Funplex Myrtle Beach celebrates first full season with additions

AT: John W.C. Robinson

MYRTLE BEACH — The newest amusement park along Myrtle Beach’s Grand Strand, The Funplex Myrtle Beach, officially reopened on March 12. After COVID-related construction delays held up its 2021 opening day slightly, 2022 marks an opportunity for the park to have a complete season. 

“We are so excited to be open for our first full season of operations,” said Michael Baumann, Funplex Myrtle Beach’s general manager. “We used the off-season to review our operations and find new ways to keep our guests entertained with this second season.”

The park opened in 2021 with seven attractions loaded into its 18,000 square feet of space. All of the attractions were new rides manufactured by SBF/Visa Group. The rides were provided by New Jersey’s Rides 4 U, with the attractions first being discussed during IAAPA Expo 2019.

“There is a lot of competition in Myrtle Beach when it comes to theme parks, and we made sure that Funplex stood out with our ride offerings,” commented Baumann. “Mach Fun (Tower Planes) and the Fun in the Sun coaster (Visa Big Air Coaster) are both record-breaking attractions and helping to lead our industry in innovation.”

The return of the in-person IAAPA Expo brough new opportunities for Funplex in the 2022 season. “It was great to be back at [IAAPA Expo 2021] in November and work with our partners like Bobs Space Racers, Dippin’ Dots and Light Up Toys to bring their products into our park in 2022.”

New for 2022, the park has added three custom-built carnival-style games, a full-service Dippin’ Dots kiosk featuring eight flavors, a photo booth, a glow-in-the-dark bubble wand cart and new menu options at its Off-the-Coast Beach Bar and Grill.

“The Funplex Myrtle Beach was well received when it opened in 2021,“ said Brian Williams, CEO of Funplex’s parent company  The Lahn Hospitality and Amusement Group. “We believe the new games and menu options will round out the guest experience as we head into our first full season.”

Working with Bob’s Space Racers, The Funplex debuted three new, custom-built games in 2022, including a Plinko-style puck drop game, a Kiddie Striker, and a four-player water race game.

Using Embed‘s RFID card system with the park, the Funplex Myrtle Beach offers mutliple ride packages, including a unique weeklong ride pass that allows guests to come and go as they please.

“Being that this is a big tourist market, and the average guest is spending at least five days in the area, we wanted them to have the option to fit multiple Funplex visits into their schedule,” said Baumann. “We have noticed guests will come in the morning and get some rides in. They then head to the beach for a couple of hours to enjoy the beautiful Myrtle Beach waters. After heading back to their hotel, they join us for dinner and rides at night. The park has a fun energy at night with the lights and music.”

Speaking on the park’s dynamic lighting and music, Bauman added: “I walk the park every night and get stopped by guests who complement the visual appearance of the park and how nice our lighting package looks. It adds another element to the fun that we want to offer our guests. We are working on a programmed light show that will go off every night and be themed to music.

The park’s Off-the-Coast Beach Bar & Grill’s 2022 menu includes adding new handheld sandwiches, popcorn, pretzels, ICEE, corn dogs and frozen drinks to its existing full  menu of family favorites.

“Our fried chicken sandwich, homemade sangrias, and buffalo chicken offerings have been very popular this season,” stated Baumann. “Our food numbers are outperforming all other areas when it comes to our in-park spending. We added some Northeast favorites like Disco Fries and homemade macaroni salad. We also redid the entire drink menu during the off-season and looked at each item to make sure we delivered on flavor and presentation. I am excited about our Frozen Jack and Cola machine we will be adding to the bar in early May. Our fan-favorite continues to be our Shark Bite drink which comes with a toy shark guests get to take home.”

Despite its compact design and footprint, Funplex Myrtle Beach is not finished growing. “We are pretty maxed out right now when it comes to space but we are always looking at ways that we can create new experiences for our guests and keep up with the trends we see in the industry,” offered Baumann. “Funplex is excited to be adding to the rich history Myrtle Beach has with theme parks. We aim to set the bar for the future of attractions in this area.”

Funplex Myrtle Beach will remain open for the season through October 2022.

This article appears in the  MAY 2022 issue of Amusement Today.
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