Fun Time Express: What Happened After Shark Tank

Fun Time Express: What Happened After Shark Tank

In the wake of its compelling appearance on Shark Tank, Fun Time Express has undergone a fascinating evolution, transforming from a mere trackless train into the flourishing entity known today as Fun Time Productions, LLC. Venturing beyond a singular locomotive experience, this vibrant company now offers a spectrum of trackless train rental services, notably introducing the Bella Tori Coastal Express.

Amidst the scenic backdrop of the local Appalachian region, Fun Time Productions caters to diverse events, bringing joy and entertainment to audiences in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, and Tennessee. Join us as we delve into the post-Shark Tank journey of Fun Time Express and explore the exciting developments that have propelled it into a new era of success.

What Is Fun Time Express:

Departing from the traditional track-bound trains commonly found in malls and amusement parks, Fun Time Express sets itself apart with its trackless design, allowing for greater flexibility and a wider range of operational possibilities [1].


Trackless Design and Craftsmanship:

The Fun Time Express distinguishes itself with a trackless design, offering a departure from the conventional trains tethered to fixed paths. This flexibility allows the train to operate seamlessly in malls across seven states, providing a 7-10 minute ride that covers the entire first level of a mall. The emphasis on “second to none” craftsmanship indicates a commitment to quality, ensuring a comfortable experience for adult passengers.

Replica Steam Locomotive:

The electric-powered engine of the Fun Time Express replicates the iconic American 4-4-0 steam locomotive, complete with a whistle and faux steam. This attention to detail not only adds a touch of nostalgia but also enhances the overall experience, creating an immersive and entertaining ride for passengers of all ages [2].

What Is Fun Time Express

Made in the USA:

Fun Time Express takes pride in manufacturing its trains in the United States, contributing to the appeal of supporting domestic craftsmanship. This commitment to local production aligns with the growing trend of consumers valuing products made within their own country.

Business Opportunity:

Beyond offering a unique ride, Fun Time Express presents an entrepreneurial opportunity for individuals interested in running their own business. The company’s business model involves franchising, providing a chance for aspiring entrepreneurs to invest in a proven concept and operate their own Fun Time Express trains.

Franchising Strategy:

Seeking assistance from the Sharks, Stan Krozel and Kevin Ullery were likely looking for support in expanding their business through franchising. The trackless design and adaptability of Fun Time Express could make it an attractive option for entrepreneurs looking to bring a novel entertainment experience to various locations.

Cash for Expansion:

The entrepreneurs may have sought additional capital to fuel the expansion of Fun Time Express. Whether through opening new locations, improving existing ones, or investing in marketing efforts, securing financial backing from the Sharks could accelerate the growth of their business.

Potential Challenges:

While the concept of a trackless, high-end train experience is innovative, potential challenges may include competition within the amusement industry, the need for continuous maintenance of the trains, and the ability to secure prime locations in malls and tourist areas. Addressing these challenges will be crucial for the sustained success of Fun Time Express [3].


  • Innovative and Unique Concept: The trackless design of Fun Time Express sets it apart from the traditional mall and amusement park trains, offering a unique and innovative experience that appeals to a wide range of audiences;
  • Versatility in Operation: The ability of Fun Time Express to operate without the constraints of tracks provides versatility in choosing locations. This flexibility allows the trains to cover entire mall levels, offering a dynamic and engaging experience for visitors;
  • High-Quality Craftsmanship: The emphasis on “second to none” craftsmanship ensures a comfortable and enjoyable experience for adult passengers, contributing to the overall appeal of the ride;
  • Replica Steam Locomotive Design: The inclusion of a replica steam locomotive design with a whistle and faux steam adds a nostalgic and immersive element, enhancing the overall entertainment value for passengers;
  • Domestic Production: The decision to manufacture Fun Time Express trains in the USA aligns with the trend of supporting domestic production, appealing to consumers who prioritize products made within their own country;
  • Entrepreneurial Opportunity: The franchising model provides an opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to invest in a proven concept, operate their own Fun Time Express trains, and potentially capitalize on the growing demand for unique entertainment experiences;


