If You Grew Up in CT Area You Probably Remember Action Park Commercials
Vernon Township, was a must-visit destination for any kid, or young person who grew up in the Tri-State area (NY, NJ, CT) in the 1980's and 1990's. The NJ town was was the home of Action Park.
Action Park was an amusement/water park that opened in 1978, and the park's owners' did a great job selling their service to young people.The Action Park TV commercials would air during cartoons, and youth programming, and they ran a lot of them.
They had water slides that dropped kids out into open-air, 10-feet above the pool surface, they had wave pools, go carts, cliff diving, basically anything an energetic kid would be excited about. For me, Action Park was the ultimate destination.
This is one of those ads (below), this particular commercial is from 1980 according to the Youtube channel for "Class Action Park." Commercials like this, ran for years on television all over the Greater-Danbury area in CT, and in Putnam County in NY. I'm sure they aired in a lot of other regions but I was just a kid, I only watched TV in Putnam County and the Greater-Danbury area so get off my ass.
I grew up in Brewster, NY, and these ads were overwhelming for me. All I wanted to do was go to Action Park. I'd watch these commercials, and see unsupervised children flinging themselves from great heights, and wonder how do they do that?
I'd say, I can't believe they let this happen, where are their parents? What does it cost? I'd think, that looks dangerous but there must be a method to the madness, something that keeps it safe? Well, I was wrong, there was no method, at least not a good one.
Years later (as an adult) I'd learn, that not only was Action Park a dangerous, free-for-all but people actually died there. This mayhem wonderland of the Tri-state area, had many problems according to a 2020 HBO Max Documentary called "Class Action Park."
The film spoke with adults, who were children in the 80's, that were "lucky" enough to go to Action Park. The movie also spoke with some of the adults from the era, and park workers who witnessed one terrible decision, after another with the business, and park safety. The website for "Class Action Park" describes the film like this:
"If you grew up near New Jersey, the chances are pretty good that the mere sight of those words floods your brain with feelings of dread, doom, and possibly the memories of at least a few scars—if not the time of your life.
Here's the gist: During its 1980s and 1990s heyday, New Jersey’s Action Park earned a reputation as the most insane — and possibly the most dangerous — amusement park that ever existed.
It was known as a lawless land, ruled by drunk teenage employees and frequented by even drunker teenage guests. The rides were experimental and illogical, and seemed to ignore even the most basic notions of physics or common sense—not to mention safety.".
If you are nostalgic for the park, the 80's, or used to salivate at these commercials (like me), you need to see this movie.
P.S. The park opened in 1978, closed in 2014, re-opened, and then closed again in 2016. I'd just like to take a moment to say thank you to my mom and dad for telling me they would not take me to Action Park. I must have asked like 1,000 times, and they just kept telling me no. In fact, if the park was open today (post-documentary), I'd probably still want to go, and expect my parents to pay.