Funland (Rehoboth Beach, Delaware)

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Funland (Rehoboth Beach)
Location Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, USA
Address 6 Delaware Ave, Rehobboth Beach, DE, USA
Owner Al Faschnacht
General Manager Chris Darr
Operated By Seaside Amusements
Opened 1939
Previous names The Rehoboth Beach Sports Center
Operating season Mother's Day Weekend - Weekend After Labor Day
Visitors (per annum) 250,000 - 350,000
Area 1 Acre
Rides 19 (not counting kids play area) total
Slogan Today's Fun at Yesterdays Prices

Funland (Rehoboth Beach) is a small family owned amusement park in Rehoboth Beach. It has 19 rides as well as family style games, and an arcade.[1] It is located off the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk. The park opened in 1939 as The Rehoboth Beach Sports Center. It was purchased by the Faschnacht family in 1962, and was renamed Funland. Today, it's owned and managed by the Faschnacht family. [2] Funland has some rides that were there when it was purchased. The two oldest are The Boats, and The Fire Engines, both of which likely opened in 1946 or 1947.[3] The park is known for its cheaply priced tickets, its Haunted Mansion ride, and is the only amusement park in the state of Delaware.[4] Funland is scheduled to open for its 61st season on May 7th 2022.[5]

History[change | change source]

Before becoming Funland in 1962, the park was known as The Rehoboth Beach Sports Center and owned by the Dentino family. On March 6, 1962, nine days before the sale was final, the Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962 started. The storm lasted three days. The Rehoboth Beach Sports Center was one of the few business left. Although it was damaged, the Faschnacht family decided they wanted to finalize with the sale.[6] Funland gets between 250,000 - 350,000 visitors each season.[7]

Funland is open weekends from Mother's Day Weekend, through the weekend after Labor Day. However till the first or second week of June, they're only open on weekends. In 2020, due to the pandemic, Funland wasn't able to open until July 10, missing their Mother's Day Weekend opening, and 2 months of their season for the first time in their history. This isn't the first time they didn't open on Mother's Day Weekend, as it had happened in 1979, and 1989. This was the first time though that they missed 2 months of their season. To make up for this, instead of closing the weekend after Labor Day, they stayed open on weekends through the end of September. [8][9]

Normally from Mother's Day Weekend till the 1st of 2nd week in June, the rides and games are open on weekends at 1PM with closing being around 11PM, but sometimes later. During this time, they're closed except for on Fridays. On Fridays, they open at 5PM. During the first week of June they start opening during the week at 1PM. Then from the 2nd week of June till the 3rd or 4th week of August they open daily with the games opening at 10AM, Rides (except The Haunted Mansion), opening at 1PM, and The Haunted Mansion opening at 5PM, and close around 11PM, or later. For the 3rd or 4th week of August, till Labor Day, they open the rides and games at 1PM again on weekdays, however they still open the games at 10AM on weekends. Closing during this time is between 10:30 and 11PM depending on the day. On Labor Day, they're open from 1PM - 9PM. Following Labor Day, they're closed till Thursday. On Thursday, they're open from 5PM - 9PM. On Friday, they're open from 5PM - 11PM. For their final weekend of operation, they open at 1PM, and close on the Saturday at 11PM and on the Sunday at 9PM.[5] The Haunted Mansion used to open at 6:30PM, but they eventually moved it up to 5PM.

In 2019, former Funland employee Chris Lindsley ,wrote a book about Funland called Land of Fun: The Story of an Old-Fashioned Amusement Park for the Ages.[10]

Tickets[change | change source]

Tickets at Funland are very inexpensive. Rides range between 1 and 6 tickets, and the tickets never expire. [11]

1962-1986[change | change source]

The cost for a ticket started at $0.10 in 1962. They stayed this price through the 1986 season. During this time, Funland also offered a pack of 12 tickets for $1.[12]

1987-1995[change | change source]

In 1987, Funland raised their ticket prices for the first time. The new price was $0.20 a ticket. This price lasted through the 1995 season. During this time, Funland also offered packs of 12 tickets for $2, and 35 tickets for $5.[12]

1996-2005[change | change source]

