“If you grew up in northern New Jersey in the ’80s, you were either injured at Action Park or knew someone who had been.” Or so goes the legend.
Speaking as a former Garden State guy who moved to Los Angeles in ’83, I never paid the slightest attention to Action Park. But the kids and I went to Six Flags Hurricane Harbor a few times in the ’90s, and visited Wet & Wild once in Las Vegas. The hairiest ticket was a super-speed water slide inside a spiralling tube thing — you crossed your legs, crossed your arms across your chest and pushed off into the unknown, travelling at a pretty fast clip.
Wiki excerpt: “Action Park was an amusement and water park located in Vernon, New Jersey, on the grounds of the Vernon Valley/Great Gorge ski resort. Consisting primarily of water-based attractions, the park opened in 1978 under the ownership of Great American Recreation (GAR).
“Action Park’s popularity went hand-in-hand with a reputation for poorly designed rides, under-trained and under-aged staff, intoxicated guests and staff, and a consequently poor safety record. At least six people are known to have died as a result of mishaps on rides at the park, and it was given nicknames such as ‘Traction Park’, ‘Accident Park’ and ‘Class Action Park’. Little effort was made by state regulators to address these issues, despite the park’s history of repeat violations. In its later years, personal injury lawsuits led to the closure of increasing numbers of rides and eventually the entire park closed in 1996.”
Class Action Park will premiere on HBO Max at midnight (Pacific) on Thursday, 8.27.