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Theme Park Apprentice Holliday Spectacular

Edited: December 1, 2017, 4:19 PM · 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

Replies (1)

Edited: December 11, 2017, 4:32 PM · Well, hello there!

I bet you thought you had seen the last of me when the revolving door of the last TPA hit me square in my shapely spandex clad a$$ when I had gone out on a seemingly genius level artistic limb. Surprise! If you have read even a few of my comics, you surely must know that it takes much more than that to get rid of me. In fact, the more you want to get rid of me, the harder it is to get rid of me. Heck of a superpower, eh?

So, anywho…

The most important event in history is coming up on June 1, 2018, and to commemorate it, we are doing a pop-up theme park event around everyone’s local cineplex.

Let me introduce you to Amusepool: The Deadpool Experience. This will start three weeks before my next movie releases and shortly after the goody-goody apple polishers get their Avengers: Infinity Cameos movie out of my way.

There’s not much competition since the only major release anywhere near my movie is something about a red plastic cup that fired their director halfway through and then hired Opie to finish it. As a result of this, we are going to setup what will look like scaled down circus tents in front of the cineplexes (since what is more welcoming than a bunch of clowns?) and then have the theater only show my movie in a bunch of different formats including 2D, 3D, 4D, 5D, IMAX, iPAD, smell-o-vision, vibrating seat, and a version where a great big person is sitting right in front of you blocking out most of the screen, tilting back his chair so he is basically in your lap like on an airplane and eating popcorn louder than it should be possible while moaning loudly in pleasure at every bite.

The inside of the tents will be themed as much as a bunch of cardboard cutouts and red paint can actually be called theming (just ask Sally can do quite a lot with cardboard cutouts and paint).

The first attraction will be a trampoline/bungie cord hybrid ride called Shootpool. I know we have all seen these things in most malls, but this one will be in front of your local cineplex and not in the mall. And it will be painted red. With cardboard cutouts of me. And there is a game of skill attached to it. If you win, you earn movie tickets to see my movie, Deadpool 2, which incidentally opens on June 1, 2018 (I don’t know if I mentioned that yet or not). The object of the game is to do a similar twisting flip like I had performed in my first movie (as demonstrated below by yours truly) and accurately shoot a small target. Just because we understand a bit about liability, participants below the age of 14 will only be given paintball guns and not real guns with real ammunition.

Mr. Pool

The second attraction is a ride I like to call Coasterpool. We will be bringing in every single mobile roller coaster we can find, and setting them up all at the same time in locations the paltry amount of ride inspectors couldn’t possibly get to all at the same time. These coasters will be built by people who for one reason or another have decided that an anonymous life on the road with assumed names and assumed backgrounds away from any relatable human contact that isn’t on the run from the law or trying to avoid greedy ex-spouses is better than living somewhere consistent where the authorities can easily find you. Just to make these small rides seem a lot more thrilling than what they really are, we will make sure that when these people are building these rides, they will be drunk and hooked on at least 3 different impairing chemicals. If you are in fact injured on one of our rides, you will have earned yourself a free movie ticket to see my movie Deadpool 2, which opens on June 1, 2018.

The third attraction is a ride called Spinpool: Legacy of Metal Fatigue. We’re going to grab a bunch of portable spinning rides and crank these things up to 15 to see what kind of stresses we can induce on our drunk and addict built spinner rides. Like with the coasters, we will see what we can get and then gussy them up with some paint and cardboard. Injuries mean free tickets to see my movie, Deadpool 2, opening June 1, 2018!

The fourth attraction is called Destructionpool: The Hollywood Casting Couch. In this attraction, you will have a choice of several different celebrities, like Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey, and many others. When the timer starts, the celebrity will encourage you to undress if you want a part in their next project. You are then given a choice of dozens of different weapons to go squirrel poo crazy on the likeness you selected. You are awarded bonus points for the bluntness of the weapon you choose and points for the amount of destruction created. The top 20 scores at the end of the day will get free tickets to my movie, Deadpool 2, which opens on June 1, 2018.

The fifth attraction is called Nutpool. The attraction is very straightforward, much like a feat of strength machine with the hammer coming down to ring the bell thingie, but for this one, you will kick up into a pad instead of hitting it with a hammer in order to ring the bell. There will be a cardboard cutout of Francis (or as you may know him, Ajax, the detergent) straddling the pad that you need to kick. And it will be painted red. You ring the bell and you will get tickets to see the Plastic Cup movie...ha...just kidding, you will receive a ticket to see my movie, Deadpool 2, staring me, which starts its takeover of the world on June 1, 2018.

There will be hotdogs. There is no contest or free tickets in conjunction with the hot dogs. I just like seeing people eat hot dogs. No forks or knives or napkins will be provided. Make that jumbo-sized regular hotdog prices. And, well, I guess we could award some free tickets to the best eating of a jumbo hotdog. And a free napkin. The VIP section of the tent will notably differentiate with a menu that will feature a composition of savory chimichangas and the essence of deconstructed tacos for your indigestional pleasures.

There will also be free face painting where our artists will paint you up to look like me without the mask, so maybe I could wander around the crowd without needing to wear this stuffy mask all of the time. If you want any other painting done, you're paying for it. Triple if you want some other superhero on your ugly mug.

Amusepool: The Deadpool Experience - fun for the entire family, but mostly for my own self interests so I can get the grosses up on this movie and get another movie out of the deal. And then they'll keep sending me checks.

There you have it folks, the winning entry. And done early, too. For those of you wishing to come in second place, make sure you have your entries in by the end of the day on 12/24.

Love & Kisses,

Your neighborhood Poolboy

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