In 1996, Funland raised their ticket prices to $0.25. This price lasted through the 2005 season. During this time, Funland also offered packs of 18 tickets for $4, and 54 tickets $10. However, in 1998, they did change the 18 tickets for $4, to 24 tickets for $5. The 54 tickets for $10 stayed the same.[12]

2006-2012[change | change source]

In 2006, Funland raised their ticket prices to $0.30 a ticket. This price lasted through the 2012 season. During this time, Funland also offered packs of 48 tickets for $12, and 90 tickets for $20.[12]

2013-2017[change | change source]

In 2013, Funland raised their ticket prices to $0.35 a ticket. This price lasted through the 2017 season. During this time, Funland also offered packs of 48 tickets for $14, and 100 tickets for $25. However. in 2015, they did change the 48 for $14 to 50 tickets for $15. The 100 tickets for $25 stayed the same.[12]

2018-2019[change | change source]

In 2018, Funland raised their ticket prices to $0.35 a ticket. This price lasted the shortest amount of time, only through the 2019 season. This was likely due to the pandemic, as they had to change their system for rides during the pandemic. During this time, Funland also offered packs of 50 tickets for $18 and 100 tickets for $30.[12]

2020-2022[change | change source]

In 2020, after not being able to open till 2 months after when they'd usually open, they were finally able to open. However, they weren't able to use tickets, and visitors had to book a reservation on their website for a certain time in order to ride the rides. They offered 3 or 4 different time slots, each being 2 hours long and cost costing $20 per person. These reservations gave visitors a RidePass to ride as many rides as they wanted within the 2 hour time slot. After time was up, the park would close and clean prior to the next time slot. Funland also used these passes for the beginning of 2021, however in June they extended the time to 2.5 hours at no additional cost. Then finally on July 8th, Funland returned to their normal ride tickets with anybody being able to come and ride their rides. For the remainder of the 2021 season, they also still offered the RidePass for unlimited rides from 1-4PM. for $20.[9][13][14]

When returning to their tickets in 2021, Funland again raised the ticket prices, likely due to inflation and loss of business due to the pandemic. However, this price jump is the steepest jump in Funland's 60 year history. Tickets now cost $0.60 a ticket. Funland currently also offers packs of 25 tickets for $15, 50 tickets for $30, and 100 tickets for $48. Funland is also continuing to offer the wristband for unlimited rides for the 2022 season between 1PM - 4:30PM for $23.[4]

Rides and Attractions[change | change source]

Funland has 19 rides as well as a kids play area. Of Funland's 19 rides, 5 of them are older than Funland and were there when Funland was purchased. These rides are the Merry Go Round, Boats, Fire Engines, Sky Fighters, and Helicopters.[15][16] The chart below shows the rides they have, the number of tickets they cost to ride, the year the ride opened, and the type of ride, the ride that the ride is based on. The reason some of the rides don't have anything under attraction type is because there are no Wikipedia pages about an attraction like them. The SimRider isn't currently listed on Funland's website as it was removed for the 2020 and 2021 season. However, its expected that The SimRider will be returning for the 2022 season.

Rides[15] Attraction Type Tickets To Ride[4] Year Ride Opened[17]
Boats 1 Likely 1946 or 1947
Fire Engines 1 1946 or 1947
Merry Go Round Carousel 2 1960
Sky Fighters 2 Between 1956 and 1962
Cycles 2 1971
Swinger Swing 2 1984
Kiddie Wheel Kiddie Ferris Wheel 2 2005
Trucks 3 2000
Cruisers Music Express 3 1988
Freefall Kiddie Drop Tower 3 2004
Helicopters Red Baron 3 1961
Crazy Dazys Teacups 3 1964
Paratrooper Paratrooper 4 1982
Gravitron Gravitron 4 1984
Bumpler Cars Bumper Cars 5 2001
Sea Dragon Pirate Ship 5 1990
Superflip 360 Pendulum 6 2017
Haunted Mansion Haunted House 6 1979
SimRider Simulator 6 2014

The Haunted Mansion[change | change source]

The Haunted Mansion is one of Funland's most popular rides. Its also ranked in the top 10 dark rides in the country.[18][19] Its also one of, if not the first dark ride to take riders through the ride on a suspended track.

