Today, I present to you an amusement
park that was so fun, it killed people. (through laughter) Let’s talk about that. ♪ (theme music) ♪ – Good Mythical Morning.
– Spring is just around the corner, – and you know what that means, Link…
– Flowers. Amusement park time! And flowers.
There’s gonna be flowers, too. People are gonna be going to amusement
parks. Maybe you go during the winter. – I don’t know what kinda people you are.
– If you wanna avoid the lines! A lot of people start going in the spring.
But chances are you’re gonna go to a place that you’re gonna walk out of
uninjured, right? It’s gonna be unlikely – that you will be injured or killed.
– Boo! But that wasn’t the case back in the
’70s, ’80, and ’90s… – Of course.
– …at the little place called Action Park. ♪ (There’s nothing in the world
like Action Park!) ♪ Now, some of you may have heard of this,
because there’s quite a few web videos about this, and there’s a really good
short documentary… – Okay.
– …all about Action Park, back from – 2013, link in the description.
– In the description? – In the description!
– All right. You can go watch that. You can also
watch this. This was an amusement park located in Vernon, New Jersey, opened up
in 1978. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but Noah —
who’s not here today, but that’s where – he’d be if he was here.
– Yep. I’m pointing to Stevie, who is here.
He went to this park, and he knew – about it, and hipped us to the scene.
– Yes. – Right? Or you.
– Thank you, Noah, for alerting us to the existence of Action Park.
And Link… – He went to this place!
– Here’s a little taste of what Action Park was like, from the commercial. ♪ (Baby, let’s take you to the
Action Park) ♪ ♪ (Action, Action Park!) ♪ ♪ (You can ride the excitement and
feel the [inaudible]) ♪ ♪ (Action, Action Park!) ♪ ♪ (The action never stops at
Action Park!) ♪ – I love that song!
– First observation: catchy song. – Second observation:…
– Yeah. – No one died in the promotional video.
– Yeah, it looks like just a good, old fun – time! I bring my kids out there, right?
– I didn’t see anyone bleeding or dying. Well, it looks like fun. And you know
what? It’s really fun. But it’s also the most dangerous amusement park
in the world. – (laughing) Officially.
– Or, meh, you know. One of them. – Okay.
– Okay, this all started back in ’78 with the owner, Gene
Mulvihill. Now, it was his philosophy of what amusement parks should be
that led to what Action Park was. – What’s his philosophy?
– He thought that you should be in control. You know how, like, when you
go to Disney World, it’s just like… – You’re drivin’ a car…
– You and the guy next to you, you’re both gonna experience
the same thing, right? Like, you’re driving a car,
but the steering wheel… – (Rhett) You’re not really driving it!
– (Link) Like you just, hey, take your… …hand off the wheel, and it’s just
like, “Thunk… – In Action Park, you control the speed.
– …thunk, thunk.” You controlled whether or not you
stayed on the ride or not. (Both Rhett & Link) Okay. – (laughing) Whoa, okay!
– (laughing) Okay! And his philosophy was he would hire you
if you had a good idea for a ride. You didn’t have to have a physics
background, engineering background. – He’s like, “Good idea, son!”
– “Build it!” That led to things like this. ♪ (jungle music) ♪ – Whaaaat?! (laughing)
– (laughing) Dude, there’s somebody coming out of that! – How…
– It’s not Photoshopped, man! What do you mean Photoshopped?
It’s a video. Or, it’s not effects!
They made that thing! How fast do you have to be going to do
an actual loop de loop on a water… – …slide. There’s no water, that…
– Water slide! It’s not about the water pressure. It’s
about you, and your weight. But hold on. You might think, “Hold
on. That looks dangerous! I’ve been on some of those water slides that are
just real steep, and…” I think — no, here’s what’s happening
in that. I want a clear tube, because what’s happening is there’s dead bodies
piling up inside of this thing, and then they’re just… puttin’ other
people coming out the other end. (Rhett) Just droppin’ one out. Here’s what
happened. – It’s an illusion.
– They opened this up in the summer of 1985, and before the ride was opened,
Gene paid employees $100 each to – volunteer to go down it.
– (through laughter) To test it. Now, after a lot of head injuries and
nosebleeds later, they decided, “Hey, let’s open this thing up to
the public!” – (laughing) Really.
– And that’s exactly what they did. A couple of things of things happen.
There were more bloody noses, more head injuries, and then one rider reportedly
got stuck at the top of the loop. – Yeah.
– And so they had to build a hatch to rescue people, if you got stuck at the
top of the loop. I’m not making this up. – Wooop!
– It was open for one month, (stammering) Just send someone else through a
little heavier to like… – (spits) Just kinda push ’em out?
– … push ’em on through. – It’s like Drano: human Drano.
– The advisory board on carnival amusement ride safety —
which I’m glad that exists –… – (laughing)
– …shut this thing down after one month. – Oh, wow. Good.
– But there was more. How many people are still
in there today? Uh, well, just hold on for the end.
Okay, another ride was the alpine slide. Now, I’ve actually seen a ride like this
before. Never been on one. But this is essentially this concrete
track, and you’re… – (Link) Oh, yeah.
– …in this sled, and you’ve got this brake, right? You can slow
yourself down a little bit, but you’re – in a concrete, like, luge thing, right?
– (Link) A ditch. Concrete ditch. – (Link) Oh, wow.
– (Rhett) So you may have seen one of these before. They actually have these…
They have one of these in California. The problem in Action Park was the carts
didn’t work right. And so they had two speeds: really, really slow,
or no brakes. And what would happen is, they would put
somebody on the track who was going – really, really slow, and then they would
– Get frustrated. – let somebody with no brakes go.
