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(io9)   Io9 remembers the greatest water slide in New Jersey history. Yes that one   (io9.com) divider line 73
    More: Scary, water slide, New Jersey, electrical wiring, history, amusement rides  
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5780 clicks; posted to Geek » on 23 Apr 2012 at 4:07 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-23 03:00:44 PM
I went to "Traction Park" once after I moved to New York. These are the things that I remember about it.

1) The ticket salesman said my bills were counterfeit and I would not be allowed into the park. I had just taken the money from a Chase ATM, if they were in fact counterfeit, I wasn'g going to let them keep the freaking bills and keep me out of the Park. I pitched such a fit that they let me in.

2) The park's nickname was indeed well deserved. I saw many people staggering around in a bloody daze, looking like they just were on the losing end of a prize fight. The bottom of the "Alpine Slide" seemed to be the biggest bloodbath. It was not a water feature but a kind of luge with a wheeled cart that would careen down a curving cement flume. Inevitably someone's arm or leg would drag on the cement immediately relieving the plucky rider of their skin. If helmets, leather jumpsuits, and gloves were issued this may not have been such a problem. However, people where in their swimsuits and practically naked.

3) The loop ride was not open. However, I remember one slide in particular that was basically a 80 foot drop straight down. They had signage that encouraged you to cross your legs. When I freaked out and uncrossed my legs I realized why. My colon basically had 50 gallons of water forced up it at once, causing my bowels to open up like a drag racer chute. I can only imagine the coliform content of the pool at the bottom of that thing. It still makes me shudder thinking about it. They should have renamed the ride The Deliverance Squeal Like A Pig Experience.
 
2012-04-23 03:17:02 PM

brap: I went to "Traction Park" once after I moved to New York. These are the things that I remember about it.

1) The ticket salesman said my bills were counterfeit and I would not be allowed into the park. I had just taken the money from a Chase ATM, if they were in fact counterfeit, I wasn'g going to let them keep the freaking bills and keep me out of the Park. I pitched such a fit that they let me in.

2) The park's nickname was indeed well deserved. I saw many people staggering around in a bloody daze, looking like they just were on the losing end of a prize fight. The bottom of the "Alpine Slide" seemed to be the biggest bloodbath. It was not a water feature but a kind of luge with a wheeled cart that would careen down a curving cement flume. Inevitably someone's arm or leg would drag on the cement immediately relieving the plucky rider of their skin. If helmets, leather jumpsuits, and gloves were issued this may not have been such a problem. However, people where in their swimsuits and practically naked.

3) The loop ride was not open. However, I remember one slide in particular that was basically a 80 foot drop straight down. They had signage that encouraged you to cross your legs. When I freaked out and uncrossed my legs I realized why. My colon basically had 50 gallons of water forced up it at once, causing my bowels to open up like a drag racer chute. I can only imagine the coliform content of the pool at the bottom of that thing. It still makes me shudder thinking about it. They should have renamed the ride The Deliverance Squeal Like A Pig Experience.


Wow.

That's very cool that you were actually there.

I've only heard about it from past Fark articles/threads. The loop slide looks positively insanely dangerous. SIX people actually died at this park? Wow again.

I had heard from a past Fark thread that there were so many ambulance calls that the park actually purchased two more ambulances for the city. Another thing that I remember is that because it was a water park, people walked around in their bare feet. And instead of concrete which would have been cooler, everything was blacktop, which was searing hot.

This place has become a legend for being dangerous.

Cool to know that you actually went and experienced it.

Action Park TV commercial

And another

This isn't the place that had the trebuchet ride that killed someone, is it?
 
2012-04-23 03:23:21 PM

Grables'Daughter: This isn't the place that had the trebuchet ride that killed someone, is it?


According to Wiki, no:

Link

Most of the deaths (holy crap there were a lot of them!) were drowning.
 
2012-04-23 03:30:07 PM

downstairs: Grables'Daughter: This isn't the place that had the trebuchet ride that killed someone, is it?

According to Wiki, no:

Link

Most of the deaths (holy crap there were a lot of them!) were drowning.


Wow.

Well THAT Wikipedia article was an interesting read.

I would like to know someone that went down that slide.
 
