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Theme Park Apprentice 4: Challenge 2

Busch Gardens, ride and animal attraction

From Tim W
Posted June 10, 2012 at 7:44 PM
Busch Gardens Tampa is known for its outstanding animal shows and exhibits, and its top-ranked rides. Your challenge this week is to combine the two experiences. Create an attraction that will incorporate both the fun of a ride and the education and entertainment that the wildlife of Busch Gardens can bring to its visitors. You can use any ride format available, including one of your own creation (but be realistic- no antigravity hovermobiles!) and any type of wildlife setting you choose. The safety of the animals and of the visitors must be considered. Be sure to balance the fun of the ride experience with the entertainment and educational focus that Busch Gardens has worked so hard to nurture.

In your proposal description, be sure to include the name of the attraction, the type of ride, specs, details, location in the park, and anything else that will help to promote your proposal as the best one for this challenge.

The Deadline for posting is June 16th at midnight, website time. The posting thread should be up around June 10th.

This will be a double elimination round, with 4 contestants being sent to the public vote.


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Dominick D
Posted June 10, 2012 at 8:20 PM
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Coming soon to Busch Gardens Tampa is Forest Flyers, a ride which takes you over jungle animal habitats in a bird's eye view, with real live animals! There is a 48 inch height requirement due to the over the shoulder harnesses, but this isn't a big thrill ride. There will be some sharp turns, a coaster portion, and small downward hills. The ride is around 6 minutes long, and is in a new rain forest part of the park.

You enter the queue by going through an outdoor rain forest. No need to worry about the heat, because while the queue is outdoors, you have that cool rain forest feel. After winding through the rain forest and going up a hill,  you approach your vehicles, which are very similar to those found on Seaworld's Manta, but not quite. The vehicle has speakers with a live worker giving commentary as if a camera was attached to the vehicle.


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To make it seem realistic, the track is in camouflage that blends in with the habitats. Once you're in "flying position", you're ready to go!  Since you're on a hill, there's no lift. As you start, the team member will give you an overview on where you'll fly. The script is similar each time, but it changes due to different TMs and personalities. First you start in the monkey's habitat high in the trees.

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You'll swing around the trees just like a monkey, but don't worry; the monkeys are close but not too close to the point where they can jump on the vehicle ( think Kilimanjaro Safaris ). After going in the monkey habitat, you'll go downhill a little to the tiger habitat. Slowly after you arrive, you accelerate slowly to 35 MPH to reach the speed of a tiger. You'll be going straight and making sharp turns. After about 45 seconds of running, you fly off their habitat and over to the elephant's habitat. You'll glide over waterfalls and lakes, with the vehicle dipping in the water!

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The next portion of the ride focuses on frogs. In the picture below I'll demonstrate how this works. First you'll pass different kinds of frogs like the tree frog, tomato frog, and golden frog. Next you'll leap like a frog, and it works like this:
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The vehicle tilts up a little like a frog, then does a jump between 10-15 feet. This is preceded by 9 more jumps. On the final jump however, you will go up a hill that's 40 feet, go up and over the trees, and go into free flight mode. Free flight mode is several different tracks that interchange like a train track, making each free flight a different one every time! Free flight lasts 1 minute, then you'll land back to the loading station, exit the ride, and go back into the park.

From Bryce McGibeny
Posted June 10, 2012 at 8:07 PM
Quest for the Serengeti

*Interactive animal experience/dark-ride. Sponsored by WCS.*

The black rhino and the African elephant are two endangered species residing in the African Serengeti. Join forces with The Wildlife Conservation society to defeat the poachers and restore balance to these two species!

The ride technology will be the same ride type as The Curse of DarKastle in our sister park,  Busch Gardens Williamsburg! It will be an immersive experience, putting riders up close to the animals and using large screens, sets and special effects to simulate traveling through the Serengeti.

The entrance will be themed as intricately detailed and jagged rockwork. Around the rocks,  small brush and vegetation will be found, though it will be scarce and almost dead-like. Also around the rockwork, evidence of a poacher camp will be found. Tents, guns, sleeping bags, crates and a small fire will give riders the automatic sense that something is wrong before they even step into the line. Riders will step through a crack in the rocks to enter the queue.  The queue will be lit only by torches and a small campfire. More evidence of the poachers will be seen as the queue winds back and forth through the cavern. Eerie dripping noises and distant gunshots can be heard around riders. 

