Class Action Park Is a Metaphor for Our Childhoods

Class Action Park Is a Metaphor for Our Childhoods
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Class Action Park Is a Metaphor for Our Childhoods. Come on – who doesn’t want to take part in a little bit o’ Alpine Center, Water World, & Motor World? Sounds like pretty normal kid experiences. If you love Disney World, heck, pretty much the same, no? Yeah, no. Not at all. Class Action Park is an HBO MAX documentary, which you can watch right here. And it talks about the larger than life experiences that happened at the “World’s Largest Water Park,” Action Park in Vernon, New Jersey.

THiNC. is a huge fan of documentaries. I just can’t get enough of the things… and I only talk to you about my favorite 2%. Documentaries like, Free Solo, Nietzermann, Winter on Fire, etc., etc. There is something about getting a glimpse behind the screen of how things get made, how they happen, or the inside scoop. I just can’t get enough of the genre. I literally could make this entire website 100% documentaries without skipping a beat. (Don’t worry, gah, calm down. I’m just saying.) And today’s documentary, Class Action Park is just a hilarious downward spiral – well, until people start drowning that is.

Class Action Park Is a Metaphor for Our Childhoods

A 360 degree loop water-slide? Obviously the stuff of nightmares – yeah, that’s the opening to Class Action Park. What about a seven story, straight down water-slide that doubles as an enema cleanser? Good for laughs in the safety of your home, but doesn’t sound like an ideal water park experience personally. (Colonics are free with your ticket to ACTION PARK!!!)

Aqua Skoot – slide on board, across water after sliding down meat plant rollers. Unbeknownst to many, it was home to a bee colony.

Tarzan Swing – swing and release, spring fed water…freezing. 100 people watching as you flip into the water. Many people forgot how to swim when they hit the water.

Apparently, Action Park was a bit of a strange social experiment – alcohol and no rules. The place was ruled by kids. If you’d been there 2 years, and were 16, just like that, you became a manager. Hazing was normal. Labor laws were not paid attention to. Young kids were working 50 hours a week. Weed and sex. After hours parties. Come on, they had a yearly party called the “Kamana Wanna-Layya Party”??! hahah. No. No, uncool.

Turns out, “Uncle Jean” created a fake insurance company in the Cayman Islands in order to assuage the fact that the company didn’t insure the park at all. IT WAS UNINSURED! hahahah.

Class Action Park Is a Metaphor for Our Childhoods

But think about it…when we were growing up, we were allowed to bike to wherever, and our parents didn’t care. Back in the 80’s and 90’s it was a different world. I just flipped open Google Maps, and the circumference of where I could go on my own without even thinking about asking for permission? 6.2 miles. As a 13-year old, I’d ride my bike into town to the Carroll County Library (3.2 miles), and pick up a stack of books to put into my backpack. Then from there, I’d ride over to Blockbuster, and rent several VHS tapes (another 1.6 miles). Then across 140 to the mall to play Mortal Kombat until someone good enough was finally able to kick me off the machine. And if it were a big day, I’d ride my bike back into town to watch a film at the old Westminster Movie Theater (2.5 miles). Then all the way back home again (3.0 miles). This was the era of the last time kids could have unsupervised fun.

And it’s true, but that was for a reason! More than once while traversing the town by myself I was almost hit by cars, propositioned by child predators (I kid you not) with ice cream and candy. It was a different day back then. In a land of no, action park became the land of yes…working class types, those that couldn’t afford the Hampton’s, Florida, etc. Too much liquor, heat, and that gave you Code Browns, fist fights, and way too many kids injured on rides.

As the movie winds down to the last 20 minutes, the format changes quite a bit. Instead of laughing about the chaos that was their definition of a safe ride for an 8-year old, it flips to a list of families impacted by the dead or the dying. But wow, what a ride, Class Action Park is a crazy ride.

Edited by: CY