America’s 11 Wackiest Theme Parks
Theme parks are miniature universes, each one a special mix of genius and insanity. And some are a little crazier than others. These personality-filled parks sometimes fly under the radar, but that’s part of the charm. Every one of them is an antidote to the strip-mall sameness of our modern world. Here’s a look at oddball theme parks worth a trip … or at least a laugh.
Getting scooped up for a ride at the construction-themed Diggerland (Courtesy: Diggerland)
Diggerland — West Berlin, N.J.
Finally, America has a Diggerland to call its own. The attraction where both kids and adults work the controls of heavy machinery was so popular in its native UK that it opened its first U.S. location on June 14. Construction workers might wonder why people would pay for something they get paid to do, but digging a big hole in the ground is undeniably a great way to work off some aggression. And it’s not all excavation; the park also features amusements like the Spin Dizzy, which involves climbing into the mouth of a backhoe that lifts and spins. Once guests are hot and sweaty from their exertions, they can cool off at Sahara Sam’s Oasis water park next door.
New Jersey’s terrifying Action Park (Courtesy: Action Park)
Action Park — Vernon, N.J.
What’s not to love about a place once labeled “America’s most dangerous theme park”? Besides the fact that a half-dozen people have died and lawsuits forced it to declare bankruptcy and close in 1996, anyway. That was then; this is now. Action Park, charmingly referred to as “Class-Action Park” in the old days, just reopened with the old name after online videos prompted a wave of fan nostalgia. The good news: The worst of the water park’s rides have been revamped to improve safety. For some die-hard (ha!) fans of the old incarnation, that’s also the bad news, although recent visitors say the rides still feel pretty scary. Upon Action Park’s return, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey tweeted, “WOW! Action Park is back! I still have scars from long ago visits but I so want to go again.”
Related: The World’s Tallest Water Slides
Reliving the Wild West at the Tweetsie Railroad Wild West Theme Park. (Courtesy: Tweetsie Railroad Wild West Theme Park)