TEA Connect Blog

19 September 2017

TEA Member Spotlight: Lauren Wood Weaver, Sally Corp.

Now is the perfect occasion for a conversation with Lauren W. Weaver, Marketing Director of Sally Corp., a longtime member and valued Global Sponsor of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). 

"Don't grow up. It's a trap."
Lauren W. Weaver, Sally Corp.

JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis, a headline project for Sally Corporation, recently opened at Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, CA. This new attraction will provide the venue for a very special industry gathering on Oct 4, the eve of the TEA SATE 2017 LA conference, Oct 5-6 at CalArts.

And Sally Corporation is celebrating 40 years in business. Congratulations! 

Founded in 1977, Sally Corporation began as an animatronic production company to help market corporate brands in a unique and entertaining way. The company's strengths in storytelling and character development quickly evolved into the creation of immersive dark rides. Then, with innovations in interactivity and turnkey production, Sally evolved further to become a world leader in providing destination quality dark rides for regional parks. 

TEA asked Lauren a few questions:

 

How did you get your start in the industry?

I was born in the industry of fun. Sally Corporation was more like a home-away-from-home for me. I’d follow Dad [company CEO & Chairman John Wood] into work, bring class field trips here... even had my Sweet-16 birthday party at Sally, with a TRex as host. As I got older, I started going to IAAPA trade shows, TEA events and immersing myself in this mesmerizing industry of Themed Entertainment. So you could say, the TEA is in my DNA.

 

Tell us more about your company's specialties and the markets served.

Sally specializes in building high-end dark rides for regional parks. We have also been successful at bringing licensed brands to life. We’ve created mainstay attractions for such major brands as Justice League, Scooby-Doo and Looney Toons, leaving our clients with marketable, long-running, and FUN family dark rides. Several of Sally’s earliest attractions continue to draw crowds decades later. We love that our products bring such happiness to the world and give families a place to bond and build memories. 

 

Click for more information about this 
industry mixer on Oct 4 at Six Flags Magic Mountain

How did you first find out about TEA? Why be a member?

Never one to miss a networking opportunity, I have opted to take part in many TEA events over the years. From mixers to back-stage experiences, conferences and beyond, the TEA has always welcomed involvement and I’ve reaped the benefits. I’ve witnessed enlightening presentations, had engaging conversations and built great relationships from participating in the TEA.
 

Do you have a favorite slogan or saying? 

"Don’t grow up. It’s a trap." (Peter Pan)

 

Please share a favorite industry war story.

Oh, that would have to be when Sally mailed severed fingers in battered boxes to everyone in the industry [including members of the press - see photo at right]. Two years ago, we were about to announce our involvement with AMC and The Walking Dead on a potential dark ride project. Of course, we didn’t want to make your average announcement – this is the entertainment industry after all. But, time was running short and our brainstorming sessions led to an ambitious idea. So, off to work we went. Our artists quickly began molding severed fingers, distressing cardboard boxes and “bloodying” handkerchiefs. At the end of the day, it took a lot of work, but giving everyone the finger surely set social media ablaze.

 

Tell us about some current and recent work.
Sally just wrapped its seventh successful Justice League attraction, for Six Flags Magic Mountain. We are looking forward to members of the TEA experiencing it during the mixer on Oct 4. We have embraced the mixed-media, dark ride attraction and are constantly coming up with new ways to push the boundaries of dark ride immersion for our clients.

We are currently continuing our relationship with the Scandinavian Parks & Resorts group to bring Furuvik park their very first interactive dark ride as well as working on a custom-designed, and very unique, Peruvian dark ride. We’ve got several more game-changing projects in the works that I’ll reveal very soon.
 

 

Posted by Judy Rubin

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