When the ride begins, as soon as the car enters the house, the car the rider sits in starts taking the rider 18 to 20 feet in the air within about 20 seconds. The car then goes outside the house for the first of two times during the ride. This time its on the balcony, right above The Crazy Dazys and The Gravitron. After a brief visit on the balcony, the car crashes into a door that from the outside looks like it's a wall, and the rider re enters the house.

The rider then almost immediately gets squirted by a snake in a clock. The car then makes its way through the living room, where the rider will see Frankenstein, some jump scares, as well as hearing a whistle when they least expect it. Eventually, the car makes its way out of the living room through a secret passageway that is hidden by a bookshelf. Once in the secret passage way, the rider will be entering the bat cave, where a bat jumps out at the rider as they pass. While all of this is happening, the rider is going past where the Haunted Mansion looks like it is from the outside, and above the Bumper Cars making their way towards the boardwalk. After exiting the bat cave, the rider enters a skeleton mine, where they take the rider's picture. The rider can look at, and or purchase their picture after the ride. Then the rider gets blown up by TNT. Following the explosion, the car coincidentally enters a graveyard where some more skeletons pop out at the rider. A Werewolf also pops out at them as they pass. Upon leaving the graveyard, the car makes its way back outside for the second of two visits outside the ride. This time right above the boardwalk and the beach. However, the rider will only see the boardwalk and the beach if its night time or close to it, as they keep the door where the rider can see the view closed till it gets dark. On the opposite side of the boardwalk, the rider sees a big skull with red eyes that haunts the boardwalk at night

After a brief time on the boardwalk, the rider re enters the house as they quickly head back above the Bumper Cars towards the exit of the ride. When they first re enter the house, the rider is greeted by a huge spider that crawls down from it's web to squirt the rider with some more water as they pass it. Following their encounter with the spider, the car makes its way into a room full of mirrors and floating skulls. In fact, the room has so many mirrors, the rider can't even see where they are going, or where the exit to the room is. While the rider is in this room, they will also hear the sound of a heart beating. Eventually, the car leaves the floating skull room, and enters the final room of the ride. At first glance of getting into this room, it looks like there's a guy who's peeing, and that the rider is heading right towards them. Before the rider gets to them however, the car takes a sharp turn towards a trash can so another ghoul can pop out and scare the rider. Then the car heads back towards the supposedly peeing skeleton. As the rider gets closer to the supposedly peeing skeleton, the rider realizes, the skeleton isn't peeing, its just watering its garden. Nevertheless, the rider is still heading right in between the skeleton and its garden, so the realization doesn't comfort the rider that much as they still expect to get wet. Luckily for the rider, just as they are about to get wet for the 3rd time, the skeleton turns off and lets the rider go by without getting a single drop on them. It does turn right back on though seconds after the rider passes.

The rider then comes face to face with Satan, who is dressed in a red robe with green eyes. He recites the following speech, "Hello, I'm here to talk to you about accommodation for later." At this point, the car begins to quickly take the rider back down the 18 to 20 feet they went up when the ride began. Satan continues "A crackling fire, to warm yourselves on a cold Winters night. Excellent and personalized attention from the owner himself. I offer you wealth, romance, adventure". Now the rider is practically right next to him, and his eyes turn from green to red as he finishes "Name it, it's yours." The car then finally turns away from Satan as the car turns towards the exit of the ride. Thinking that they're done with the ride, the rider is relieved that they made it through the house, however, just as they think the ride is over, a loud truck horn blows right in their face right before they exit the ride. The horn is so loud, people can hear it from the Crazy Dazys, while in line for The Haunted Mansion, and even through certain parts of the ride itself, so it's hard to not know that it exists. The rider doesn't know when it's coming though, so that's what makes it so scary.[20][21]

The Ride itself is only about 3:30 minutes long, but it's such a great ride, that people keep getting back in line to ride it again and again. In fact on an average summer evening, The Haunted Mansion normally has about a 25 - 30 minute wait to ride it. This is likely due to the space between when each car enters the house, as Funland spaces the cars out about 30 - 35 seconds between cars to allow time for the props to reset. To explain a little better, Satan's speech is 18 seconds long, and the rider still has to get past him before he can reset. Not to mention, sometimes the cars gain on each other, so it's actually sometimes not even enough time, as the rider can sometimes hear him finishing his speech for the car ahead of them, and most of the time, they even hear the horn go off for them.

