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'Action Park' (YES that Action Park) is back for the summer


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VERNON — The rainbow letters, a visual blast from the past, were put up at the Mountain Creek Ski Resort on April 1.

But “Action Park” is not an April Fool’s joke – the name that became famous, and infamous, in the 1980s before shutting down, is coming out of mothballs.

“It’s not April Fool’s – the Action is back,” said the ski resort’s Facebook page Wednesday.

The water park is returning to the same name abandoned about 20 years ago, the resort added.

Bystanders might be pardoned for thinking it was an April Fool’s joke, since the name several decades ago had wide connotations with a series of accidents, and a pair of drownings when the park was opened between 1978 and 1996, according to local news accounts.

 

People jokingly referred to the water park as variously “Class-Action Park,” “Accident Park,” or “Traction Park” due to the notoriety.

But times have changed - and so have safety regulations, said Bill Benneyan, the president of the resort. Action Park has "kept the thrills, and lost the spills," he said in an interview this afternoon.

The name-change was spurred by the coming debut of a new loop slide, which is similar to a discontinued ride at the original Action Park. The "Tarzan" swing and some other rides are the original rides from the original park. And a continuing nostalgia from visitors prompted management to switch back to the original name, Benneyan said.

“We thought, let's call it what it is,” Benneyan said.

Eugene Mulvihill, the developer behind Action Park and the establishment of various Vernon resorts, passed away in 2012

 

http://www.nj.com/sussex-county/index.ssf/2014/04/a_blast_from_the_past_action_park_is_back_for_the_summer.html

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This is great! The first water park with a looping water slide is coming back! I know I have never been there, but you have no idea how excited and happy I am!

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This is a very interesting decision. I understand there are traces of the original Action Park in the park's current state, but I wonder if there was any research to back up this decision to revert back to a name that is associated with employees who drink on the job, where no rules apply, and unsafe attractions. I know times have changed, but that is what has been built in my mind about the place and I can't imagine what that name means to the locals. This decision could go either way in terms of success or failure. However, as much as I appreciate old school logos, I believe something that is updated but has a resemblance to the original may have been more effective in terms of marketing. We are now in the 2010s after all.

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Wow, that's actually not a bad idea! I'm sure it won't have much of the, um, "character" of the original, but this should at least get the place some extra attention. And the infamy of the old Action Park will live on.

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It will never be as balls-to-the-wall insane as the Action Park I remember from my youth. It remains the best waterpark I've ever been to mainly because I managed to stay alive and uninjured, as did the rest of my family. The sheer lunacy of the place was unheard of and I really miss it.

 

Don't get me wrong. The place was plagued by horrific operations and a ludicrous disregard for safety and it is a damn good thing it no longer exists. I can still admire the creativity of the attractions. As I recall there was only one slide tower than was store-bought. The rest of the slides were designed and built in-house and made fantastic use of the mountain terrain.

 

It was truly unique and was one of the largest influences in my life that got me so interested in amusement parks. Good riddance, but I miss it!

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I wouldn't have gone with the name myself.

 

Even if you aren't familiar with it's past, a quick Google search will quickly bring you up to speed. I don't know if I would take my family to a place that is named after that park (especially with "pride" over naming it that park.)

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Can't say that I'm not intrigued, although going back to the name of a park with a lot of bad history behind it certainly seems a bit strange.

 

Some of the cliff dives, tarzan ropes and terrain slides looked really cool, but you would think that in order to retain some of these attractions that they would need to carry some type of hefty insurance plan - even if they are proven to be more safe. I bet that they would make you sign a waiver before you go in stating that you won't hold the park responsible for any injuries that you could sustain on some of the attractions. Like when you bungee, skydive or go up in a hot air balloon.

 

I remember reading that another downfall of that park was the temperature of the water. Didn't they use spring water to fill the pools so that it was always like hitting a bathtub full of ice water? Going into cold water shock would be about as much fun as trying that old looping waterslide so let's hope that they try to address that problem as well as taking out some of those rocks and boulders so people don't crack their skulls or knees wide open!

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I hope visitors have their health insurance paid up. They may need it for these thrills.

Ned Ryerson will be planted at the front of the park to make sure that's taken care of.

 

Edited by jedimaster1227
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A lot of the creativity of the original park still exists. Actually, I was looking into integrating "Mountain Creek Waterpark" into my Six Flags Great Adventure trip before I realized how late their season starts. There are some really neat things there. Doing my research I thought the now previous Mountain Creek brand was really nice. Their website gave me the impression of a secluded water park in a foresty area with attractions that are built into their unique terrain.

 

"Action Park" with its ambiguous name and flat 80s/90s colors really appears to me as a nasty, concrete-paradise, and carnival-like operation. Perhaps my mind is just flowing of the mental pictures from the legends of the first Action Park. The old Action Park name and branding just doesn't fit the unique feel of a WATERPARK that is located on a mountain with several unique water attractions that a mountain makes possible. I know there are other added on attractions, but the section of the resort's website that is now Action Park is mostly a waterpark.

