John Wood is one of the original founders of Sally Dark Rides and has been a key member of the company’s management team and Board of Directors since its inception. For over 45 years John has led the way for Sally Dark Rides to design, manage and create memorable experiences for theme parks, museums and attractions worldwide. Sally's dark rides (indoor themed ride attractions) and animatronics entertain millions of guests all over the world. As story tellers, Sally has been able to adapt customer's dreams into rideable realities. Whether the customer wants a family ride, a thrilling experience, a branded attraction, or a way to tell their own story - every project is special. Sally is a turnkey provider of these unique dark ride attractions. Over the years we have expanded our design and development capabilities to include a wide variety of special effects, scenic techniques and show action equipment for our rides. Sally is largely credited with the birth of the interactive dark ride, and with recent award-winning attractions such as Justice League: Battle For Metropolis and Sesame Street: Street Mission, have moved into the world of mixed media attractions to enrich the gameplay experience even more.

Blooloop's 2018 list of Top 50 Theme Park Influencers

For his entire career, Wood has been an active participant in the industry. He has twice served as a director of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) and was awarded the Meritorious Service Award for his work in 1994 and the Lifetime Service Award in 2016. In 2013 John Wood was inducted into the IAAPA Hall of Fame for Sally’s work in the field of dark rides.

Currently, he is a member of the International Board of Directors of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), serving for over three terms. He is also a longstanding governor of the prestigious Liseberg Applause Award, an award that’s aim is to recognize excellence and inspiration in the amusement and theme park industry.

In addition, Wood has been active in the Jacksonville community and is past president of the Greater Jacksonville Fair Association, board member of the North Florida Boy Scouts of America, trustee of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, and serves on the WJCT Board of Trustees. in 2024 Jax Daily Record recognized John Wood as Top Entrepreneur of Jacksonville.


What does your job entail?

I provide a vision for the company moving forward and develop an incredibly talented team to help me execute it.

With Sally Since:


What is your favorite project?

The last one we finished! But I must say that both Justice League Battle for Metropolis and Challenge of Tutankhamon are great sources of pride for me.

What is your favorite park?

What is your favorite Dark Ride?

What is your favorite 80's, 90's song or song in general?

If you could be any animal in the world what would it be?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

What do you work toward in your free time?

Which storybook character do you relate to the most?

What is your favorite sport?

What was your favorite TV show growing up?

The Saturday morning cartoons and Disney’s Wonderful World of Color

What is your special talent?

What's next on your bucket list?

I am heading through the canyon lands rafting on the Colorado River this summer! It has been on my list for many a year!