  • Limited Operational States: While Fun Time Express operates in malls across seven states, the current regional limitation could pose a challenge for nationwide expansion. The company may face hurdles in establishing a presence in areas where the concept is not yet known or accepted;
  • Competition in the Amusement Industry: The amusement and entertainment industry is highly competitive, with various attractions vying for consumer attention. Fun Time Express may need to differentiate itself effectively to stand out in a crowded market;
  • Continuous Maintenance Requirements: The electric-powered trains, with their intricate design and features, may require regular maintenance to ensure a seamless and safe experience. Balancing the need for maintenance without disrupting operations could be a logistical challenge for the company;
  • Securing Prime Locations: The success of Fun Time Express depends on securing prime locations in malls and tourist areas. Competition for these locations, as well as negotiations with property managers, may present obstacles to expansion;
  • Dependence on Economic Conditions: The success of Fun Time Express may be influenced by economic conditions, as consumer spending on entertainment experiences tends to be discretionary. Economic downturns could impact the willingness of consumers to engage in premium attractions;
  • Educating the Market: Introducing a novel concept like Fun Time Express may require significant efforts in marketing and education to familiarize potential customers with the trackless train experience. Overcoming initial skepticism and building awareness could be a time-consuming process;

Who May Benefit From Using?

Who May Benefit From Using?

Fun Time Express presents a unique and entertaining experience that may appeal to various individuals and groups. Here are the potential beneficiaries of using Fun Time Express:

Families with Children:

Fun Time Express caters to families with children, offering a fun and memorable experience for both parents and kids. The trackless train ride provides a unique way for families to spend quality time together while enjoying a distinctive form of entertainment.

Mall and Shopping Center Visitors:

The trackless design of Fun Time Express makes it suitable for operation in malls and shopping centers. Visitors looking for a break from shopping or seeking an enjoyable activity during their mall visit may benefit from the entertaining and flexible ride provided by Fun Time Express [4].

Entrepreneurs Seeking Franchise Opportunities:

The franchising model of Fun Time Express creates an opportunity for entrepreneurs interested in investing in a proven concept. Individuals looking to run their own businesses and provide a unique entertainment experience in their community may find the Fun Time Express franchise appealing.

Event Planners and Party Organizers:

Fun Time Express could be a hit at events, parties, and celebrations. Event planners and party organizers looking for distinctive attractions to enhance their gatherings may benefit from incorporating the trackless train experience into their offerings.

Tourist Destinations and Amusement Parks:

While Fun Time Express initially operates in malls, tourist destinations, and amusement parks may also benefit from the trackless train concept. The flexibility of the design allows for adaptation to different settings, potentially attracting tourists seeking a unique and enjoyable experience.

Local Communities and Festivals:

Communities organizing local events or festivals could benefit from the addition of Fun Time Express as a featured attraction. The trackless train provides a visually appealing and engaging experience that can contribute to the overall enjoyment of community gatherings.

Adults Seeking Nostalgic Experiences:

The replica steam locomotive design and attention to craftsmanship make Fun Time Express appealing not only to children but also to adults seeking nostalgic experiences. Individuals looking for a lighthearted and enjoyable ride reminiscent of traditional steam locomotives may find Fun Time Express to be a delightful option.

Supporters of Domestic Production:

Consumers who prioritize products made in the USA may be inclined to support Fun Time Express due to its commitment to domestic production. The emphasis on high-quality craftsmanship and manufacturing within the country could resonate with those who value supporting local industries.

About Founders Of Fun Time Express

In the entrepreneurial spectacle of Shark Tank’s Episode 524, Stan Krozel and Kevin Ullery made a grand entrance aboard their trackless electric marvel known as The Fun Time Express. This locomotive, a sophisticated iteration of the familiar mall and amusement park trains, distinguishes itself by offering a high-end experience tailored for adults, boasting unparalleled craftsmanship [5].

