I happen to stumble on a cool Retrojunk commercial for "Action Park" in Vernon, NJ... and it looked like a rather cool park, especially for an 80's park.
Then I Google'd it, and came across this Wikipedia.org article of the park, which states that it was open for maybe 18yrs until 1996... but the interesting thing is the photo they have of one of their waterslides, which is a true 360 degree verticle looping waterslide.
I somehow find the physics a little unbelievable all things considered, but I'd like to know if anyone has seen it in person and/or even tried it, and if such a thing did indeed work or not. It probably was a gimmick, but I'm curious more or less to find out if anyone saw it in person, and/or rode it.
Was the park really as bad as Wikipedia made it out to be? Is it because of the wild-designs of the slides/rides that caused its ultimate demise?
If anyone can share a personal story from there, please do...
The park still exists, it's now known as Mountain Creek. The infamous looping waterslide has since been removed.
Despite living 30 minutes from the place (and an hour away when I was young), I've been there a total of two times- once as a little kid and once a few years ago with my wife-to-be. Growing up in NJ, the place had a terrible reputation with accidents getting a lot of press. I think that's one of the things that led to the park gettin a new name because Action Park became more of a punchline than anything else.
The park is weird, situated on the side of a mountain. There is a lot of walking involved... so much that a few hours is usually more than most people can handle.
As for the looping slide, I don't believe it ever opened, and if it did it wasn't open very long. I can't believe someone actually convinced the park to build that thing. It looks like something you wouldn't think of doing on a dare.
*** Edited 1/16/2008 2:38:54 PM UTC by Rob Ascough***
I had a friend who took a family vacation to action park in the mid to late 80's. They had just built the looping waterslide, so it was probably 1986 or so. He loved it, but his parents said that they would never go back again. They thought things were a bit on the unsafe side. Even at that time, the looping waterslide had already been put to rest. The stories were around even then about people getting the skin ripped off their backs and so on by it. Apparently the kept it SBNO just to show off what they could do or what their history was all about. I never went, but saw the home movies. It looked like fun. My friend had a blast, his parents did not
That's wild. You gotta wonder how the water flowed in such a manner that it went 360 degrees, and how someone could ever come up with the concept that it would logically work safely in this day & age of the 80's (vs. the 50's or 60's when safety was much less stringent).
One that also struck me about this 'disaster' park is that sled run. How unsafe they claim it was where it claimed a life as well as injured many many others. Don't a lot of those exist throughout the country? How do they really compare to what this one is? Was this one just too steep, or too sharp of curves?
joe. said: That is messed up. I mean, hypothetically, if you didn't make it through the loop, you'd be trapped, as well as possibly a broken neck or a concussion from the drop from the top of the loop down.
They had constructed a trap door at the base of the loop for just such an occurrence. From what I've read, they made good use of it when the slide actually operated.
I've read several accounts of people who took a spin (ha ha pun) and they claim that the loop was so fast and intense, all you felt was your toes start upward, and the next thing you knew it was blasting you out into the "catch pool". I use the term "catch pool" loosely, because it has been described as more of an over-flooded slip-n-slide than a pool.
I visited the park several times in the 80s and i always had a blast there. They had some good go-cart tracks as well as bumper boats, but i did enjoy all their slides as well. I never tried the looping slide but i really enjoyed the sky diving simulator they had as well as the alpine slide which was pretty intense. IMO most of the accidents at the park were from guests who didnt obey the rules of the park.
Yeah, I remember that issue. Who knows, the weirdnj.com website might have something on it.
I don't get how that looping waterslide would work. First of all, I can't see the body bending upwards and into a tight vertical loop in a "natural" way. Second, wouldn't all the water create a "lake" at the bottom of the drop and before the loop? Third, if there were a drain to let the water out, what would cause the body to slide through the loop, seeing as how the loop appears to be without pipes and therefore jets of water?