My favorite non-coaster park was Action Park in NJ. This has been called the most dangerous park in the world, and with good reason. You were in control (or out of control) if every ride in the park. To make it even better, they had “refreshment” stands so you could grab a few gin and tonics while waiting in line.
The local hospitals called this place “traction park,” and the park itself had to buy several ambulances to keep up with the volume of injuries.
Some of my favorite rides there were the Kamikaze, which was the highest, fastest water slide in the world, the alpine slide, and the speedboats.
The alpine slide was a concrete bobsled run that you went down in little plastic sleds. Each had a lever… push it forwards to raise yourself up on wheels, neutral had you sliding on nylon runners, and you pulled it back to apply a rubber break pad. Some of the hairpin turns were steeply banked, some weren’t. It was very easy to fly off the track, and if you did, there was usually a tree or 2 to stop you.
The spedboats were about 6 feet long, and featured 60 HP engines. You semi-controlled them with a little butterfly steering wheel that had a throttle paddle on one side. Hit the gas and you take off, the nose lifting so high you can’t see a thing. Let go of the throttle too fast, and the nose dives down, swamping you and sinking the boat instantly. Wooohooo!
They even built a looping water slide. You climbed this platform, flung yourself into a big wet tube, and sometimes made it all the way around the loop. This was only open for about a month, so I never got the chance to try it. The safety officials closed it down because of all the head injuries it caused.
My crew and I would go once a year, usually on a Saturday. Most of us were able to walk again by the following Tuesday. Good times!