Based on a true story, 'Treasure Hunt: The Ride' close to opening in Cannery Row
May 27, 2023
MONTEREY – Artifacts that bring you back to a time when pirates and treasures could be found in the waters off the Monterey Peninsula, have been recreated with a themed immersive adventure ride on historic Cannery Row.
Based on a true story that dates back to 1818, Treasure Hunt: The Ride takes participants on a tour through the caverns of Cannery Row. The themed ride, developed by the Daniels Wood Land and Sally Dark Rides companies, hopes to open soon.
“There was a pirate that sacked Monterey in the 1800s,” general manager Jeff Mosier said. “That is the theme of the ride, with some added twists that make it entertaining for all ages.”
The ride – a first of its kind in Monterey – is getting its final touchups. It’s located under Sly Mcflys, 700 Cannery Row.
The plan that evolved two years ago is themed with treasures, pirates, ghosts, even a 180-year-old piano throughout the 8,400-square-foot tracked adventure, providing its own unique appeal.
“We have gone a little over budget,” Mosier said, “to a tune of $8 million. The good news is it came out of our own pockets. So we are debt free. We didn’t have a lot of room for error with the space. Every measurement had to be precise.”
Treasure Hunt: The Ride is close to opening in Cannery Row pic.twitter.com/2bOiQl3NFI
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The objective in the four-minute ride is to shoot the skeletons with your ‘treasure collector’ (weapon), as well as other themed objects that come all around you as riders attempt to take the treasure by piling up points.
Along your journey back into time, you’ll find interactive objects that will ping if you nail them, as well as a pair of cannons that occasionally shoot off a light spray of water.
Each cart, which seats four, will take you through a mine cave that was created by hand before you embark into the caverns of Cannery Row, where skeletons, ghosts and Captain Bourchard seek to protect the treasures.
Six carts will run simultaneously on the electric track in a timely fashion, roughly 45 seconds apart, allowing as many as 24 riders at a time. Admission will be $24.99 and reservations will be allowed in advance to avoid crowds.
Treasure Hunt: The Ride is close to completion on Cannery Row pic.twitter.com/U21ICZSq3V
— John Devine (@JohnJDevine) May 5, 2023
“All of what you see on the ceiling and along the walls was handcrafted,” Mosier said. “A lot went into the designs and thought process. There is nothing like this that we’re aware of.”
Each section in the fully immersive ride has a theme, starting when the elevator drops you into the mine, to the dim flickering lights that create that frightening feeling.
While the objective is to shoot objects with your ‘treasure collector’ as they pop up along the course for points, you can’t help but feel you’re in a movie setting.
Throughout the ride, you hear the voices of Molina – the town drunk, and Captain Bourchard, who is protecting his treasure from both the patrons and Molina.
The experience actually begins near the main entrance of the building, where an 850-pound pole – that had to be brought in by hand – hoists a talking and moving pirate and parrot that greet you.
Your adventure, which is roughly 20 minutes from the start to finish with a pre-show – takes you down a flight of stairs to where you run into Molina and Don Pedro the donkey.
Once you’re underground, the ride begins with a larger-than-life kraken that hovers above your cart and follows you throughout a portion of the adventure.
Remnants of what was once a wax museum – featuring centuries of California history – were also kept as a historical perspective to the property of Cannery Row.
“There’s also a section of hands on a wall of all the workers that have worked on this project,” Mosier said. “My hand is the one where you score points if you can guess which one.”
As you make your way through the caverns, what appears to be thousands of skeletons to fire at, grace the 20-foot screens of animated waves of water, along with treasure chests that sit in real sand.
Among the 14 high-definition televisions that help tell the story, are two that sit above you on one portion of the ride as you make your journey through this magical adventure.
The design and crafting that went into this project gives a feel that you’ve gone back into time, providing drama and twists around every corner along this journey.
“We hope that the patrons learn a bit of Monterey’s history, delivered via an interactive and fun adventure the whole family can enjoy,” Mosier said.
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