TEA Connect Blog

07 November 2019

A sweet TEA gathering at Reese’s Cupfusion® at Hersheypark®, November 2019

The Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) Eastern North America Division organized a very special event at Reese’s Cupfusion® at Hersheypark® in Hershey, PA on November 1, 2019. Some 50 industry members attended.

The gathering included an educational presentation and Q&A with the creative team, a mixer and the opportunity to ride Reese’s Cupfusion, the new, interactive dark ride at Hersheypark. According to the official description on Hersheypark.com, "Reese's Cupfusion merges the world's love of chocolate and peanut butter to create a sweet full-sensory adventure with multiple ways to play for the entire family.”

Event sponsors Sally Dark Rides and Raven Sun Creative were leading members of the external creative team that collaborated with Hersheypark to create the ride.

This event brought together members of the Reese’s Cupfusion project team with fans and industry colleagues from the TEA.

Louis Alfieri, Principal and Chief Creative Officer at Raven Sun Creative said, "It was a special privilege. In this line of work, you don't get many shared opportunities to pause and look back at a completed project. I feel very fortunate to have had this chance to share and celebrate Reese's Cupfusion with the people - both the creators and guests -who have made it such a success."

Photo collage - top row left: Louis Alfieri (Raven Sun Creative), Laura Woodburn Krolczyk, ICAE (Assistant General Manager, Hersheypark); top center: Agents on a Reese's Transport; top right: Reese's Hall of Fame Board. Middle row left: Rich Hill and John Wood (Sally Dark Rides); center: attraction logo; middle right and lower right: group about to board Laff Trakk℠ including Sally Dark Rides team members Lauren Wood Weaver, John Wood, Rich Hill and Bill Kivi.

Rich Hill, John Wood, Bill Kivi and Chris Weaver
prior to boarding Laff Trakk

"It was fantastic!” said John Wood, CEO of Sally Dark Rides. “The question-and-answer session with the ride designers and the park operators was extremely effective and informative for the audience. I loved meeting the family who currently hold all of the high score records on Reese’s Cupfusion. They claim to have ridden the ride hundreds of times - already! - in its inaugural season - and they love it!"

Laura Woodburn Krolczyk, ICAE (Assistant General Manager, Hersheypark) commented, "We are proud that our interactive dark ride features the most targets in the world with a theme and a story that can only exist in Hersheypark. As we head into the expansion of Hershey’s Chocolatetown in 2020, Reese’s Cupfusion is another example of how Hersheypark is able to celebrate the public’s love of Hershey’s iconic brands with an incredible ride experience for our guests."

The refreshments at the mixer, which included a pierogi bar and some very rich Reese's Cupfusion milkshakes, added to the general excitement and celebratory spirit of this industry gathering.

Reese's Cupfusion Mini King-Size Shakes

John Wood and his daughter and business partner at Sally Dark Rides, Lauren Wood Weaver (Director of Marketing, Communications and Business Development), had special praise for the food.

"I can tell you I have a new fond spot in my palate for pierogies!” said Wood. “To my knowledge this was my first experience with the Pennsylvania delicacy and it won’t be my last!” 

"The Reese's Cupfusion milkshakes were delicious - and themed to the ride!" said Weaver. "It was great to see and sample this tasty example of how they've extended the IP throughout the park."

Wood commented about Sally’s long relationship with TEA.

"Our company was one of the founding members of TEA," said Wood, "and, as a result, we have seen and met many people who have benefited and supported our business each year. The TEA was designed to give manufacturers, consultants and suppliers a voice and a way to connect in our industry. Through the process, the TEA has gained recognition and attention throughout the industry. Through the TEA, we’ve met a number of suppliers whom we use on our design/build dark ride projects. It has been very worthwhile!"

Many thanks to event sponsors Sally Dark Rides, Raven Sun Creative and Hersheypark and to all who helped make this event a success: organizers, volunteers and everyone who attended. 

Other TEA member companies connected to the project include AJA Architecture and Planning, Alterface, Artistic Contractors, Pure Imagination Studios, Techni-Lux and Gantom.

Thanks to Rich Hill, Lauren Wood Weaver and Hersheypark for information and photos used in this report. 

See more event photos here.


Left to right, front row: Rich Hill, Laura Woodburn Krolczyk, Brewer Lister (Managing Director of Marketing,Hershey Entertainment & Resorts),
Lauren Wood Weaver; back row: Jeremy Underkoffler (Director, Attractions - Hersheypark), Chris Weaver, Tim Madison (Raven Sun Creative),
John Wood, Louis Alfieri, Bill Kivi


Posted by Christy Nakada



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