Action Park/Mountain Creek Waterpark, New Jersey from Are These the 7 Worst Amusement and Theme Parks in America? (Slideshow)

Are These the 7 Worst Amusement and Theme Parks in America? (Slideshow)

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Action Park/Mountain Creek Waterpark, New Jersey

Back in 1978, the new owners of the Vernon Valley/Great Gorge ski area in New Jersey determined they needed an alternative, off-season attraction. Instead of building a tourist trap, they built what some have actually called “a death trap,” and named it Action Park. The first fatality occurred in 1980 when one of the cars on the Alpine Slide (which was described by one employee as having two speeds: extremely slow and “death awaits”) jumped the track. Two deaths followed in the span of one week: a drowning in the Tidal Wave pool and an in-water electrocution on the Kayak Experience. In 1984, extremely cold water may have contributed to the heart attack suffered by another guest, and that same year, the wave pool claimed its second victim, followed by a third in 1987. There have been countless injuries as well, with local hospitals reporting as many as 10 per day during the busy season. Still, the immense success of Action Park (also known as “Traction Park,” “Accident Park,” and “Class Action Park”) in the ‘80s has kept it open over all these years, even though it is now officially called Mountain Creek Waterpark (but still uses the actionpark.com web address). Comedian Chris Gethard summed up the appeal aptly: “Action Park was a true rite of passage for any New Jerseyan of my generation. When I get to talking about it with other Jerseyans, we share stories as if we are veterans who served in combat together. I suspect that many of us may have come closest to death on some of those rides up in Vernon Valley.”