Funland is ready for family outings!

June 20, 2021

My family and I are newcomers to the iconic Funland in Rehoboth Beach, and we were excited to learn that you can sign up for a two-hour visit, pay $20 per person, and ride as many times as you want.

Last Friday, my son Nick, daughter-in-law Stephanie, and their two children, Catherine, age 7, and Annie, 4, galloped from the paratrooper to the bumper cars to the carousel and back again. We never had to wait more than a few minutes to board.

This iconic amusement park has a 60-year history. The story on its website reveals, “[Brothers] Allen and Don Fasnacht, their wives Jean and Dee, and their parents Al and Sis visited the place that was to become Funland during a trip to the Delaware seashore in August of 1961.”

While the Fasnacht family was working with the owners to buy the park, an extreme nor’easter that became known locally as the Storm of ‘62 ravaged the facade, and it didn't look like such a great investment. But the deal went through, and five generations of the Fasnacht family still operate the park.

There are countless YouTube videos about the park which were informative and interesting, and visitors can get to meet many members of this extended family. The recycling of boxes from tons of stuffed animal prizes is a feat in itself. The daily maintenance of the park is serious business, as well as their penchant for cleanliness.

In 2019, Chris Lindsley wrote a book called “Land of Fun: the Story of an Old-Fashioned Amusement Park for the Ages.” From 1980 to 1985, Lindsley worked the rides and midway games. He credits his time at Funland and with the Fasnacht family as helping to form his work ethic. His book is one of the most popular reads sold at Browseabout Books in Rehoboth Beach.

Since adults have to pay the fee too, why shouldn’t grandparents join the fun? First I rode the carousel and surveyed the park in awe. The lights, the smiles, the excitement! How free to ride without a mask!

When everyone wanted to visit the Haunted Mansion, I wondered if we could too. My husband and I asked the attendant, an older gentleman, if we were too old to ride, and he said, “You’re never too old to ride.”

So my husband and I climbed into a car and entered the dark, spooky corridor. We were careened around mummies and Dracula, clutching the handrails like 5-year-olds. We were startled at many twist and turns, and surprised at how imaginative it was.

When we emerged into the daylight, a gentleman took my hand to help me exit the car.

“Did you have fun?” he asked.

“It was the most fun I’ve had in years,” I said. Then I looked at him. “Aren’t you famous? Aren’t you the owner of this magical place?”

He grinned and said, “Yes, I am. I’m not famous, though.”

I was grateful to meet Al Fasnacht, the owner! Al has been quoted in the past, saying, “As long as we’re making someone happy, we’ll run the ride for one person.”

You can buy a keychain or a magnet with a photo of yourself when your ride is over. I bought one for each grandchild. Wish I had thought to buy one for myself. As I walked away, I caught Al watching all the smiles on the children’s faces as they twirled around in the teacups.

I’m guessing Al must be 92 years old, and he still enjoys coming to work. What an amazing person to have made so many people happy! Thank you to all of the family and workers for the fun times you provide us. Book your fun time today!


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