4 days ago!
We only had a Wonderland (affiliated with Hannah Barbarah) out here in Australia & I was always a scaredy cat to go on any of the big rides!
HOWEVER! I feel so disappointed to have not experienced the ‘legend’ of Action Park. From everything I have read, it seems so ridiculous & intriguing, like a taboo movie about reckless teens!
As ridiculously conservative I am, if I had the chance to jump at any of these threatening rides, I totally would! The Cannonball Loop had my jaw dropped for hours as I read comments/experiences & studied pictures! I even showed my co-workers & their response was “……WTF.. how? wha.. HOW THE HELL WOULD THAT EVEN WORK?!” lol! “Exactly. Fucking insane”
I am sure the real experience isn’t as romantic as it seems- but to someone who has always been safe, always been scared of danger, this place seemed like a place that was so so wrong it was right!
Just want to say thanks for the indepth descriptions! It makes the idea of the place even more real! You have no idea how many people i have told about the place! Just out of sheer disbelief that something so dangerous could have existed for such a long period of time!!
Thanks for the experience!! =)
Thanks for stopping by Lauren and thanks for the kind words!
“So wrong it was right”…I like that! It’s a pretty good one sentence summary of how Action Park was.
You know, I think something like the Cannonball Loop, while still crazy, wouldn’t be as insane if it were built today. Like if built in 2009, there would be definately be calculations, proper water drainage, correct pitches, etc; it would be studied up and down and over again until the most minor of faults were ironed out.
Back in the mid 80s it was probably just two guys sitting at a bar with one going “hey, let’s see if this will work!” Two weeks later their drawing scralled out on a napkin became Cannonball Loop! How did they know it would work? Well they didn’t until ‘John the Lifegaurd’ went down and didn’t die!
Even I can’t beleive some of the stuff that went down at Action Park even though I was there!
loved that place went from 86 to 1990 loved motor wolrd and the indy cars fastest go cart ive ever been on got kicked off in 89 hit a cone or tire went over thew yellow line god i miss that place also went on aero ride first year it opened that was fun sad to see it in ruins ps any one know where i can buy one of those cars ?
After doing a google search for water slide, I came across a youtube video of a loop slide in germany. I got curios and googled loop slide and found all this information on this ridicouls ride at action park! Since webates have sparked my intrest in action park and looking at pictures, I’ve relized this was a place my father use to vist. I have pictures of my parent visting this death trap.
Although the picuters show a water slide that was long and horzitial with long bumps. Can anybody tell wich ride this was?
Long horizontal slide with bumps sounds like either Kamikaze or Surf Hill.
Kamikaze was a single slide built into a hill with 3 or 4 small/medium sized drops before ending in a pool.
Surf Hill was like one very wide slide with 8 or so lanes which traveled down 4 or 5 hills before ending.
can you post any pics you have of action park? starting a history site
The only photos I have from the park were from the Mountain Creek days unfortunately.
I was doing a search on action park just to see what would come up and I came across this site. I was also curious about the “Cannonball Loop Slide”. I remember going there when I was a kid and seeing this crazy looking slide that had a loop, but the slide always appeared abandoned and completely shut down. I remember hearing stories that a woman snapped her neck in the loop, but these were all just rumours , or course. I find it so cool and fascinating to read the stories of the people who actually rode that slide, (and made it out alive) major props to you. 🙂 Would be great if someone posted up a video of the most dangerous slide ever created.
I had a lot of memories of Action Park going there as a kid, no major injuries, just a few head bumps and scrapes, minor compared to some people. I remember my brother tricked me into going down one of the slides in the lower area (in the freezing cold water). He said “oh it’s just a tiny slide”, little did I know that it had a 20 ft drop at the end of it. lol I was only about 9 years old, but I was a good swimmer. I remember the girl asked me before I went on the slide if I could swim and I thought, that’s odd why is she asking me this. lol I also remember the one tube slide next to that area, The Gauley, (I believe that was the name of it). It was fun, but you would sometimes get stuck in certain areas and have to push yourself down, and of course you would sometimes smash into people and sometimes pile up. I also remember the cannon slides which I ended up banging my head around one of the turns in the tube, then being spit out into ice cold water and barely being able to catch my breath. The wave pool was insane, the waves were oddly big, you could drown very easily if you weren’t a good swimmer. The kamikaze was surprisingly fast, probably one of the best slides at the park and the Geronemo Falls slides were crazy, at the end of the ride you had a dental floss for a bathing suit. 🙂 I definitely want to make it out to Mt. Creek one of these days just to experience the waterslide thrills once again…
thats exactly what im searching for any pics of old action park or videos of the cannonball slide
i know i commented on someone elses comment, but i wanted to comment on this artical, its GREAT! the descriptions were pretty much dead on. what sucks is i had a lot typed up and some how it didnt get posted, now i dont remember it lol.
i loved this place as a kid. I started going ~90-91, which would make me about 10. im proud to say i went the last year it was open, since it says it was closed in 96. i moved to the south in 95 and swore i went back twice, but it must have been once.
we would run up and down thoses hills barefoot, which would burn and cut ur feet all up, but we didnt care. i loved this place because they didnt care about ur size or age for anything, and at 10 doing these rides you loved it. i rode everyride/slide except cannonball loop, (which was never open while i was there, thankgod cause my stupid young ass would have done it) many many times, avoiding serious injury somehow. my dad would never let me do the areododim for some reason, lol. the wiki says that it would bring u 6-7 feet up, but im here to tell u ive seen people go up higher then the building, i remember thinking to myself “he’s dead if he doesnt go back down correctly to land on the padding!” i loved every ride, some more then others, but top 2 was probly the cliff jump, and the tall ass strait down slide (which had a chain net covering the first 15′ or so down so u wouldnt fall out). i remember only weighing maybe 90 pounds, i wouldnt even be on the slide, it was a free fall till it curved out. im sad to find out these 2 rides are gone at the new mountain creek.
i did the motor park a little. wish i would have know the tennis ball trick, lol. i did wreck the cars though, being 12 in my memory of the motorpark, the only pedal i used was the gas (which was always on the floor). shot the tennis ball cannon many times, and yes the best part was shooting the helpless employees, lol
im gonna go back one day, but its so less appealing now that my favorite rides and others are gone, but my curiousty wont let me not go so i can look in theses areas and see what is or isnt there for myself. i’ve always wished it was still around, but in the back of my mind knew based on my memories that there was no way it could still be today(not in its true glory anyway). as i look back all i can think is “holy shit that really did happen!”
I remember going so often with my friends we used to plan trips to go mid week, when it was cold and cloudy. That way the park was empty. We would complete every ride before lunch, eat, and then repeat.
Surf hill was the best. The ramp in lane 7 and 8 were great but when the lines were long, we would fight, literally, for lane 3. it was the best. We would line up in lane 1,2,4,5. On “three” we would run half way down the slide and jump onto the neighboring chute, claw at your friend who is already sliding, and jump in front of him who would grab you to slow you down. We were not gentle. The person who crossed the water at the end, in lane 3 won. Bruises ensued. Thankfully the laughter always beat out the contusions. Mitch once hit the water so fast he skipped over it and as he was about to ram the padding, he ducked his head and went right under. Four people had to pry him out. He was king for the day and operations on the slide never even slowed down.
That place Rocked!
I worked in Wharton and use to go there back in the late 80’s. We would get out of work at 3 and be there by 4. They use to discount after 3 or 4. It was always pretty empty people would be leaving at that time of the day.
Anyway, I’m surprised I lived. Beer sales were real lax up there, it didn’t matter how tanked or young (sometimes) you were.
Geronimo Falls was my favorite, saw quite a few lost tops from the girls that rode it. Everybody got a wedgie.
Tarzan Swings was great to watch folks get faced.
No place was really safe, I’ve read people use to meet up with snakes on the Miniature Golf Course.
Our Boss hated the place, everytime we went there. We would always be all banged up the next day (with leftover beer buzz),we were pretty much worthless for half the day. that’s if we even showed up.
Thanks For posting this Brian.
There will never be another place like Action Park.
God Bless Action Park!!!!!!!!!
I remember being on the cliff dive looking down at people swimming way too close to the divers and landing right next to them surprised no one was smashed there, but action park was the best thing ever built….new jersey must find a way to build something similar.
Also remember being scared as sh**, but saw everyone else was ok with it so when in rome!!!! LIVE ON TRACTION PARK
This site and reading people’s experiences bring back some awesome memories. Surf Hill and all the stories about people crashing into the padding, getting wedged into it and how the employees would eat at the base of hill while being entertained by the injuries are just remarkable. Here’s my experience.
I get to the base of brand new Surf Hill with some friends and we’re told the ride is closed and can’t go on it. It’s just been built and the surface is brilliant blue. We stand around watching people go down for awhile, apparently trying out the ride. Looks like its open to us so we let the attendants know we’d like to give it a try and are given permission. First time down was fun, though a little bumpy. It feels like the polyurethane foam has just been laid down directly on top of the rocks underneath. I make a note to myself to keep my hands and soft parts on the slide so I don’t get any bone chips.
Second time is when the fun starts. Surf Hill when it was brand new was not the way most people remember it. There was the same 80 feet or so of vertical as you slide down, then maybe an 8” deep puddle, less than in later years, then a slight upslope to slow down and get this… NO padding at the end!!! I go zipping down fast, blow right through the puddle and straight into the gravelly dirt at the base! For everyone who smacked into the padding, imagine the ride brand new with no padding and not even any grass at the end, just gravel and dirt. That was my last time on Surf Hill and, like the employees on lunch break, I then stood around at the end waiting for the next person to get injured.
I’m surprised there’s no mention of how many bikini tops came off at this place. My girlfriend lost her top on the tarzan swing the first time she tried it. Everyone got wedgies on the water slides. Funny it did not seem so dangerous at the time, but I do remember all the topless girls from teh crazy water rides.
That was the best part about working there! I would goto surf hill with some curly fries (i worked food an bev) and watch the tops and sometime bottoms ply off!!!! what a great place to grow up lol
Hey I rode all these rides for years. I even got to ride the cannonball 2…referred here as the cannonball loop…did it 4 times in a row then they closed it. Me and my friends recalled all the attendants that were there kept saying whatever you do don’t lift your head and there were 4-5 attendants in the dispensory pool all very helpfull while you recovered your conciousness. That was an awesome ride!!! Awesome!!! I flew off the side of the expert Alpine Slide…thought I was gonna die but ended up unscathed….I want to win the lottery and buy the place for myself.
i remember going to action park as a kid during the mid 80s to early 90s. as a kid, you never realize how dangerous the place really was. my father told me about the guy who got electrocuted a few years before we visited. so, my father took me to a park where someone was electrocuted in a water ride! ah, the 80s were such a different time! things were just more lax in general it seems. i hate great adventure, so action park was more fun. i went on the tarzan swing. i was only 10 or 11 and could barely reach the handle. i slipped off and belly floped into the pool! i didn’t get hurt, but everyone thought i did. i felt ok. but man that water was cold!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! good times during a time when things were simpler. no way would action park have lasted today! i want to get to mountain creek, if only to reminisce about the place when it was action park.
