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This week's Theme Park Apprentice vote: Themed restaurants

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Published: April 20, 2010 at 10:34 AM

Theme Park Insider reader Tim W has started up a game for other readers, on our Discussion Board. This one's called Theme Park Apprentice, and the format should be familiar to anyone who's seen a particular TV show. :-)

Several readers have submitted concepts in response to the first challenge, and now it is time for you to select a winner. Or, more accurately, to pick a loser who'll be voted off "the team."

This week's challenge is to create a theme restaurant. Here are your contestants (you can read their full proposals on the discussion board - scroll down):

Anthony Murphy: Tiana's at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Amanda Jenkins: Country Side at the American Adventure Pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase

David L.: Dinner at Broadway at DHS or Disney's California Adventure

Nick Markham: Shrek the Musical Dinner Show in the Castle Theater at Universal Studios Hollywood

Dan Babbitt: Sunset Grande Ballroom Restaurant inside the Tower of Terror at DHS

Kevin Smith: Seven Seas Dining Experience at Walt Disney World

Wok Creative: TV Dinner - Live at DHS and DCA

Let's vote. The person with the fewest votes will be eliminated from the competition. Or maybe s/he will get a pardon this week, thanks to a no-show.

Readers' Opinions

From Anthony Murphy on April 20, 2010 at 10:41 AM
I think somebody was already fired due to them not showing up! Still, I am interested in seeing how we do with the TPI public!
From Tim W on April 20, 2010 at 11:08 AM
Yup Joshua was fired for not posting in time. i will be looking at the poll results as well as reader comments for the next challenge. This poll is just for fun to see how well people liked your guys' ideas.
From Robert Niles on April 20, 2010 at 11:09 AM
A DQ is not a proper firing. Let's put one of the rest of you out! :-)
From Joshua Counsil on April 20, 2010 at 11:38 AM
Ouch. I completely forgot about this contest. I've been burdened down - two academic conferences this week. Yikes.

Sorry for my no-show. I'll still submit ideas, even if they're not displayed.

It's a shame, too. I had a really great restaurant idea.

From Anthony Murphy on April 20, 2010 at 1:38 PM
Interesting results so far!
From Brian Creedon on April 20, 2010 at 2:09 PM
Fun contest! Wish I was paying attention when started up. All great ideas that I would add a reservation to on my next theme park vacation. I voted for the Seven Seas plan. Maybe tweek the idea by changing it to a cook your own in the center of the table? A place at the American Adventure would be great and is needed for sure. Note sure about the business attire though. 94 degrees with 98% humidity at 5:00 PM May through September might make that hard to pull off, especially for guest not having a hopper pass and staying the entire day in EPCOT? I look forward to seeing the entries in the rest of the contest.
From Tim W on April 20, 2010 at 3:39 PM
Yea really wish we would have had more participation, but with a game like this i was willing to take what i got. And really didn't want to delay stuff much longer. If joshua posts tonight we will just count this round as practice and move forward with next weeks challenge while adding in a shops cattegory the following week.
From Amanda Jenkins on April 20, 2010 at 5:46 PM
LOL!!! I knew I would not come even close to most of you. I completely forgot to place a show in mine. Oh well. I think I was still in adult mode from our last trip without the kids.
From James Rao on April 20, 2010 at 7:15 PM
I've been getting my butt kicked at work trying to get things advanced prior to my WDW trip next month, so I (sadly) have not had much time for TPI. Anyway, all of your ideas are excellent, and no one should get fired. Can I vote for "All Of The Above"?
From Joshua Counsil on April 21, 2010 at 12:28 AM
I've submitted mine. Sorry for the delay - I'll be on time for the next one. I didn't get your e-mail warning message until recently. If I'm still out, I'll continue to post, anyway. It's a good place to throw ideas around.

Speaking of which, there are some mighty fine ideas in this first round. I had a hard time voting. And, in the style of The Apprentice, it's time to strategically compliment and attack my fellow contestants.

Anthony -
I liked your theme the best, namely because I love Cajun food and soul/gospel/jazz music. However, why you put it in Disney's Hollywood Studios and not New Orleans Square in Disneyland was confusing to me.

Amanda -
I liked your strategy the best. The American Adventure serves the old cheeseburger and fries crowd, furthering a stereotype that it could do without. Meanwhile, nearby resorts serve some of the best American food in the country (Victoria and Albert's and California Grill, among others). However, your dinner seems to lack any live entertainment, a staple for many Epcot restaurants.

David -
I liked your entertainment the best. Broadway-style shows provide a nice retreat from the hot sun and busy crowds. However, the idea of gorging on a meal while people try to perform a musical doesn't seem to mash right. The serving staff and noisy customers (eating, talking) could ruin the ambiance.

Nick -
I liked your presentation the best. Visuals always work better than words, and I wish I had enough time to accompany my submission with some pictures. However, I am not a fan of those dinners where you are forced to take a picture with your family/friends before you eat, then later get harassed by someone trying to sell you the photo. I always find it brings down the mood.

Dan -
I like your setting the best. The Tower could be a great location for a period restaurant. I also appreciated your detailed menu, and almost voted for you just for that. Problem? Disney's Hollywood Studios already has a restaurant from that period - the Hollywood Brown Derby. Also, as someone who has parents that own a murder mystery dinner theatre, we have debated the possibility of a Disney murder mystery endlessly and have decided it wouldn't work. Improvisational comedy tends to get dirty, even when you try to keep it clean, and a murder mystery requires a small crowd for various reasons, making it unfeasible for a theme park of that magnitude.

Kevin -
I like your benefits the best. Having a table with only friends/family and a private chef is always a great time. Also, the exceptional fireworks view after the meal is a plus. However, the challenge was to build a theme park restaurant, not a resort one, and inclement weather could spoil the fun.

Wok -
I liked your idea the best, and I voted for it. I think it had some truly inspired theming, cleverly named dishes, and creative interactive elements. I wasn't a fan of the dessert finale, but I do like the token families can take away.

Good work, everyone. I just blew two hours reading these and making my own, but didn't get bored.

From Rob P on April 21, 2010 at 2:01 AM
Wow.
I've been really impressed with all of the entries. I've particularly liked some of the names that have been devised for the dishes. It's all been very creative and it's been tough to choose because I've liked something about all of them.
That said I was really taken with Kevin's idea of being taken across 7 Seas Lagoon to an Island restaurant. This is a very imaginative idea and it's relative simplicity makes it a viable proposition.
Although I understand what Kevin meant when he spoke of burning chemical torches to control the flying insects I would recommend not advertising that too much. It's not a good advertisement for a restaurant to be told that you'll be sitting in a chemical war zone whilst you're eating. Ditch that and you have a winning idea.

His proposal got my vote though.

From Anthony Murphy on April 21, 2010 at 5:59 AM
I put it at DHS because Disneyland already has the Blue Bayou (which, I know, is not the same, but similar enough in my mind).

I also wanted to figure out how to bring the world famous Monte Cristo to the East coast!

From Amanda Jenkins on April 21, 2010 at 8:47 AM
Plus Anthony, the buildings at DHS look more like what Tiana had in the movie. It was just a large "studio" like building. I really liked your idea. Having family in Lousiana, that know how to cook, I would like to see your restaurant come about. Oh those beignets...they are calling to me.

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