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


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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.

 

I disagree in the following respect where I did see family members or friends get hurt.

 

If you followed the rules jumping off the cliff dive and the person behind you did not wait for you to clear yourself from the area before he jumped and lands on you that is not the first jumper's fault. A friend my mine was jumped on.

 

If you are following the rules on the Alpine Slide, but the rider in front of you flew off the track and puts his sled put on the track (instead of walking down the hill). He is starting from a dead start, you come around a blind turn at 30 MPH and crash into him it is not the second rider's fault. My brother-in-law was on a trailing sled and ended up with some serious road rash.

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^From reports I've read on the slide, I'll second what you said. Hosed down with cold water before entering, gain immense speed in pitch-black tunnel before jetting upwards, small rocks collecting at the bottom of loop, plus face-planting the tunnel if you don't gain enough speed. Frankly, it sounds like a nightmare I've had. As for the new aqualoop they're looking at, I might flip if they intend to give it the old name, Cannonball Loop (which I very much see them doing).

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^I guess in some way you should consider yourself "fortunate" for not riding it!

 

 

totally disagree, all my friends who happened to ride it said it was the most amazing water slide they every ridden to this day.

 

How many people do you know that rode it? I still haven't seen definitive dates as to when this thing was actually open. Hours, Days, Weeks it could not possibly have operated for more than a month

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^I guess in some way you should consider yourself "fortunate" for not riding it!

 

 

totally disagree, all my friends who happened to ride it said it was the most amazing water slide they every ridden to this day.

 

How many people do you know that rode it? I still haven't seen definitive dates as to when this thing was actually open. Hours, Days, Weeks it could not possibly have operated for more than a month

 

 

my cousin rode It with a bunch of friends from school when they all went up there in the summer, hes pretty sure it was 1985 or 86. all my friends who got me hooked on action park rode it, they pretty sure it was in 1985. they all mention it was the mid 80's. they all said they would ride it again if it opened tomorrow. I know about 10 people that have ridden it. I know all the times I went to action park, at least 2 times a summer from the mid 80's to closing, it was never open.

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Because you can never get enough Action Park. And this new article answers my question about how long the looping water slide operated (one month in 1985)

 

http://www.nj.com/sussex-county/index.ssf/2014/04/action_park_10_things_you_didnt_know_about_the_craziest_park_ever.html

 

Action Park: 10 things you didn't know about the notorious amusement park's history

(ROBERT ERBLE / THE STAR-LEDGER)

Louis C. Hochman/NJ.com

April 22, 2014 at 8:15 AM

 

Ah, the memories. Well, the ones that settled in despite the concussions.

 

Earlier this month, the Star-Ledger reported the legendary Action Park — the fun-filled, fast-paced amusement park that, statistically speaking, probably didn't kill you when you went in the 1980s or 1990s — is coming back.

 

It's been a long time since the property in Vernon became Mountain Creek Ski Resort, and since 1998 what's left of the park itself has been operating as Mountain Creek Waterpark (with significant safety upgrades). But the park's current owners say nostalgia for the old, infamously dangerous park has gotten the better of them, and they've got some new rides planned that they say will scare the cold, wet shorts right off you. So when the site reopens June 14, it'll be Action Park once again.

 

A few days ago, we showed you the absolutely insane Canonball Loop, which was so hazardous it was open for only one month in 1985. You might say that ride, with its are-you-kidding-me ending, is all you need to know about what made Action Park either amazing or massively irresponsible (or both).

 

Then again, you might not. Here's 10 things you probably didn't know about Action Park:

 

1. "Only" six people died at Action Park: Oh, is that all? As Mentalfloss.com notes, the list grows and grows in our memories. "Ask anyone born in Jersey between 1970 and 1984, and you'll hear a ranging toll. Twenty. Thirty-six. North of 100. But the real answer is only six," according to the site. That includes three drownings in the Wave Pool (nicknamed the Gravepool), a park employee's death on the infamous Alpine Slide (more on that below), an electrocution on the Kayak Experience and a heart attack supposedly brought on by cold water in the pool beneath the Tarzan Swing.

 

2. Someone once called the Alpine Slide "the safest ride there is:" This was a giant slide on which you'd sit on a sled, then descend down concrete tracks using levers to brake — if you were the sort of person who cared to brake. If you couldn't control your speed on the way down, you might wind up crashing through hay-bale barriers and smashing up on the hillside rocks. But Weird NJ quotes a 1986 New Jersey Herald Article in which a park official called the slide "the safest ride there is" and noted a 90-year-old grandmother and mothers with babies on their laps had made the way down. The same posting says at least 14 fractures and 26 head injuries caused by the slides were reported between 1984 and 1985, and the slide was responsible for “more accidents, the majority of the lawsuits and 40 percent of the citations” against the park.