Most of the Waterworld/Roaring Springs rides are still there, and most of them are unmodified, so to say Mountain Creek is just another scenc waterpark, IMO, isn’t correct. I was there over the summer, and of all the former Action Park rides still there, they all felt like they were haunted by the soul of the predecessor… I believe strongly especially since I nearly injured myself on the Colorado Rapids ride – head trauma almost inflicted from the continual head banging into head, and head banging into wall action.
The Alpine Slide was probably my favorite ride ever, anywhere. And it really wasn’t that bad, danger-wise. I rode that thing probably 20 times and I knew all the tricks and I always made sure to get a fast sled, and I rarely braked. I’d always catch up to the person in front of me and *then* I’d brake. I remember eventually I started asking the attendants to give the person ahead of me an extra-long head start – they’d do that for the more advanced riders. But I never came close to going over the edge, though I guess it was possible. The sleds did take some skill to “drive”, you weren’t just free-falling, you had to lean into turns the right way and sort of guide the sled down the track. I guess I learned that from doing log flumes with my brother when I was really young – we’d always get our log going so fast in the water that we’d catch up and bang into the people ahead of us. Most people don’t even know you can do that!
Anyway, I’m sad that the Alpine Slide is gone.
I’ve been going to Action Park/Mountain Creek since it opened and it is was the best place ever, Today it’s still fun but the crazy stuff is gone. My favorite stories were always going with my big brother who weighed like 275 pounds and would get beat up so bad when we went. I remember on the Alpine Slide he was wearing polyester coaches shorts and he wiped out and slid down the slide on his butt. When he got up his shorts had melted and were smoking. Surf Hill was also awesome in the expert lanes. I remember there was a 185 pound limit, but they let my brother do it. When he went off the ramp he completely missed the landing pool and went up the de-acceleration hill through the crash mats and took out three employees. This year they closed the Kamikaze slide which was one of my favorites. As you hit crest of each hill you would push of the slide and almost fly off the slide. My senior year in high school we went there for our senior trip and I did the ride so much I threw up on the ride home. I was really bummed to see that closed. I saw the looping water slide, but it was never open when I went to the park, man I would’ve liked to do that! The Colorado river Ride and other raft ride are great, but don’t fall off as I’ve done that a few times and tore up my back pretty good on the concrete slide. I thought it was a wrestling mat surface like surf hill, but boy was I wrong! Motorworld was fun but my brother dry docked the speed boat because he was to heavy and it wouldn’t go fast enough for him. They tried to throw us out, but when my brother asked them who they had who could throw him out, they decided to not try. Action/Traction Park was awesome and it gave me some of my fondest memories as a kid. I went down Cannonball Falls and the Tarzan Swing a bunch of times this weekend at the age of 45 just to remember how great and deadly it was!
I went to this place maybe six times ever – late 80s, early 90s – and it was inevitable that you’d experience danger first or second hand. There was a high speed waterslide in which riders dropped out of a chute from about 35 feet high and basically went straight down, then curved and ended in a splash track. Some woman threw her leg out of the track on her way down, got totally twisted up and ended up being removed by the EMTs. She looked like a Stretch Armstrong that was attacked by a rabid dog.
I went on the Tarzan Swing several times. Once, while passing over the water I couldn’t quite pull myself up, so I skimmed it and slammed into the water on my face. The skin under my arms was transparent and you could see all my veins, etc. clear as crystal. I was freaked and certainly never experienced anything like that before. I thought I’d have to go to first aid but in about 30 minutes, I was fine.
Finally, my uncle who was in his mid-40s at the time, was one of the unlucky fools who got stuck albeit briefly in the Cannonball loop. Apparently, that was not uncommon! And then don’t forget the Wave Pool. OMG! To stand on the edge and watch the waves in the deepend…..a crocodile-filled moat looked safer. Very forboding to say the least.
Just what to let everyone know that the Cannonball Loop @ Action Park (Accident Park) was indeed opened for brief periods of time. I watch people ride it and scream!!!!! I was going to go on it but I became a little to nervous because I had an incident @ the park earlier that day. I turned completely around in mid air while ridding one of the steep water slides that drops ridders almost 10 stories. Some places call it Geronimo. When I came to a stop I was face the trough (inside of the slide(. It was intense lifting off the back of the slide and spinning all the way around in mid air. Parts of my skin was bruised and raw so I didn’t ride that looping slide which barely remained open. I have one phot of that slide.
Had many visits there. I definitely remember the cannon ball being open for one of the visits. While approaching the slide, you could actually hear the people’s bodies clanking around as they went through it. Scary. BUT I LOVED EVERY TRIP!!
Greatest park ever! Another great thing about action park was that you could walk around with beer and drink as much as you want – and nobody cared! Remember the fish tank by the cliff diving? Once a friend and I were so drunk that one of our friends dared us to jump in, which we proceeded to do and of course we didn’t get thrown out – luckily there weren’t any piranna in the tank – I wouldn’t put it past the owners of this nitemare – it made the swim that much more exciting. My brother was almost killed when his speed boat flipped over in motor world – again another intoxicaed rider allowed to reach high speeds in a free riding speed boat. Lots of bumps and bruises over my several visits. I remember going down the alpine slide as a kid and being afraid to go too fast which of course resulted in whiplash by being rammed from the sleder behind me. As I got older I wanted to take my revenge out on the riders in front of me so I would reach ridiculous speeds which often resulted in me flying off the slide. Wasn’t there a ride where you’d spin around in a circle and the floor would drop? But it was wide open, not like the current gravatron rides in parks. I remember getting naseaus on this ride.
I remember hanging out by geronimo falls laughing at all of the wedgies and lost suit tops. The food and service in the restaurants was terrible. Never had the chance to ride the cannonball loop because it was always closed but I remember getting yelled out for always going head first in the regular cannonball. The black asphalt was so hot I remember walking on the side of it to deal with the pain of the rocks and not risk burning my feet. Thanks for the memories!
Great site… Action Park randomly popped into my head recently so i decided to see what Wikipedia had to say about it and I was eventually lead to this site. Whats really funny is that the memories I have from this place are in line with those of the other writers on this page and with that of Wikipedia’s ‘Accident Park’, “Class-Action Park” descriptions.
I was born in ’86 in Florida, my family is from Jersey just outside NYC, we used to takes trip up to NJ every summer. I would say it was maybe ’94 or ’95 (which i now know to be AP’s later years) that we finally made it to Action Park. Being from florida i have been to some water parks before, Typhoon Lagoon at Disney, Atlantis in Ft. Lauderdale, Rapids in WPB etc., but never in my life have I ever came across a park like the Action Park.
I was young and I cant remember everything from out day spent there but here are a few highlights from the deep reaches of my memory:
Tarzan Swing: I distinctly remember waiting in line for this thing, nearly shitting my pants with anticipation because it seemed so high off the water, thinking there was no way i was going to be able to reach the triangle handle much less swing myself into a safe part of the pool. My cousin was the first one to go, she made a nice swing, did alittle leg kick in the air and landed succefully in the pool with no problem, even receiveing alittle round of applause. She was smaller then me so i figured it shouldnt be much of a problem. I wil never forget grabbing that handle, with my toes dangling off the edge of what seemed like a 20 ft. drop, with just the tips of my fingers holding tight enough for me to ease my way off the platform, swing through the air, get alittle off balance on my release and land almost face first in the water. The other thing i will never forget is how cold the water was, nearly taking the breath out of my lungs and causing and instant seizure. But, alas I swam to the ladder at the far end of the pool and made my escape, alittle shaken up, frigid cold, but alive and well.
Cliff Jump: This place had two pretty serious cliff jumps, one was 23ft. the other 16ft. that went straight down into a large pool where there were many unsuspecting swimmers wading about with out a care in the world. I remember thinking this could be dangerous if one of them decided to wander into the deeper end of the pool and find themself in the path of a diving teenager coming in from 23ft. above. I remember waiting in line, trying to sike myself up for the jump when the life gaurd whitsles blew. Apparently, someone had jumped onto the head of a fellow jumper who had taken to long to clear the path. I’ll never forget the lifegaurd at the top of the cliff, throwing his life saving ring at the distressed swimmers and nailing one of them right in the head. I thought someone died, I guess they were ok because they escorted them out the water and we procceded to take the leap of faith blindly into the water below. Probably one of the best cliff jumps ive ever been on.
Alpine Slide: Lastly, there was the Alpine Slide. We saved this ‘ride’ for the end of the day because the lines were long in the morning and we didnt feel like waiting. So, after a nice little ride up the ski lift, and a struggle to get the heavy ass cart of the back of it, we finally made it to the drop in point of the slide. Just at that moment the ski’s opened up and a light drizzle poured down from above. Now the Alpine carts have a ‘hand brake’ that is simply a metal rod with a peice of rubber at the end that makes contact with the cement slide to slow you down when your going to fast (which was almost always). It was explained to us by the park employees that when the cement was wet the rubber would not be able to create enough friction to slow you down and you would essentially be sliding down this thing at high speeds with no way of stoping. Unsafe? Very. The rain didnt seem like it was slowing, in fact it was getting more intense, and i guess because of a lighting factor they did not allow us to ride the ski lift back to the base area like we did on our way up. The only way down was to walk. Now let me remind you that this park was built on the side of mountain that when snowy conditions allowed, people would ski down. The Alpine Slide was built on a green (beginner) ski hill which is not a big deal if your skiing but could be trouble if you had to walk down. Well since the we couldnt ride the slide down and the ski lift was out of commision cause of the lightning we were forced to walk down, in a group, the semi-steep, rock filled ski hill. It took probly 10 mintues at least to walk all the way down the hill, a few people got tripped up and had some bloody knees, but we all managed to make it to the base with little to know injury. Needless to say we never got to ride the infamous Alpine Slide but because of the conditions, the walk down the hill, and the fact we waiting all day to ride this thing and never got the opportunity too, my Aunt raised hell in the customer relations office and we were given free passes to come back at a later date. I wonder if we still have those passes somewheres? It’d be great to see the exact date i was there, and if i can locate them i’ll defintely upload them to the site.
All in all Action Park was incredible and one of a kind. A “ride-at-your-own-risk” type park which will forever be banished to our memories. Im glad i got to experince it and will continue on the legacy for as long as i can.
Great Site, keep the updates coming!
My minor claim to fame is that I believe I was the first person to add “You’ve been to Action Park and have the scars to prove it” to the “You Know You’re From Jersey When…” lists that were going around the internet a while back. In the early days of Myspace, I added that line to it and every time it has come back around to me, that line is still there, verbatim.
