There is something very special and magical about Funderland, that guests notice, but can’t really put to words. They talk about how joyful and relaxed they feel here, how they experience it as a vacation from artificial vibe of large, corporate amusement parks.
Funderland is a small scale, old-fashioned amusement park, with a distinct character. It leaves happy memories, which last through the lifetimes.
“Green Future”, the international kids festival takes place only steps away from the entrance to the park. This year Funderland and Green Future have joined their efforts to provide truly remarkable experience for local kids and families.
Why locals love Funderland so much? We asked this to a co-owner Ashley Edds.
Our vision is to make magical memories to any guest who comes in the park. We are really affordable compared to any other large amusement park. And we are local, so people do not have to drive a distance to enjoy time with their family. Admission to the park is always FREE, and each ride only requires 1 ticket per person. This makes the park attractive destination to many families of different incomes.
Ashley, what creates this special atmosphere, unique character that people notice in the park?
We are a family business and have great love for children, communities and our home town. My father took over the park in 1984 and was looking to retire a few years ago. We couldn’t let go of Funderland for it to become more commercialized. My husband and I decided to keep it as a family business and relocated from Virginia to take charge. It’s been an amazing and very rewarding experience, we are really happy that we made that choice and preserved the unique character of the park.
As you know, our festival promotes health, ecology and sustainability. What efforts do you make in your business to foster the change in this direction?
From the day one we have started thinking how we could make our business more ecological and energy efficient. We have contributed to recycling effort in the park and have replaced the gas engine for the train with solar engine. We are in the process of re-landscaping Funderland with drought tolerant plants to conserve water too. Next year we are planning to install more solar panels to power the park. It is really exciting to become sustainable and truly care for the environment.
What does sustainability mean personally to you?
I believe that when we start think sustainably we start acting responsibly. It is a shift from attitude of needs and desires to attitude of giving and organizing your life in a way that is good for the planet and other people. I start asking myself questions about how I can re-use things, how I can make things on my own instead of buying them. For example my husband and I have planted a beautiful vegetable garden. We had so much food grown last year, that we had to give away huge amounts of it to our friends. Growing food is easy in California. Not only it saves money and gas, but it is great for building a community. It simply is a way to enjoy life. Sustainability brings more joy, more precious moments into our reality.
How do you see the future of Funderland?
We want to preserve it’s old fashioned feel and hospitality. But we definitely are looking to venture into more academic programs as well, such as academic school trips. We want to encourage kids to learn, not just to have fun. Better yet to learn while having fun!
How does your business reflect the diversity of Sacramento?
Sacramento is such a great diverse town! You can see it in our employees who represent so many different cultures. Few times a year we have pot -lucks and everyone brings their favorite dish. Having all this ethnic food is an incredible experience. Sometimes it can be a challenge to understand and work with different cultures but in the end it’s really rewarding. I’m proud to work and live in the environment which supports diversity and integrates so many different people.
What would you like Russian-speaking community to know about Funderland?
That it is first and foremost a family business, which is oriented towards diverse, multicultural families. I grew up here and this park is my home, it will always be. This sense of homeland, and welcoming feeling is what we want people to experience when they come here. My husband and I are expecting our first child this August, I’m so excited to become a Mom and connect with our guests on that level. I know that family values are truly important for Slavic people, so it is an honor to cater to them and join them in celebration and fun. You are always welcome here and we’ll strive to make your experience magical and unforgettable.