 

RideAccidents.com says of a death on the slide in 1980: "In an accident at an amusement park in New Jersey, a malfunction caused a wheeled sled to derail from its cement track after it failed to properly negotiate a curve. The victim, a 19-year-old male, was thrown from the car down an embankment. He sustained a fatal head injury when his head struck a rock. He died 8 days later."

 

3. Heard the legend of the dummies on the Cannonball Loop? Just a few days ago, we showed you that video of what may have been Action Park's craziest and most dangerous ride (though the competition was pretty fierce), the Cannonball Loop. The waterslide, with its 360-degree totally-seems-safe loop at the end, was shut down after just a month, though it stayed on site as a reminder of the park's ... let's call it "eccentricity." According to Weird NJ: "It supposedly dismembered test dummies and maybe even a few park employees in trial runs." Buzzfeed quoted someone who claimed his father built the slide: "The story about the dummies is completely true! They used the dummies to test several of the rides at the park and every time a dummy came off the ride dismembered they would try it again until it stayed in one piece, then they would pay someone to test it!”

 

4. You could JOUST at Action Park: Well, you could if you first made it through an obstacle course composed of downward-moving conveyors, a 24-foot hand ladder, a cargo net climb, a zipline, a 10-foot wall and a 16-foot rotating cylinder, The Gazette reported in 1992. If you made it that far, you'd challenge a gladiator on a three-foot podium (with large, padded sticks — though the padding sounds awfully un-Action-Park-like to us). If you made it through that, you'd get to have the stuffing beat out of you by "Titan," an even bigger gladiator on an even bigger podium.

 

5. Action Park's owners wound up buying ambulances for Vernon: Citing a Jersey Sunday Herald Article, Sometimes-Interesting.com reports: "In 1987, the director of a nearby hospital’s Emergency Room admitted 'five to ten' people were being brought in daily from the park. Reported injuries ran the gamut: Ankle sprains, broken bones, and cuts and contusions, dislocations, and concussions. The park denied wrongdoing, but Great American Recreation purchased additional ambulances for the town of Vernon to keep up with the increased volume."

 

6. Action Park was often let off easy: Citing a 1986 New Jersey Herald article, Weird NJ reports that in 1985 there were more than 110 injuries at Action Park, including 45 head injuries and 10 fractures. But Action Park was fined just once between 1979 and 1986 for not following procedure. Other amusement parks were fined for first offenses, but not Action Park, according to the report.

 

7. Employees knew how to make things more dangerous: While much of Action Park's legend comes centers around its Waterworld, its Motorworld, across Route 94, could also be awfully hazardous. Weird NJ reports that patrons treated Super-Go Karts like bumper cars, and park employees knew how to override their speed governors with tennis balls — sending the karts whizzing around at up to 50 miles per hour. "One employee recalls hearing the sick snap of a patron’s arm breaking as a result of a crash," the magazine says.

 

8. The NEW Action Park is promising to be awfully scary, too: Mountain Creek president Bill Benneyan told News 12 the park will have a ride called the Zero-G. "It's the world's tallest and only double-looping drop-gate slide. It's going to scare the heck out of you," he said. Are we talking about get-the-adrenaline-pumping scared or get-your-affairs-in-order scared? Well, Mountain Creek has spent a lot of time and energy renovating the old park, and Benneyan says it's spent $5 million on new rides that we presume are subject to some sort of safety codes. "Action Park was extreme before extreme was extreme," Benneyan says. That's one way to put it.

 

9. Action Park wasn't the only Action Park: The infamous Action Park was, of course, in Vernon, but during the 1980s, two other offshoot locations were opened — Pocono Action Park an Motor World in Tannersville, Pa., and Action Park in Pine Hill. The latter was renamed Action Mountain within a year, and financial problems closed both down before the 1980s were over.

 

10. Cory Booker can't wait to go back:

 

Bonus: Somehow, reporter Louis C. Hochman didn't know anything about Action Park 24 hours ago. Seriously. He (I) grew up in New Jersey in the 1980s and 1990s, but somehow Action Park was entirely off his radar. No one he's told believes that's possible — but he sure has spent a lot of time over the last day catching up on the apparently infamous site.

