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EuroAmusement Professional 2/2014-Leseprobe

Seite 36 EuroAmusement Professional 2/2014-LeseprobeBusinessReport

Dass der amerikanische
Hard Rock Park erfolglos
blieb, lag ganz sicher nicht
an diesem Darkride: ,,Nights
in White Satin" war ein
wahres Gesamtkunstwerk
mit surrealem Thema.

Wood shared not only a single first
name, but also a partnership in the new
business.
Holland was actually a dentist, and
back then he was the genius behind
the company's first mechanical figures.
"He even tried to build a helicopter
out of a lawnmower," remembers John
Wood. John Wood then took the first
five animatronic figures built in the
garage and crisscrossed the USA to
market them for the new company.

Animatronics? What for?
Animatronics, these figures that are
controlled mechanically, electronically
or pneumatically and come in the
form of mythical creatures, people
or animals were designed to move so
naturally that they didn't seem like
remote controlled robots at all. In the
company's early years its primary
customers were retail businesses that
displayed the moving figures in their
store windows to attract customers.
But museums also made up part of
the company's clientele. They built
a very precise animatronic replica
of US President Lyndon B. Johnson
which still stands today, having been
overhauled and modernized many
times since, at the Lyndon B. Johnson
Presidential Library & Museum in
Austin, Texas.

Animatronics? For everything!
While John Fox left the company in
1983, John Rob Holland remained at
Sally until 1988 before returning to
his original profession as a dentist.
John Wood remains today as the last
original company founder to stick with
his Sally "calling."
Wer ihm in die Augen schaut, glaubt wieder an
den Weihnachtsmann. Im schwedischen Liseberg
treffen die Besucher Santa Claus während der
Winteröffnung.

76 EuroAmusement Professional 2/2014

Wood saw a new market in an old
one that appeared to have been
forgotten. Disney had already
proven for years that dark rides

were top attractions at Disney parks,
a fact that hasn't changed. Disneyland
and Magic Kingdom rides like "Pirates
of the Caribbean," "It's a Small
World" or "The Haunted Mansion"
have remained popular with the whole
family right up until today. A look at
the booming amusement park industry
in the late 1980s clearly demonstrated
that many parks were putting their
money on rollercoasters and carousels.
Dark rides weren't in fashion at that
time, and so they were often only found
in the form of outdated haunted houses
and "Tunnel of Love" rides that fewer
and fewer visitors were interested in.

Dark rides ­ And yet
they really move!
John Wood was convinced that
there was enormous potential for
establishing high quality dark rides
in amusement parks, so Sally began
developing and building dark rides.
One of its first projects was the
renovation and redesign of "Around the
World in Eighty Days" at the UK theme
park Alton Towers.
1992's "Zombie Paradise" at the Tokyo
Dome in Japan was the first dark ride
completely developed by Sally. It
was followed in 1995 by the "Great
Pistolero Roundup" at Family
Kingdom in South Carolina, USA.
This was one of the first dark
rides, if not the very first, that
enabled passengers to shoot
at targets with pistols and
compare their scores
with other passengers
using an LCD display
mounted in the ride
vehicle.
Word of the
company's
dark ride
talent
spread
quickly,

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