TODAY IS:Wednesday, October 22, 2014  WE ARE OPEN 11 to 5
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Bittersweet August

Aug02

How time flies. Can you believe that it is almost August? In just a few short weeks we will be “Back to School” and missing all of the kids at the park. It also means the end of our summer hours and our summer specials.

Starting September 5 we will only be open Wednesday through Sunday, and in these last few days before you must (get) to let go of your children take that last trip out to Funderland to take advantage of those summer specials.  You can still get unlimited wristbands on Tuesdays for only $10 a person, or 3 wristbands for the price of 2 during our weekdays.  If you aren’t planning on using wristbands, and plan on using tickets, grab a coupon here. Plus don’t forget about our Summer Sizzler… whenever it hits above 95 degrees in the park we give out FREE sno cones.

Once school is back in session you can ease your children’s pain by bringing them to our Back to School Extravaganza on September 1 from 10 am – 6pm.  We will have goodie bags for those that bring in school supplies for River Oak Center for Children, visits from educational sing along sensation Mister Cooper, a number of organizations handing out information, and of course fun prizes and games! And, of course we will be holding our Spooktacular Halloween this year on October 27 and 28.  This staple event at Funderland promises fun and safe trick or treating, a fun haunted house, and a fully decorated park. You can learn more about both on our events page.

The good thing about the end of summer is that we have more time in the park to do improvements. If you haven’t had the opportunity to check them out, we have two new features in the park.  The first is our new information sign that will keep everyone informed on upcoming events and specials.  We are still putting the finishing touches on it, and it should be ready in the next few weeks. What do you think of our progress so far?

New Information Sign

The second is our new seating around our concession stand.  We purchased 10 new outdoor tables made from recycled plastic and steel.  This is a vast improvement from our old wooden tables and we are hoping that in the next year we will be able to replace all the wooden tables and benches within the park with these new types.  If you have ideas on how we can make additional improvements please let us know.  We love to hear your feedback, and have been trying our best to make the park better for you.

Lets kiss summer 2012 goodbye the right way… with some great deals, future events, and promises of a great fall!

Remembering Louanne

Jul13

One year ago, on July 13, 2011, a kind, beautiful woman was taken away from us when she suffered a sudden hemorrhage in her brain due to an aneurysm.  Her name was Louanne Meekins, and she was Funderland’s face painter.

Louanne and her daughter Allison began their own business, Lillie, LuLu, & Friends, and began face painting in the Sacramento area.  Soon after, Louanne teamed up with Funderland, and started face painting.  She delighted thousands of children with her skills and incredible personality.  Face painting was not merely Louanne’s job, it was something that brought pure joy to her life. She loved the children, putting smiles on their faces, and in the process was able to reveal her vibrant personality… friendly, loving, and fun to be around.  For those of you that had the pleasure of meeting Louanne you knew that a smile always graced her face, and she was always eager to make you feel as though you were sitting down with an old friend.

Today, while her daughter is away at college, and thanks to Louanne’s good friend Kathy, Lillie, LuLu, & Friends is able to continue operating at Funderland.  In honor of her memory we constructed a new planter next to our Red Barons, and planted a Golden Chain tree.  We chose a Golden Train tree so we will always be reminded of her beauty inside and out.  She is missed greatly at the park, but her memories will always be with us.

This poem was read during her celebration service…

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free
I’m following the path God has laid you see.
I took His hand when I heard him call
I turned my back and left it all.

I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way
I found that peace at the close of day.

If my parting has left a void
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
Oh yes, these things I too will miss.

Be not burdened with times of sorrow
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savoured much
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and peace to thee
God wanted me now; He set me free.

Author:  Shannon Lee Moseley

Get Sidetracked!

Jun27

As I hope everyone is well aware, we are making changes here at Funderland.  We have updated some of our rides, added photo opps, changed our website, and basically tried to make the park better for you, our guest.  Another way that we are making changes is by holding more events at the park. 