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Some of the cliff dives, tarzan ropes and terrain slides looked really cool, but you would think that in order to retain some of these attractions that they would need to carry some type of hefty insurance plan - even if they are proven to be more safe. I bet that they would make you sign a waiver before you go in stating that you won't hold the park responsible for any injuries that you could sustain on some of the attractions. Like when you bungee, skydive or go up in a hot air balloon.

 

I remember reading that another downfall of that park was the temperature of the water. Didn't they use spring water to fill the pools so that it was always like hitting a bathtub full of ice water? Going into cold water shock would be about as much fun as trying that old looping waterslide so let's hope that they try to address that problem as well as taking out some of those rocks and boulders so people don't crack their skulls or knees wide open!

 

The cliff dives, the mountain-terrain concrete waterslides, the cannonball slides shooting you through the air and into cold spring water, the trapeze that you grab and swing into the cold spring water... All that stuff has been open to the public every summer since 1998 when the place reopened as Mountain Creek.

 

They took out a lot of the more notorious elements when the park reopened, but there's still plenty of stuff there from the original Action Park that makes it one of the most bonkers waterparks around.

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This might clear some things up for some confused people:

 

- The park reopened in '98 as Mountain Creek and removed anything deemed unsafe. However, they kept some safer attractions such as the Tarzan Swings and the cliff dive. It has been operating and since my college is about 1/2 hour from it I have a lot of peers that work / worked there.

 

- During the winter the park is actually a major ski/snowboard resort called Mountain Creek (Used to be Great Gorge)

 

- Now they are calling the Ski/Snowboard section Mountain Creek and the waterpark Action Park to differentiate the two.

 

- This is just a publicity stunt to get a little attention as action park was well known destination but "Mountain Creek" was never as well known. Stirring up old urban legends is a good way to get people excited.

 

If you like water rides, you really shouldn't miss Mountain Creek/Action Park. One of the best and most unique water parks in the world.

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Ugh, Mountain Creek is just such a more professional name. I can't stand it when parks change their name to something that demoralizes the way you look at it. Mountain Creek made made the water park sound sound like an Appalachian getaway, and now it sounds like something that is part of the Fun Spot chain.

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When I found out the dangerous aspects of the park later in adulthood in not-always-sunny FL, I started to covertly thank my parents. They said that they couldn't take me to Action Park as a kid because it was "too far." But I soon realized that the duration of the drive, with Route 23 comprising the bulk of the route from my old house in Clifton, is just a small reason why.

 

Oh, and watching videos of the park that I actually thanked my parents for not taking me to is an allegory of water park safety. Did you know that the vast majority of AP patrons didn't know how to swim because they were low income or live far from a public pool? And oh, the lack of lifejackets at the time!

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Did you know that the vast majority of AP patrons didn't know how to swim because they were low income or live far from a public pool?

 

I did not see this phenomena on my visit.

 

I bet a few swimming programs were offering free lessons to those who are needy back then. The proof was from a report about a drowning in the Grave (sic) Pool in 1987. "Action Park attracts many people from urban areas who have few chances to swim and frequently must be rescued from the water," said an official, "They don’t know how to swim and jump right into the water." Again, lifejackets were all but far from existent at the time, though even the most skilled swimmers weren't aware that they are swimming in less buoyant water.

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Did you know that the vast majority of AP patrons didn't know how to swim because they were low income or live far from a public pool?

 

I did not see this phenomena on my visit.

 

I bet a few swimming programs were offering free lessons to those who are needy back then. The proof was from a report about a drowning in the Grave (sic) Pool in 1987. "Action Park attracts many people from urban areas who have few chances to swim and frequently must be rescued from the water," said an official, "They don’t know how to swim and jump right into the water." Again, lifejackets were all but far from existent at the time, though even the most skilled swimmers weren't aware that they are swimming in less buoyant water.

 

When I was there I saw mostly Jersey rednecks and suburban kids and very few minorities, but then again I heard the demographics of the park did change in the mid 80's.

Edited by larrygator
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by far the best water park I ever went to. I went to the water park usually 2 times a year growing up from the mid 80's till it closed in the mid 90's. most of the accidents were all casued by the riders not following the parks riding guidelines. yes, I got a few scraps and burns, but nothing serious. I had a ton a friends get all messed up, but the accidents were all there fault. I dont see why the action park park got such a bad rap, six flags in NJ during the 80's had just as many problems back in the day. the haunted house fire killing a bunch. the lightnin loops death. all the stabbings at the park entrance. parks will always have accidents, its impossible to be 100% accident free. im pretty sure going to back to the old name, action park, is manily for publicity.

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