Sally Dark Rides’ Latest Interactive 4D Attraction Earns Best New Product at IAAPA Expo 2022

Dark Ride’s Mystical Storyline, Incredible Special Effects and Powerful Animatronics Celebrated at Annual Awards Program

The mythical god of fire, Volkanu, has again earned favor with the global attractions industry, having been awarded a prestigious IAAPA Brass Award for Best Major Ride/Attraction during IAAPA Expo 2022 in Orlando, Florida.

Designed and developed by Sally Dark Rides, a leading creator of family ride experiences around the globe, the adventure ride, Volkanu – Quest for the Golden Idol opened this year at the Lost Island Themepark in Waterloo, Iowa.

The IAAPA Brass Ring Awards are symbols of excellence and achievement in the global attractions industry and earning one is an incredible honor. This is the second international honor for Volkanu. In September, Amusement Today announced Volkanu won the coveted Golden Ticket Award for "Best New Family Attraction of 2022."

“Guest response to Volkanu has already been overwhelmingly positive,” shared Eric Bertch, owner, Lost Island Themepark, “Many are surprised that such an amazing ride experience even exists here in Iowa! We were incredibly lucky to have Sally help create this unique ride concept with us and are thrilled that riders cannot get enough.”

Echoing Bertch’s statement, Derek Perry from American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE), the world’s largest club of ride enthusiasts, said, “Volkanu is one of the most immersive interactive rides that I have ever experienced! Combining exhilarating vehicle movements with impressive theming, this awesome family attraction is a must-ride. The mix of practical effects and three-dimensional imagery was unlike anything I have ever seen, and I cannot wait to ride it again! Congratulations Sally Dark Rides and Lost Island!”

Sally first unveiled Volkanu during IAAPA Expo 2021, introducing the incredibly lifelike shaman animatronic and details for the planned ride.

The 4D attraction features a custom storyline, trackless vehicles, immersive scenery, interactive gaming, special effects including wind and live fire, and several impressive animatronics.

Thrilled by this latest recognition for Volkanu, Drew Hunter, vice president of creative design, and lead designer of Volkanu shared, “We were excited to be a finalist for a Brass Ring Award, sharing the category with other outstanding leaders in our industry. Earning the Brass Ring Award not only celebrates our creative, dedicated, and innovative Sally team who worked to make this a world-class attraction, but also reflects the shining contributions of many others that worked on the project – BDR Design Group, ETF Ride Systems, Alterface, Pure Imagination, Forte, Techni-Lux, and original music producer, John Citrone, to name a few. Together we created something incredible. We are proud to share this with Lost Island Themepark for trusting us to deliver this one-of-a-kind attraction to their guests.”

About Volkanu

Quest for the Golden Idol: This 4D interactive dark ride is housed inside the park’s large, iconic Volcano structure, serving as a beacon to the Mura (fire) Realm at Lost Island. Guests queue in a elaborate, winding lava cave and learn the details of their quest from a Shaman who sends adventurers onward to defeat the fiery monster, Volkanu. Once aboard Inferno Transport vehicles, riders are equipped with powerful Thermal Blasters as they battle lava scorpions, spiders, bats, and other monstrous beings in their attempt to save Lost Island.

The Story

Designed to create a seamless experience with the park’s mythical island theme, the ride is inspired by the great god of fire Volkanu - a legendary bestial being of molten rock living deep inside Lost Island. The experience takes riders on a thrill-packed adventure to locate the sacred Ora-Tika statue, responsible for keeping Volkanu dormant and return it to the altar to restore peace to the island.

Project Scope

Sally Dark Rides turn-keyed the attraction, managing the story, ride design, fabrication, and installation, which were accomplished on time for the season opener in June 2022.

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