Then, guests are transported through yet another crack in the rocks and enter the loading area. It's large and themed to being out in the safari. The walls and ceiling are actually large screens that show the African plains. They are in real time so if it's night outside, the screens go into night mode. Occasionally, you will see a herd of elephants stop at a watering hole or gazelles leap in the distance, but for the most part it is just swaying grass and clouds. The ride vehicles are similar to Spiderman and Curse of DarKastle, but instead are themed to a safari jeep. "Members" of the Wildlife Conservation Society direct you to your designated jeep and you climb in and pull down your lap bar. The "jeep" travels under the far right screen and you're off!

SCENE ONE - The Briefing Room.

You're vehicle takes an immediate right out of the station and it becomes apparent that you're in a rather scientific looking warehouse. The vehicle turns right to face an animatronic woman, dressed as a wildlife preserver. Speakers built into the vehicle tell you what she says: "Hello! Welcome to the Wildlife Conservation Society Headquarters! Glad you're hear because we are facing a crisis! Poachers are threatening the existence of the Black Rhino and the African Elephant, and you're hear to stop them! Come on let's go!" The vehicle sharply turns back to the original position and speeds up to 16 MPH out the warehouse door that just barely opens in time!

SCENE TWO - Driving through the plains.

After the HQ, the vehicle slows down to a stop in front of the first IMAX screen. Around the screen is different vegetation and Baobab trees. The video starts playing the second the vehicle stops in front of it. It gives the impression of us speeding though the grass, another large baobab tree in the distance. Wind is blown at the riders faces for extra sensation of motion. All of the sudden, a group of gazelles speeds in front of us and we are forced to stop, and the vehicle swiftly jerks into the next show scene.

SCENE THREE - Elephant Stampede.

After the quick motion, the vehicle stops again in front of another large screen. Instead of Baobab trees, tall grass surrounds us. The video picks up where we left off, and the last gazelle trots by us. Suddenly, the video simulates us turning right and we drive again at high speeds, only to stop at a watering hole, surrounded by many elephants with scars from poacher attacks. The woman's voice comes over the ride vehicle, "be still and quiet you don't want to disturb the..." all over the sudden the elephants rise up on the hind legs and smash back down towards the ground and proceed to charge the riders. The woman screams at us, "Get the HECK out of there!" The video shows us backing up quickly and the ride vehicle bounces and shakes as the elephants charge at us. Luckily, we turn around, and are able to go full speed into a large cave, away from the elephants and our vehicle spins onto the next scene.

SCENE FOUR - Poacher Attack.

It becomes apparent that we are in a dark, damp cave. The walls and ceilings are glistening cave walls, lit only by dim torches. We make a short climb up, surrounded by these cave walls. At the top of the lift hill, we find our next IMAX screen. Themed around the screen is more tents, crates, guns, elephant and rhino carcasses and sleeping bags. The walls and ceiling and floor are still made up of the damp and creepy rockwork. As we stop, the projection on the IMAX screen begins. The poachers are all sitting around the fire, but one notices us and they begin to shout and grab their guns and charge at us. The vehicle begins to shake as the video shows us trying to drive out of the cave as bullets are being fired at us. As we're going in reverse, the cave begins to collapse and fall on top of the poachers. Not knowing if we made it or not, the vehicle starts spinning and exits this show scene and we go down a small 23 foot drop and we emerge into sunlight.

SCENE FIVE - The Exhibit and Un-Load.

Our vehicle slows down and it rotates right to show us the beautiful new elephant and rhino exhibits. The woman's voice comes over us, "you guys did a brave thing and by stopping those poachers, you now know that these animals can live in peace." After the stretch of straight outside track, the ride travels back into the show building and you enter the WCS HQ. Dozens of animatronic workers are clapping and cheering as you have stopped the poachers that are endangering the wild life in the Serengeti. After a final left turn, you are are back at the loading area and you disembark from your jeep. 

You walk through a crack in the rockwork, just as you did to get in the loading area. Instead of the dark, damp cave inhabited by poachers, you're instead in a dark, damp cave filled with scenes (Similar to how Space Mountain at MK shows scenes of the future)  of animatronic humans helping the rhinos and elephants who are sick or need food. Audio plays over the long exit path about how there is more poachers out there who are endangering the animals of the Serengeti and the rest of Africa and how you can contact the WCS and help save them. Finally, riders are brought back into broad daylight through the final cave entrance, just next to where they entered.

