2019: Year in Review

Happy New Year to all!

Sally ended the decade with a record year of projects and events all over the world. Among them was an award-winning attraction for PortAventura in Spain with the iconic Sesame Street characters. Street Mission was voted “Family Ride of the Year” by Park World and “Europe’s Best New Ride” by Kirmes & Park Revue.

In the U.S. we were given the opportunity to work with the experienced design team at Raven Sun Creative to create Reese’s Cupfusion for Hersheypark. It has been an astounding success, complete with plenty of delicious chocolate! We also created new attractions for The Park at OWA and the Peruvian Experience in Lima, Peru.

I am extremely proud of our team of dark ride specialists as we continue to produce great attractions for our customers. We’ve been able to push the envelope with fantastic new ideas and techniques to entertain today’s park visitors. It has been a blast!

All of us at Sally wish all of you a very fun future and successful year in 2020.


John Wood | Chairman & CEO

Sunny Days in Spain

Sesame Street: Street Mission was our first project opening of 2019. Detective Grover takes riders along the famous street where we encounter iconic scenes and characters along the way. Following a trail of cookie crumbs, riders use their clue collectors to pick up the crumbs and score points. This was PortAventura’s first dark ride and has been a great success for their family destination resort. The family attraction is great compliment to their established world, SésamoAventura - tacking on an additional 14,000 square feet of ride, retail and queue. It was an honor to be a part of Sesame Street's 50th anniversary in such a unique and memorable way, truly bringing Sesame Street to life for fans of all ages.

Mission Complete

Reese's Cupfusion opened shortly down the line at Hersheypark in May of 2019, just in time for the park’s Memorial Day celebration. This refurbishment of Sally's 2006 dark ride, Reese's Xtreme Cup Challenge, was a collaboration between Raven Sun Creative, Sally Dark Rides, and The Hershey Company. The all-new story line bread a cast of candy characters and a new IP that extended beyond the ride into the surrounding areas of the park. Reese's Cupfusion also boasts the title "World's Most Interactive Dark Ride" featuring more ways to play and more targets than any other dark ride. The connecting gift shop, costume characters, themed food and games throughout Hersheypark have been nothing short of a sweet addition.

Boocifer's Back

The Park at OWA, in Foley Alabama, brought a classic Sally dark ride to their park in June. This Ghost Blasters™ rendition, re-titled Mystic Mansion, brought back the infamous Boocifer and his ghostly minions. Riders score points by trying to rid the inhabitants from the mansion using the help of Dr. Phearstruck's ghost-banishing technology. Our team of artists and designers created this attraction in just a couple short months, making it our quickest turnkey dark ride ever! For OWA, having an indoor attraction is a must for guests wanting to beat the heat in peak summertime.

A Well-Deserved Makeover

Remember Sally at the Piano? This original 'entertaining animatronic' concept was introduced in 1983 and installed in many restaurants, hotels and bars around the world. By making some slight modifications, we took this same idea and brought it to present day. With a new look (and profession), Sally set sea to debut our new 'animatronic DJ' concept. First in Shanghai for IAAPA Expo Asia, then to the "city of lights" in Paris for the IAAPA Expo Europe. Her custom soundtrack and a dancing light display were a big hit!

Hello Sally Dark Rides

Notice something different about us? We’ve got a new look! Sally Dark Rides is the evolution of Sally’s legacy, encapsulating over 40 years of success in the attractions industry. While our history has provided a secure origin for our stories, this brand evolution allows us to better introduce what we do best—dark rides.

Step on to a Sally dark ride and you will find yourself suddenly transported into a world of disbelief, surrounded by layers of scenery, audio, lighting, media, and animatronics. Seamlessly blending art and technology, our artists and technicians create immersive environments that complement the story unfolding before you. What you walk away with will truly be an unforgettable experience.

Sesame Wins Big

In Paris this year, Street Mission was voted “Family Ride of the Year” by Park World, and “Europe’s Best New Ride” by Kirmes & Park Revue. These awards honor all of those that poured their hearts into this ride - the Sally team, our partners, and all our dedicated subcontractors. Congratulations to all!

