An iconic Rehoboth Beach boardwalk landmark is reopening this weekend, just in time for Mother’s Day.
Funland Rehoboth will be reopening May 8, although in much different circumstances than the previous half a century in business. Capacity will be limited and arcade games are operating again, but rides will be sold in time blocks rather than via the traditional green tickets.
“Last year was our 59th summer and the hardest we’ve ever experienced,” says Chris Darr, a 4th generational family member and personnel manager at Funland. “We are hearing rentals are full and people are ready to get out, not as fearful of the virus. We are hopeful but want to provide a safe and fun season.”
Funland instituted a two-hour ride group reservation during its half season last year due to the pandemic. While people miss the “green ticket” nostalgic ride system of the past, Darr says the system will remain in effect until further notice.
Visitors are encouraged to book ahead via Funland’s website.
Darr says claw machines, arcade games and more will be back. Those were shut down last season due to the peak of the pandemic. No booking is necessary for open games.
Even though the family-owned business got the greenlight to open at 50% capacity, it will remain at 30% capacity until further notice.Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 11)
Darr says the capacity limit allows pre-booked groups to enjoy the venue safely. In addition, a mask must be worn while visiting regardless of vaccination status. No exceptions.
“We want to provide a safe and fun venue for our visitors as we get back to normal, or at least halfway back to normal,” Darr says. “We’ll get there.”
Last year at the height of the pandemic, Funland closed for most of the spring and reopened in July. Its nostalgic green tickets were put on hold in exchange for the social distance-friendly system.
Even with a diminished capacity and other rules, Funland’s opening Saturday is one more sign of Delaware reopening and getting back to normal, especially for seasonal businesses dependent on the summer months.
Darr said the family is hopeful for an exciting 2021 season.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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