To The Sea! To The Caverns Below!
Daniels Wood Land and Sally Dark Rides, Co-Designers and Co-Creators of the Interactive Ride, Hosted a Grand Opening Pirate Bash Celebration to Mark the Occasion
Treasure Hunt: The Ride, the only theme park ride located on California’s historic Cannery Row, recently celebrated its grand opening in the city of Monterey. Complete with a band of feisty pirates, a toast of festive “grog” and several hundred excited guests, the ride was officially christened and opened for everyone. The standalone attraction is a first-of-its-kind ride collaboration between globally recognized theme fabrication experts, Daniels Wood Land and internationally-acclaimed family ride creators, Sally Dark Rides.
First announced in November 2021, Treasure Hunt: The Ride is the result of countless hours and dedicated artisanship, storytelling, and craftsmanship. The ride takes guests on an exhilarating adventure never before seen on Monterey’s Cannery Row. With a nod to Monterey’s unique history, Treasure Hunt immerses guests in the tale of Captain Hippolyte Bouchard, the only (real) pirate to attack the West Coast of the United States. Using the pirate captain’s plunderous story for inspiration, Treasure Hunt suggests his treasure and booty was lost in a series of “newly discovered” caverns beneath Cannery Row. After hearing this prologue to the new tale, guests are then fully immersed in a pirate story, narrated by Molina and his donkey pal, Don Pedro.
To fully launch the new ride, pirates from all over the state of California were on hand to help set the scene of a bygone era of high seas adventure, treasure seeking and enemy privateers. The pirates welcomed invited guests and the public to join them on Treasure Hunt: The Ride so that together they could earn high scores battling skeleton pirates, interactive elements and collect Captain Bouchard’s treasure. They also posed for photos and together all stormed the beach located just outside of Treasure Hunt’s entrance where, according to local history, Captain Bouchard landed when he first came to Monterey.
Bringing the story from concept to fully immersive theme park ride, Daniels Wood Land (DWL) and Sally Dark Rides, created detailed theming elements and an immersive environment to ensure the final result was a quality dark ride experience equal to what park guests have come to expect at their favorite theme parks.
“For more than three decades Sally Dark Rides has developed turnkey dark rides for theme parks around the world that entertain families and guests of all ages,” said John Wood, chairman and president, Sally Dark Rides. “We have always wanted to develop an original tale and dark ride that could stand all on its own, outside of traditional park turnstiles. Our partnership with Daniels Wood Land enabled us to all come together to create the unique environment located beneath Cannery Row. We are all thrilled with result and believe the millions of guests who visit Monterey, as well as those who live in the area, will enjoy it together for many years to come.”
Adventurers and artisans themselves, the creative team at Daniel Wood Land (DWL) embraced the opportunity to fully develop a locale that was unlike anything else guests had ever experienced or seen. Blending pirate lore with imagination, DWL seamlessly ensured the scenes of Treasure Hunt featured interactive elements that surprise and delight as well as supplement the pirate story elements told through several multimedia elements.
“Our team became creative modern-day pirates to bring this tale to life. We took inspiration from everything in pirate lore, as well as making up some of our own. We thought of everything and anything possible to include. There are more than 150,000 gold coins all strategically placed throughout the ride to help set the scene and show our guest what it could look like to enter a cave filled with lost pirate treasure from more than 200 years ago. Together with the team at Sally we added cave walls and skeleton bones, booming cannons, and chests teaming with jewels, pearls, and gold. The result is fully surrounding guests as they travel onboard their cavern cars and work with Molina to avoid the mighty kraken while gathering as much treasure as they can,” shared Ron Daniels, president and co-founder, Daniels Wood Land.
“Cannery Row has a special place in our country’s history, and through Treasure Hunt we are also sharing a chapter few people know,” Daniels added. “Pirates arrived in Monterey and at long last, families can seek their lost treasure together.”
The complete Treasure Hunt: The Ride experience lasts nearly 20 minutes. Guests begin their adventure learning about Captain Bouchard and his pirate crew who are said to have hidden their treasure in the caverns located beneath Cannery Row. They are also told about hapless Molina, Monterey’s town drunk who was seized by Bouchard’s crew. From there, everyone enters a large elevator designed to take them to the caverns below. The experience goes slightly “awry” but safely stops far below. Guests are then immediately greeted by Molina himself, alongside his donkey, Don Pedro. Molina explains the goal – to avoid cavern creatures and pirates, use interactive onboard “Treasure Collector” devices. As active participants in the story, guests defend themselves from the ghost of Captain Bouchard and hope to avoid capture from a mighty kraken as they collect treasure through the ride’s interactive gameplay. Once complete, Molina lets players know who the top scorer in their car was.
A new addition to Sally’s traditional dark rides and DWL’s interactive attractions is Treasure Hunt’s exclusive Power-Up Token. An add-on to the experience’s ride ticket, Power-Up Tokens drastically increase the impact of the onboard Treasure Collectors. The Power-Up feature gives automatic, rapid bursts to the Treasure Collectors, providing larger bursts and bigger visual effects while allowing players to hit targets easier and faster and accumulate points faster. This new feature not only enhances the overall game experience on Treasure Hunt, but it also encourages re-rides, so riders can compete again to earn higher final scores.
Each of the ride’s six “Cavern Cars” can transport up to four guests. With a minimum height of 36” when accompanied by another guest, and a minimum height of 52” to ride alone, Treasure Hunt: The Ride is a complete ride that is perfect for multigenerational families, groups of friends, and individuals who love gaming. Treasure Hunt’s complete environment is brought to life with the use of special effects including sounds, scents, light mist, themed lighting, incredible hand-crafted set pieces and realistic animatronics.
Located at 700 Cannery Row in Monterey, California, Treasure Hunt: The Ride is open daily. Ticket prices start at just $17.99 each, and the ride offers discounts for same day re-rides. More information can be found at TreasureHuntRide.com