Sally Dark Rides returned from the recent IAAPA Expo Europe in Paris with not one but two awards. Both were in recognition of Sesame Street: Street Mission at PortAventura World.
The interactive dark ride was named Europe’s Best New Ride in the European Star Awards and Family Ride of the Year in the Park World Excellence Awards. The latter honours projects in Europe and the Middle East. In addition, the attraction was nominated for a variety of other industry and fan-based awards.
Since opening in April, Sesame Street: Street Mission has been a huge hit for PortAventura World, Spain’s leading theme park resort and one of the top 10 in Europe. Passengers encounter realistic Sesame Street sets, together with numerous animatronics from the iconic children’s television show. During an experience lasting almost six minutes, they also enjoy interactive gameplay with the ride’s lovable characters.
Detective Grover, who makes his first appearance in the 10-minute pre-show, guides guests through the adventure. The citizens of Sesame Street have baked the world’s biggest cookie for the Cookie Day Parade, but it has gone missing. During the ride, they must collect clues to solve the mystery.
Multiple ‘firsts’ for PortAventura World
The attraction is notable for achieving several ‘firsts’. It is the first dark ride in PortAventura World. In addition, it is the first Sesame Street-themed dark ride in Europe, and one of only two in the world (the other at Universal Studios Singapore). The ride also represented the first time Jim Henson’s Creature Shop has built puppets for a themed attraction.
“Theme parks are one of the most powerful ways for children and families to engage with their favourite characters,” says Ed Wells, Senior Vice-President and Head of International Media and Education at Sesame Workshop . “PortAventura World has done an amazing job, along with Sally Dark Rides, in capturing the true essence of the Sesame Street brand and creating an immersive experience that brings our characters to life.”
“For this ride to be recognised on Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary year makes this honour all the more special,” adds Sally Dark Rides’ Lauren Wood Weaver. “These awards recognise all of those that poured their hearts into this ride. The Sally team, our partners and all our dedicated subcontractors. Congratulations to all!”
The Street Mission team
Sally Dark Rides created the ride concept, wrote the script and managed the entire Street Mission project. It also designed the ride building, the ride vehicles (which were built by ETF Ride Systems), the interactive ‘Clue Collector’ devices (supplied by Alterface) and all technical elements. Other partners included Henson Creature Shop, Bon Art, BMorrow Productions, Sim Leisure, RealD, Ralph Alberts, Strong MDI, Weigl, DCI, Jon Baker Productions, Technilux and BOSE.
At IAAPA Expo Europe, Sally Dark Rides showcased two new attraction concepts developed with Aardman. Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon will take riders on an an intergalactic adventure as an alien lands on Mossy Bottom Farm. Adventure Through Time, meanwhile, features a new Aardman intellectual property with a mischievous heroine and a magical, exhilarating storyline.