We got together with Keilah Woodard from Sacramento Sidetracks to plan our next event, and kick off her Get Sidetracked events.  If you haven’t heard about Keilah, then you have got to visit her website, Sacramento Sidetracks.  She shares about all the best places for families to visit in the Sacramento area, and she has the most beautiful hair I have ever seen (really, it is incredible)!  She will be in the park this Friday, June 29th from 5pm -8pm, and she is bringing her friends Mister Cooper and Great Scot the Magic Dude too!

Mister Cooper & Great Scot

For those of you that haven’t heard, Mister Cooper is a local Parents’ Choice Approved Award winning musician who has been educating children through music for the last 16 years.  He teaches at five local elementary schools, three elementary schools, and can be found at a number of libraries, and local events educating children with his “songs that teach.”  You can even listen to his music at his website.

In addition to Mister Cooper, Keilah has also arranged for Great Scot the Magic Dude to come and amaze us with his incredible magical abilities!  Great Scot is not only a high energy, captivating magician, but is award winning as well.  Watch a video at his website, for a sneak peak of his magical talents.

But wait, there’s more free stuff & discounts too…

In addition to the free entertainment, we will also have free carnival games, free facepainting, and free arts & crafts for everyone!  But wait, that isn’t all!  We are also going to be giving away some really great prizes from our raffle!  We can’t say yet, but it will definitely be worth coming out for!

Of course we will have the rides that make Funderland so great too, but Keilah has talked us into offering you a great deal for the night… all you can ride during the event for only $10!

So come Get Sidetracked at Funderland this Friday from 5pm – 8pm.  Meet Keilah, Mister Cooper, Great Scot, sing songs, learn magic, ride the rides, get your face painted, and more!  You won’t want to miss this fun event!

Welcome to Our New Website!

Jun11

You may have noticed over the past year that we have been trying to improve Funderland. We have done everything from changing the way we hire, to adding new attractions to the park. In addition to the changes we have made within the park, we are also making changes to our website by upgrading it. In fact, you may have been aware of our new website via our Facebook profile picture contest we just held. It gave us the opportunity to let you know about our new website, chose our new FB profile picture, and we got to give away a pair of 2012 Season Passes to Megan and Chrissy! It was a win-win situation, and helped us reach our goals of changing our website are to make it more user friendly, and just all around better for you, our fans.

We have a number of great new features, but here are our top five.

  1. Our homepage  information bar – This bar gives you a quick snapshot of the park’s open status.  It will be updated daily to let you know whether or not we will be open, the current temperature, and links to our social media. This comes in really handy on those days when the weather is not looking too good (Check out our Weather Bug blog about how we determine whether we stay open or closed due to inclement weather).
  2. Our park map – Another awesome feature that we have included is a park map that will let you learn more about each ride including age and height restrictions. This way you can be better prepared for the rides that you and your children will ride on for the day.
  3. Ride pages – Just like our park map, our ride pages will tell you specifically about each ride, and requirements for riders to ride.  We also think that our new pictures of the rides look pretty nice too!
  4. Blogging – Not only will you be able to learn more about what is going on in the park, and about specials via our new blog, but you get to learn more about how the park works, and the history behind it via our new blog. If you have a suggestion for a story let us know via our Facebook, or Twitter page, or you can email us at info@funderlandpark.com.
  5. Guest photos – Lastly, we will have opportunities for you, our guests, to submit photos that will be displayed on our Facebook page, and website. How cool is that?! You can currently submit your photos on our Facebook page to be entered into our next contest.  Those that are selected will win tickets to Funderland.

We have also kept some features the same too. For instance, we haven’t changed our already easy to book online birthday parties, and you can still purchase your Season Passes online as well.

Overall, our main goal is to make our website better for you. We want it as easy to navigate, and as useful as possible. Please know that we love hearing your ideas too. If you can think of any ways we could continue to improve our new website let us know, and we will try to incorporate them if possible.