2012-04-23 04:09:20 PM
YES !!!! Action Park. Greatest Memories

A) Getting drunk with friends in parking lot
B) Ensuing shenanigans
~ riding the motor boats
~ holding hands on the Roaring Rapids like the last few Cheerios in a bowl, holding up the entire tube-queue behind us, letting go, then **WOOSH** down the tubes.
~ drunk Alpine Slide racing. Seriously farked up.
~ Back-spinning while going down the Kamakaze.

ahhh ... memories
 
2012-04-23 04:10:20 PM
Two words:

Enema Slide

If you been there, you know what I'm talking about
 
2012-04-23 04:10:57 PM
/went there
//brother got hurt
 
2012-04-23 04:14:14 PM

Grables'Daughter: This isn't the place that had the trebuchet ride that killed someone, is it?


They had a wave pool that pulled a couple kids underwater every year or so.

My favorite memory was some Orthodox Jewish girls going on the Cannonball (a huge tube that gravity pulls you down, hit a dogleg & shoots you out over a pond)

Their full-body outfits dragged them down & refused to just walk to the end & jump out the tube, so they had to be pulled up the tube entrance.

There were a couple neo-nazi types waiting on line with us. "Choice words" were exchanged.

Good times, good times.
 
2012-04-23 04:14:35 PM
I grew up 20 mins from this place. It wasn't a real summer unless you lost most of your elbow flesh on the alpine slide.

Unfortunately the loopy side of death was never open when we went, so never got to get almost killed on that bad boy.
 
2012-04-23 04:15:57 PM
I went there once, and only once. My dad for some reason loved how unsafe it was to some degree because unlike other theme parks, you could actually get pretty seriously injured. I remember how worked up he was when the handles ripped off the tube he went down the "rapids" in. The rapids consisted of about a half inch of water flowing over jutting concrete bumps.

He specifically forbade me from the cannonball loop for some reason.
 
2012-04-23 04:18:00 PM
I can tell you one thing, that wave pool about killed me.

When I went to traction park I had been on the local YMCA swim team for a few years. I even swam backstroke anchor for the freestyle relay. Being cocky I jumped in to the deep end of the wave pool with no flotation of any type. Why not, I grew up swimming at the beach.

I was underwater gasping for breath in seconds. By dumb luck I was able to spot the ladder on the wall WHILE UNDER WATER and swim for it. I only banged my face on it a couple of times before breaking the surface for air.

I'd go back in a second. Best park EVAR!
 
2012-04-23 04:19:37 PM
** squeezes testicles **

Ahhhh-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha ... Raceway PARK !!
 
2012-04-23 04:23:13 PM
Seriously, this is one of those "monkey bars over cement" style places were fun outranked safety, except on a humungous level & turned up to 11.

I have nothing but fond memories of any bruises made there.

Good times, indeed!
 
2012-04-23 04:27:09 PM

rocinante721: Two words:

Enema Slide

If you been there, you know what I'm talking about


Sounds like the third item in brap's post.
 
2012-04-23 04:30:16 PM
We would hang out at the bottom of the fastest slides. Once and a while water pressure would make a bikini top in to a necklace.

Simpler times.
 
2012-04-23 04:30:23 PM
I went to this park as a kid. It was a right of passage for kids in the north jersey / new york area. I remember walking up to the park and seeing this god awful ride. It taunted us all. We all tried to act brave saying things like "Oh I wish that ride was open, I'd be first in line!" I am sure if that ride was open not one of us would go anywhere near it.

Think I was there when someone either got seriously hurt or drowned in the wave pool.

Ahh memories. Lucky to have survived, have plenty of scars to prove it.
 
2012-04-23 04:30:57 PM

brap:
2) The park's nickname was indeed well deserved. I saw many people staggering around in a bloody daze, looking like they just were on the losing end of a prize fight. The bottom of the "Alpine Slide" seemed to be the biggest bloodbath. It was not a water feature but a kind of luge with a wheeled cart that would careen down a curving cement flume. Inevitably someone's arm or leg would drag on the cement immediately relieving the plucky rider of their skin. If helmets, leather jumpsuits, and gloves were issued this may not have been such a problem. However, people where in their swimsuits and practically naked.

3) However, I remember one slide in particular that was basically a 80 foot drop straight down.


2) I've been on one of those. It was a place in the Appalachians that had a bungee jump, the slide thing, a ski lift to the top of a scenic mountain, etc. Fun thing to do. It would be retarded to do that with exposed skin.

