Welcome to a special Holiday episode of Theme Park Apprentice. This game is for everyone to play – and for everyone to judge too!
Whether you’re a novice, or an old hand, you’re welcome to play. We have two “Classes” for this game, one harder than the other, you can play in the class level that has the right level of challenge for you.
Holiday events present an opportunity for operators in the themed entertainment business. Consumers are willing to spend premium amounts to have a unique experience; however with this potential reward comes a lot of risk and event costs – nobody wants to see Santa on the 26th of December.
Remember, for premium prices, customers expect premium experiences.
Rules for both classes
Although its “Christmas time” you may pick any event anywhere in the world – Easter, Octoberfest, Dwalli, St Patrick’s Day etc- your event should of course be appropriate for the market that your event will operate in (eg- A beer-filled Octoberfest probably isn’t appropriate for the Middle East). The day does not need to be recognised as an official public holiday, but there should be major cultural awareness of the event (ie- Mickey Mouse’s Birthday probably doesn’t count).
Because this is a temporary attraction, your operating season for the event is going to be limited. The time that your experience open-season should be appropriate for the event, but can be no longer than 6 weeks.
As a temporary attraction, the business case for structures is different to a permanent attraction. This means you may need to rely on temporary installations; you can have as many temporary installations as you like, but these have to be realistic and have a setup/teardown time of roughly 2 weeks (Yes, technically the Eiffel Tower IS a temporary structure, but it took 2 years to put up, so it’s out). You can truck in portacabins, pre-fab buildings, carnival attractions, etc, as long as realistically they can be set up and removed in that period).
You can have permanent facilities. However, with your event running no longer than 6 weeks building a permanent facility to operate about 10% of the year isn’t likely to make financial sense. As such, you must include in your proposal a brief outline on what the building can/will be used for during the rest of the year in order to make the business case for building it. Feel free to think out of the box, these structures don’t have to be used in the themed entertainment industry – The London Olympics famously earmarked some venues for use as schools and technical colleges.
Rules for the “Additional Experience” class
For those competing in the “Additional Experience” class, you must use an existing and specific theme park, and can be within the bounds of the normal guest operating area.
Your event should be a hard ticketed event, meaning Guests will need to pay to experience your event.
This event cannot be a simple overlay. You may use existing structures and facilities, but you must create something “new”. Eg- You can’t stick a bit of snow, some twigs of holly, and a few pine trees in Hogsmede and call it “Christmas at Hogwarts”. However, if you turned Hogsmede into Santa’s Village at the North Pole, that would be fine (but you’re going to have to do something about those Harry Potter attractions…).
You will need to bear in mind that as a hard ticketed event, anything within the footprint of your event will be inaccessible to anyone without a ticket; for example, if your event is taking the Hogsmede-to-Santa’s-Village concept, you’re going to have a lot of unhappy IoA guests annoyed that Hogsmede is closed (and the attractions therein either re-themed or closed for the event). Obviously if your park is usually closed during the event this isn’t a major problem, you’ll just need to make sure your “value proposition” is big enough to get people in the park.
Rules for “Blank Slate” class
Although you can link your event to a themed entertainment attraction (Theme Park, Casino, History Centre, Themed Resort, “Dungeons” style attraction), you do not have to.
If you’re not linking to an existing attraction then you don’t have to give a specific real world location, but we do need to know the city/state/region it serves. Although this will give you freedom to have the fantasy geography/topography of your choice (provided its reasonable – no real alp-style mountains in Florida please), it is harder to market a standalone event than something linked to a successful attraction.
If you’re linking to an existing attraction, you’ll need to show us exactly where you’re going to put it. Additionally you cannot use any facility that currently exists except beyond basic park infrastructure (ticket booths, gates, etc); you can however level any building/facility which is abandoned/derelict (ie – you can send a bulldozer through River Country/Discovery Island, but the Wonders Of Life pavilion is off limits as its still used for events).
You may place your event in a ground level car park, or what is presently a ground level car park if your long term plans involve ripping out the car park for permanent structures (ie- you can’t use the Mickey And Friends Parking Lot, but you could repurpose the EPCOT lot). You can also use any customer-accessible green space (picnic areas, etc) or event space provided the previous rules on existing permanent structures are met.
TPA has always been a very “Gentlemanly” game rather than a hyper-competitive one, so for this game we’re experimenting with a “Everyone and no one” is the judge model – including competitors
Anyone may submit critiques… but this time around, you can submit a “Favourite” and “Runner Up” for each class. Each “Favourite” a contestant gets nets them 2 points, with each “Runner Up” getting 1 point. Of course, if you’re a competitor you can’t give yourself points.
0001 25 Dec board time - deadline for entries
0001 2 Jan board time - deadline for judging
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