Speaking of scars, I still have the faintest outline of a scar on my knee from the Alpine Slide that I got when I was about 9 or 10 years old (I’m 30 now). They never really stressed the importance of the brake on the little deathscooter they put you on, so naturally, being 9 years old and not knowing any better, I went flying down the concrete tube like a bat out of hell and dumped the scooter around one of the larger turns, sliding for 30 feet or so and sanding a flat spot in my kneecap about the size of a half-dollar. As I lay there regaining my composure, I heard the ominous whooshing sound of another approaching scooter and got to my feet just in time to do an action hero leap over the side of the tube as another deathscooter whipped past me at about mach 3. If I hadn’t leapt over the side, I probably would have broken my neck, or at the very least, my ankles. Action Park was exciting because while most amusement parks SIMULATE the experience of personal danger and permanent injury, Action Park delivered that experience FOR REAL.
Oh, the memories.
Omg I love you. I remember when those lists first started circulating, and eventually I got the one with your tag line about Action Park and it was like angels were singing.
Surviving your trip to Action Park is like getting to join an elite club.
The best waterpark ever, hands down!!!
As I have told my wife on many occasions, if it wasn’t for Action Park I wouldn’t be a self-proclaimed, semi-pro water slide rider. Hands crossed over your chest, arched back, and riding on your heels is a guaranteed recipe for speed, or in the case of Action Park…disaster.
To quote my younger brother, “What other water park has so many urban legend death stories associated with it,” yet each summer my parents would have no problem allowing us to go.
I remember when they put the canvas top over Geronimo and you could see the imprint of people’s bodies hovering off the slide and touching the cover. People would be walking around the park with huge road rash burns all over their backs from this ride. And of course the massive wedgies you’d walk off with. The first time I rode that slide I was under the weight limit of 100lbs and I remember being scared to death that I’d fly off the thing.
Kamikaze was always one of the underestimated slides at the park. Since it was built into the hill it was a little deceiving but you could get cranking on that thing. I remember my friends dad flying down the slide and he hit the back wall of the landing pool that’s how fast he was going.
The Cannonball was always a bit sketchy. You’d never know what was going to happen once you entered the tubes and embarked on your journey of 15 seconds of pitch darkness only to be shot out 10 ft above the water arms flailing in the air.
Tarzan Swing was another one I was always terrified of when I was younger. Probably because I was too short to reach the triangle so I would have to jump and grab it at the last second just as they would hand it off to you with that long hook-pole. The last time I was there (5 years ago) my buddy, who is 6’3″, never lifted his knees so he did the classic face plant right into the water which was then followed by the swim of shame in that freezing water as the crowd heckled him from up top.
Surf Hill was another good one. I remember I was too light during the time it was opened so I couldn’t get enough speed like the older kids. I don’t know if it’s my own memory or if I’m thinking of an old Action Park commercial, but I remember people getting like 10ft of air of the jumps on the side lanes.
Roaring Springs and Colorado Rapids are classics. I loved the mayhem and free-for-all that ensues once you’re in your raft, or when you’re trying to catch up to your raft and trying not drown from everyone else crowed in the pools.
Ah, so many other great memories…I remember riding the ski lift for the Alpine Slide looking at all the crashed carts in the woods and hoping I wouldn’t be next, I remember almost breaking my toe when I dropped the Aqua Scoot sled on it, I remember when my friend’s dad zoomed past him upside down in one of the pitch black tunnels, and I remember when another friend jumped off the cliff dive and landed on his side and his dad had to jump in after him because he couldn’t breathe or swim to safety and it didn’t seem like the life guards were going after him. I remember Cannonball Loop but unfortunately it was never opened when I was there.
There will never be another park quite like this. I’m just grateful for those experiences and grateful to be alive.
Awesome Site!! I love hearing all the great stories.
I went to Action Park in the summer of 1988 with my twin sister and our youth group. Our leaders split off from us and we all just walked around doing our own thing. We remember the crazy loop as soon as we walked into the park and both thought it looked like a crazy nightmare, especially since it was closed and weeds and pond scum were in the pool at the bottom.
The first ride my sister and I experienced was the Tarzan swing. We watched how the other people did it before we got on so we didn’t make the mistake of face planting. We both lifted our legs and got pretty high. We both remember the water being VERY cold, but thank goodness we didn’t have to swim far because we made it almost to the other side with the swing already.
The next ride was the embarrasing wedgie and even worse enema that my twin sister and I received from the Geronimo. I couldn’t believe we even went on that ride. We must have been dared, especially after we realized how high up we were and how steep the ride was when we reached the top. I also wasn’t going to walk back down. I believe I closed my eyes until I got to the bottom. Luckily we both made it to the bathroom in time!
I also remember riding a slide that had a drop over the water that I wasn’t expecting at all. I don’t believe it was the cannonball because it was near the cliff jumps not the Tarzan swing as others mentioned. I was not instructed to lay back so when I landed I smacked my face and chest really hard on the water. I guess this was my own stupidity, not checking out the whole ride before I went down it.
I also went down a water slide and passed an elderly gentleman in an underground or completely enclosed tube. I don’t remember light holes, like it was pitch black. I slid right under him and I escaped somehow with only a few bruises. I was speeding down the slide with my toes pointed and back arched and I guess he wasn’t. When I came out at the bottom of the tube, his grandaughter was staring at at me and confusingly asked where he was. He came out a moment later and said he was fine too and couldn’t believe that we were both ok.
The wave pool was our biggest scare. We were used to swimming in the ocean, but not in water that deep that all of a sudden started making waves. We were almost all the way to the back and when the waves started it was way too rough and felt much deeper to us. We started trying to swim to the shallower water, but neither of us had the stamina. Our youthgroup leader happened to be there when this happened and rescued us by yelling at us to come to the side of the pool . I don’t remember a lifeguard halping us at all.
We both also jumped off of the higher cliff and were quite proud of ourselves. It felt like forever before we hit the water and then it felt like forever tying to resurface. My sister jumped at least two more times. I chose not too.
All in all, we didn’t come away with any serious injuries just great memories and the rights to say, We survived Action Park!!
i vaguely remember my parents taking me there When i was very young. Then i didnt come back until 2003, and have been pretty much going Once A Year. i had no idea these crazy things happened Back Then…im glad its safe Now…anyone with any memories of this place please write firstname.lastname@example.org
My family went up there back when it was called Vernon Valley Great Gorge. It was over by the Playboy bunny ranch, where my grandfather did work as a plumber.
The water park had not been built the first time; it was just the Alpine slide. I think it might have been 76 or 77, they were just getting started.
The carts were new, fast, and dangerous as hell.
I’ve ridden a few slides since then (including the ones at Gatlinburg), there’s really no comparison. The VV ones were fast, had some tight turns, and there was one spot where you literally went damn near straight down about 1o feet. I kid you not; you’d see the person in front of you vanish, then about 5 seconds later you would go straight down.
Well, I didn’t. For whatever reason I ignored the little “Slow” sign and hit that drop at full blast. Shot straight out like some sort of Wil-E-Coyote on a sled. Then *wham* landed hard on the track below and almost flipped it. Hit my knee and tore a nice gash through kid’s denim jeans.
It was at that moment I understood that life could kill me. And it would be fun.
Ever since then, I really had no fear of rides. I mean what, how can you compare to that? Even at Gatlinburg, the people said “Holy cow, you were almost coming off the tracks there”. But it’s ok. I’m 42, and got the best training one can find at Vernon Valley.
wow wow wow is all i c an say
One long awaited summer day, my friends and I piled into a car and headed from Long Island towards NJ to the infamous Action Park. We couldn’t wait for an adrenaline rush, brought to you by the most dangerous water park I had ever been to. My clearest memory was Geronemo slide, or the Cannonball Falls, it was the one with the drop into the pool . That damn thing was crazy –pure mayhem. There was a life guard at the top of the slide, and one stationed at the pool below. People flew down that slide so fast that the life guard stationed at the bottom couldn’t keep track of the bodies flying out. I remember some pimple faced kid waving his arms and whistling frantically for people to quickly swim out of the way before the next human bullet came flying down that dark slide, and into the air. People became human projectiles, as they shot out of that tube like a machine gun before dropping 5 to 10 feet into the pool. It was pure uncontrolled chaos. The screaming and yelling in the pool was accompanied by frenzied and hysterical swimmers. They all were dodging the propelling bodies above them. It was reminiscent of a scene out of the movie “Jaws” when everyone at the beach ran out of the water screaming for their lives. It was the same damn thing, and that was all I needed to see.
I quickly got into the long line for my adrenaline rush. Back then I barely met the weight minimum for many of the rides, like the Cannonball Loop. I only went on that one time because I smacked my elbows and face in the tube and almost got stuck, and then I came out shaking. But, the Falls/slide seemed like something I could handle. When it was my turn, I slid down and unfortunately slowed to a stop. I quickly found myself in a dire predicament. I had to crouch down and walk out of the slide to jump into the pool, but before I could, I heard another sliding sound. The dumbass pimple-faced life guards sent someone else down the slide while I was still in it! I spread my arms and legs and held onto the upper part of the tunnel, clinging, while some guy slid right under me. He yelled “Shit” and was gone in a second. When the guy hit the pool of pandemonium; he must have told the zit-faced teenage life guard to stop the slide. I quickly made my way out of the tunnel. Once I jumped into the pool below, the bodies started flying through the air again. The imminent danger and bedlam made it a Hell of a lot of fun!
Yeah count me in as one of the people that survived Action Park! When my family and I (mom, dad, younger brother) started going there, it was originally called Vernon Valley-Great Gorge. The only thing that was there at the time was the alpine slide in the summer time and of course the ski resort in the winter.
Looking back on it now the slide was like a freakin death trap. I think there were three lanes down the slide. One was a slow land and the other two were fast if I remember correctly. You first had to get a cart from the stack at the bottom of the ski chair lift and then put it on the chair lift itself. Then you had a nice leisurely ride to the top where you got a birds-eye view of riders coming down the hill. No helmets of course. You almost always saw some crazy kid coming down the fast track at break-neck speeds and you just knew he was going to wipe out around a big curve! It was so fun to watch.
So then you get to the top of the hill were you were supposed to get off. Of course you had to wrestle with getting the darn cart off the ski lift chair, but once that was done, you had to decide which track to take. Slow or fast? I was a stupid kid of course so I always choose the fast one. I honestly don’t think I ever flipped the cart, at least I don’t have any memories of doing so. I do remember it was sooooo much fun! I do remember running into the back of other people in front of me that were going way too slow. Sometimes by the end of the ride 4-5 carts would be stacked up all because of one slow rider. That really sucked. Also sometimes you saw people outside of the track as you whizzed looking woozy because they had been going to fast and flipped their cart off the track…..