3) That's a staple of every water park I've been to. It's also the most fun. I'm scared as hell of heights, too. I hate looking down from the top of the stairs, but I love the ride.
 
2012-04-23 04:33:20 PM
it just should be noted that those are the deaths that we know of it is NJ after all...several strange disappearances go along with a trip to the park...
 
2012-04-23 04:33:29 PM
Yay....a "Traction Park" thread.

(grabs popcorn)
 
2012-04-23 04:33:31 PM
Thing is, that loop-slide was never open, but was the 1st thing you'd see when walking into the park, like it was put there just to fark with your mind
 
2012-04-23 04:34:40 PM
From wikipedia:

The Tidal Wave Pool: The first patron death occurred here in 1982; another visitor would drown in this common water-park attraction five years later. It was, however, the number of people the lifeguards saved from a similar fate that made this the only Waterworld attraction to gain its own nickname, "The Grave Pool."[15] It was 100 feet (30 m) wide by 250 feet (76 m) long and could hold 500 to 1,000 people. Waves were generated for 20 minutes at a time with 10-minute intervals between them, and could reach as much as 40 inches (102 cm) in height.[15] It was not always obvious that pool depth increased as one got closer to the far end, and there were patrons who only remembered or realized that they could not swim when they were in over their heads and the waves were going full blast. Even those who could swim well did not realize that the waves, as fresh water, were not as buoyant as their ocean counterparts, and they sometimes exhausted themselves doing more swimming than they were ready for, causing patrons to crowd the side ladders as the waves began, leading to many accidents.[15] Twelve lifeguards were on duty at all times, and on high-traffic weekends they were known to rescue as many as 30 people, compared to the one or two the average lifeguard might make in a typical season at a pool or lake.[15] Mountain Creek continues to operate this attraction as the "High Tide Wavepool" but made the pool much shallower.
 
2012-04-23 04:36:32 PM
Thought I was gonna die in the wave pool, grabbed side and hung on, even then got bashed around.

Love the cold spring water that the one ride dropped you into
Just don't make fun parks now.
 
2012-04-23 04:38:28 PM
Kids today don't know what fun IS. In my day we went to the park and EXPECTED to come home with scrapes, bruises, sunburn, and a chlorinated enema. We knew what fun WAS!

/Onion on belt
//Yelling at cloud
 
2012-04-23 04:39:06 PM

RubberBandMan: Love the cold spring water that the one ride dropped you into


Cannonball or Tarzan Swing
 
2012-04-23 04:40:09 PM
Oh yeah, I grew up in NJ not too far from Traction Park and went a few times. I was a little kid, so I only remember so much, but I remember particularly loving the Alpine Slide.

The thing was the disinterested teenagers running the things didn't really give a fark what was going on, and NJ people are generally pushy and impatient, so if you didn't pretty much hit the bottom and immediately pop up and GTFO of the way as fast as you could someone was going to be slamming in to your back shortly after you hit the bottom. Little kids got no special consideration or mercy on this! If you didn't pretty much dive out of the way like a stuntman you were gonna get smashed in to.
 
2012-04-23 04:40:11 PM
I worked there for several summers. Good times.

It wasn't as dangerous as people make it out to be. Met Dave Mustane and Layne Staley and a few others there.
 
2012-04-23 04:44:10 PM

brap: My colon basically had 50 gallons of water forced up it at once, causing my bowels to open up like a drag racer chute. I can only imagine the coliform content of the pool at the bottom of that thing. It still makes me shudder thinking about it. They should have renamed the ride The Deliverance Squeal Like A Pig Experience.


Yeah, I was able to keep it together right up until that point there.

Thanks for the -hearty- LOL on a day that needed one, good sir and/or madam.

/ would have loved to check the place out, if only for the people watching -- I know myself well enough to know I would'n'a' tried the loopy-slide!
 
2012-04-23 04:48:50 PM
I knew exactly from the headline exactly what slide TFA was about. I went a few times as a kid; always wanted to get some scuba gear and clean out the bottom of the Tarzan Swing pool. It was loaded with wallets and car keys...I coulda been rich!
 
2012-04-23 04:51:20 PM
I'd say surviving Action Park is a pretty important rite of passage for anyone in the tri-state area.
 
