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TPR Florida Amusement Industry Tour!

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Many of you know that we have been working with Give Kids The World quite a bit now on the Coasting For Kids event, but seeing as it's exclusive to Cedar Fair parks, our TPoRlando Florida contingent has been asking if there was something fun we could do that would benefit the charity since there aren't any Cedar Fair parks near Orlando.


Kara and I discussed quite a bit and the idea of doing a tour of some of Florida's ride vendors seemed like something we could try. Part of what I like to do with TPR is educate our members as much as possible about what goes on "behind the scenes" creating attractions for theme parks, and I feel like the more you know about that process, the better someone will be able to write about parks and attractions in their trip reports, blogs, etc.


We chose Sally Corporation, makers of many dark rides and themed attractions, as well as Bob's Space Racers, who everyone will know what they make when I say "Whac-A-Mole" as our key industry tours for the day. We would also be making a surprise stop at Adventure Landing to ride their Wacky Worm! (It just wouldn't be a TPR event without a credit, right?)


If you would like to know more about Give Kids The World, please visit their website: http://www.gktw.org/


Anyway, onto the photos from Sally Corp!



Today was the TPR Florida Amusement Industry Tour which benefits Give Kids The World!



We are on the bus, heading to Jacksonville, for an awesome day!


yumyum.thumb.jpg.0aad3ab65cc0de0762a28cdb33af1b6f.jpgOur friends from the Yum Yum Cupcake Truck donated muffins to make our drive more adventurous!



TPR arrives at Sally!



This is exactly how to describe what Sally does!



I don't think TPR has ever been greeted by a giant bear before.



And he even sang to us as well!






As you can see, TPR is easily amused!



Love looking at the models of ride layouts.



This is actually "Sally", and she played the piano for us!



Another look at some ride layouts.



All over the building are designs for attractions, animatronics and models.



Here is their theater room, complete with a shooting gallery demo!



And even a scene from one of our favourite Sally attractions, "North Pole Adventure!"



John Wood, CEO of Sally Corp.



John talks to us about many years of making dark rides and themed attractions.



"In Gobbler Getaway at Holiday World, you are CALLING the turkeys, not shooting them!"



See! It's a "Turkey Call" - not a gun!



The awesome staff of Sally Corp!



I'm sure many people in our group have been on this ride!


Here's a video of what a Sally Dark Ride looks like when it's all done!



Which is better? Chocolate or peanut better?



Rich Hill, Sally ride designer, talks to us about the process of designing dark rides.



This library catalogs many details of past Sally attractions and is used as reference for future rides.



More layouts, posters, and inspiration lay around the offices.



This is a concept where the louder you scream during a ride, the more points you get! We love this idea!



Here we are in the "sculpting" room...






John talks to us about their sculpting process, and explains that Sally were the first to use silicone with their facial characters.



So real, it's almost creepy!



KidTums says "It's just like watching Face/Off!"



Is this a sculpt of Mr. Six or an Australian? You decide!






Love all the things in the room! So awesome!



And now a look at animatronics.






One way that Sally controls movement, is through this box with lots of buttons and switches.



Pretty cool, huh?



A look at one of Sally's workshops.



Tiki Room - eat your heart out!






Everyone needs a "T-Rex in a box!"



One of these awesome toys can be yours for about $100,000!






Next up was another new concept that Sally has been working on....



Power Blast mixes video screens along with physical objects to shoot at during your ride.



You can shoot the targets on the screen, but also score points for shooting the crystals around the monitor.



I'm thinking this would be great for parks who want something like "Toy Story Mania", but also want more than just a screen based game to shoot at.






Now we are inside Sally's "black light room!"



TPR in the black light room!



This is a test of a dual image painting - where under certain lighting, the image will change... look at the next picture....



Hooray! Different image, but it's the same painting!






It was fun walking around the Sally factory testing out lots of gaming exhibits they had set up!



Loved all the figures everywhere you looked!



Was really interesting looking through the many design documents and bluprints they had out for us.



These documents detailed out every single item that is needed for a dark ride....



It told designers and the builders what they needed to create, where the targets where going to be placed....



...and any small details that are needed to pay attention to! For example, it's VERY important to make sure "Malasysia and Florida" are on that globe!



This wall showed items that were needed to be made, and the status of them. Red X = Done!



Every character, item, prop, etc, in a dark ride has concept art and details associated with them all on paper and drawn out.



These were snakes created for a zoological park in China. The attention to detail here is amazing!




More blueprints and ride layouts...



Here we got a closer look at the programming of animatronics.






We got a close-up look at how Sally's robotic figures learn their movements.



And even got a look inside their brains!



Movements are programmed on the computer, and then controlled by a series of circuit boards that are installed with the ride.



"Hello, I have no skin!"


Everyone needs a singing a talking pirate!




And here is the control box for the pirate, and the concept art the face was based off of.



Characters start like this, and then more facial features are added on to them later.



And here is what the body looks like.



More ride layouts...



Another black-lit display, this one with targets we can shoot at.



Out pops the ghost from the tombstone!



Our players are very serious about getting the high score!



Talking about electronics, and all the printed circuit boards that need to be created to program the characters and the scoring systems of each ride.



Just some of the electronic components used in Sally dark rides.