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This is where the action is.

 

New Jersey’s Action Park this summer is debuting its biggest attraction yet — the ZERO-G.

 

The water slide, which cost $1 million to develop, is set to be the tallest attraction at 540 feet long with a nearly 1,000-foot drop.

 

“It’s been a year in the making,” said Bill Benneyan, president of Action Park in Vernon, N.J. “I’m so nervous about the expectations that this slide has.”

 

The ride begins with daredevils climbing 99 stairs to the top. Then they’ll put themselves into a clear, fully enclosed “launch capsule,” where a trap door will release and they’ll drop into an enclosed blue tube. They’ll go through the two major loops before being greeted by the splash pool underneath them.

 

Action Park's new ZERO-G water slide features a nearly 1,000-foot drop and two major loops.

JENNIFER BROWN FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Action Park's new ZERO-G water slide features a nearly 1,000-foot drop and two major loops.

The slide is part of a bigger rebranding project for the park, which was mockingly known “Traction Park, Action Park.”

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I was expecting it would be an aqualoop slide, it probably would've suited the park much better. I do think it's still pretty neat they put in two flat loops instead of just one.

 

^Also concerning the statistics they put up, it kind of annoys me when a park bends facts like that and makes it sound sorta gimmicky. I'm sure it advertises well, but the slide is already really high up if it starts on the same level as H2-Oh-No!.

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^I was thinking the length of the slide was 1,000 feet, while the distance between the drop capsule and splashdown is 540 feet... but if the length of the slide is actually 540 feet, then what was the author thinking?

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This might clear some things up for some confused people:

 

- 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.

 

 

 

 

Also because the original owners bought it and are bringing back some of the original rides

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^I was thinking the length of the slide was 1,000 feet, while the distance between the drop capsule and splashdown is 540 feet... but if the length of the slide is actually 540 feet, then what was the author thinking?

 

540 feet drop would still be insane. That's longer than the tallest drop on a roller coaster, it can't be right. I think the drop on this slide is probably 100ft, and the author of the article added a 0 and just went with it.

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This might clear some things up for some confused people:

 

- 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.

 

 

 

 

Also because the original owners bought it and are bringing back some of the original rides

 

what original rides are they bringing back?

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^I was thinking the length of the slide was 1,000 feet, while the distance between the drop capsule and splashdown is 540 feet... but if the length of the slide is actually 540 feet, then what was the author thinking?

 

540 feet drop would still be insane. That's longer than the tallest drop on a roller coaster, it can't be right. I think the drop on this slide is probably 100ft, and the author of the article added a 0 and just went with it.

 

per the park owner its a 100ft drop. watch the 2nd clip

 

this is a clip from fox 5ny from posted yesterday. he mentions a couple stats on zero-g

http://www.myfoxny.com/clip/10306295/action-park-2

 

here is another clip, the owner of action park mentions the drop

http://www.myfoxny.com/clip/10306015/action-park-reopens

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You may have read or this before or seen the videos in the link, but it's nice to have it all in one article

 

http://nypost.com/2014/06/28/the-return-of-the-worlds-most-dangerous-theme-park/

 

The dangerous return of the world’s most insane theme park

By Tim Donnelly

New York Post

June 28, 2014 | 5:03pm

 

The dangerous return of the world’s most insane theme park

Six deaths. Countless injuries. Criminal charges related to an insurance fraud scheme. Numerous lawsuits. Bankruptcy. Welcome to Action Park.

 

On April Fool’s Day this year, the owners of Mountain Creek ski resort and waterpark in New Jersey pulled what seemed like a great prank: They replaced the resort’s sign with one for the old Action Park, the notorious “extreme” amusement park that operated on the site from 1978 to 1996. Six visitors died there, and its seemingly anything-goes approach to summer fun earned it the nicknames “Class Action Park” and “Traction Park.”

 

New Jersey’s notorious Action Park is back in business. But would you go? Fans nostalgic for its calamity-filled past say, ‘Hell, yeah!’Photo: Zandy Mangold

 

“At Action Park, it felt like you were in some crazy guy’s backyard,” says Dave Schlussman, a 30-year-old from Greenpoint, who in elementary school belly-flopped so hard out of a failed backflip off the park’s Tarzan Swing — just a swing over a freezing cold pool — that his eyeballs felt bruised. “The rides defied any kind of procedure.”

