Mountain Creek Waterpark
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (September 2013)|
|Slogan||"Where winter's white snow turns into summer's white water"|
|Location||Vernon Township, New Jersey|
|Owner||Crystal Springs Resort|
1976 (as Action Park)1998 (as Mountain Creek Waterpark)
|Closed||1997 (as Action Park)|
|Previous names||Action Park (1976-1997)|
|Operating season||May to September|
|Area||65 acres (26.3 ha)|
Mountain Creek Waterpark is a seasonal water park in Vernon Township, New Jersey, on the property of the Mountain Creek ski resort. The park is open roughly from Memorial Day to Labor Day yearly, although weather-related delays and extensions are possible.
Like the ski resort, the Mountain Creek waterpark is owned by the adjacent Crystal Springs Resort, which purchased it from Palace Entertainment and Intrawest in 2010. The owners of Crystal Springs Resort were also the original owners of what would become Mountain Creek ski resort and Mountain Creek Waterpark.
- 1 History
- 2 Notable Action Park water slides
- 3 Current water slides and attractions
- 3.1 Park Central
- 3.2 Adventure Ridge
- 3.3 Wild River Canyons
- 4 Mountain Adventures
- 5 External links
In 1977, the owners of the Vernon Valley/Great Gorge Resort decided to install an alpine slide to draw people to the resort during its offseason. The next year, the resort opened 2 water slides. In 1979, a small pool was added as well as several other water slides and multiple dry amusement rides. With this, the group of rides was named Action Park.
Action Park quickly became one of the most popular destinations for residents, especially teenagers, in the New York metro area. Its popularity, however, went hand in hand with a reputation for poorly-designed, unsafe (yet thrilling) rides; inattentive, underage, underpaid and sometimes under-the-influence employees; equally intoxicated and underprepared visitors that rarely paid attention to the rules that were posted and explained to them — and the poor safety record that followed from this perfect storm of circumstances. This, along with various other factors including the bankruptcy of its parent company, resulted in Action Park not opening for summer 1997.
Due to the bankruptcy the ski area and water park was sold to Intrawest, which renamed the resort Mountain Creek in 1997. Intrawest then began to redevelop the former Action Park property, removing all of the non-water rides. On June 15, 1998 the park reopened as Mountain Creek Waterpark, with an emphasis on safety and all of the dangerous slides removed. Intrawest initially owned and operated the park. Beginning in 2002, they began to lease the park to Palace Entertainment, who operated the park for Intrawest.
The entire Mountain Creek Resort was sold to the adjacent Crystal Springs Resort in 2010. Mountain Creek Waterpark continued to be operated by Palace Entertainment until the end of the 2011 season, when Crystal Springs took over. On August 27, 2011, the wave pool and multiple slides were damaged by Hurricane Irene, resulting in the abrupt and early ending of the season. All damage was fixed by opening day 2012.
Notable Action Park water slides
Action Park's alpine slide descended the mountain below a chairlift that brought guests to the ride entrance, which resulted in much verbal harassment and sometimes spitting from passengers on the chairlift to the riders below.
The tracks were made of concrete, which led to serious abrasions on riders who took even mild falls off of the slide vehicle. When Intrawest took over the park at the beginning of the 1998 season, it announced the slide would remain open for one final season. Riders were required to wear helmets and kneepads on the slide. The last day of the slide's operation was September 6 of that year, the day before the park closed for the season. The imprint left by the tracks can still be seen from the gondola lift of Mountain Creek's ski area.
This ride was one of Action Park's oldest water slides, which opened shortly after the Alpine Slide was installed. It was a single-person body slide that led riders straight down a track of small hills into a small pool at the bottom. Its last season of operation was in 2009, after which the ride was deemed unsafe due to a rising number of injuries, and subsequently removed and dismantled.
This ride, common to other water parks of the time, allowed patrons to slide down a water-slick sloped surface on mats into small puddles, until they reached a foam barrier after an upslope at the end. Barriers between lanes were minimal, and people frequently collided with each other on the way down, or at the end. The seventh lane was known as the Back Breaker because of its special kicker two-thirds of the way down that was intended to allow jumps and splashdowns into a larger puddle, which lead to many injuries.
Current water slides and attractions
The Alpine Pipeline
A curving 2-person water slide through the hills, with sections in complete darkness.
High Tide Wavepool
A 5.6 feet (1.7 m) deep wavepool with alternating periods of waves and calm water. Under Action Park management the pool went to 10 feet (3.0 m) deep.
A ProSlide Tornado that features a 45 degree drop into a huge funnel shaped enclosure. At the base of the funnel, riders are thrust through another long tunnel into a catch pool.
Surf Hill is an 8-lane headfirst racing slide built into the side of the mountain. The attraction is the original Surf Hill ride from Action Park, which remained open under Mountain Creek operations as Tsunami until 2005. It was reopened in 2012 after being restored. The only change to the ride is the lowering of the quarter pipe that used to sit at the end of the ride.
The Tarzan Swing
A wooden beam hanging from a 20-foot (6.1 m) long cable over mountain spring-fed pool.
An enclosed dark body slide with a 10-foot (3.0 m) freefall into a mountain spring-fed pool.
A speed water slide with a 99-foot (30 m) vertical drop.
High speed water coaster loops 360 degrees through pitch darkness on a double tube.
Wild River Canyons
The Gauley & Thunder Run
A whitewater rafting ride, with the left side (Gauley) a single tube and the right side (Thunder Run) a double tube.
Two diving cliffs, called "Little Moe" and "Big Moe", above a pool fed by natural mountain spring. Little Moe is an 18-foot (5.5 m) drop, while Big Moe is a 23-foot (7.0 m) drop.
The Colorado River ride is a 1,600-foot (490 m) white water rapids river ride featuring waterfalls and tunnels. Each raft can hold between 4 and 5 people.
A steep body slide through a cliff with an 18-foot (5.5 m) drop into a mountain spring-fed pool.
Mountain Creek Waterpark recently expanded its offerings to include various attractions that take advantage of the mountainous terrain surrounding the park.
Alpine Mountain Coaster
Opened in 2012, this ride is a cross between an Alpine slide and a roller coaster. The rider has control of how fast their car goes, as is typical with alpine coasters. The Alipine Mountain Coaster operates year-round
Opened in 2012, the Soaring Eagle is a seated zipline ride through the mountainside. The Soaring Eagle operates year-round.
Opened in 2012, this is a zipline course across the mountaintop lake at the peak of Vernon Mountain. It is open year-round.
Mountain Creek Bike Park
Adjacent to the waterpark is a seasonal mountain biking course, which includes a cross-country course opened in 2012.
Mountain Creek Sports Park
Various fields where people can play sports.
Using the ski resorts' gondola lift, visitors can ride to the top of the mountain and see nearly all of Sussex County plus parts of New York and Pennsylvania that border the area. Zoom Ziplines is also accessed by this lift