Again, our goal is to make you happy, and provide a fun, magical experience for you and your family. We hope that you enjoy our new website as much as we had fun putting it together!

Tips to Enjoy Funderland

May23

Has this happened to you? You hear about a fun place you want to take the kids, make your plans, and when you arrived find out that you are not prepared for the day? Luckily you don’t have to take that chance when you visit Funderland. We have compiled some tips to help your first, second, and third trip to Funderland be successful!

  1. Check the Weather

Because we are an outdoor venue, we are at the mercy of the weather. So don’t forget to dress accordingly. Bring the sunblock. Even on cloudy days, sensitive skin can get burnt. Also, if it is raining, we may have to close. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates at to whether we are open or closed.

  1. Come Early or Late

Our busiest time is during the middle of the day (noon – 3). Typically the crowds thin out if you come early or late.

  1. Save Those Tickets!

If you didn’t use all your tickets, you can save them for another day. They never expire.

  1. Park on Sutterville During the Weekend

Typically on the weekends parking in the park can get crazy. When this happens, try parking on Sutterville Road. It is just a short walk around our outer gates, and typically there are plenty of spaces. Better when you are done for the day you have an “easy out” of the park.

  1. Don’t Forget Cash

While you can pay for your tickets and food with any major credit card or debit card with the Visa or Mastercard symbol, any other vendors in and outside of the park usually take cash only. This means if you want your face painted or a pony ride you will need to break out the moolah.

  1. 2 Words: Cotton Candy

We spin our cotton candy fresh, and it wouldn’t be a visit to an amusement park without it.

  1. Bring Water Bottles

Water fountains are available, but bring some water bottles too, so you can fill up and stay hydrated on hot days.

  1. Wear Comfy Shoes

One of the most common requests we have at the park is for bandaids to cover blisters that new shoes have created. Making sure that your little one’s shoes have been properly broken in will help avoid tears during the day.

  1. Get Social

We regularly run giveaways and competitions on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Follow us to stay up to date on important news and fun prizes!

  1. Check In

If you’re on Foursquare or Facebook Places, don’t forget to check in, and unlock deals!

Who is Sam Johnston?

May23

Sam Johnston started as a young boy working for his parents who operated a small amusement business in the 1950’s. His involvement in the amusement business continued through his college years at Sacramento State when he majored in business administration. After college, Sam joined the Army and served in Vietnam with the Army Corp. of Engineers. At his discharge, he had attained the rank of First Lieutenant and was ready to resume his position with his family’s carnival business, Johnston’s Amusements. During these years, Sam and his wife Gail traveled with Johnston’s Amusements, running nearly every aspect of the show. When his father passed away in 1978, Sam kept the dream alive, booking a handful of rides from the former Johnston’s Amusements with several larger west coast carnivals. A short time later, his new endeavor became Sam Johnston’s Midway of Fun, which he owned and operated until 2002.

In 1984, Sam had the opportunity to take over Land Park Kiddie Land, and in 1990 and 1991, he remodeled the park entirely to its present condition. Being as how Sam has always had worked in a family business, he was delighted when both his daughters and their husbands worked in management. With the help of family, Funderland has been able to continually excel and dish up kid-sized thrills for generations. In 1985, he took on another pint-sized park in Lodi and named it Funderwood, and in 1989 he also took over Pixieland Amusement Park in Concord, CA.

Ready to retire, in 2002 and 2007, Sam sold the remainder of his carnivals. He also sold Funderwoods and Pixieland to new operators as well. He currently resides in the Land Park area with his wife of over forty years and enjoys playing with his five grandchildren.

Some of his past accomplishments include serving as President of the prestigious Outdoor Amusement Business Association in 1999, a past Board member of the Western Fairs Association and one of the few carnival operators to be nominated to the Western Fairs Association Hall of Fame in 1996, President of the Showmen’s League of America in 2002 and again this year (Interestingly enough the Showmen’s League was established by Buffalo Bill Cody), and President of the Showfolks of America in 1984. He has also been the guest speaker in fair management classes at California Polytechnic University.