2012-04-23 04:52:20 PM
I was never "fortunate" enough to go to Action Park before it closed in '96, but I did go to Vernon Valley Great Gorge to go skiing a few times around '98 and '99. My brother and I (about 17 and 15 at the time) used to stare at the alpine slide course as we went up the lift, and imagine what kind of hell awaited anyone dumb enough to go down it.
 
2012-04-23 04:55:51 PM
Last time I went to a water park I tried riding this zipline ride hanging by my feet.
Not only was I surprised they ALLOWED it, but they didn't have any fail safes at the bottom.
My foot got tangled and instead of hitting the water, I hit the building the line was tied to, crashing through the wall.

Ended up in a full body cast.
 
2012-04-23 04:56:22 PM
images1.wikia.nocookie.net

Moooooom!
 
2012-04-23 04:57:42 PM
I went there two or three times during the 80s-90s. My biggest memory of my first trip was the race cars. They weren't go-karts but some sort of open wheel race car that was bigger and more powerful. They charged an arm and a leg for the ride and they made you sign waivers and sit through a training session and warned you that certain behavior would get you banned for the day. After all that I decided what the hell, I'm only buying one lap, I'm gonna make it worthwhile. Sure enough, I got banned for the day. But I had my fun.

The next time must've been 5 years later. We dragged my whole family there and went to the water park. Out of five of us I was the only one that did the straight down "chlorine enema" water slide.
 
2012-04-23 05:02:06 PM
I actually rode that loop. Somewhat disappointing. One didn't really get the feeling of doing a loop. It was just an uphill that kept getting steeper then tossed you out.

I used to love that park. Lots of fun. Lots of injuries as well. I never got hurt, but saw some scary stuff. A friend of mine almost died on the luge ride after the brakes broke from total lack of preventive maintenance on the little carts. She went flying at warp speed down the mountain, then at the end crashed into the line of parked carts and went flying several yards onto the grass. A few cuts and bruises but no major injuries in the end.
 
2012-04-23 05:05:08 PM
Another memory of the park from childhood...

There was a guy walking around the park, and the entire right side of his body was raw and bloody, like a side of beef. I asked him what had happened, and he said he flew up and out the side of one of the slides, I think it was the one called the Kamikaze.

Reading the wiki article about "Traction Park" makes me thing I had some angels looking over my shoulder.

/CSB
 
2012-04-23 05:10:49 PM
I went there as a teenager. Trippin' LSD riding the street luge in the nude I tore all the skin off my body and saw a bunch of naked chicks while my brother drowned. Best park EVER!

/not really, but wanted to join in
 
2012-04-23 05:27:42 PM
Man, I love reading Action Park anecdotes. As someone mentioned, that placed seemed to be a rite of passage for GenXers in New Jersey and New York
 
2012-04-23 05:36:39 PM
CSB:

Went to a Wave Pool (not the one in the article) as a child and saw something that has been burned into my head for over 20+ years. That image?

A person who was patched skinned, rather than smooth skinned, because they had been addicted to sunning themselves for probably the greater portion of their life. They honestly looked like a leather patchwork of the most disgusting chew toy that your dog decided to bring in from the backyard; you then suddenly come to realize that was a landfill, because the chew toy turns out to be someone's discarded animal waste from the 50's that just happened to not decay and instead become preserved by whatever chemicals happened to be in that landfill.

/hopes this image burns into someone else's mind, because that was seriously a time for whathasbeenseencannotbeunseen,jpg
 
2012-04-23 05:36:49 PM
Oh, I had forgotten about the Tarzan swing! I grew up by the beach in Brazil, so I'm a pretty good swimmer. Started bodysurfing on Ipanema beach by the time I was 6. All of the other water rides I had been throughout the day were in tropical-level temperatures. I went as high as I could on the swing, jumped off, nearly hit the border, landed in this freezing cold water that I was completely unprepared for, every muscle in my body cramped, and I started to sink like a rock. Took a lot of effort to swim back out. Scary stuff.
 
2012-04-23 05:53:44 PM
The most dangerous thing my brother and I ever did at Action Park was sneak into the closed maze down in motor world and run through it unsupervised.

It wasn't a particularly difficult maze to navigate, but there's something thrilling about breaking the rules (walking past an orange traffic barrel) and taking risks (might get lost forever because there's no "lifeguard" on duty to talk us back towards the exit).

