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The Most Fraternal Amusement Park In The History Of Mankind

Funny scared couple on extreme water slide in aqua park

If your fraternity was given unlimited funding to build the water park of their dreams with minimal oversight, chances are it would look something like Action Park. Located in Vernon New Jersey, Action Park was a place that sold beer right next to a go-kart track and had a rollercoaster that you were able to control the speed of. That is until the park was shut down as a result of multiple deaths. Can you start to see how this place aligns with frat life? While it lasted, there truly was nothing in the world like Action Park, and looking back I just wish I was there to experience the sheer freedom it offered its guests. Beer was flowing and so were the people.

The most famous ride at Action Park was the notorious Cannon Ball Loop. This ride was known for sending people out to the other side looking like they just went through the worst hell week in the history of pledging. Nowadays, people need to be convinced that the picture isn’t photoshopped and that the slide actually existed. The ride might never have been technically never opened, but the park owner did use his teenage employees to test it out. Kids would come out bloody and some even lost their teeth trying to tame the beast that is Cannon Ball Loop. Best of all, the tubing was black so these riders had no idea when they were gonna smash their face into the side of the slide. I don’t know about you but this sounds like one of the craziest forms of hazing I have ever heard of. 

Another ride that brought park goers from all across the state was the Tarzan Swing. This was a place for guys and girls to truly show what they were made of as they swung off a rope making a 20-foot descent into ice-cold water. While guys were trying to one-up each other by seeing who could do the most flips, the ladies always ended up stealing the show by flashing the crowd. I’m not sure about you guys but this seems like any frat guy’s dream. Believe it or not, the Tarzan swing is one of the few attractions that still operates after new ownership took over the park in 1998. However, they did have to paint the floor of the pool white to make it easier to spot bodies. Now that’s what I like to call risk management. 

In 1996, personal injury lawsuits led to an increase in the number of ride closures and eventually caused the entire park to close. Since then it has been bought by a major resort developer, Intrawest, which has turned it into your usual over-regulated piece of garbage. There are no more GoKarts next to bars, the Tarzan Swing is about half the height, and they started to actually check IDs. Action Park screams Greek life and it makes me think of what could’ve been if I was just born 30 years earlier. After learning about the rich history of Action Park, I know I’m going back to my frat house this fall with some new renovation ideas.

Written by Brady White

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  1. I used to work at Action Park. I worked in retail and then “alpine center,” where I was a jumpmaster on the bungee jump, which WAS actually regulated. That and the sling shot I think were the only two rides that complied with state law. I have several friends in the Action Park documentary. All the stories told in the documentary are one hundred percent true. Though, I think the “love shack” was before my time because if it existed when I worked there, I’d have been in it at some point.

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