 

The place was as packed with urban legends as it was with lawsuits: Some — snakes in the rapids ride — were most likely fiction; others — tales of the owner bribing employees with cash to test drive some of the rides for safety or starting his own insurance company — were real.

 

But the sign was no joke: Action Park was actually coming back this summer from the original owners.

 

What’s now open at the 35-acre site in Vernon, NJ, is an amalgam of the old and the new — gone are the race cars with shoddy brakes and the park’s most infamous attraction, a water slide with a full vertical loop, which was open for just a month before knocking around too many kids and shutting down for good.

 

Which isn’t to say Action Park is tame now. Far from it.

 

The new Action Park promises to be safer, but you still risk bruises jumping off attractions like the Cliff Jump.

 

The original owners, who had sold the park in 1998 — to a group that changed the name to Mountain Creek — bought it back in 2010 and started restoring old rides such as a river rapids, which they say the previous owners had dulled down. They’re adding a $1 million new Zero G water slide, which they say will be the world’s tallest of its kind when it opens later this summer pending inspection. Riders stand in a capsule, where a trapdoor drops them into the 100-foot-tall slide.

 

But it wasn’t until an online documentary about the old Action Park — titled “The Most Insane Amusement Park Ever” — went viral last year that the owners realized: Not only do people remember the old park, which drew a million visitors annually at its prime; they miss it.

 

“The overall conclusion that the people who went to Action Park have is that it was a phenomenal place,” says Andy Mulvihill, who now owns the resort and is the son of the park’s founder Gene Mulvihill, who died in 2012. “I don’t get approached by people telling me what a terrible place it was. The strength of that passion far outweighed the negative things.”

 

“Negative things” is putting it lightly. One report claimed that in 1987 five to ten people per day were being brought into the emergency room from the park. The New Jersey Herald reported the park actually bought the town of Vernon additional ambulances to keep up with demand.

 

Deaths were caused by, among other things, electrocution in a kayak ride, drowning in the wave pool and a heart attack in ice-cold water.

 

At a cost of $1 million, the ZERO G waterslide is one of the park’s most ambitious to date. Riders stand in a capsule and wait for a trap door to send them shooting through two horizontal loops. At 100-feet high, it’ll be the world’s tallest double-looping slide when it opens later this summer.

 

The old Alpine Slide seemed to be the biggest culprit for mishaps, frequently shredding skin on its concrete track. People reportedly also hit their heads on the floor of shallow pools, got caught in the terrifying suction of the wave pool and suffered abrasions on their legs after having to crawl out of a water slide tunnel. Broken or fractured bones were common, as were busted teeth.

 

But nostalgia is a potent drug, and the new Action Park is sticking itself right in the main vein: The name and original retro rainbow-colored signs are back. On Saturday, former employees gathered for a reunion. The gift shop is selling tongue-in-cheek “I Survived Action Park” T-shirts.

 

 

OLD: The old Alpine Slide was a concrete track with cars controlled only by an often shoddy hand brake, leading to lots of injuries and one reported death.

 

NEW: For the Alpine Mountain Coaster, riders still control the speed using a brake, but the metal track eliminates the risk of wipeouts.

 

It might seem like a risky move in the age of helicopter parents and endless litigation. Or maybe it’s the best rebranding since New Coke went back to Classic.

 

“It was the time before insurance companies had their hands in everything, before everything is tested and rubber coated within an inch of its life,” says Seth Porges, 30, who co-produced the documentary and lives in Williamsburg. “You might get hurt, but if you walked away, you have a great story.”

 

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker tweeted that he still had scars from the old park, but said: “I so want to go again.”

 

Can the new Action Park recapture the old magic? A handful of the old attractions never left: The 23-foot cliff jump is still there, as are a few water slides. The Tarzan Swing got a safety upgrade, with pads protecting swingers. Eleonora Walczak of Greenpoint, showing off her leg scars from the old park while climbing out of the Cannonball Falls pool on Tuesday, said she was surprised to see the Colorado River ride now required helmets with facemasks.

 

“There were some really zany things that went on back then,” park president Bill Benneyan says. “In three decades, the industry is different, the regulations are different, the safety training is different.”

 

The park’s original owner, Gene Mulvihill, has been described alternately as a folksy industrialist in the vein of John Rockefeller, a mad scientist with an oversize toy set or a canny, sometimes pushy businessman who kept politicians in his pocket. The decision to unveil the name on April Fool’s Day was a nod to his mischievous streak.

