Trailer for HBO's 'Class Action Park,' about the most dangerous amusement park in history

I went several times back in the 80’s. This.place.was.awesome. And all this was true. It was only great assuming you did not break your back, puncture a lung, or otherwise die. YOU KNEW why this was dangerous, and that’s why people went. I mean, what could possibly go wrong with a cement luge? Of pipes that had you exit 15 feet above the water? I mean, the lines would stop at every person because they actually had to think about whether risking one’s life was worth it, and if you walked away, you lived to risk your life on another ride… Anyone who went to Action Park who didn’t know they were risking paralysis were even dumber than those who did, but went anyway. Why do you think most of the people who went were 18 to 20? Same reason the military WANTS YOU.

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I just read that book as well. Definitely some funny anecdotes well told, but also very sobering for someone like myself whose job, in part, is to keep rides running safely. I recommended it to several co-workers who do safety reviews of theme park rides. It really illustrated pretty well how the safety culture of a company really relies on the top management actually caring about this stuff.

Here’s a link to one of the more amusing stories from the book:

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I’ve been to a few as well, but never saw the ones at this park. According to the book by the owner’s son there were a few factors that made these worse than some others. Many alpine slides carried some small risk of being launched out of the track if you intentionally went too fast, but on these ones it was extremely common. The operators also didn’t space riders out as far as they should have in order to increase throughput, which contributed to collisions between riders. They often operated in the rain when the tracks were too slippery for the brakes to be fully effective. They sold large amounts of alcohol to park goers, which obviously affected judgement. And, not least, the ride operators has a few specially modified luges that allows them and their friends to reach ridiculous speeds that directly led to at least one death.

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Otherbrother mentioned them becoming slippery in the rain- this actually happened to me as a little kid. I was riding one with my sister and we went off the track. I had to get stitches, and we were very lucky not to be more seriously injured. And that wasn’t Action Park, it was a much tighter-run place with stricter safety regulations. That said, I did go back as a teenager and ride it on my own, and had a great time, but they shouldn’t have let us ride in the rain that first time. They’re not so dangerous they shouldn’t exist, but the potential danger is very real and the way Action Park ran things did little to minimize that danger.

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