Setting itself apart from conventional counterparts, The Fun Time Express liberates itself from the constraints of tracks, seamlessly gliding through malls across seven states. These locomotives redefine the typical ride duration, offering a 7-10 minute journey that traverses the entire first level of a mall. The electric-powered engine, meticulously crafted in the USA, mirrors the iconic American 4-4-0 steam locomotive, complete with a whimsical whistle and simulated steam.

About Founders Of Fun Time Express

The Fun Time Express isn’t just a ride; it’s a business proposition. The company extends an entrepreneurial opportunity, inviting individuals who aspire to manage their enterprises to join the locomotion revolution. The strategic appearance on Shark Tank signals an ambition for franchising and a quest for financial backing to fuel the expansion of this innovative venture.

Stan Krozel and Kevin Ullery’s Fun Time Express embodies not just a ride but a journey into a new frontier of entertainment and entrepreneurial possibilities.

The Pitch Of Fun Time Express At Shark Tank

Stan Krozel and Kevin Ullery arrive in the Shark Tank, not on foot, but in a whimsical little train equipped with all the bells and whistles – flashing lights, the iconic deep-toned horn, and, of course, a caboose. Onboard are a few children and the visionary duo behind the Funtime Express, hailing from Chicago, Illinois. Their mission in the Tank: securing a $ 125,000 cash investment in exchange for a 20% equity stake in their unique business [6].

The entrepreneurs kick off their pitch with a nostalgic tale, transporting the Sharks back to a simpler time when mall outings with parents meant endless loops of stores and inevitable boredom. The Funtime Express emerges as a remedy to the monotony, designed as a trackless train ride for all ages that meanders throughout entire malls, offering respite for dads and a chance for moms to indulge in a bit of window shopping.

Beyond malls, the versatile trains are built to thrive in various settings, including parks, amusement parks, sports arenas, and private parties.

When Robert inquires about the business details, Stan and Kevin reveal that they currently operate five trains, with a sixth ordered online just two weeks before the Shark Tank filming. The very train the duo rode on during the pitch is slated to become the seventh Funtime Express, available at a discounted price as a “used” product for future orders.

Kevin’s focus shifts to the profitability aspect, prompting a discussion on revenue generation. Stan explains the business model, detailing that from Monday to Thursday, the Funtime Express functions much like a typical retail business, with profits primarily reinvested. 

However, on Fridays and Saturdays, the potential for daily earnings peaks at $ 1,000. While Kevin appears underwhelmed, Lori hones in on the crucial detail – the cost of a ride. Priced at $ 3, payable in either cash or credit, the Funtime Express aims for an accessible and affordable experience.

Mark raises questions about capital expenditures, with the bulk of expenses centered on the train models, each costing approximately $ 37,500. The projected payoff time for a Funtime Express is estimated at 6 to 8 months, presenting a manageable overhead for an investment that can last 3 to 4 years before additional capital is required. 

The discussion shifts to the dynamics of deals with malls, revealing that negotiations are individualized and vary between different mall operators.

Daymond delves into sales figures, with Stan disclosing that in 2011, Funtime Express sold 31,000 tickets, translating to $ 106,000 in gross revenue. By 2012, these numbers doubled, reaching $ 216,000 in gross revenue and close to $ 80,000 in net profits. With all seven trains operational, the projected figures for the next year suggest close to $ 1 million in revenue based on an estimated 300,000 tickets sold [7].

The Pitch Of Fun Time Express At Shark Tank

Lori expresses curiosity about the $ 3 ticket price, and Stan reveals that it’s considered the sweet spot. In November through December, they employ variable pricing strategies, offering 2 tickets for $ 5 and 3 for $ 10. Despite Mark’s appreciation for the flexibility in pricing, he raises concerns about scalability, leading him to bow out of the deal.

