Sally Dark Rides is proud of our incredibly talented team. Many members of our team have been working with us for years—some even for decades. One of those dedicated team members is Dave Jones. We recently interviewed Dave to learn more about his background, expertise, and interests.
Dave was born in Jacksonville, Florida before moving to Orlando and then to Tampa. But for the last 50 years, he has called the First Coast his home. Dave attended Florida Junior College (now Florida State College at Jacksonville) to pursue Music and Studio Recording. Dave has a background in music, audio, and electrical. He also has light experience with mechanics and woodworking. He soon learned about an opportunity with Sally through a friend, and the rest is history.
“When I was hired by Sally Unlimited in 1980, we made primitive moving mannequins. Obviously, technology has made leaps and bounds in four decades, but the main thing that’s stayed the same is the quality of our workmanship. We still have robotic characters in the field that work well and look great,” Dave said.
Dave is a Senior Programming Director at Sally Dark Rides, but as he says, he wears “many hats.” On a daily basis, Dave can be found assembling electronic control systems, digital sounds or soundtracks, and programming some of our colorful characters.
Dave’s Role at Sally Dark Rides
Dave has been instrumental in many of our iconic projects during his 40 years at Sally. His favorites have been international projects which allowed him to travel overseas.
“I’ve traveled to over 50 cities in 25 countries on 6 continents,” Dave said. “Seeing the culture and meeting new people has been a fantastic experience. No matter where we go, our customers love our product and our company, because our policy is quality, punctuated with exemplary customer service. We have many repeat customers!”
At Sally, we pride ourselves on the caliber of the talent working on our projects. Dave says one of his favorite things about working at Sally is being able to collaborate with some of the top artists and programmers in their respective fields. That’s part of why he loves coming to work everyday.
Insights Into the Industry
After decades of building dark rides at the forefront of technological changes, Dave knows that the most important aspect of a ride has remained the same—storytelling. He believes rides should be fun, engaging, and exciting, all at a price point that best benefits the client.
So where do we go from here in the ever-changing landscape of theme park attractions? Dave believes in the near future, we will be “integrating more rollercoaster tech for greater diversity, adjustable speed, and advancements in video and projection mapping.”
Life Outside Sally
In his spare time, Dave enjoys hiking, sailing, and traveling. Being a second generation Eagle Scout, he also finds joy in working with Boy Scouts of America, Venturing, and Sea Scouts. Some of his skills from his Eagle Scout days include teaching knots, archery, and tomahawk throwing. Dave is also a sound engineer at his church where he is able to use his talents on a weekly basis. “This has been inspiring and has brought me closer to God. This part of my life, my walk, has given me the greatest reward!”
Throughout his career, Dave has been a part of so many important projects and milestones at Sally. He shared with us some of the best advice he has ever been given:
“Good is the enemy of best. So in everything you do, always reach for your best.”