Action Park

Trav found mention of how incredibly dangerous Action Park was.

Man, I loved that place. I worked there for 3 weeks at the Alpine Slide. I’ve got a couple cute stories about it. My fondest memory is of going to a party at the home of one of my supervisors. There was drinking so I asked my host if I could stay the night so that I might drink safely. The party was going pretty well. Then at about 2 am, the host told me in my stupor that the party was over and I had to go home. I very clearly remember arguing with him, “But I’m drunk, I can’t drive… But you said I could spend the night…” He argued the counter-case, that I had to get out because the party was over.

I drove 1/4 mile to a spot on the road where I could pull over. I spent the next hour and a half walking around, doing jumping jacks and push-ups in a dirt pull-out on the side of a rural-residential road near Vernon NJ. Nice host, eh? I finally felt well enough to drive and proceeded home.

About 2/3 mile from the north entrance of Smoke Rise on 23 South, there is a short straight-away. I was going a steady 50 mph. My window was open just a bit to let in fresh air, the car’s heat was turned on comfortably, the pop music was playing softly on the radio. At that point, I fell asleep. I held the wheel straight while the road curved gently to the left. I opened my eyes with a start, seeing a green mile-marker sign at an odd angle leaning toward me about 4 feet in front of my face. I saw the tips of a tree branch coming at me from the right so I swerved to the left. One frame later, the green sign was out of my field of view. I made it the 5 minutes to home with 1 quart of adrenaline in my blood. Even with that, I was astounded that I almost fall asleep on the road again.

The next day, I took a look at the car in the driveway. It was a white LeBaron. There were a few green scratches on the hood and no other damage. I drove out to the spot and was amazed. I found the mile marker post and the sign a hundred feet down the road. I put the sign in my trunk. I followed my tire tracks off the road, into the dirt, over the sign post and then curving sharply to the left where I woke up. What gave me terrible shivers was how incredibly close my tire tracks were to the telephone pole. I actually couldn’t believe that the tire tracks could be so close without some side-damage to the car, or worse. The track came 1 inch away from the pole; the tires on the car are set in at least 2 inches from the outside contours of the bumper and body. I don’t know why it didn’t catch, ripping off a bumper or scraping the whole side of the car. And I thought how lucky I was that I hadn’t been 1 more inch to the right; the bumpers would have been torn off.   Or if I had been 1 more foot to the right. I was wearing a seat belt but that’s no guarantee that I’d be here writing this story.

Well, maybe my memory of Action Park isn’t so fond.


  1. Derek says:

    I SO remember Action Park! I remember running around, planning the day, doing the “land” area (go-carts, etc.) in the early morning, and the water slides and stuff later so you could cool off. Or if you got there right when it opened, you could do as much of the water stuff as you could cram in until the crowds got there (since that was toward the entrance), and do land stuff since the crowds would take a little while to work their way there. We argued incessantly about the best way to do the park.

    I remember the speed traps on the way there on the weekends. :-(

    There was this one ride, it was just the longest, steepest, straight water slide ever. (The park was on the side of a mountain, for those of you who aren’t Lee.) It was very cool. The first drop was very steep to get you going. Big wedgies! If you were one of the cool kids, you grabbed onto the sides of the chute just as you were about to go, and you pulled yourself forward hard. If you did it right, you actually had some good free fall time. It got so bad with people doing it that they put up mesh netting over the first part of the downhill to stop people from doing it. So the game became to do it just hard enough so that your nose only brushed against the mesh as you plummeted down the first drop.

    Of course, they threw you out of the park for that kind of stuff after a while. Unless you knew the person who was manning the gate. Which I never did.

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience. I ask your readers to check out our website and inparticular the videos under Real Life Experiences – NZ Stories (Videos of drowsy drivers crashing, who survive)

  3. Lee says:

    Thanks Martin.

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