– (Link) Oh, after ’em. (Rhett laughing) Yes, and (slap)
just run into the back of ’em. – (laughing)
– Not to mention the fact that it – was impossible to control yourself…
– They call it the rear ender? …you can’t steer! And so people would
come off of this with huge burns – all over their bodies.
– Ugh! And this actually led to the first death
at Action Park. – Oh.
– A 19-year-old employee and his cart flew off the tracks and he suffered a
head injury and died. And then, according to state records,
in 1984 and 1985, the alpine slide produced 14 fractures 26 head injuries. Sounds like fun to me. But it gets
more fun in the tidal wave pool, – otherwise known as the grave pool.
– Oooh… Now, this is — you’ve been in one of
those wave pools at like, Emerald Point, you know, (southern accent)
Emerald Point, Greensboro, North Carolina? Oh, yeah. There’s like a (foghorn sound)
and then the wave starts coming. – Stevie knows about that. Yeah.
– (foghorn sound) – “They’re send a wave!”
– These were some of the first guys to do a wave pool, and they hadn’t
really figured it out yet. And they were a little too intense. And so
there’s two things that happen in a wave pool. Number one is waves. – Check.
– Number two is it’s not salt water, so you’re not a buoyant as you typically
would be out in the ocean. – Ah.
– And people don’t estimate things right, – and the waves were too big.
– Hm. And so what ended up happening was
people would be over there holding onto the ladders for their dear lives. Like 30,
40 people crowded around these ladders. – Three people died on this ride.
– Oh, goodness. Three people died on the wave pool. – And they just left ’em in there?
– (clearing throat) No, they got ’em out. They had 12
lifeguards — all teenagers, by the way — They had people working there at the park
as young as 14 years old. Ride operators as young as 14 years old. “Can you sign your name?
You can work here.” Here’s some of the things that stacked
up here, okay? (Rhett) There were more rides that led to
more injuries, including fractured femurs, collarbones, and noses, dislocated knees
and shoulders. So many people were taken to the emergency
room from Action Park, that the actual park bought extra ambulances
for the township of Vernon to keep up with the volume. Okay, so there’d been a total of six
deaths, which is a lot of deaths… – Oh, dude.
– For operating for about 20 years, okay? Yeah, I mean, they better be cuttin’
their annual pass if… In 1982, two people died a week apart. Who’s going the week after that, you know?
Who’s going the third week? Thousands of people went, continued to
go. It was incredibly popular. They had to set up their own insurance
company in the Cayman Islands… – (laughing)
– …in order to insure themselves, – because nobody would!
– Gene’s a business man, man! (Rhett) And then things got so crazy that
they lost the insurance policy that they had made for themselves and they
operated a year without insurance. Then they went bankrupt, because there
was just too much to handle. – Too many legal problems.
– Mhm. And they closed in 1996. But when
you watch the documentary that – we’ll link to, you’ll see: people…
– Wow. …LOVED this thing. And you gotta think
about it. – (Link stammering) You’re in charge.
– (Rhett) Chances are, you’re not gonna die. Chances are, you’re not gonna die, and
that’s what makes it super fun. Chances are SOMEONE is. And I’m gonna
be here for that. People absolutely loved this. If given
the chance to go in the loop de loop, wouldn’t you do it? If I could go right now now and do it,
would you do it? Give me some time to really think about
this. No. What if I give you until 2016 when they’re
bringing it back? – What?
– That’s right, Link! In 2014, Action Park reopened. The
owner’s son is in charge now, – and he says…
– Gene, Junior? …he’s bringing it all back — “Bringing
all of the thrills back and none of the spills.” So it probably won’t be as
fun as the original Action Park, but they just announced in March 2015.
They’re bringing back the Cannonball Loop successor. They’re calling it the
“Sky Caliber,” and it will be open in the summer of 2016. And you’ve got to
promise me that you’re gonna go there with me. – Oh my goodness. What?
– It’s a… – Forty-five foot fall.
– …forty-five foot free fall. – And then a loop?
– A thirty foot loop. – What?
– But it’s a little bit different. – You’ve gotta ride in this thing.
– A coffin. They put you… (laughing)
They put you in a water coffin. – That guy looks scared.
– And they strap you in. – Oh, wow.
– Are you ready? Buy the plane tickets.
I’ll drive up there. (raspy voice) I’ll give ya $100
to go down first. – We can take a scooter to New Jersey.
– Yeah, I’ll be on the front of the scooter, and you be on the front of the… I think modern-day water parks and theme
parks could learn something from – Action Park: how to have more fun.
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– Thanks for liking and commenting. You know what time it is. – (splash)
– Hi, I’m Lily. – And I’m Brianna.
– (unison) And we’re from… …Perth, Western Australia.
And it’s time to spin The Wheel of Mythicality!
(splash) Don’t let us have all the fun drinking
outta these Good Mythical Morning mugs. Get your own at
rhettandlink.com/store! Oh, I just drank out of it. Oh, you
should, too! A different one. – Or mine, if you’re here.
– It makes stuff taste better. – Click through to Good Mythical More…
– Not really. I didn’t go to Action Park, but I did
something action-packed off-roading I gotta tell you guys about, including
you. I might need to apologize. “Forced analogy: riding a bike is like… schhh-wimming in the ocean!” Uh, you know, um… riding a bike
is a lot like schwiiiimming – in the ocean.
– Right, because of the wheels. You got two wheels, and you gotta
keep it balanced, and you gotta – oil your chain. Just like the ocean.
– And then… And don’t forget about the
moon factoring in. And your horn. Don’t forget about horns.
(horn sound with mouth) [Captioned by Kevin:
GMM Captioning Team]