The most dangerous amusement park in US history

Originally published at:


Connoisseurs of amusement park accidents are not truly fulfilled until they learn about Traction Park. The story of the Cannonball Loop ride, “designed” by some rando from Europe, is especially funny:


Kicks keep getting harder to find.


Regarding the more general death stats the video mentions for amusement parks, it would helpful if they clarified whether those are altogether or only from accidents related to the park. If Americans are collectively spending that many hours in parks, some of them will inadvertently check out while there.


I would have named it the Death Spiral. (One of the many reasons I’m not in marketing.)


You would have been the top candidate for chief marketing officer at Action Park.


Man this takes me back. . . I really miss the 80’s. Dangerous amusement parks, Mickey Mouse acid, underage drinking around a fire in the woods, Satanic panics . . . good times.


Half as Interesting videos are full of fun facts like this.

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Holy shit, Action Point was a true story?!


Why no guillotines on this one? Seems like a classic example of libertarianism run riot.

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I’d assume it’s because the image might have been confused with a real Action Park ride. “Hey kids, don’t lose your heads over The Chopper!”


Even though I would have been in its prime demographic during its heyday, being in Chicagoland meant that I never even heard of it until decades afterward. There was certainly nothing comparable in the Chicago area.

We did have some oddities, though, like Old Chicago, an indoor mall/amusement park combo that opened in 1975, went bust in five years, and sat empty until it was demolished in 1986. The only evidence left of its existence now is an “Old Chicago Drive” in Bolingbrook.

Nonetheless, Traction Park sounds like a classic 80s thing, and I probably would have gravitated there. I would have been in full “look before you leap” mode, though.

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This sounds interesting, but I don’t think I can sit through theYouTube” voice for nine minutes.

22 years?

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One of the comparisons was made between lifeguards at the wave pool and lifeguards at a pool or lake. A better comparison could be made between lifeguards at the wave pool and lifeguards at a ocean beach

You just gotta know where to go.

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It actually looks like a fair bit of it – including the cliff diving and the (or at least a) wave pool – lives on as a “waterpark resort”. They seem to make people wear helmets on some of the tube slides now though. Unclear whether the whole thing is still supervised by drunk 15-year-olds.

And a spectacular scene in The Fury.

I don’t remember how I found Old Chicago after seeing that movie, but I mounted a successful campaign to get my parents to take us. We weren’t very far away, over the border in NW Indiana.

If my memory isn’t completely broken, there was a shop that sold magic tricks that amazed me. There was nothing like that at the mall we frequented in Michigan City and it left me wondering what else I was missing out on.


As a figure skater, I’d do this!

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