 

Mulvihill’s company, Great American Recreation, owned the Vernon Valley/ Great Gorge ski area, and started to add rides in 1978 to expand summer business. The first was the Alpine Slide, which sent people down a concrete track built into a hill in a car controlled only by a hand brake.

 

Henry Winnik, a 29-year-old filmmaker in Cobble Hill, watched a friend make a hard turn and skid down the concrete. The friction ripped off the skin on his right arm from the elbow to the shoulder: “It was raw,” he recalls.

 

OLD: The original Tarzan Swing wasn’t much more than a rope you’d see over a country swimming hole, complete with a splinter- riddled platform.Photo: Courtesy of Action Park

Modal Trigger

 

NEW: The new version offers three swings attached to a metal archway with a padded platform. The water is still just as cold, though.

 

Another rider died in 1980 after being thrown from the slide and suffering a head injury.

 

Now, the park calls its Alpine Mountain Coaster a “cousin” of the fatal slide. A car glides down a metal track around twists and turns. You control the speed with a hand brake, and spills are nearly impossible because it’s locked onto the track.

 

Still, the new version of the park isn’t passive, like competitor Six Flags Great Adventure, where every visitor has basically the same strap-in-and-ride experience. Flop the wrong way off the Cliff Jump, and you could end up with bruises all over your legs. The Colorado River ride tossed our raft so close to the cave walls, we were thankful we were wearing those goofy helmets. Oh, and they serve booze to patrons, which creates its own sense of adventure for older park goers.

 

“Great Adventure is Bon Jovi, safe and corporate,” Winnik says. “Action Park was the Ramones.”

 

Gene Mulvihill made money in a series of businesses: real estate, early cellphones, MRI technology and cancer research, his son says, and seemed to have created the park out of sheer force of personality.

 

“He just didn’t accept that you couldn’t try something or do something,” Andy Mulvihill, one of Gene’s six kids, says. “He was not a big believer in government control.”

 

Gene told the Newark Star-Ledger Action Park was almost a labor of love: “I never made any money up there,” he told the paper in 1996. “All that place did was cost me money.”

 

Mulvihill set up an insurance company based in the Cayman Islands to cover the park, a move which caught the attention of state investigators. In 1984, he pleaded guilty to charges for setting up an insurance fraud scheme, and was slapped with tens of thousands of dollars in fines, according to court records.

 

For a long time, Mulvihill deftly outmaneuvered would-be litigants, Porges says. He refused to settle out of court and used his wealth to exhaust claimants. Action Park was reportedly fined just once for not following procedure.

 

But by 1996, it was facing mounting lawsuits and declining attendance as bad headlines spread. It filed for bankruptcy, $40 million in debt.

 

OLD: The twisting and turning rapids ride mimicked a real river — so much so that it was borderline dangerous.Photo: Courtesy of Action Park

 

NEW: The park requires riders to wear helmets with face masks. You’ll be happy for them when the raft slams near the walls of a cave.

 

Visitors say they remember the park as a lawless Neverland where staff never yelled at anyone.

 

“Even as a kid you’re like, ‘They should probably be taking this a little more seriously,’” says Andy Fiori, 35, a stand-up comedian and radio producer in Astoria.

 

Was anyone actually inebriated during work, as rumors say?

 

“I think that was mostly confined to after-hours stuff,” says Therese Mahler, 41, of Jersey City, who worked at the park through college.

 

The site weirdnj.com, a repository of urban legends, reported the park used crash test dummies to test rides. Andy Mulvihill says his dad would have him test the rides decked out in hockey pads.

 

Mahler says the bosses often asked for staff volunteers to test the rides each day. On the rare occasions no one would volunteer, the boss would offer a cash bribe.

 

The new park has attentive lifeguards with whistles at the ready, and omnipresent safety signage.

 

“The world’s changed,” Mulvihill says. “I refuse to be involved in any rides where anybody can get hurt.”

 

Still, if there’s a chance to push the envelope, Demetri Kringas, 24, of Sleepy Hollow, NY, is seizing it.

 

“We push the limits on this park every day,” says Kringas, visiting the park with friends on a Tuesday. He’s gone headfirst on almost every slide, which is against the rules. “They’re always yelling at us.”

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so sick of hearing about the dangers of this place and deaths. last I checked, SFGAdv has had more deaths then action park. I wonder when they do media day for zumanjaro, are they all going to talk about the lady who was killed on lighnin loops or the 8 teens dieing in the haunted castle fire, I doubt it. action park was a great and fun place. end of story.

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