Daymond, recalling childhood train experiences, shares his skepticism, stating that the novelty of a train ride might not resonate with today’s tech-savvy children. Kevin echoes Mark’s sentiment about scalability, suggesting that the business entered the market prematurely. Despite finding the concept interesting, he opts out, emphasizing that the venture is too small for his investment portfolio.

Robert, proud of the business but cautious about investor involvement, advises the couple to stay invested in their own business, urging them to continue growing independently. Kevin remains unconvinced, stating that while he appreciates the idea, the train, the deal, and the potential profits are all too small for his investment preferences. He exits the deal.

Lori, however, sees the potential and offers half of the requested amount, contingent on finding a second Shark. Stan and Kevin revise their terms, offering 100% of the gross profits to expedite the repayment process. Lori is intrigued but insists they need a second Shark. In a surprising turn, she turns to Mr. Wonderful, Kevin, inviting him to join the venture due to his connections and fitting expertise.

Kevin, after a contemplative moment, presents an offer of $ 125,000 for a 20% stake, agreeing to partner with Lori. The deal is sealed, with Stan and Kevin securing a partnership with both Lori and Kevin, propelling the Funtime Express into a new chapter [8].

Fun Time Express After The Shark Tank

The evolution of Fun Time Express has seen it transform into Fun Time Productions, LLC, a comprehensive trackless train rental company that goes beyond a mere locomotive experience. With a focus on the local Appalachian region, Fun Time Productions caters to Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, and Tennessee. The company has expanded its offerings to include not only the original Fun Time Express but also a new addition, the Bella Tori Coastal Express.

The Bella Tori Coastal Express, a recent model, embraces a nostalgic design reminiscent of trains from the late 19th to the early 20th century. Despite its vintage appearance, this train is a fully electric marvel loaded with additional features that surpass the standard Fun Time Express. The Bella Tori boasts a bell, music, smoke effects, and a PA system, enhancing the overall experience for passengers.

Unlike the initial purchase model, Fun Time Productions now operates on a rental basis. Each rental period requires a minimum booking of 2 hours, with the Fun Time Express and the Bella Tori both priced at $ 250 per hour [9].

However, it’s crucial to note that these rates exclude a fuel surcharge of $ 1.75 per mile, ensuring the safe transportation of the train from its home base in Brandenburg, Kentucky, to the desired location for the Fun Time Productions experience.

As Fun Time Express continues to grow and diversify, it offers a unique and customizable trackless train rental experience for a variety of events and occasions.

Fun Time Express After The Shark Tank

The Net Worth Of Fun Time Express

Fun Time Express is a trackless train designed for parties and events, originating from the entrepreneurial endeavors of Stan Krozel and Kevin Ullery in 2011. The net value of Fun Time Express reached $ 625,000 in 2014, marking the outcome of a successful deal on Shark Tank [10]

Their appearance on Season 05 of Shark Tank USA in 2014 culminated in a partnership with Kevin O’Leary and Lori Greiner, who invested $ 125,000 for a 20% stake in Fun Time Express. This pivotal agreement not only injected capital but also heightened the visibility of Fun Time Express, propelling its growth over subsequent years.

The exposure garnered from the Shark Tank encounter acted as a catalyst, contributing to the continued expansion of Fun Time Express. The peak of this evolution materialized in 2018 when Fun Time Express underwent a transition, becoming part of Event Time LLC.

As of November 2023, Fun Time Express remains in full operational swing, providing joyful experiences for various gatherings and events.

Alternatives To Fun Time Express:

Traditional Amusement Park Rides:

For those seeking a classic amusement park experience, traditional rides such as roller coasters, Ferris wheels, and carousel attractions remain popular choices. These rides often provide a mix of thrills and nostalgia, catering to a broad audience.

Virtual Reality (VR) Attractions:

VR attractions offer an immersive and technologically advanced alternative to traditional rides. Users wear VR headsets to experience virtual worlds while physically interacting with the environment. VR attractions provide a cutting-edge and customizable entertainment experience.