Weather Bug

May23

Ahh… Sunny days in the park. The smell of clover in the air, a soft, warm breeze rustling the trees, and not a cloud in the sky. Days like this make it easy to determine whether Funderland should be open. But come overcast days, dark clouds, and windy weather that decision becomes more difficult to make.

Some large amusement parks are able to remain open during the rain, as their rides are either not affected by the wet weather or are indoors. Unfortunately many of our rides cannot operate in the rain, as they cannot make traction. Additionally, we have found that usually most would rather remain warm, indoors rather than take their children to play outside in the rain.

On days where it has been raining and continues to rain, it is easy to make the decision to close the park, but on days where the weather can change at any moment, the decision is not so easy. The decision was once based on reviewing a number of weather forecasts. However, as of late, many of those forecasts were incorrect, causing us to close the park when in fact we could and should have remained open for our customers.

In an effort to make better determinations as to whether we should remain open or closed, we have implemented a new procedure at Funderland. It is called the “4-hour rule.” We utilize the 4-hour rule by examining the weather three times during a 4-hour period. We call these weather checks, and we do them at the beginning of the 4 hours, 2 hours later, and finally at the end of the 4 hours.

Our first weather check begins 2 hours before we open. If the weather is looking “iffy” but not terrible, we will remain open. However, if it is raining more than just a sprinkle, and the forecast calls for it to remain that way or get worse, then we will usually close for the day.

Once we make it to opening, we will do another weather check. If the weather is still holding out on us we will remain open. Usually just a sprinkle or light mist won’t shut us down, but if it starts to really pour down on us, we will have to close simply because the rides will not operate.

If we make it to the last weather check, then usually the weather remains nice enough to stay open for the remainder of the day. However, if it begins to or is raining we will have to close the park.

Our new procedure isn’t foolproof, and we know that there is no way to predict the weather perfectly. But hopefully, we will be better able to make our customers happy.

History of Funderland

May23

The fun began in the early 1940’s when Raymond Silva opened Land Park Kiddie Land on our present site to the delight of the surrounding community. He operated the amusement rides until 1978, when his daughter Raylin Silva took over. She continued to operate Land Park Kiddie Land through 1983 until Sam Johnston purchased the rides in 1984.

Sam Johnston saw potential in Land Park Kiddie Land and transformed it through a complete remodel in 1990 and 1991 into the park we see today. He also renamed the park Funderland to celebrate the transformation. The entire two-acre site was fenced for children’s safety, a sound wall was built to minimize the impact of laughing and screaming children on nearby residents, our current concession stand was built, the whole park was re-landscaped, and birthday party areas were constructed. Additionally, new rides were added to the park, including the Backroads Buggies, Log Flume, Red Baron, Funderland Train Ride, Flying Dragon Roller Coaster, Spinning Teacups, and Himalaya ride. Two of our rides have been providing smiles for over fifty years! The Carousel was opened in 1947, to the delight of 6,000 children who initiated the ride during its first week of operation. Oscar the Fish opened shortly thereafter and is still popular with younger children today.

In addition to providing children with magical memories that last a lifetime, Funderland makes a major contribution to the quality of life in Sacramento. All city revenues collected from Funderland are placed into a special fund earmarked for Fairytale Town and the Sacramento Zoo. This helps with the operating expenses of our neighbors and provides improvements to William Land Park in general. Funderland also works with a number of non-profit organizations, schools, churches, and more providing donations and free activities for children.

Johnston still enjoys coming out to the park almost daily and seeing the children’s smiling faces as they ride the rides at Funderland. Johnston states, “Funderland is the only place of its kind in Sacramento, and it is great to see the kids having fun and interacting with their parents here at the park. For some families this may be one of the few times they have during to week to have fun with each other and spend time together. We are glad that we can be a place that brings families together.”

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