Eventually Vernon Valley-Great Gorge slowly started adding other attractions like the water slides and Motoworld. We went every year and I remember it was always exciting to checkout what was added for that year. I remember one of their bigger slides, don’t know the name of it. IT WAS INSANE! 10000% INSANE! I remember you had to walk up this big hill to get to it, then up the stair case to get to the top. You waited in line and all I remember thinking was “is this in any way shape or form a good idea?” Well eventually it got to your turn and you are standing at the top. The attendant gives you the basic instructions (ie legs and arms crossed) and then you move to the edge of the slide. You look down and you see NOTHING! NADA! You don’t see the slide at all it was totally vertical. I was like “OMG OMG OMG I’m going to die!!!!!” I swallowed my heart to keep in my chest and took off…..WHAT A RUSH! I think it had like 2 or three bumps in it and it was just a blast! Any idea what the name of it was?
I remember the loop slide too just sitting there all by it’s lonesome over in the corner. It was never open when I was there, I would have definitely ridden it if had. You know back then when you are young you have no fear of course! I’d love to have ridden it!
I never did much in Motoworld, I was just too young back then. I remember the tanks though. I think you had to pay extra to do the tanks, that’s why we never did them. I always wanted to race the LOLA cars, but again I was just too young…..
Thanks for the great article! We moved from NJ to PA in 1983 so probably 1982 was the last year we went to Action Park. Brought back some fond childhood memories……
I went to Action Park in the late 80’s with my brother and a bunch of friends. We were all drinking and we all took mescaline, making my memories of the day surreal and scary. The Cannonball Loop was open that day and my brother was the only one brave enough to try it. He came out bleeding, with a slice down his back from the seam in the tube. My friend came close to drowning in the wave pool. We were all beaten up and bruised at the end of the day, but I’m still proud to say we were there and we survived.
Being from Long Island, I spent time at action park as a teenager in the 80’s. I remember a ride called the Cannonball Falls where the tubes actually went underground before flinging you out over a giant freezing lake. I remember one of the tubes being closed once while I was waiting on line for the ride, and a bunch of employees milling around the other tube. When I asked what was wrong, someone told me “some kid got stuck”.
The Cannonball Loop was always dry and never in operation whenever I was there. Too bad, because I would’ve probably tried it. It did look utterly ridiculous though, even to an 18-year old.
Hey , Where on Long Island ??? I was from Deer Park, Dix Hills Area !!! KK 😉
I was the ride lead for this ride I would stand at the top and hose people down it was a dangerous ride, they used to try to bribe us with food vouchers before they opened it so they asked us to ride it first…. As the lead I was asked all the time I’d always say no…. There is a hatch just before the loop that you could get people out… The best place was to be in the pool at the bottom… Many tops came off when women rode it with a two piece…. I was a teenage boy can’t blame me for always wanting to be in the pool at the bottom…also the lining would tear and we would shut off the water and climb the loop to find it…. When a rider would go you would hear three bangs on the loop most people did not stick to the top of the loop hence the bangs all back hits, also the ride used to get snails in it that also cut peoples backs up…. It was part of the alpine group of rides, that was the bumper boats, alpine slide, sling shot, bungee and the loop…. I think that pic from 96 is me in the blue shirt…. At the top… I never understood why people would ride this they would always ask me if it is safe and scary…. Also if you rode this ride I was the one on the top always spraying people in the line coming up even if it was cold…..
I would LOVE to try out that looped water slide.
Action Park was one of the MOST amazing amusement parks I’ve ever experienced. I loved Cannonball Falls and that gigantic slide (one time it took me 45 minutes of standing aside for other riders at the top, to make the decision to finally go). I always experienced bung hole bitin’ wedgies on that slide. LOL!
All the references to how dangerous Action Park was and some of the negativity expressed by the writer about the rides is disappointing. Many of us simply loved Action Park. Where can one go these days to experience the pure adrenaline rush of an Action Park when most amusement parks are snoozefests like Disneyworld. Yuck! Out with “family friendly” and in with “scare the shit outta ya.”
I will never forget the day I scraped and bruised myself riding the Alpine Slide, and I wasn’t even going THAT fast on one of the curves. The cart just kept on going and booted me out, lol. One of many memorable momentss at Action Park. Everything seemed normal and just part of the fun back then, now as we compare those rides with the ones today, with all the safety measures and stuff, we categorize those as bizarre… maybe so, but I don’t regret a second of it!
I use to go to Action Park all the time as a kid. Didn’t feel like you went if you did not go home hurt some how. Went in a 12 passenger van one time with a big group of friends. I dislocated my shoulder on the Colorado River Ride, tearing my rotator cuff, ligaments front and back and my labrum. I was one of the best options to drive home we were all so hurt at the end of the day. Surf Hill had two options…one with a jump and one without. There was no way to not get hurt if you weighed more than 200 lbs. It took us all down at one point. Place cost me a baseball scholarship but I still have great memories from it.
Excellent website, good memories.
Regarding “the cannonball” slide; the black tubes shown in the photos on the site are not the original alignment of the slides; they are the tamer alignment installed by Mountain Creek. The orginal cannonball alignment was even more insane than shown. The tubes went from a high platform down a 45 to 50-degree slope into the pitch black. The tubes went under the ground and around an immediate, sharp, 90-degree turn to the right, then a short straight-away before shooting you out about 10-feet over the freezing cold pond. They actually had a bar at the top of the tubes at the beginning of the slide to help lower yourself in as the slide started at the steep angle downhill. I rode this crazy slide in the 7th grade in 1981. Great rush.
Action Park remains to this day one of my favorite amusement parks. I went there several times as a high schooler in the 80s, and while it seems obvious in hindsight, it never occurred to me at the time the very real danger posed by the various attractions. I still have a scar somewhere on my body from a spectacular spill I took on the Alpine Slide that relieved me of some skin. I hit a turn too quickly (which was easy to do) and ended up flipping with the cart landing just behind me barely missing my head and me sliding a short distance before coming to a stop. That’s the only injury I ever sustained. The rest of the time, I just had an absolute blast.
And, of course, there was that crazy loop slide. It was always a sight to behold, but it was never open any of the times I went. Rumor was that someone broke their neck on it and the ride was closed permanently. I don’t think this really happened, but it was believable enough. I mean, just look at it! It’s crazy that even the otherwise reckless owners of Action Park were afraid to open that thing, yet they never dismantled it. I wonder what they were waiting for?
I’m from Mississippi, but was visiting friends in NYC during the summer of ’80, and we spent a wild and crazy weekend at Action Park. The speed boats, waterslides, fun, fun, fun!!! None of us got hurt, maybe because we kept hitting the beer kiosks, and thus were limber enough to go with the flow!! Does anyone remember the human maze? You had a tall flag so you could be found if you couldn’t manage to get out.
I sure wish I still had my t-shirt!!
I remember going in the late 80s as a part of a group of teenagers. The loop was open and I remember being scared poopless. At the time people were running to get a view because they would only open it for a hour at a time. There was no line and from what I remember the cliff dive was in the area. Anyway I went right up got hosed down, and looked at the lead and said, “is it worth it” He just looked at me with a blank stare. I looked back and said f-this and walked away my friend was pissed, but he didn’t do it either. From the stories I think it was a smart move.
Also wanted to add the Alpine Slide was great. There was nothing wrong with it unless you wanted to go to fast. Anyone could read signs slow/ fast etc. it was your decision if you wanted to walk out hurt. The cliff dive was great, but maybe 4 or 5 rides were way over the top, but I tell you what god bless the people that rode them it looked like fun.
I lived in the development Aspen Woods next to Action Park and it was a major part of my life. When my Dad was laid off from Ford Motor Company he had started his own Welding and pipe fitting company. He was hired to put the wonder loop together. I remember him coming home from work laughing so hard. He was telling my Mother that the wonder loop test dummy came out with no clothes on and no head. He tried to express to the enginr that this isn’t going to work. I don’t think they cared. Growing up there, it was entertainment everyday. Fourth of July fireworks reflecting in my pool after a hard day of work and play. All three of my sisters and I worked there from the time we were 12 till we went to college. Everyday after school I walked out of my back door and walked directly onto the ski runs to either ski or go to work in the summer. I remember being so upset that I had to leave Vernon to go on Vacation in the summer. Before I could work at AP my two older sisters worked there, so I was there EVERYDAY. Action Park was my Nanny in that day and age. No worries about harmful people. If it was raining,we would just go into a building or area that was closed and it was our own little park. Souven shops, candy stores, etc. My favorite job was working the spin art wheel with my best friend. I did the life guard thing, parking attendent, motr world and at the end of the day, I wouldn’t trade it for the whole world. Does anyone remember Grannies Pancake house. It burnt down due to someone smoking ciggerets after it closed in the kitchen. So many memories.
I’d been trying to find information on this park for awhile! I lived outside of NYC as a child and caught the tail-end of Action Park as well as going back a few times when it was Mountain Creek. I never recalled it being a massive death/injury trap, but I do recall getting nearly maimed or dismembered there often despite only being a child and not having ridden about half of these rides. I recall going down the Colorado River ride with my family being like we were in one of those survival shows. Every turn someone would shout, “tuck your legs in! pull your arm in!” before violently slamming into a wall that likely would have severed said body part if no one took such instruction. I recall stopping on a slide as well and hopping off the side to avoid an oncoming collision with the next rider. My family never took my friends to this place specifically, probably realizing that was a liability. It’s a strange request, but does anyone remember what the children’s area looked like? I distinctly recall attempting to find it one summer only to find it behind a boarded make-shift wall and overgrown with brush and leaves wondering why they closed it down; oblivious to the fact the park was closed and subsequently reopened. I also vaguely recall this strange pool with three different heights. Like a cylinder with people swimming in it above the pool and another taller one above that. It looked 20 ft taller than the pool I was in, but I could easily be imagining that. Looking at pictures, I may be recalling the cliff diving area as I see small pools of water and the two separate heights. I believe it was near hammocks, if that’s any sort of help. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time here; A day or so every summer from the early 90s until around the later 90s. But the fact my shitty memory recalls it so vividly must attribute to how ridiculous it was.
I loved Action Park! Thanks so much to the author of this site for creating a place for us to pool our memories of that infamous yet near-and-dear-to-our-hearts enclave of amusement insanity.
Anyone remember that little electric people-mover that would bring you from motorworld over the highway to waterworld and back? You’d sit sideways on it and it would run over this thin little metal rail.
Aqua Scoot was a lot of fun. You’d haul this heavy boat-like plastic thing to top of a tower, place it on a 45 degree angled slide that was made out of a succession of metal rolling pins, ride it down and get shot over a long shallow pool and skip along the surface at what felt like 25-30 mph.
How about that weird flume/boat ride thing they built into the mountain – I think it was called “Avalanche?” It was up the hill a bit from the cannonball slide. It was a pretty interesting flume ride that had several falls with the final one taking place entirely inside a pitchbalck tunnel with simulated explosion sounds. You used to see parts of that ride when taking the chairlift up for the Alpine Slide. That was one of my favorites for some reason. It was out of place for traction park though since there was seemingly no way to potentially kill yourself on the thing!
