At a quaint summer beach destination in Delaware, dubbed the “Nation’s Summer Capital” for all the Washingtonians who vacation there, lives a small, family-owned amusement park that has called Rehoboth Beach home since 1962. This is not just any amusement park; its owners place a premium on offering affordable family fun for all ages.
In a beach resort known for multiple generations of families gathering for summer vacation every year, this park with a most appropriate name – Funland – is a throwback to an earlier time when these sort of parks were a gathering place for many and where people went to have a good time.
Add to the mix that Funland has five rides it has operated since John F. Kennedy was president, that customers routinely comment on how safe they feel and the family memories and sense of nostalgia the park creates, and you have a place a former Rehoboth mayor calls “indispensable” for the niche it provides for families with young kids.
“It’s hard to stress how important I think Funland is, because there is no other business in Rehoboth that fully fills the niche of providing affordable fun for the whole family, and especially younger kids, that they do. … As mayor, I was always cognizant of the fact Rehoboth has become very popular, but I never wanted it to become a place so expensive the average guy was excluded. I think it’s great that a young family who can’t afford some of the high-end offerings can go to Funland with $5 and give their kids a good time.”
– Sam Cooper, Rehoboth Beach Mayor from 1990-2017
“It is the holy grail of dark rides. I have probably walked, ridden and photographed about 300 different dark rides, but there’s been nothing created that is so unique, so one-of-a-kind, so magical and timeless. The Funland Haunted Mansion is as good now as it was back then, and that is amazing. The ride is my No. 1 dark ride of all time. The presentation just blows your socks away. It is incredible.”
– Dark ride expert Bret Malone
Excerpted from Land of Fun. Copyright © 2019 by Chris Lindsley. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission from the copyright holder, except for use in book reviews.