These mock-ups give the parks some ideas of what to expect from the finished product.



And some of the mock-ups are pretty detailed, including the ride vehicle and park guests!



How many of these Sally Dark Ride blasters have you used over your park travels?



I think I've used every single one of these! lol



And there it is! The "Turkey Call" from Holiday World's Gobbler Getaway!



Sally Corp brought in lunch with a huge thanks to the River Front Cafe!



The Cake Shop in Jacksonville even donated a cake for our tour!



Kara from Give Kids The World and Jan from Sally Corp do the honors...






Yummy! Thank you Cake Shop!



Sally Corp presented Give Kids The World a check for $1,000 - A total of $3,500 was raised for the charity through the Florida Amusement Industry Tour!

HUGE thanks to Sally Corporation for the amazing tour, and supporting Give Kids The World!






Construction Photos from early Feb 2005


Construction Photos from early Feb 2005


Ahh, so THIS is what the 'gardens' part of Cypress Gardens looks like.


As you can see the gardens have breath taking ponds....


Edited by robbalvey
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Great report! Maybe we'll see Sally Corp in the near future working with a certain chain looking to add dark rides to their parks.


Vine videos are working fine for me with Google Chrome on Windows 8!


I actually really like that you added the ability to embed Vine videos on the forum! Kind of like that they're playing on a loop so no clicking to start playing a video like YouTube.

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Awesome trip report and it's cool that you put this together to benefit coasting for kids. Looks like it was a great day supporting an amazing charity.

Well, it doesn't benefit Coasting For Kids, it benefits Give Kids The World (who also put on Coasting For Kids)...

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Awesome trip report and it's cool that you put this together to benefit coasting for kids. Looks like it was a great day supporting an amazing charity.

Well, it doesn't benefit Coasting For Kids, it benefits Give Kids The World (who also put on Coasting For Kids)...



Sorry I misspoke .. Give Kids The World is a great charity.. Hat tip to Kara as well

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Totally woke up with after-event glow this morning...I had an awesome time with an even awesomer group of people! So impressed with Robb and Elissa's mad tour-guide skills, the generous and friendly teams at Sally, Adventure Landing and Bob's who came in on their Saturday, and the TPR members who continuously expressed their thanks and gratitude throughout the day. All-around amazing event with $3,520 raised for Give Kids The World!


When can we do it again?

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Excellent report, Robb--I'd love to tour Sally's factory some day. I liked the little Vine videos, too (looks like an app worth having). I also miss "Nights in White Satin," the "trippiest" ride ever.


More American parks need to put in Sally dark rides!

Edited by cfc
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It was such a great event. It far exceeded my expectations. The Sally Corp tour was very informative and fun. They are so passionate about their craft and it really shows. I love seeing the pictures and especially being on a TPR tour bus ride! I would happily do an event like this again!

Edited by grinch1313
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Nice report, it's amazing to see all the things that Sally does to pull off an amazing ride. I hope to see more of thier shooting dark rides on the East Coast as they are some of the best dark rides around.

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Awesome report! I love all the behind the scenes stuff you got to see, including things like the pneumatics, the models, and the sculpting! Really jealous that you all got to visit. Also, that's really really awesome that you raised all that money for Give Kids the World! That really says a lot about TPR when they put an event together like this for charity.


The Vine videos worked great for me. I do like how they work, and definitely need to get the app.

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Vine works great Robb! As this was my first TPR event, I can't wait for the next one. This was great on two ends, as it was fun and entertaining, along with the fact that we raised over $3,000 for GKTW!


Kudos to Robb, Elissa, and Kara for getting this all organized, now to go work on counting up my coasters...

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P.S. You need to tell more Shatner and Hannah Montana stories. Just sayin'.

It's funny - I almost never talk about things from that era, and it felt sorta weird telling those stories, but I'm glad people were entertained!

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It really was a great event. Thanks for organizing it for us! I had no idea how much Sally did themselves. Pretty much 100% of each dark ride is done in-house. It was funny to see that in the new Justice League pre-show that downtown Jacksonville filled in for the city under alien attack.

Edited by Erik Johnson
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Wow, looks like a really in depth tour of a fascinating company. I think my favourite bit is the welding sign - it's nice to see a company making a usually boring safety sign into something more memorable.


It's awesome hat this raised money for charity as well as providing a cool backstage tour of Sally corp!

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We've done the Sally tour, a couple of times, on field trips with our kids. Everywhere you look, in there, there is something cool to see! And the staff is completely awesome (including one of our neighbors, who works for Sally.)


And I completely agree with Chuck - more parks need Sally dark rides!!!!!

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Fantastic report; there is Disney-quality work going on at Sally, from the looks of things. Those snakes are AMAZING. It would have been worth the cross-country plane ticket to do this.


And yes, because it bears repeating, over and over: More parks need Sally dark rides!

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Loved this tour. Sally is such a unique, self-contained imagination factory - from concept and creative through production and fabrication. The few people I got to speak with said they look forward to going to work each day - and it shows in the projects they produce. I'm going through my photos now and should be posting some soon. Thanks to Robb and Elissa for putting this together and even bigger thanks to Robb, Elissa, Sally Corp and the other companies for supporting Give Kids the World! Thank you all!

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