I remember the two serpentine slides – one was near the Kamikaze and was painted dark blue – the other was further down the hill and was bright green. That one had some hariy seams on it and if you happened to lose your mat you were in for a series of scrapes and briuses. Ouch!
I remember getting lost in the maze which was near motorworld but I was small enough to just crawl through the open spaces under the walls.
The battle tennis ball tanks were a lot of fun.
I was too young to drive the F1 racers but I do remember “graduating” from the go-karts you had to be 10 years old to drive to the ones you had to be 12 years old to drive (a bit faster and a longer track). Good times.
Thanks again for the site – a nice trip down memory lane!
Some of my biggest regrets in life are not seeing Pantera or The Grateful Dead, never getting to smoke a cigarette in the mall or the movie theatre, and never knowing about Action Park. I suppose it’s more of a north Jersey thing. I grew up with Clementon Park, Great Adventure (six flags), and of course Wild Woods along with other beach-front attractions. But never new until it was too late about this master-park!! I haven’t seemed to shake the fantasy of being one of it’s many dice-rolling daredevils. I’m trying to go back to film school next fall. If i have it my way, eventually there will be a full length feature on the infamous park. The stories on here take me into the park and will eventually take millions into the park. And since it was 79 to 98 it would feature music by the Pixies, the Flaming Lips, the Ramones, among others. Hopefully, and with a little luck, one of these days i’ll be able to get it made. Maybe then i’ll get some lost remenants of the magic that swelled the now deceased park.
I can remember driving to Action Park back in 1981 with 5 of my buddies.We left from Ct.and had the times of our life.Alot of the ATTRACTIONS WERE HAZARDOUS..But when ur 18..You dont really care…I loved that place,and am glad I got a chance to experience it before it closed…..
What about the Polka Festivals that were at the dance pavillone? My mom and I would go there a couple times a year and had a great time dancing and enjoying all the Polish foods and in particular when Jimmy Sturr played there. He drew the largest croud , no wonder because he is the best . I miss those days and it brings back so many wonderful memories. It was a time in my life I will never forget. My mom has passed on but I’m sure there is a Polka Band in heaven where she is dancing up a storm and eating some good Polish food.
Funny I was just thinking about this the other day, I had the pleasure of going to action park in the 90’s to a Sturr festival.
We stayed at a Pakistani hotel and it rained the whole weekend. All electrical rides were not running.
The only good thing was Happy Louie and the Ampolaires played that weekend and the beer was cold….
Also went to the home town of Jimmy Sturr, Florida New York which if I remember correctly, is not too far from Action Park.
The last comment is mine
I was one of the last riders to go on The Cannonball Loop… It was either 95 or 96 was the last year I went there and it was open. My friend and I stood there for a good 20 mins before we decided to go on it.. Funny part is there was never a line.. hmm wonder why.. All I can say my experience on it I will never forget. Between the ridges connecting each pipe hitting your back the ride down the dark tunnel was nice. Once you hit the loop it goes by in an instant. And then came the end, hitting the ice cold pool at the bottom and trying to stand up. I had a massive headache and a sore lower back for half the day after that ride from the whip of the loop.
Would I do it again if it was still open.. YEP =)
If it werent for MTV always broadcasting from there, I would have missed out on that wonderful place.
LOVE this site and LOVE reading about Action Park! That place sounds awesome…. So much crazy stories!!! I wish I would’ve been able to visit it when I was a kid!! Where I live, in Europe (Holland, to be exact), we didn’t have waterparks like that… feel like I really missed out 🙂
The rides look frigthening but I guess the danger only made it more fun. It’s a shame these days everything has to be totally save and even the risk of a small bruise is considered almost a crime. Kids arent as fragile as most people think… getting hurt is part of growing up 😉
Too bad in the 80’s and 90’s there werent a lot of people walking around with video cameras, I would love to see more of the ”real action!” (especially the Loop-thing!)
On youtube, you can find an MTV episode with Alice in Chains in Action Park with actually some great footage of some of the rides (Surfers Hill, Geronimo Falls, wave pool, Colorado River…) along with a LOT of drunk people 🙂
Thanks for posting this, I had a blast reading about a place that almost sounds too crazy to be real 🙂
Cannonball loop opened, and then closed in the summer of 1983. My friends and I had just graduated high school and since we had been to the park many, many times before, this was to be our last hurrah before we went our separate ways to college. We went on he day they were introducing two new rides to the public. One was the cannonball loop. We were about twentieth in line when it opened to great fanfare. We were about eight in line when they closed it. Bummer. We went on to have a wonderful day anyway. I still carry scars on my elbows and knees from the alpine slide. Thanks for the story. I tell my kids about action park often, and I can tell they don’t believe the stories. The oldest argues about liability etc. my youngest(the daredevil) thinks I’m teasing him about such a wonderful place. “then take me” “sorry son, it’s closed” “yeah, I bet it didn’t exist, like fairy land or something” wait until I show him this story. Thanks again!
I went to Action Park every summer in the early to mid 90’s. I was a teenager and it was a tradition to make the short drive from Connecticut.
I remember hanging out in the little area with the pools and the little cave near the cliff jump. That was one of my favorite areas to chill and watch girls lose their tops jumping into the icy water.
Parents loved it, too, because the place served ALCOHOL! Imagine this place full of drunk, loud people wanting to jump off cliffs and ride the alpine slide. I remember seeing more than a few people covered in blood from some kind of incident.
The hills were brutal. The wave pool was always fun and I saw several people get pulled from it’s deep end after underestimating the pull on the sides. I remember a group of us would scan the wave pool because there was always money floating around.
The craziest thing I ever saw at Action Park happened on the Aqua-Scoot. You have to realize the brilliant safety standards of this ride. From what I remember, you sit on a plastic sled with nothing strapping you in, only a handle bar, and you get pushed down a slide with metal rollers which empties out into a pool at the bottom. I saw a lady fall back, hit her head on the rollers, and slide all the way down ending up face down in the pool. She was unconscious with blood coming out of her head.
Several patrons helped the lady out of the pool because the “lifeguards” were very busy talking to their friends!
The action never stops at Action Park!
OMG i’m obsessed with the Cannonball Loop! I just saw it online a few days ago and i just can’t get it out of my head! Who would invent or build something like this, with such a small tube and loop?! It’s unreal and freaky I think. It looks like some fantasy creation..
But very interesting though! xxx Eva
Where are all the P0lka dancers from the Polka festivals, which were held about three times during the summer, in particular the Jimmy Sturr followers? Aren’t any of you guys out there to send a comment? Would love to hear from someone who attended the festivals. I left a comment on Feb. 29,2012 so look above and you will see it. Sure miss those good times. But like they say, all good things come to an end.
Like I said, somebody please comment!
See my post below. We were regulars at the festivals, saw the Jimmy Stur Band several times. We used to play the small game stands they had set up by the tents and win various posters and stuff….I wish I still had my “Put a hole-a in the Ayatollah” dart board… Peace.
There has never been a better ride than the surf hill at any water park. I remember going there in the early 80’s and saw someone land in the woods from lane 7. We would just fly off the jump and the crowd in the stands at the bottom would ooh and ah if you hit it right. Did you get a little hurt, sure, but who cared. Also the Alpine slide was crazy. I remember the first aid from people falling off the slide was to spray mecurichrome on the burns. I remember hitting my brother with the slide in front of me because he slowed down for someone and flying across the bridge and bouncing 4 or 5 times and spraining my ankle. The whole ride home all I could think about was when I could go again.
I remember seeing how many bloodied people I could spot around the Alpine Slide. AP must have bought Mercurochrome by the pallet – there was always someone getting messed up. I was the recipient of some of that once, and I suffered the stinging burn just like everyone else. The bad cases needed gauze. It amazed me that more people didn’t die. I still have mental images of rocks to the right of the right slide and to left of the left slide (which had a wider turn at the start, I believe, making that side the slower side). I recall the left slide had more swerves (checking the map – it does after it crosses over to the right). These swerves could cause your sled to rock more, perhaps leading to a flipover. In other words, the more winding, slower slide was more risky in my opinion.
When your sled would rock after first sliding up the side of a turn, you would need to actually ACCELERATE to reduce the swing. (It’s basic physics, similar to letting out the rope on a pendulum so as to reduce the amplitude of the swing.) I remember doing this, and it always worked. If you experienced instability/swinging, then adding brake action would actually make it worse. This surely caused a lot of accidents for people who think it makes sense to slow down when you’re losing control.
On the other hand, if you successfully used the acceleration to reduce your rocking motion, you would gain speed that would make your sled slide up even farther in the *next* turn. If you thought you couldn’t take that speed into the turn, you needed to brake *before* the turn (similar to high-speed driving, actually).
I’m almost disappointed that after several visits to Action Park, the worst thing that ever happened to me was a sunburn. I do not count getting kicked in the face on the Colorado River, pulling muscles in my arms from holding on to the tubes so tightly, and possibly getting scraped on an exposed screw on the Kamikaze slide. I never lost a tube or mat, and rode the Alpine slide without incident.
Meanwhile, I took my boyfriend to Mountain Creek for the first time in 2005. He lost his mat on the green slide and almost drowned in the wave pool. He’s refused to go back, but I’ve been back a few times since. The green slide (sidewinder) and kamikaze were finally shut down as of last year.
The only things that seem to be left over from Action Park that are still there and pretty much the same as they always were are the wave pool, Tarzan swing, and whatever they’re calling the tube ride by the cliff jump (I still call it the Wild River because that’s what it was when Action Park closed). The day they put the tube lift by the Colorado River ride was one of the greatest days of my life.
Still wish I’d had the chance to go in the Aerodium.
As the primary writer and editor of the oft-mentioned Wikipedia article, I actually have a similar story to yours.
I went to Action Park all of once, in late summer of 1986, when I was 18. I do not recall seeing the Cannonball Loop at the time (although it had apparently first been opened the previous summer). I had a good time, and neither got hurt nor saw anyone getting hurt.
However … that isn’t to say the potential for serious injury wasn’t obvious. I declined to do the taller, straight-down Geronimo Falls because I just didn’t see how you could do it safely. So I did the other one … which had such obvious potential for catastrophic injury since you started out on a gentle slope but then went almost straight down … at about 60 feet above ground, with the sides of the slide about a few inches high. You knew right then that you either followed the instructions they gave you (stay flat on your back with arms at your side) or you died (or would have wished you had). It always amazes me that there were no fatalities on that ride.
I stayed off Surf Hill. I was coming off a high school career where I played football and lacrosse and weighed about 230 pounds at the time. The sign on Surf Hill said the weight limit was 185, but one look at the people doing it and it was clear that wasn’t being enforced. If people like that, even heavier than me, were riding it, the chance of getting hurt was just too much.
