Most People Have Forgot About This Delaware Theme Park


Theme parks are designed to be places of enjoyment, excitement, and entertainment. But what happens if they are abandoned and allowed to decay? This is the situation with Funland, a former theme park in Delaware that opened in 1962 and closed in 1984.

Funland was previously a popular location for families and children, offering rides, attractions, and performances. However, because of financial difficulties, competition, and safety concerns, the park finally closed and became a ghost town.

History of Funland

Funland was the vision of John Smith, a businessman, and entrepreneur who intended to build a family-friendly amusement park in Delaware. He purchased a 200-acre property near Dover and began development in 1961.

A year later, the park was opened with a major opening ceremony attended by hundreds of people. Funland included roller coasters, Ferris wheels, carousels, bumper cars, and water slides. It also had themed zones including Fairyland, Western Town, and Space World. The park also staged live performances, including circus acts, magic shows, and musicals.

Funland was a huge success in its early years, drawing millions of people and generating income. Smith extended the park and added new rides and attractions, including a haunted house, a safari park, and a mini-golf course. He also increased the number of employees and performers, as well as his marketing and advertising budget. Funland became one of the region’s most popular theme parks, competing with Six Flags and Disney World.

Decline and Closure of Funland

However, Funland’s fortunes began to deteriorate in the late 1970s and early 1980s, owing to a variety of issues. First, the park faced increased competition from other theme parks, particularly those with more advanced and exhilarating rides. Second, the park experienced financial difficulties as the costs of upkeep, operation, and growth outweighed the profits.

Third, the park faced safety concerns when several of the rides malfunctioned or broke down, resulting in injuries and accidents. Fourth, the park’s appeal and reputation dwindled as several of its rides and attractions became obsolete, dull, or ruined. Fifth, the park encountered legal issues when some of its guests and staff sued it for carelessness, fraud, or breach of contract.

As a result of these reasons, Funland’s attendance and profitability fell dramatically, and the park battled to stay alive. Smith attempted to preserve the park by reducing costs, increasing pricing, and selling assets, but it was too late. In 1984, he declared the park permanently closed and filed for bankruptcy. The park’s final day of operation was October 31, 1984, when it was shuttered and locked up.

The Current State of Funland

Since its demise, Funland has been abandoned and neglected, resulting in degradation and vandalism. The rides and attractions have rusted, decayed, or collapsed, while the buildings have been vandalized, robbed, or destroyed. The park has also been overrun by weeds, animals, and insects, posing a health and environmental risk.

The park has been the topic of urban exploration, photography, and mythology, attracting curious visitors, adrenaline seekers, and trespassers. Some people have experienced paranormal activity, such as ghost sightings, unusual noises, and frightening emotions, claiming that the park is haunted by the ghosts of previous guests and personnel.

The park’s fate remains unknown since there have been no plans or suggestions to destroy, rebuild, or repurpose it. Smith, the park’s owner, died in 1992, and his heirs, creditors, and the state all dispute the park’s title. The park is also protected by historical preservation legislation, having been classified as a historical landmark by the Delaware Historical Society.

The park has also received media interest, with appearances in films, novels, and articles. The park has also served as an inspiration for artists, musicians, and writers since it has been depicted in paintings, songs, and stories.


Funland, a once-thriving Delaware theme park, was founded in 1962 but closed in 1984 owing to financial difficulties, competition, and safety concerns. Attendance dropped, attractions became outmoded, legal difficulties arose, and the park declared bankruptcy.

Funland, which has been abandoned since its demise, is now facing degradation, vandalism, and urban exploration. Despite legal battles over ownership, the park’s historical significance keeps it alive, adding to its captivating presence in media and art.

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