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The International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions’ (IAAPA) annual expo in Florida is a theme park fanatic’s dream, featuring a week full of ride announcements, concepts and schmoozing with industry leaders.
During IAAPA’s 2021 Attractions Expo from Nov. 15-19, Northern California park fans got a thrilling, out-of-nowhere announcement: Famed manufacturer Sally Dark Rides is joining forces with themed fabrication experts Daniels Wood Land to bring a pirate-themed dark ride to Monterey.
Called “Treasure Hunt: The Ride,” located on Cannery Row near the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the ride will feature hand-crafted set pieces, animatronics and special effects blended with interactive media. Think Haunted Castle at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk meets Justice League: Battle for Metropolis at Six Flags Magic Mountain, two of Sally’s other California attractions.
This is the first time Sally Dark Rides and Daniels Wood Land have partnered on both ownership and production of an attraction.
“We have always been impressed with the scenic style and capabilities of the incredible artists and craftsmen from Daniels Wood Land,” said John Wood, CEO of Sally Dark Rides. “To work with them to create a one-of-a-kind pirate adventure in Monterey is something we were excited about from the moment we heard about the opportunity.”
Sally provided this description of the ride’s story:
“Visitors of Monterey Bay are invited to explore a newly discovered system of caverns located beneath Cannery Row. Legend has it, these caverns were once a hideout, where infamous Pirate Captain Hippolyte Bouchard and his crew of scallywags hid their treasure.
“During the exploration, riders will be provided ‘Cavern Car’ vehicles and ‘Treasure Collector’ interactive devices that will help them traverse the terrain down in the subterranean tunnels. While riders keep their eyes peeled for treasure, they must also defend themselves against danger. Everything from the rising tide, sea monsters and a fearsome skeleton crew will head their travels as they hunt for hidden treasure.”
“When the location for the ride became available, I discussed it with my team…it took about 30 seconds to arrive at the conclusion that we need to build a world-class dark ride down there…and it took just a few more seconds to agree how great it would be if we could shanghai the scallywags at Sally Dark Rides to join us in forming the most creative band of pirates that have ever plied the Western Coast,” said Ron Daniels president of Daniels Wood Land. “This is something my brother John and I have wanted to do for over 20 years, so it’s literally a dream coming true by the sweat of our brows, and it’s an honor and a privilege to partner with Sally Dark Rides and make it happen.”
The ride is scheduled to open in 2022 at 700 Cannery Row, squeezed into an 8,145-square-foot area, which includes the queue and maintenance. Six four-passenger vehicles will traverse a track, which is expected to take about four-and-a-half minutes. A six-minute pre-show is also planned.