The Aqua Scoot … it was fun but I only did it once because I was worried about accidentally putting my toes over the front edge of the sled, which would have caused some serious breakage by itself when they got caught in the rollers, not to mention likely getting thrown off the ramp and what would have happened from that. That seems to be about the only way people did not find to be injured on it.
I was lucky enough to be relatively by myself in the Wave Pool’s deep end when the waves went on. It was tough enough staying afloat; I can’t imagine what it would have been like in a panicked crowd of poor or non-swimmers.
I didn’t realize at the time that the park had already acquired a reputation. I got a hint of it afterwards when my mother related taking my brother to his doctors later (he had just been diagnosed with the cancer that would eventually take his life at the beginning of the summer, and the trip had been sort of a treat for him). They mentioned they’d taken him to Action Park the weekend before, and the doctors said “You took him WHERE?” and told her everything they’d heard from their colleagues about the place.
Now, just like you, I went back with my wife, son and my mother around the same time in the mid-2000s when it was Mountain Creek Waterpark. DW went on that one waterslide from AP that takes those gradual dips going down (forget what it’s called) before they had to close it that day because some of the surface had peeled loose. She got this softball-sized bruise on the back of her thigh that took weeks to heal. She says it was the worst thing that ever happened to her at an amusement park. I don’t think she wants to go back either.
My friend and I waited overnight for Bruce Springsteen tickets (at the Meadowlands) and then hightailed it to Action Park. The first thing we rode was the Roller Slides. Yes, the thing you rode on was heavy and it was not fun to climb to the top while carrying that thing, but the slide was fun. Then the Grotto was at hand and I jumped this several times. I loved it, although I recall hitting bottom once or twice. When I visited in ’83 the bottom of this area was NOT painted lighter; instead it looked like a dark grotto. I don’t really recall doing any super adventurous until visiting a year or so later with a boyfriend and then I did everything (almost) with the exception of the Tarzan Swings and the cars. So, what that means is that he and I both went on the Cannonball Loop. I recall it being bumpy and very very scary. The only reason I didn’t do Tarzan Swings was that I knew I didn’t have the arm strength to not get hurt. I loved the alpine slide and want to ride the one at Ober Gatlinburg, TN near my current home. That last time in ’83 was one I recall fondly and although I wouldn’t do most of the rides again, I would visit again.
The front page of the mountain creek water park website says
“the action is back” i wonder if that means anything
also this is supposed to be opening
COMING SPRING 2012!
Come out and try the newest ride of its kind in the tri-state area! The Alpine Mountain Coaster is a cross between an alpine slide and a twisting rollercoaster and is the newest addition to Mountain Creek for the 2012 season. Ride alone or with a friend in our 2 seater coaster cars. You control your speed, with a unique hand-braking system as you twist, turn and dip through the trees and through the Waterpark rides back to the bottom of the mountain.
ALSO OPENING THIS SUMMER AT MOUNTAIN CREEK: They;re REOPENING SURF HILL!IT IS CONFIRMED on their website, and on their Facebook page, its opening in the same exact place as the old one.
I can’t believe they rebuilt this ride, and it is still fast. Ride it while you can, because once someone gets hurt the state will probably close it.
Wow… GREAT article. I, unfortunately, only visited the park once growing up. (Although went to VV many times for ski season) It was probably in the mid-late 80’s, so I would have been about 15 or so. The icy cold water is something I’ll never forget…. Going down the cannonball (when we went it was part underground and had the 90 degree turn) and being shot out falling in to the ice cold water below. Good times… good times. 🙂
I don’t remember a lot of the rides… the tarzan swing, the cannonball, alpine slide, couple of the raft rides. I think a few others. The Cannonball Loop was not opened when we went, and I still have a picture of it someplace in a box. 🙂
No one mentioned it, but back in 87 or so there was a ‘sister’ park to Action Park down in Pine Hill, south jersey. For many many years it was a ski resort called Ski Mountain, and then at some point they teamed up with AP and added a water park. For the first year, they had the same name – Action Park. But then they changed it to Action Mountain. Had the same font and colors in their logo. They had about a dozen rides… Tarzan swing, alpine slides, go carts, a river raft ride… cannon ball ride (both for adults and one for kids) a non-wave pool… bumber boats… few other rides. I have more pictures from that park since it was 10 min from my house, and when I was 16 I worked there for a summer as a ride attendant. (As did a bunch of my friends)
It wasn’t as dangerous as AP, but it wasn’t super safe. The water was much warmer, since it was heated (but still on the cool side).
I don’t know if this link will work but he is a pic of my shirt:
(after the name change)
That park, both the water and the ski resort, eventually closed. They owed a ton of money in back taxes, and they jacked into the water system of an apartment complex that was right along side of the park. (So they were stealing the water)
On Friday and Saturday nites they held dance parties for a couple months to try and make some money to pay the back taxes… but it didn’t work and the place was shut down for good.
I wouldn’t trade my childhood for anything. Between AP, AM, the stabbings and other violence at Great Adventure… the 80’s were just an awesome time!!!!
hey does anybody know how tall cannonball loop was?!? from the ground to the point of entry otherwise known as the station or the front of the queue (from the grass to the top of the staircase) ?
Thanks if anybody knows I would appreciate it.
I can’t find any reliable resource on the height, so I examined an image myself and determined about how tall 6 feet was in the picture (based on the average height of a man) and tried to measure from there. My measurement method gives me roughly 48 feet from the top of the platform (which is on a small hill) down to ground level.
Cool site. It’s funny because my nephew was recently talking about how sick Six Flags in Mass was. I started laughing and said “that’s nothing, you should have seen Action Park”. He laughed and thought I made up the name.
I’m from CT and we used to go twice each summer from 1980 till it closed. I’ve been on every ride there. By the end of the day, you were definately beat up. I know there is a video that one of my friends shot from 1990. I don’t know if he still has it but it basicallly chronicled our weekend at the park. I would love to see that once again. The rides were fast and harsh, the water was freezing (especially when you were waiting for you turn and the stoned attendants hosed you down for a minute with frigid water until they said “GO”) and the alpine slide had more skin on it than track.
One of my first times there, I was too short for the INDY cars at Motorworld and the guy turned me away. I took my socks, balled them up, put them in my shoes near the heel and got back in line. It was painfully obvious that I was trying to make myself taller, but the guy still let me go on. Funny how you could sometimes beg your way onto any ride in the park. If you rode the smaller go-carts, you could manipulate the governor by pressing on a bar on the right bottom edge of the car. Still today, any time I jump on a cart at a park, it’s the first thing I look for, and I’m 42 :)Thank you AP.
Looking back now, it was a dangerous place, but we loved it. All the stories I’ve read are so true that it brings me back to that young kid in the 80’s who was basically a test dummy for the weekend at AP. I’m very suprised that more people didn’t lose their live’s at that place.
I was in NJ in the area around 1997. I went to see what happened to the place and it looked like something out of horror movie. The rides and slides were still there but everythinng was overgrown. I needed to see more so we found a way in and checked it out for one last time. Really creepy.
If it was still around and was operating as it did in the 80’s, I probably wouldn’t let my kids go there.
I was one of the lucky people that got to ride the cannonball. I had gone there so many times as a kid until Action Park shut down in the 90s. Anyway I would always stare at it and wonder why it wasn’t open. Originally the loop was smaller than the one you have in the picture. It was actually modified to the bigger loop you have in the pic. I remember the first time I saw it was bigger and thought they’ll finally open this thing but they didn’t. Then one day i was walking by and there was a life guard sitting there but no one was really riding. So i went up and sure enough it was open. However it had tight weight restrictions. Like 130-225 pounds. The reason I remember is my brother and dad who were with me couldnt ride it because my dad was too heavy and my brother was too light. Anyway I rode it and somehow your body twisted over as your rode through the loop as I asked the lifeguard what happens to you as you go through. It was fast as hell, I was dizzy as hell after and had no idea what happened to you. That was the only time I rode it. It was the only time i saw it open. But it was worth it.
Great article. I spent summers in Vernon and went to Action Park every summer, repeatedly. (We’d sneak in with used wrist bracelets for free.) I was probably one of the first riders on the Alpine Slide. It was the first ride built and I still remember these psychedelic themed posters, advertising it around town. No matter how careful you were, there was a chance of being badly hurt. If you went too fast. BAM! You’d fall off. If you went too slow, BAM. Person in back of you, crashed into you and now you’re both hurt. Best to take your chances and go as fast as you could go. By the time I was in my late teens, most of my friends worked there and had no interest in stepping foot in their workplace on their day off. So I stopped going. Besides, people weren’t getting bruises there. They were being maimed. I had a scar on my left from going down the Alpine Slide without a cart. I crashed on a turn. Then continued sliding down the slide, without a cart to protect me. The slide was fiberglass and it burnt the skin off my leg. That’s the only way I can describe it. Not cut, not scraped, not bruised, burnt. And I had the scar for years. I’d show it off like a badge of honor.
Ahhhh, Action Park memories. I was there a few times in the 80’s with my family and one particular time with my sister and our now husbands. On that occassion we were going down the Kamakazee (spelling?). Anyway as I’m launching myself, I feel my one piece suit “catch” on a protruding nail. Between that and the speed of the wedgie maker the entire “butt” of my suit was torn out.
When I reached the bottom the lifeguard was insisting I get out. Explaining I couldn’t because my rear was torn out of my suit, the terd didn’t care.
Thank God my sister had her shorts near by for me to put over my then exposed butt. We went to file a complaint and surprise surprise, they didn’t do crap about it. They wouldn’t even replace my torn suit with one out of their shop, I had to buy a new suit there!!!!
—VIDEO— Alice in Chains at Action Park!
Alice In Chains 1993 MTV HBB Special- Action Theme Park in Vernon, NJ
JRJR Show #46 – Action Park, World’s Most Dangerous Waterpark
Published on May 28, 2012 by jeffrubinjeffrubin
Being a child of the late 80’s, I am envious of the recklessness that abounded at Action Park!! Here in central Ohio we had NOTHING like that , just Wyandot Lake, a waterpark in Columbus that catered to old people and small children.
I saw a lot of commercials on TV about Action Park but never went to it because my parents never took us to any amusement parks, only to zoos and museums.
But I never knew what a dangerous place it is until I happened to pick up a copy of Weird NJ vol 2 and came across a section on Action Park.
I mean, is this place for real? It seems that everyone who went there got bang up, and kept going back for more. Are there anybody out there who went to Action Park and return in one piece?
HAHA Surf Hill… LOVED it and yes, as a kid I worked my way up to expert LOL… My mother loved it too, except her favorite part was resting in the peanut gallery at the base and watching big tough dudes conquer the expert hills, only to be left red faced when they stood up and realized they had lost their shorts in that last fly over ramps.