The ride started being built in the late 1970s, but didn't open till mid season 1979. Prior to The Haunted Mansion being built, Funland wasn't sure they'd be able to have it built how they wanted it to be. Luckily, they found somebody that was able to build it how they wanted it, and it became the attraction they hoped it would become, if not even better.[22]

References[change | change source]

  1. Funland, Amusment Park. "Funland Rides". Funland Rehoboth Beach. Retrieved 2022-04-10.
  2. CBS News (2015-08-09). "A Fun Ride Back in Time". CBS News. Retrieved 2022-01-13.
  3. Lindsley, Chris (2019). Land of Fun: The Story of an Old-Fashioned Amusement Park for the Ages. Tocoma Park, Maryland: Lindsley Publishing. p. 48. ISBN 9780578468259.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Funland, Amusment Park. "Tickets Per Ride". Funland Rehoboth Beach. Retrieved 2022-04-10.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Funland, Amusement Park. "Schedule". Funland Rehoboth Beach. Retrieved 2022-04-10.
  6. Funland, Amusement Park. "History of Becoming Funland". FunlandRehoboth. Retrieved 2022-05-01.
  7. The Oldfather Group (2019-05-09). "Funland in Rehoboth Beach is 57 Years Old and Still Creating Treasured Memories for Generations of Families". Cape Gazette. Retrieved 2022-05-01.
  8. Flood, Chris (2020-05-07). "Rehoboth's Funland Will Not Open for Mother's Day 2020". Cape Gazette. Retrieved 2022-04-10.
  9. 9.0 9.1 MacArthur, Ron (2020-07-07). "Funland Rides to Open July 10 on Rehoboth Boardwalk". Cape Gazette. Retrieved 2022-04-10.
  10. Cormier, Ryan (2019-04-28). "Former Employee Writes Book About Iconic Amusement Park". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2022-04-10.
  11. Funland, Amusement Park. "FAQ". Funland Rehoboth Beach. Retrieved 2022-04-10.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 Lindsley, Chris (2019). Land of Fun: The Story of an Old-Fashioned Amusement Park for the Ages. Tocoma Park, Maryland: Lindsley Publishing. p. 40. ISBN 9780578468259.
  13. Steele, Kelli (2021-04-07). "Rehoboth's Funland Will Open For a Full Season This Year". Delaware First Media. Retrieved 2022-04-10.
  14. "Funland in Rehoboth Beach Returns To Traditional Green Tickets". Cape Gazette. 2021-07-08. Retrieved 2022-04-10.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Funland, Amusment Park. "Rides". Funland Rehoboth Beach. Retrieved 2022-04-10.
  16. Lindsley, Chris (2019). Land of Fun: The Story of an Old-Fashioned Amusement Park for the Ages. Tocoma Park, Maryland: Lindsley Publishing. pp. 47–56. ISBN 9780578468259.
  17. Lindsley, Chris (2019). Land of Fun: The Story of an Old-Fashioned Amusement Park for the Ages. Tocoma Park, Maryland: Lindsley Publishing. pp. 6, 48, 50, 52, 53, 54. ISBN 9780578468259.
  18. Spegel, Anna (2019-06-12). "Why Rehoboth's Haunted Mansion Is One of America's Best Dark Rides". Washingtonian. Retrieved 2022-04-10.
  19. Myles, Haley (2019-08-28). "Funland's Haunted Mansion celebrates 40 years of thrills". Cape Gazette. Retrieved 2022-04-10.
  20. Funland Haunted Mansion With Commentary, retrieved 2022-04-27
  21. Funland Haunted Mansion Without Commentary, retrieved 2022-04-27
  22. Lindsley, Chris (2019). Land of Fun: The Story of an Old-Fashioned Amusement Park for the Ages. Tocoma Park, Maryland: Lindsley Publishing. pp. 83–92. ISBN 9780578468259.