“The average family you’d see would be like a woman screaming at 4 kids who looked like they had been eating sugar and drinking soda all day, and like a drunk dad with no shirt on.”
NJ.com – For many people, the joy of going on water rides comes from being on a thrilling – yet safe – death-defying ride featuring drops, twists, turns. At Action Park, however, there was nothing simulated about these thrills. The Vernon amusement park, which was open from 1978 to 1996 is the subject of anew documentary produced by Mashable and DailyMotion. The documentary takes a deep look into Action Park, and attempts to uncover the truth of just how insane this place was. What is the truth, and what has been embellished over time? The doc aims to dispel – or confirm – rumors about “the most insane amusement park ever” by interviewing frequent patrons and former employees. Action Park, in 1997, shortly after its closingFile photo WeirdNJ also has a nice compendium on the sorts of battle scars that visitors got by going on the park’s rides.
Ahhh Action Park. The mythical land of danger and fun. I never made it to Action Park. I was born in 85 so I’d imagine by the time I was able to enjoy that shit, it was already labeled a death trap of catastrophe. But I always heard legends about it. It was pretty much just Lord of the Flies. Kids doing whatever the want. Like completely lawless. Borderline scary. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’ve been terrified at amusement parks before. Every time you went on the Dragon Coaster at Rye Playland, you were taking your own life into your hands. Any given moment, that rickety crickety 200 year old ride could collapse. It wasn’t exhilarating because of drops and loops or anything – it was just a rush because you realized you were legitimately risking your life and no seatbelt could stop you from the potential disaster that awaited.
But for the most part I was at all the tame amusement parks. I remember just sitting in the wave pool at Dorney Park and Wild Water Kingdom with fat people bobbing up and down like “This is it?” I loved the water park across from Fantasy Island in LBI. But thats mostly because I liked to chew on the rubber mats. Otherwise, the same 4 slow ass water slides gets a little repetitive after a while. I went to Splish Splash like once but I think my parents immediately realized that place was just like one giant toilet for minorities so we never went again. Stunt Mans Free Fall at Six Flags was as crazy as I got as a kid. Also I used to climb one of those giant spiderweb things at Eddie Foy Park in New Rochelle. Remember those things:
Dangerous as fuck. You were like 50 feet in the air and entangled in ropes. One slip away from hanging yourself. The other option was to go down the aluminum slides that were roasting in the sun and were about 2 million degrees and would burn the fuck out of the back of your thighs though. There was one park off of Pelham Parkway that was just a slide and a sprinkler and you landed on concrete at the bottom. I’m not saying any of this compares to water slide tubes with loops or concrete bobsled tracks at Action Park. They used to tally up a few deaths per summer. I just long for the days when fun on the playground was a little bit dangerous.