My worst injuries occured in the Rock Pool, the years before someone decided it would work to add pads between levels. Before that you had to slide down bare rock.. OUCH!!!! I also remember being denied the chance to chicken out of the cliff dive and was forced to jump when I was about 8 and scared out of my head HAHA
On the Alpine slide, racing the sis, either I got the instructions wrong, or the guy running it got them reversed, but the whole way down, instead of break ON I was break OFF… anyone else ever pull offa full double into the pads at the bottom after nailing them at full speed? Thank god I was just a kid and didn’t weigh TOO much, or end up with a lifetime reminder in road rash scars. But hey, I did beat the hell out of the sis 🙂
As for tarzan, well, as a little kid it sure was an education in upper level curse words, in any language that was in the park HEHE… ya, I guess the water is a little chilly? (umm standing there watching guys try to fish certain body parts back from their stomach was an interesting intro to what happens when the water is a little cold 😉 )
I still wonder what on earth mom was thinking taking us there over and over…. Not sure I could handle taking my own kid LOL. I must have been a real brat.. think she was trying to off us by way of Traction Park 🙂
Thanks for the memories 🙂
HAHA the Gauley! That one actually scared the hell out of me. Sliding in darkness with no clue what’s coming, at HIGH speed! The only light came from periodic slats that acted like a strobe light. Then you come out into the sun, think you’re safe, the WOOPS.. down another tunnel just to shoot out into a pool where you were destined to SLAM BANG into someone just innocently wading there (who would generally proceed to yell at you, as if you had anything to say about where or when you popped out of the darkness… again.. good times LOL
I remember riding the Alpine slide as a teenager. We got to the point that we could ride the whole length of the track with the stick in the cars forward. My friends and I would start slowly and gather around the first turn in the woods to let the track below us clear for each run, then race, rotating base on whether we had to wait for the person in front of us.
I also remember the very attractive women that worked the chairlift and lined the tracks. we always assumed they were refugees from the playboy club working on tans for their evening shifts…
Overall. Awesome amusement park for older kids. I miss it
Remember the TV commercials? “ACTION PARK! Where you’re in the center of the ACTION….PARK!!” I remember when the owner first bought the lodge, alpine slide was put in. I was young, maybe 10 years old and my parents and friends used to enjoy the Jimmy Stur Band at the festivals and us kids would wreak havoc. We used to go every year, I watched the park evolve and as I got older, the attractions got more and more intense. Reading what people say here about nothing in the world before or since was/will ever be close to the lunacy of AP. I remember Surf Hill was new and I joined two of the owners sons on an oversized mat in lane seven of eight…flew high into the air, and over the little section intended to slow you down and hit hard at the crash barriers. Hurt my elbow and shoulder pretty bad. The go-carts were beyond anything to be found at a cart track today. The Indy track was amazing, although they did sideline me once for going off the track and onto the grass… I remember hearing the thumping and noises from inside the looping slide as the riders would go through…I think that lasted one season…or less. The Alpine Slide was fun, used to wait as long as the attendent would allow to create enough space for a high speed death run…I crashed on one occasion, off a turn and into what can only be described as a boulder field…seriously, you were in charge of your own destiny here, serious injury or death was a possibility on many of the attractions and AP was home for adrenaline junkies. In no particular order: One year, a friggen loop, the next: a vertically mounted high powered fan to simulate skydiving, the next year: bungee jumping, the next: virtually unsupervised cliff jumping… high speed go-carts with an advanced lap timing system, mini speed boats, kamakazi, another smaller kamakazi type slide where you rode down on small sled-boats and skipped across the water- remember that? Doubtful that a place like that would ever be licensed in this day and age.
If you ever earned your stripes at Action Park, I salute you!
Wow I ve been to action park bout 15 times in late 80’s. It was in short a thrill seakers paradise. I can’t remember one visit were there was not a injury circulating throughout the park. I will always remember how frightened I was on every ride but that feeling was bliss and I trooped on with anxioty and excitement. I recall every ride like it was yesterday. The Alpine slide wich I mastered on the expert track will always be the most incredible fixation for me to date. However so many injuries were always reported. I remember waiting on line for the alpine slide and adjacent to me was the newly opened bunggee jump. That day was the first and last time I saw it open. The attendent said to the guest just jump and aim for the air bag directly below. Now human error or pride made this guest beer up and jump past the air bag. The bunggee broke and he missed the bag and broke his back. I have stories bout every ride. I refuse to go to mountain creek cause don’t wana feel crappy bout wat used to be. The pics posted on this site R money but much more can be addressed. I prob could explain in a short novel how awsome Action park was and how dangerous. Also I never saw the cannon ball loop in operation. Oh and mini golf in motor world was incredible.
I visited AP in the early 80’s. I’m saddened to see how many ‘rides’ they added that I never got to use.
Never saw Jimmy Sturr at AP, but he was still going in 2007. I saw him then at Hunter Mountain while there for a wedding. (Remember those late night polka record ads?)
Bruce, In answer to your comment, regarding Jimmy Sturr playing at the polka festivals in AP , you missed some great polka music as only Jimmy Sturr can play. He draws a large crowd wherever he performs and has a huge following, but you were fortunate to see him in Hunter Mountain. Was he the wedding band at the wedding you attended? He is a great guy as well as a great band leader! We wonder how an Irishman and not a Polish guy got his band together – maybe he has some Polish blood in there somewhere.
If I need a little uplifting, I go on utube and watch his videos and it perks me up. He has several to pick from and I have watched about all of them. What good musicians he has in his band! I love when his fiddler plays his country tunes.
What else can I say – he is the best, and I hope he contines for many years to come ……. 🙂 🙂
WOW brings back memories, I remember coming home with my Friends and having that pink cream all over my legs and arms, you always knew who had ridden the alpine slide by seeing that , I also remember my girlfriends top coming off on the surf hill ride, along with many others 🙂 , that was the our favorite hang out spot during lunch/taking a break. I wish I had gotten to ride the lopping tube, it was never open when i was there at anytime and being the daredevil that I am I would have been 1st in line to try. I haven’t been there in god knows how long, thinking of taking my kids there now.
When I was a kid, my summer camp would go there two or three times a year. Highlights we’re the break dancing contests ( yeah, I’m that old), watching the girls bikini tops getting washed off on the various slides, cigarette machines, and lots of fellow metal heads. My buddy, Scott, and I would go to motorworld in hopes that the (UN)attendant at the raceway with the formula cars would be drunk enough to let us on. We went to the boats all the time and NEVER saw a snake. Perhaps that was later in the nineties but I’m sure if we had seen some, we would have caught them to bring back home. Boys.
As a Jersey boy of a certain age, I’m glad to have been a part of a NJ legend. As a father of a HUGE 8 yr old, I’m glad it’s no longer the scab factory it once was.
Anybody remember the off road go karts and track they were working on ? Also, anybody know what happened to those LOLA (formula) karts?
I grew up just over the border in Orange County so I spent a whole lot of summers at Action Park. My buddy and I were two of the few souls that consistently rode the sketchy skatepark that was just up from the parking lot, It was the smoothest concrete we had ever seen surrounded by asphalt. The drains actually did the opposite of drain and let water flood the one bowl, the “halfpipe” and the lower sections of the three somewhat unrideable snake runs… We rode every ride they had to offer! We got in good, befriended the ride attendants, claimed we “worked” at the skatepark and never paid after the first summer. They closed the skatepark in the mid eighties but we could always find someone we knew to let us on the rides or grab us some passes. I have so many stories…girls…injuries….We once put a small set of blue Kryptonite skate wheels on one of the alpine slide cars. They were of a slightly larger diameter than the stock wheels. This rendered the brakes almost useless. The only way to slow was to nosedrag the car into the fiberglass run by leaning forward. You waited for the run to clear ahead of you and then took it at full speed plus! We would wear full pads and helmets and remember to tuck into a ball and roll clear of the cart when you’d fly out of the channel. You would sometimes spin the cart sideways across the channel. In deference to the skateboard trick-we called this a “cartslide”….Good times! If my memory is correct-the whole place was run by kids…I can maybe recall some college students and maybe two adults being around but it was a youth worked operation and it showed! If anyone that reads this remembers the skatepark days, respond here and I’ll pm…
I worked at Action Park during the summers of 1985 and 1986 on the Speed Slide/Geronimo ride (what they called it back then). Best job in the world. Never saw so many missing bathing suits in my life. And money, my oh my. On weekends it was nothing to find anywhere from $50-$100 in bills floating at the bottom of the slides from the force of the water pushing it out of people’s pockets. We used to have to take ropes and go hand over hand down the slides once a week looking for cracks or rough places on the slide to make sure to keep the injuries to a minimum. Surf Hill was the best. Take 5 or 6 mats, get a running start and hit the big ramp as fast as you could go. Always gave the crowd a thrill. And yes, they had thier share of hurt people, but when someone from the city comes to your ride (especially on the Cannonball) and tells you he/she can swim, and then hits that cold water and sinks like a stone because they have never been swimming in thier life, what are you suppossed to do? I can’t speak to things after I stopped working there, but for the two summers I worked, we took our jobs and our work seriously. Haven’t been back since, probably better to remember it as it was.
The thing about the Alpine slide (I went on it in the 70’s when it was called “Vernon Valley Great Gorge”) was not so much the speed of the little carts, as it was the insane layout of the track. There was one part where the track literally dropped 5-10 feet in front of you. Probably a 45 degree angle, but if you were going too fast your cart would literally *fly*. And then you hit the track with a bone-crunching *CRASH* at speed.
I shit you not. Several years later in the 80’s when we went back they had a sign up saying “SLOW” at that point. Right. Being older and bigger, that drop would probably have driven my spine into my skull.
Overall the results were good: My brother smashed his head, and I got a burn from my shoulder to my elbow on it. But it was totally worth every pint of blood spilled on that track; I fear no ride or cab anymore.
Nowadays when I go to Gatlinburg I tell them “It’s ok, I was at Action Park”. They understand. Gatlinburg is a nice, safe slide. The Alpine Slide was…
SOOO TRUE CHRIS !!! LMAO !!! KK 😉
I remember my father bringing me when I was 7 years old to the tarzan swing. I stood in awe at the crowds that gathered to watch crazy people flipping wildly and smashing down into the freezing water below. Finally we arrived at the front of the line. The life guard looked down at me since i was about three feet away from being able to grab the bar. My father picked me up into the air to grab the bar and off I went. Im sure in this day and age this would not be allowed and dyfus would be called on my day. I got a huge applause from the crowd being the smallest child to go off the tarzan , what a day
I have pix of me stumbling from the Cannonball loop splash pool after slamming my head during the loop. They are somewhere in my parents house on Long Island. Next time I visit, I will scan and send to prove the horror was real.
Oh man, I’d love to see those pictures Joshua!