Sally Dark Rides managed the entire project, created the ride concept and scripted the story. Sally also designed the ride building, the "Sesame Street Taxi Cab" ride vehicles, the interactive "Clue Collector" devices,and all technical elements including: audio visual, show action, and special effects. The animatronics, show action equipment, and control racks were also products of Sally.
The team of subcontractors include: Henson Creature Shop (worked with Sally's mechanical team to create the iconic animatronic characters), ETF (provided the trackless ride vehicles), Bon Art (worked with our design team to create the amazing CG animation and game play), Alterface (interactivity within the game play), BMorrow Productions (worked with Sally to design the sets and scenery), Sim Leisure(built and installed the incredible sets and scenery), RealD (3D equipment),Ralph Alberts (helped us fabricate the interactive devices), Strong MDI (screen surfacing providers), Weigl (show control), DCI (created the unique show doors), Jon Baker Productions (created the fun musical score), Technilux (lighting designer) and BOSE (audio equipment).

Hersheypark Hosts the TEA

At the start of November, Hersheypark hosted the Themed Entertainment Association for an evening highlighting their new attraction, Reese's Cupfusion. The night started off with beverages and a perogie buffet, followed by a Q&A with the creative teams that worked on the project. Afterwards, guests experienced the ride for themselves, riding again and again to try and beat their scores, find hidden Easter Eggs, and unlock all the fun gaming. See more on the event from TEA News.

Garfield Makes a Splash at IAAPA

Garfield, John and Odie made a surprise appearance at the Sally booth at IAAPA Orlando. The characters destined for Six Flags China, greeted guests with jokes and a bouncy soundtrack. The animatronics are to appear in Garfield's Underwater Adventure, a 4D interactive dark ride where riders dive underwater to help collect contents of Garfield's sunken lunch basket.

Other aspects of the ride include (10) 6-passenger ride vehicles, special effects including a scent machine, in-car audio/lighting, and animated scene lighting. There will be four animatronics (Garfield, Jon, Odie, and Fish) in the facade that talk to guests. In the queue will be three animatronics (Garfield, Jon, and Odie) with multiple movements. The queue is themed as a submarine interior with multiple TV monitors to deliver the story, mission and game strategy. In the ride there are five large, interactive 3D projection screens, three animatronics of Garfield, Jon, Odie and 12 animatronic Underwater Sea Friends (Crabs, Clams, Jellyfish). In the queue and ride are approximately 900 square meters of scenic theming. Approximately 40% is architectural (submarine interior, sunken pirate ship, etc…), 60% will be organic (coral reef, sand, plants, etc…).

Sally Dark Rides Hosts the TEA

We rounded out the year with a dark ride factory tour at Sally for members of the TEA. We enjoyed taking our friends on a tour and showing them how we go from blue-sky concept to fabricating our dark rides and animatronics. We also enjoyed the delicious taco bar, beverages, and music! Thanks to all that came out for the event.


Behind The Scenes of Reese's Cupfusion

We talked to key members of Hersheypark's team to see what prompted the ride's re-design and refurbishment.

Adventure Through Time

We shined a new light on our partnership with Aardman Animations and all the opportunities this partnership has created. The new Aardman original story, Adventure Through Time was unveiled at IAAPA Expo Paris as a new dark ride concept on the market. In addition, we touched on other possibilities, including creating a dark ride from the new Shaun the Sheep movie - Farmageddon, or creating a completely new story for a custom attraction.

Re-filming Challenge of Tutankhamon

Thea award-winning Challenge of Tutankhamon proves to stand the test of time after being re-filmed. The ride opened in 2003 for Six Flags Belgium (now Walibi Belgium) is still a fan favorite and famous for its innovative multiple ending story line.

Experience the Ride - Reese's Cupfusion

Experience the Ride - Sesame Street: Street Mission

Experience the Ride - Mystic Mansion