Oh, and also burning the fook out of our bare feet on the blacktop paths near the water attractions.
 
2012-04-23 05:57:44 PM

Malivon: CSB:

Went to a Wave Pool (not the one in the article) as a child and saw something that has been burned into my head for over 20+ years. That image?

A person who was patched skinned, rather than smooth skinned, because they had been addicted to sunning themselves for probably the greater portion of their life. They honestly looked like a leather patchwork of the most disgusting chew toy that your dog decided to bring in from the backyard; you then suddenly come to realize that was a landfill, because the chew toy turns out to be someone's discarded animal waste from the 50's that just happened to not decay and instead become preserved by whatever chemicals happened to be in that landfill.

/hopes this image burns into someone else's mind, because that was seriously a time for whathasbeenseencannotbeunseen,jpg


DId it look kinda like this?

www.spray-tan-byron-bay.com
 
2012-04-23 05:58:22 PM
/CSB

I went one year with a friend of mine who had a good 100 pounds on me. they had this one ride where you hopped in raft or could get in with a second person, the heavier person is support to be in the back. the ride was open air and had a bunch of turns all the way to the bottom. it looked like fun, so we go into a raft and somehow on one of the first turns, we got the damn raft turned around, so he was going leading the raft and we were going backwards. We hit the next corner and for what seemed like 30 seconds, the raft essentially folded in half and he was above me. I thought for certain we were going to flip the raft over completely. not sure how we made it to the bottom of the hill alive.

/end CSB
 
2012-04-23 06:01:12 PM

Nexzus: Malivon: CSB:

DId it look kinda like this?

[www.spray-tan-byron-bay.com image 438x327]


Worse, it looked like leather stitching and dark skinned bubble wrap
 
2012-04-23 06:09:38 PM

brap: 2) The park's nickname was indeed well deserved. I saw many people staggering around in a bloody daze, looking like they just were on the losing end of a prize fight. The bottom of the "Alpine Slide" seemed to be the biggest bloodbath. It was not a water feature but a kind of luge with a wheeled cart that would careen down a curving cement flume. Inevitably someone's arm or leg would drag on the cement immediately relieving the plucky rider of their skin. If helmets, leather jumpsuits, and gloves were issued this may not have been such a problem. However, people where in their swimsuits and practically naked.


I remember a similar contraption in Park City, Utah, on a family road trip out west when I was a teenager. Theirs must have been better maintained, since the ride itself was rather uneventful.

There wasn't anything in the Chicago area that could compare to Traction Park. Even Old Chicago, the way-ahead-of-its-time indoor amusement park/shopping mall, was no more dangerous than a typical amusement park, at least from a ride safety standpoint.
 
2012-04-23 06:14:07 PM
A coaster friend rode it, said it was the scariest ting he ever did in his life, and he has done other wild stuff.
 
2012-04-23 06:15:01 PM
Another AP Alumni

Was there once. The motor boats were a blast. My friend got swamped about 1/2 a lap in and spent the rest of the day walking around smelling like a sewer from the skank water in the pond.

We tried the F1 cars. I ended up with a burn the size of my hand on my back because the exhaust was cracked and was blasting the back of the driver's seat.

Good Times
 
2012-04-23 06:28:20 PM
Reading these stories makes me wonder how stupid someone has to be to go back to this shiatty park, if I am paying for it I want no death chance, as a kid I can get that for free.
 
2012-04-23 06:57:14 PM
We used to go to this park as kids at least twice a year. You would literally come back with scrapes, bruises cuts and sometimes a concussion. But DAMN that place was fun
 
2012-04-23 07:26:04 PM
Best. Park. Ever! I only visited Class Action Park 4 or 5 times in the early to mid 80's, but it was always an adventure! We always left bloody from the alpine slide, in fact, I think I still have scars. Of course, taking breaks during the day to go out to the parking lot to indulge in things that they didn't provide at the bar, probably contributed to the injuries.
 
2012-04-23 08:02:48 PM

exyankee: Best. Park. Ever! I only visited Class Action Park 4 or 5 times in the early to mid 80's, but it was always an adventure! We always left bloody from the alpine slide, in fact, I think I still have scars. Of course, taking breaks during the day to go out to the parking lot to indulge in things that they didn't provide at the bar, probably contributed to the injuries.


Bloody?
 
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