If you are Facebook friends with anyone from northern New Jersey, you may have seen a recent link to a video about a place called “Action Park“. As a child of New Jersey who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s, trust me: everything they say in the video is real. It really was that dangerously awesome.
It has been well over 20 years since I last went to Action Park (I’m 32, so the last time I was there was probably when I was 11 or 12) but a few things stick out distinctly from the experience. One, I remember looking at some of the activities, like the Tarzan swing and the cliff jump, and thinking they looked terrifying. Still, it couldn’t be all that bad since my day camp wouldn’t take us anywhere that dangerous, right? (Apparently they did!)
I also remember going to Disney World some time after a visit to Action Park, and thinking Disney’s “Congo River” type ride was way lamer than the similar Colorado River Ride at Action Park. What was my benchmark for this assessment? I didn’t have a sore neck or bruised shoulders after riding the Congo River at Disney. For those of you not familiar with water park rides, rides like Congo River are basically artificial whitewater rides- they’re bumpy, but hardly major thrillers. My point… you definitely shouldn’t walk away from such a ride with whiplash. And you didn’t… unless you had an awesome childhood at Action Park.
Despite how dangerous and scary Action Park felt to a 12 year old, and how dangerous it actually was when I read about it as an adult, I still get a thrill hearing the theme song and watching videos about the park. If you didn’t have parents or a day camp who were unaware of the park’s reputation, or you weren’t lucky enough to grow up in New Jersey in the ’80s, check out part one of Dailymotion’s documentary below!