Herschend Enterprises and Sally Corporation have announced an agreement to develop a new family dark ride based on the hit animated show Splash and Bubbles. The series, co-produced by The Jim Henson Company and Herschend Studios, Herschend Enterprises’ media arm, encourages children to explore ocean science and marine biology through character driven comedy. Airing daily on PBS stations nationwide and for free on PBS KIDS Video app, Splash and Bubbles consistently ranks among the top five PBS KIDS series for children ages 2-8 each month and is available worldwide on Netflix and via broadcast in international territories including Canada, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.
This new alliance between Herschend Enterprises and Sally Corporation marks the first time the two entertainment companies are collaborating on a ride of this type. Sally Corporation debuted the new attraction concept at the IAAPA Attractions Expo (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions), the largest convention in the theme park industry, which hosted more than 37,000 attendees in Orlando. In addition to providing Sally Corporation development rights, Herschend has developed a line of custom merchandise, including plush and apparel, based on the series.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Sally Corporation serves as creative producers on this endeavor, overseeing and driving the overall development, marketing and distribution of the ride. The storyline takes riders on a global underwater adventure with Splash, a yellowback fusilier fish, and his best friend Bubbles, a Mandarin dragonet.
“For more than half a century, Herschend has created family-centric attractions and experiences which engage audiences in innovative ways. Now, coupling with Sally Corporation’s vast expertise developing interactive, compelling dark rides, we are well-equipped to give families a new way to experience this beloved series and its wonderful characters in a variety of venues including theme parks, aquariums and other entertainment settings,” said Andrew Wexler, Herschend’s Chief Executive Officer.
“Splash and Bubbles presents an excellent opportunity to provide family fun to a whole new sector of the theme park industry including water parks and aquariums. Working with a proven intellectual property from The Jim Henson Company and Herschend Studios gives us an excellent platform to create a truly magical experience in a ride-through attraction that can be both meaningful and fun. We are very excited about the opportunity,” said John Wood, Sally Corporation’s Chairman & Chief Executive Officer.
Splash and Bubbles encourages children to explore the natural undersea world and features endearing and humorous characters on fun-filled adventures. Utilizing the dynamic CG animation technology of the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio, each episode introduces kids ages 4–7 to the adventures of its title characters. Splash migrated all over the ocean before settling down in Reeftown. Now, he and Bubbles explore the world’s ocean, meet wildly diverse marine animals and discover otherworldly oceanic habitats with their friends Dunk (a pufferfish) and Ripple (a seahorse). Together, they bring back what they’ve learned to share with their neighbors.
Splash and Bubbles is a production of The Jim Henson Company and Herschend Studios. Created by John Tartaglia (“Imaginocean,” “Johnny and the Sprites”), the series is executive produced by Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford of The Jim Henson Company, Julie Phillips and Merrill Puckett Miller of Herschend Enterprises, as well as Tartaglia, Michael Shawn Lewis and Jill Shinderman. The Jim Henson Company oversees all distribution and merchandising for the property; Herschend Enterprises administers all location-based themed entertainment rights, including live-shows.