A Favorite for Generations of Sacramento Families
William Land Park is the center for Sacramento family fun. The 160 acre facility has wide open spaces for picnicking with barbeques, sports fields and basketball courts, a nine-hole golf course, duck ponds, pony rides, Fairytale Town, the famous Sacramento Zoo, and the small but wonderful amusement park, Funderland.
While spending the day at a more famous theme park like Disneyland or Six Flags can be great, it can also be exhausting, and a big drain on the wallet. The complete opposite, Funderland has no admission price, so you can come and go as you please while enjoying the rest of Land Park. There are seldom any long lines to enjoy the attractions, and ride tickets, along with food and drink, are available as needed. Special birthday party packages can be arranged as well. The rides are designed to please kids from toddlers to pre-teens, including the charming Carousel, Backroad Buggies car ride, the Funderland Train, the Crazy Cups, and the Flying Dragon, a fairly gentle roller coaster for kids as young as two.
Besides being a relaxing spot for family fun, Funderland is a part of Sacramento history. According to Ashley Edds of Funderland, and owner Sam Johnson, “Funderland has been a part of William Land Park since the 1940s when Ray Silva opened amusement rides in the park.” Back then, Funderland was known as “Land Park Kiddie Land.” Johnson took over in 1984, gave it a new name and upgraded the rides, maintaining the Carousel and the Oscar the Fisher ride.
There are currently nine rides in the park, but expansion is limited to the space they already have. Edds says “The past few years we have been negotiating with the City of Sacramento on a new lease that would allow for a number of new amenities, including more rides and an in-park bathroom. We did have to remove one of our favorite rides, the Log Flume, but by doing so we are also able to add two new rides. One of those rides was already installed last June, the Squirrelly Whirl! We plan on adding in another water ride to replace the Log Flume, and have been researching these the past few years. We think we have found a good fit, but we still have quite a bit of work to do before we can proceed.”
Funderland has also revamped the Backroads Buggies ride to add more track and provide a beautiful new queue shade structure, and added a number of in-park photo op areas, including Happy the Squirrel, Backroads Buggy Duesenburg car, Red Baron plane, and Funderland travel photo opp area. Edds added they have “completely rebuilt our Carousel ride, repainted all our Carousel horses, and added decorative trees to the Carousel building.” They also improved the birthday party areas to make them larger and more attractive, and overhauled the landscaping with drought tolerant plants and artificial grass.
Funderland is a perfect fit for Sacramento, mixing history with family fun and relaxation. Edds says “We have so many visitors that tell us they came here when they were kids, and are now bringing their grandchildren. We love hearing how people continue to include Funderland in their family traditions.” It won’t be long until some of today’s young visitors celebrate the 100th anniversary of the park with their own children.
William Land Park is located at Sutterville Road and Freeport Blvd., at the Sutterville exit from the Interstate 5 freeway.