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.”