...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.NJ.com: Action Park reopens Saturday embracing its ‘Traction Park’ reputation - "Action Park at Mountain Creek is scheduled to open June 14, giving the park back a name it hasn't used in decades. Two days out, staffers had plenty of touching up to do, but found time to test a new idea: a water-powered jetpack."
“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... 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. 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... the new version of the park isn’t passive... 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.”
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