The Whispering Pines Haunted Hotel and Treasure Hunt: The Ride Earn Top Ten Honors by USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards

Sally Dark Rides, the globally recognized leader in creating family dark rides and attractions, celebrates two of its newest dark ride experiences that have been named as top new attractions in the United States by USA Today’s 10Best 2024. Treasure Hunt: The Ride which opened in Monterey, California (2023), earned third overall in the Best New Attraction category, and Whispering Pines Haunted Hotel, which debuted at Funtown Splashtown USA last August, earned sixth place overall in the Best New Theme Park Attraction category. Twenty nominees in each category were chosen by a panel of experts in this year’s Travel Awards program. USA Today’s readers and the general public then selected the final Top10 winners in each category.

"We are thrilled the readers of USA Today, and theme park fans around the country, love our dark rides as much as we do,” said Lauren Wood Weaver, vice president, marketing and business development, Sally Dark Rides. “2023 was a big year for Sally Dark Rides, and our entire industry. To see our dark rides make the final top ten on these two “Best Attractions” lists shows that families from coast to coast responded to our creativity and work. We proudly share this is honor with our incredible partners at Funtown Splashtown and Daniels Wood Land.”

The Whispering Pines Haunted Hotel is a spooky, yet family-family dark ride at Funtown Splashtown in Maine. The attraction tells a unique tale about a wicked witch who has placed a curse on the hotel, and guests must take part in interactive elements to free the building from her haunts and spells. The hotel’s story, engaging gameplay and Sally’s life-like animatronics all came together to secure the sixth spot overall on the Best New Theme Park Attraction list.  

Treasure Hunt: The Ride, placed third overall in the Best New Attraction category. Developed and created in partnership with Daniel’s Wood Land, Treasure Hunt takes guests on a multi-part adventure filled with pirates, lost treasure and even a mighty kraken.

Located on historic Cannery Row in Monterey, California, Treasure Hunt features theme park thrills and creative storytelling in a unique stand-alone adventure.

“What a way to begin 2024,” Weaver continued. “As we celebrate making the 10Best list – twice! – all of us at Sally continue to move forward with new dark rides for theme park guests around the world.  We can’t wait for everyone to experience our newest attractions later this year.”

The annual USA Today 10Best Readers' Choice Awards highlight the best of the best in travel destinations and experiences. Nominees in all categories are submitted by a panel of experts, and the final set of nominees are selected by 10Best editors. USA Today readers and the general public vote to determine the winners. Winners were announced on Friday, January 5, 2024