Escape Rooms:

Escape rooms have gained popularity as interactive and challenging experiences. Participants work together to solve puzzles and complete tasks within a themed environment. This alternative appeals to those who enjoy teamwork, problem-solving, and immersive storytelling.

Interactive Exhibits and Museums:

Museums and interactive exhibits provide educational and entertaining experiences. Visitors can explore science, history, art, and technology in engaging and hands-on ways. These attractions are suitable for individuals and families interested in learning while having fun.

Outdoor Adventure Parks:

Outdoor adventure parks offer a mix of adrenaline-pumping activities such as zip-lining, rock climbing, and obstacle courses. These parks cater to thrill-seekers and those who enjoy physical challenges in natural settings.

Live Entertainment Shows:

Theatrical performances, musicals, and live entertainment shows offer a different form of amusement. Visitors can enjoy storytelling, music, and visual spectacles in a seated and relaxed setting.

Water Parks:

Water parks provide refreshing alternatives with a variety of water-based attractions, including slides, wave pools, and lazy rivers. These parks are popular choices for families and individuals looking to cool off and enjoy aquatic adventures.

Laser Tag Arenas:

Laser tag arenas offer exciting team-based competitions in futuristic environments. Participants use laser guns to tag opponents and achieve objectives. This alternative is suitable for those who enjoy competitive and action-packed experiences.

Alternatives To Fun Time Express

Miniature Golf Courses:

Miniature golf courses provide a laid-back and social alternative for individuals and families. Players can enjoy a round of golf in creatively designed miniature landscapes, combining skill and fun.

Arcade and Gaming Centers:

Arcade and gaming centers feature a variety of video games, virtual reality simulations, and interactive experiences. These venues cater to gaming enthusiasts and those looking for a technologically driven form of entertainment.


  1. What services does Fun Time Express offer?

Fun Time Express, now operating under Fun Time Productions, LLC, provides trackless train rental services for various events and occasions in the local Appalachian area, including Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, and Tennessee.

  1. How much does it cost to rent a Fun Time Express train?

The rental cost for Fun Time Express is $ 250 per hour, with a minimum booking period of 2 hours. Additionally, there is a fuel surcharge of $ 1.75 per mile for transportation from Brandenburg, Kentucky, to the chosen location.

  1. What is the Bella Tori Coastal Express, and how does it differ from Fun Time Express?

The Bella Tori Coastal Express is a newer model offered by Fun Time Productions. It features a vintage design reminiscent of 19th to 20th-century trains and is fully electric. The Bella Tori comes equipped with enhanced features, including a bell, music, smoke effects, and a PA system.

  1. Is Fun Time Express available for events outside the local Appalachian area?

As of 2023, Fun Time Productions primarily serves the local Appalachian region. For events outside this area, additional considerations and arrangements may need to be discussed with Fun Time Productions.

  1. How can I book a Fun Time Express train for my event?

To book a Fun Time Express train, individuals can contact Fun Time Productions directly to discuss availability, pricing, and specific event details.

  1. Can Fun Time Express accommodate private parties and special occasions?

Yes, Fun Time Express is suitable for various events, including private parties, birthdays, festivals, and special occasions. The trackless train rental offers a unique and entertaining experience for guests of all ages.

  1. Is the Fun Time Express experience customizable for different events?

Fun Time Productions works with clients to tailor the train experience to suit different events, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable time for participants.

How can I book a Fun Time Express train for my event?

  1. Does Fun Time Express operate on specific days of the week?

The availability of Fun Time Express for events can be discussed directly with Fun Time Productions. The company strives to accommodate various schedules and event timings based on client needs.

  1. What safety measures are in place during Fun Time Express rides?

Fun Time Productions prioritizes the safety of passengers during rides. Specific safety measures and guidelines can be discussed with the company when booking a train for an event.

  1. Can I see the trains before booking for my event?

Prospective clients interested in Fun Time Express can inquire about the possibility of viewing the trains before making a booking. Arrangements can be made with Fun Time Productions to provide a closer look at the trackless trains.

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