Looping water slides, rowdy teenagers, life-threatening rides, and an Alpine slide that was better known for causing injuries than wholesome summer memories are just part of the legacy left by New Jersey’s infamous Action Park. And thanks to the recent documentary on HBO Max, interest in the “do-it-yourself” fun park has reached an all-time high.
I'm Andy Mulvihill, son of famed Action Park founder Gene Mulvihill. I worked at Action Park through my teens and beyond, testing the rides, working as a lifeguard in the notorious Wave Pool, and eventually taking on a managerial role. I've just published a book titled Action Park about my experiences, giving an unvarnished look at the history of the park and all of the chaos, joy, and tragedy that went with working there...
Here are a few of the top answers.
Were You Ever Able To Go Down The Cannonball Loop Water Slide?
"I was the first human test subject and am here to tell the tale. My advice is to avoid Cannonball Loops...
I was the first person to test the Cannonball Loop. It was disorienting and not really fun. It was never really properly engineered and there was no predicting whether someone would clear the loop or not.
Other Than The Infamous Looping Waterslide, What Was The Next Most Bonkers Ride In Your Opinion?
"My father met a ride engineer named Ken Bailey who came up with something he called The Bailey Ball. It was basically a giant hamster ball that could fit a human. Bailey built a PVC track on the mountain and his idea was to launch people down the slope in the ball, which would stay on a fixed path on the track. We had one trial launch. The ball broke free and rolled across the road. It was terrifying."
Why Did The Cannonball Loop Close?
"It was barely ever open. We just couldn't figure out how to make the ride consistent, other than consistently unpleasant."
What's Your Favorite Ride At Action Park?
"Surf Hill! It was basically a giant Slip 'n Slide. You could really get momentum going and shoot yourself into the air. My father would get a bunch of us together and have us 'perform' on it like acrobats when he had business associates at the park."