Ready for more thrills in Myrtle Beach?
The FunPlex Myrtle Beach is set to open in spring 2021 after the Myrtle Beach Community Appearance Board approved rezoning the site as an amusement zone in June. The park will be at 14th Avenue between Withers Drive and Ocean Avenue and feature seven rides.
The park will include a walk-up bar and restaurant, as well as palm trees lining the outer edge.
The Lahn family, owners of The Funplex Amusement Centers of East Hanover and Mount Laurel, N.J., first opened a park 23 years ago in New Jersey. The Myrtle Beach location will be their newest addition.
“We are excited to bring the Funplex brand of fun to Myrtle Beach,” Funplex CEO Brian Williams told Coaster101.com in June. “We … have developed our parks in a thoughtful and deliberate way ever since. The Funplex Myrtle Beach will offer a big punch in a compact footprint.”
Families and thrill-seekers alike will love the themed rollercoasters. Highlights include:
1.) Mach Fun
It’s going to be the tallest interactive 360-degree jet simulator around. It’s the park’s feature ride and will reach heights of more than 50 feet.
2.) Fun in the Sun
The distinguishing feature: a hamster wheel-style seat – which is two free-spinning seats in a circle – which adds a thrilling twist to an already fascinating ride. Fun in the Sun is a big-air coaster that will run on a track encircling the park’s perimeter.
“We thought having a different action with the hamster-wheel cars would be a difference-maker,” Williams said. “We try to find and add unique attractions to our parks from small to large and we think this roller coaster is a great addition.”
3.) Drop and Twist
It’s a 65-foot tower with amazing ocean views.
All rides are from the Visa/SBF Group, an Italian rides and roller coaster design company.
Eat and Drink at the Funplex
The bar and restaurant don’t have names yet. But they’ll serve food and drink on two sides, right on the beach. Among the offerings:
- Classic bar-food options
- Custom frozen drinks
- Eight domestic and local draft beers
It wasn’t easy to fit all the fun into that plot of land, Williams said.
“We had at least five different versions of the layout with different rides in the mix,” he told Coaster.101.com. “What we ended up with is seven rides that reach different age ranges and thrill levels.”
Randy Lahn owns Funplex Amusement Centers. He says Myrtle Beach has been on the company’s radar for a while.
“I’m happy to see it come to fruition,” Lahn told Coaster101.com. “We have been fortunate to provide families a place to eat, ride, splash, and play for years and we are thrilled to open another location for families to make memories.”
The Myrtle Beach location will have a different design, content, and feel than sites in New Jersey. FunPlex will develop a smaller, outdoor facility than the New Jersey locations.
Williams told Coaster101.com an outdoor model made more sense financially for Myrtle Beach. Also, the Grand Strand would have more seasonable months to run an outdoor park. The company liked a fully-outdoor park to increase the footprint, Williams said.
Is Myrtle Beach Ready for another Park?
Myrtle Beach has hosted many successful amusement parks – such as Family Kingdom Amusement Park, Myrtle Waves Water Park, and WonderWorks Myrtle Beach – but has also seen amusement parks close.
The famous, 11-acre Pavilion Park gave way to redevelopment in 2007. Hard Rock Cafe opened an unsuccessful amusement park in 2008, not making it through a single season. Even with new management and a reopening as Freestyle Music Park, it closed in 2009.
Those instances aren’t concerning to FunPlex, Williams said, citing their lack of sustainability.
“What we are doing is a smaller investment that we are comfortable making in a better location,” Williams said.
Some Myrtle Beach visitors engrain their getaways in tradition and habit – they’ll stay at the same hotels, visit the same attractions and eat in the same restaurants every time. FunPlex owners hope to become part of those habitual plans for vacationers and locals.
“With the level of attractions and the way we will operate the park I am confident that once a guest comes to the Funplex they will create new traditions with us in their plans each year,” Williams told Coaster101.com.
Follow FunPlex on Facebook and check its website for project updates.
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