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 two hour block, 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, age 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 their website reveals, “Two 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.”
At first a hurricane had ravaged the facade and it didn’t look like a great investment. Five generations of the Fasnacht family still operate the park.
In 2019, Chris Lindsley wrote a book, Land of Fun: the Story of an Old-Fashioned Amusement Park. From 1980 to 1985 Lindsley worked the rides and midway games. In an interview with Delmarva Today, 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 books sold at BrowseAbout books in Rehoboth.
There are countless U-tube videos about the park which were informative and interesting, and you get to meet many members of this extended family. The recycling of the 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 pension for cleanliness.
Since adults have to pay the fee too, why shouldn’t the grandparents join the fun? First I rode the carousel and surveyed the park in awe. The lights, the smiles, the excitement! How free ride without a mask!
When everyone wanted to visit the Haunted Mansion, I wondered if we could too. My husband and I asked the older gentleman if we were too old to ride and he said, “You’re never too old to ride.”
So my husband and I go climbed into a car and entered the spooky dark corridor. We were careened around mummies and Dracula, clutching the handrails like five year olds. We were startled at many twist and turns and surprised at how imaginative it was.
When we emerged in the daylight, a gentleman took my hand to help me exit the car.
“Did you have fun?”
“It was the most fun I’ve had in years,” 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, “As long as we’re making someone happy, we’ll run the ride for one person.”
You can buy a keychain or a magnet 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 at the smiles on the children’s faces twirling around in the teacups.
I’m guessing Al must be ninety-two 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!