OMG !!! LMAO !!! LOVE THIS DESCRIPTION OF ACTION PARK !!! OK , My Mom and I went at Least 2 times every Summer , Being from Long Island, NY !!! I was about 9 the 1st time we went , But had already been going to Wet n Wild a few times !!! FESTIVE ….. ??? I am Proud to say that My Mom and My Self NEVER Used the Brake on the ALPINE SLIDE ….. AND NEVER CRASHED !!! Bonus !!! WOW , The Bloody Massacre’s we saw from that slide , Bones broken through Skin , Skin completely Torn off , I remember We used to Count how many Ambulances were lined up in front of the park waiting for the NEXT MAJOR INJURY’S , We used to Laugh at how many were there ??? SICK ??? But when I was Like 12 , I decided I wanted to do I Flip Off The TARZAN SWING …. FREAKIN ‘ BRILLIANT !!! My Mom then dared Me , So I had too !!! With A large Audience of people waiting on line , I talked to the Girl working the Swing about how easy it looked when I saw Teenage guys doing it and knowing the Diving Lessons I took , And what i could do off diving boards , after 15 minutes of debating , I went for it …. WELL !!! I Ended up DRAGGING MY FACE UNDER WATER < ASS UP AND NOT LETTING GO AT THE RIGHT TIME , DROPPED IN THE WATER , STARTED SWIMMING THE WRONG WAY , WHEN I LOOKED UP AT EVERYONE APPAULDING MY WORK OF ART , CHEERING , AND YELLING AND POINTING , THE OTHER WAY …. YOUR SWIMMING THE WRONG WAY !!! I Then made it to the ladder …. MY MOM LEFT , DUE TO EMBARRASSMENT !!! Thanks Mom !!! 😉 I NOW had to walk Past All these People who saw MY EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE !!! AWESOME !!! LESSON LEARNED !!! THAT PARK WAS THE BOMB !!! WE WERE TOUGHER KIDS BACK THEN !!! Thank you , You Brought back Some Awesome Memories
for Me !!! RIP MOM !!! I LOVE U !!! KK 😉
I SOOO REMEMBER CANNON BALL LOOP, BACK IN THE DAY WE WORKED FOR NEWSDAY AND WOULD TAKE TRIPS UP THERE !!!. I REMEMBER THE GOING ON THE TARZAN ROPE GRABBIN DA TRIANGLE, AND IWOULD PULLL MY PANTS DOWN AS I SWUNG TO GIVE A NICE MOOON SHOW TO THE CROWD LOL. ME AND MY BOYS WOULD GO ON THE COLORADO RIVER AND GO 20 DEEP , ALLL AT ONCE AND CREATE A DAMNIN TRICK WIT ALL DA TUBES LOLOLOLOL WE’D DAMN IT RIGHT BEFORE U ENTER THAT LIL TUNNEL AREA LOLOL SO HERE YOU COME AND YOU SEE SEEE OUTTA NO WHERE BAM! ALL THESE TUBES AND PEOPLE , CRASH INTO US BREAKIN THE DAMNING IT BE LIKE A TIDAL WAVE LOLOLOLLLOLLL SOME MEMORIES I GOT FROM THAT PLACE MAN !!!!!!!!
SURF HILL IS BACK – the people who now own Mountain Creek – the original owners of the park in the Action Park days, IIRC, RE-OPENED SURF HILL last summer [right at the end] – UNMODIFIED, BEAUTIFULLY RESTORED.
I was there the summer of 1995 and I know that the cannonball loop was open since one of the boys from our group rode it. He was tiny and I was shocked he weighed enough to make it through the loop. We stood at he bottom waiting for what seemed like five minutes from the time he started on the slide until he came out. You couldn’t psy me enough to go on that slide.
I survived action park(But had to have surgery because of it)!
I had only been to AP one time and that was enough to scar me for life (Literally) I was abut 10 years old when we made our trek from Bridgeton NJ. I don’t recall how far Vernon is from here but I remember feeling like the ride took FOREVER. The first ride i went on was the cement slide of death, I actually managed to escape that one with a minor skinned elbow, nothing traumatic so I was cool. I enjoyed the wave pool, and water scoot, and had fun running around enjoying the day, it was until my fateful ride on the Gauley. I do not know how this managed to happen but my raft literally slid up and over the wall and i was thrown down a hill into a bunch or jagged terrain and brush. I know I laid there screaming with a gaping hole in my knee for what seemed like over an hour, until help came. I was rushed to the emergency room and ended up having to have surgery to REPLACE my kneecap! (looking back, my idiot parents should have fucking sued, I could be well off right now LOL) Anyway, Long story short, I have a permanent scar on my knee, a lifelong reminder of my one fateful day at the infamous Traction Park. I hear is open and back under the original ownership, I should totally take my kids there (No, seriously, I think I will)
This is awesome to read about; sadly, never went to Traction Park as I’m living in the wrong country. I come from England and once when I was looking up an old water park I used to visit as a kid (Fantaseas, which closed down cuz it was sinking, in case you’re wondering) a site about Action Park popped up. I checked it out and had a good laugh; Fantaseas had a bad safety record but was a Health and Safety darling compared to Action Park! XD
I would never have dared go on the loop ride, that looks dangerous. One thing I remember about Fantaseas is waiting for my brothers by the splash pool and seeing a pair of swimming trunks slide down one of the flumes and plop into the pool. Bet in Action Park, that happened a lot. XD Anyway, thanks for the experience and the great stories about the park. Too bad that Health and Safety has ruined all this for everyone now!
Ha! Ha! Was it your brother’s swimming trunks that came down themselves or some other unfortunate lad?!? What did the kid do? How funny!
Funny that the accidental nudity isn’t mentioned in the post. My most vivid memories were sitting on the bleachers with my Mom at the end of Surf Hill watching people fly down not realizing that the impact of hitting the water in the end would 90% of the time rip off their swim suit. I can still hear my mom laughing and pointing at ” the full moon” while some poor,mortified kid tried to pull up his swim trunks…O the memories!
I have those same memories! My little brother was one of those “poor, motified” kids who “tried to pull up his swim trunks”!
I went on the cannonball loop. There was a minimum weight . It was 140 or 150 pounds. I remember this because I was 3 pounds under. I was not weighed before the ride. I was 17 at the time. It was the first ride we went on when we got to the park. Basically, as a 17 year old, you had to go on that ride. They advertised it. It’s like going to great adventure and not going on lightning loops. So this ride was a must. A grown man, about 40 years old, went ahead of me. When he got to the end, he stumbled and fell down twice!! I went on the ride. It was pitch black. I don’t really remember much other than it hurt. That was basically the theme for the day, everything in that park was painful. After that, we went on the aqua scoot. You rode a cart down a hill of metal rollers and skid across a pool of water. It was extremely bumpy and painful. That was the thing with this place. Everything looked awesome, but when you actually did it, it hurt! The crazy thing is, how many people actually rode the cannonball loop? 5,000? I spoke to someone the other day and he told me I was the first person he met that actually rode the thing, that’s kind of cool. Crazy place!
DOES ANYBODY HAVE INFORMATION regarding “Pocono Action Park (and Motor World)”? Apparently it was a spinoff of Action Park, same company [Great American Recreation]…and from what little information I could find it offered a scaled down Waterworld, Motorworld w/ slides, bumper boats, an alpine slide, batting cages, LOLA car and go-kart racing, and even an alpine slide… but I have little to no specifics.
Please help me fill in this little known piece of information on Action Park.
it had everything you mentioned except alpine slide.the alpine slide was up the road at camelbak mountain.they now have a mountain coaster.
The place was really nuts but I loved ever second there.
I would love to see more old pictures/videos of this place. It’s so fascinating to me. I was born in 1995 and am from Oregon, so I never went. I would have probably been too scared anyways if I was a kid in the 80’s! Death risk terrifies me. I think the cannonball loops just looks like a disaster waiting to happen. Even now people are STILL getting injured.
Reading all your comments is great but why not turn this into reality. For those of you who don’t know, Action Park has reopened. On Saturday, June 28, 2014, we will be having an AP Reunion for former employees. Check out http://www.actionpark.com/reunion for more details. Hope to see you there! There’s nothing in the world like Action Park!
Where you’re the center of the action!
I bet this summer is just the beginning of a major paradigm shift for the park. 😀
I’m working for a TV production company out of NYC and we’re looking for people who grew up at the park and are excited for the return! Please contact me if you’re interested!
plywoodie, I worked as a Security Guard at Action Park from 1987-1989 and was present for, among other things, the 1987 drowning in the Wave Pool. I would say about 90% of the stories I’ve read about the park are true but there are few exagerations and some things that went on behind the scenes that the average ride attendant didn’t get to see. If you are legit, I might be interested in sharing some stories.
Check it out… the Cannonball Loop in action (at about 8:20)::
Video also has lots of great memories from the early days.
Also 1987 video of various rides:
and 1991 video of various rides:
Action Park is infamous, and Gene Mulvihill wanted it to be that way, or he would not have built the extreme rides. Let’s hope his son Andrew can bring back the risk and thrill that has never been known anywhere else… get people to sign waivers when entering the park if necessary, and let visitors have all the fun they can, even if it means a few cuts, scrapes and bruises!
Thanks for confirming my memory of the injury photos shown at the top of the Alpine Slide. They scared me too!
Oh man this is a great article, I wish I could go back in time (and space) to this place and witness this craziness first hand. Though at least we have some video of it, things like 5:05 in this video nicely demonstrate the insanity this place must have been:
I estimate that jump was at least 30 feet horizontal distance before they came back down. I hope those kids got the mad props they deserved for hanging on!
Thanks for the great read!
Excellent site you have here but I was curious if you knew of any user discussion forums that cover the same topics discussed here?
I’d really like to be a part of online community where I can get
responses from other experienced people that share the same interest.
If you have any suggestions, please let me know.
I survived cannon ball loop in the 90’s before they shut down I was only like maybe 13 or 14 me a my step dad were the only ones to go on it there were a ton of people gathered around to watch we both ended up with our backs scratched up and bleeding and I remember people being so shocked that they allowed people to actually ride it , it was awesome !!
If anyone is curious, if you use Google Earth (not Google Maps), you can look up Mountain Creek and use the Historical Imagery feature to find USGS aerial photography of Action Park from 1991 and 1995. It’s black & white and pretty grainy, but you can easily see the tracks of the Alpine Slide and of Motor World, and flip back and forth to modern imagery to see where they were. It’s funny to see how the man-made lake/rivers for the motorboat attractions are still very obvious today if you know where to look.
I worked in Motorworld during the summer of 1986. I was on the Super Lola cars, which I’m pretty sure you couldn’t un-govern. What I find amusing is if a patron was going too fast, they would go off the track and hit bails of hay. Our job was to sprint to the “crash” and quickly turn the car engine off so it wouldn’t catch the hay on fire! We would then pull the car back on the track and restack the hay.
I also worked on the speedboats. That was super fun and there was an accident there when some moron was fooling around and stopped their boat in the oval loop that everyone was supposed to travel. The stopped boat acted like a ramp for another boat and one of the boats literally jumped another. I don’t remember anyone getting too hurt during that incident, and I don’t remember ever seeing any snakes in the water at all.