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3.6
8 votes

Mountain Creek Waterpark (Action Park)

200 State RT 94, Vernon, New Jersey 07462 USA

$$$$
$$$$
Expensive
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Public Restrooms
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“Formerly the most dangerous water park in America”

"The Grave Pool" is the nickname bestowed upon the Tidal Wave Pool at New Jersey's Action Park, today the park is Mountain Creek Waterpark (Action Park). The pool is insane! 100 feet by 250 feet long, with a depth of 8 feet...oh and it could hold 500-1,000 people! They usually had between 12-20 lifeguards on duty. The reason it got the name "The Grave Pool" was not because of how many people drowned in it (there were three fatalities in the '80s), but because of how many lives were saved by the vigilance of the lifeguards! Several factors played into the notorious intensity of the wave pool: the fresh water waves weren't as buoyant as the saltwater waves in the ocean, many didn't realize that the pool gradually deepened further out, the 20-minute long intervals when waves were produced were long and wore swimmers out, and, of course, the fact that the waves could be as high as 40 inches in height all made the pool a bit of a challenge, even for an experienced swimmer. On a crowded weekend, lifeguards were making as many as 30 rescues, which is insane, considering most lifeguards at a normal pool only make one or two a season.

Today it's known as the High Tide Wavepool, and you can still enjoy a dip in it! Albeit a much safer dip than patrons visiting during the 1980s... it's been made a lot shallower, and it has smaller waves. -Roadtrippers


Mountain Creek Waterpark is a seasonal water park in Vernon Township, New Jersey, on the property of the Mountain Creek ski resort. The park is open roughly from Memorial Day to Labor Day yearly, although weather-related delays and extensions are possible.

Like the ski resort, the Mountain Creek waterpark is owned by the adjacent Crystal Springs Resort, which purchased it from Palace Entertainment and Intrawest in 2010. The owners of Crystal Springs Resort were also the original owners of what would become Mountain Creek ski resort and Mountain Creek Waterpark.

Previously, the grounds of Mountain Creek were known as Action Park, a waterpark known for it's lax supervision and numerous fatal accidents. It was open from 1978 until 1996 when mountain legal problems forced it's closure.

It featured three separate attraction areas: an alpine slide, Motorworld, and Waterworld. The lattermost was one of the first American water parks. Many of its attractions were unique, attracting thrillseekers from across the New York City metro area. The park's popularity went hand-in-hand with a reputation for poorly designed, unsafe rides; underaged, undertrained, and often under-the-influence staff; intoxicated, unprepared visitors; and a consequently poor safety record..

At least six people are known to have died as a result of mishaps on rides at the park. It was given nicknames such as "Traction Park", "Accident Park", and "Class Action Park" by doctors at nearby hospitals due to the number of severely injured parkgoers they treated. Little action was taken by state regulators despite a history of repeat violations. In its later years personal-injury lawsuits forced the closure of more and more rides and finally the park itself in 1996.

The one ride that has come to symbolize Action Park and its extreme thrillseeking was almost never used.

In the mid-1980s GAR built an enclosed water slide, not unusual for that time, and indeed the park already had several. But for this one they decided to build, at the end, a complete vertical loop of the kind more commonly associated with roller coasters. Employees have reported they were offered hundred-dollar bills to test it. Tom Fergus, who was "one of the idiots", said "$100 did not buy enough booze to drown out that memory."

It was opened for one month in summer 1985 before it was closed at the order of the state's Advisory Board on Carnival Amusement Ride Safety, a highly unusual move at the time. One worker told a local newspaper that "there were too many bloody noses and back injuries" from riders, and it was widely rumored, and reported in Weird NJ, that some of the test dummies sent down before it opened had been dismembered. A rider also reportedly got stuck at the top of the loop due to insufficient water pressure, and a hatch had to be built at the bottom of the slope to allow for future extractions.

The ride supposedly reopened a few more times over the years. In summer 1995 it opened for several days before a few more injuries forced another shutdown. Those who rode it have said that more safety measures were taken than was otherwise common at the park. Riders were weighed and hosed down with cold water, required to remove jewelry, and then carefully instructed in how they had to position their bodies to complete the ride.

For the remainder of the park's existence, it remained visible near the entrance of Waterworld. 

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Reviewed by
Tatiana Danger

  • Road Warrior
  • 1,168 Reviews
  • 600 Helpful
August 31, 2014
Rated 3.0

Vernon, New Jersey's Action Park. Home of the ill-fated, and stupidly-conceived, 360 degree loop. Or as I like to call it, "the Alpine Slide of Death." Yeah. That's a GREAT idea! Let's barrel kids down a terrifying enclosed waterslide and then hope they have enough momentum to make the loop at the end, before getting propelled out of it into a pool. Of course, stories began to abound of riders getting caught in the loop.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
ben.bookbinder.1

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
June 23, 2014

Park is officially Action Park again - re-branding was announced in April. actionpark.com is the park's new web address. :D

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
themuse21

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
August 15, 2016
Rated 1.0

I purchased a ticket online for yesterday, August 13, 2016, and unfortunately, I had an emergency to tend to and I called your organization and they refused to refund me because I purchased the ticket online a week in advance. Of course, I had no idea that this emergency would present itself, and I was disheartened to learn I would not be refunded. If I may, I feel that it is ridiculous not to refund people regardless of where they purchased their ticket, like someone knows if an emergency will present itself or not. Needless to say, I'm very disappointed and I will tell people in the future to never purchase their tickets online because if they do, they need to be fortune tellers to see what the future holds for them. It's not fair. Just my two cents. I will never attempt to go to this place again. If they can't be flexible enough to work with their patrons, I will be going elsewhere to a place that works with their patrons.

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Mountain Creek Waterpark (Action Park)

200 State RT 94
Vernon, New Jersey
07462 USA

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  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Public Restrooms
  • Private Parking

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