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This attraction will be sponsored by WCS. The rhino and elephant exhibit will be open to everyone. Riders must be 40 inches or taller. The attraction will be located in the north-east side of the Serengeti plain and will sadly cut into and replace the existing space.

From Karly Tenney
Posted June 11, 2012 at 8:34 PM
A Lion's Life Carousel. Busch Gardens Tampa Morocco section. The queue is lion's galore. Facts including the anatomy of a lion,what a lion eats and lions themselves. The carousel is all Lion's and they roar. There will also be jungle music and people dancing on and around the carousel. The gears will make the lions go back and forth instead of up and down like normal carousels. This is like Cedar downs derby racer at cedar point. It is one of two of it's kind.And it is located at one of the best parks in Florida. As you exit the ride you can see trainers interacting and feeding the lions through glass of course! You can go into a replica of a Lion's den and see how a "real lion" (made with animatronics) eats and sleeps. You can also go for another spin on this wonderful attraction.

From Manny Rodriguez
Posted June 11, 2012 at 2:00 PM
Coming Soon To Busch Gardens. A coaster/ Dark Ride Will Blow Your Mind. The Great Lion!!!!!!!! My Post comes Tomorrow (With better Grammar!!)

From Joseph Catlett
Posted June 11, 2012 at 6:39 PM
Coming Soon to Busch Garden Tampa:

AFRICA:CRADLE OF MAN

A journey through the mists of deep time and exploration of who we are and where we came from.

...coming soon.

From Isaac M.
Posted June 11, 2012 at 11:52 PM
Dont Miss this, coming to Busch Gardens Tampa: Aye Aye The Ride....

A truly unique experience!

From Chad H
Posted June 13, 2012 at 4:57 AM
(competitors note: I have gone with the "big, risky" idea I mentioned I was worried about... The next one, if I make it there, is looking a bit more "grounded", but I can't think of anything else for this one).

Busch Gardens: Tampa Bay has a long history of providing to Americans an experience they cannot get at home – an experience that they cannot get without an intercontinental (and until recently unaffordable airfare) trip to the “dark continent”, this is evident not just at both the their current operating locations, but their former locations too.  Although other parks have since brought the African Experience home, with its new attraction, Busch Gardens takes this to the next level – providing an experience that even if you were to visit Africa you could be hard pressed to arrange.  Presenting for you:
 
The Desert at Night (as viewed from the Sahara Special).
 
Although Busch Gardens Tampa Bay provides a broad cross-section of the wonders of Africa, the deserts are an area that is as of yet relatively unexplored from an animal perspective, yet their mysteries and appeal are timeless.  However, the Desert presents many issues for a theme park experience that can limit its scope and appeal, in particular 90% of the animals within the desert ecosystem are nocturnal – sleeping through the harsh daytime sun only to emerge in the milder temperatures of the night; it is hard for a tourist (particularly a theme park visitor used to near instant gratification) to get excited about seeing a bunch of sleeping animals.  Although the creatures of the night have been explored in Curiosity Cavern, the deserts of the Sahara have yet to see their own place in Busch Gardens – despite its extremely high profile in the public consciousness - when naming deserts it is likey to be one of the most named deserts of the world.
 
The “Desert at night” experience, an extension of the greater Egypt section of the park (but built in a part of the current serengeti section), allows guests to see and learn about these creatures, seeing them at their most active, by creating for its inhabitants their own private world.
 
The Enclosure (The Desert at Night)

The Desert at night is a large structure similar to the "biomes" of Biome 2 and The Eden Project. It is a 5Ha structure (making it larger than the Eden Project's similar structure) with the glass made of Smart Glass - allowing the light levels to be managed via electric tinting. The Structure also contains state of the art climate control systems, and sprinkler systems.

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The Net effect of this technology is to allow within the biome a unique "time zone" within the structure. When it is "day" in Florida, the celling glass allows just enough light in to see by, and to keep the plants inside healthy. During sunset and sunrise, the amount of tinting is reduced to allow for more light to come in as the structure converts into "daytime" mode. The external light is backed up by internal lights that keep the structure during the day as bright as the desert night.

The Climate Control systems allow true desert conditions to be replicated, the "Day" is hot whilst the "night" is cool, the system also schedules in an occasional "rainy day" in line with the actual weather patterns of the Sahara, and generates wind patterns based on the real desert. For the animals inside, climate conditions are as if they had never left the wild.

Due to the need to provide a full "Daytime" and "Nightime", during late opening hours in the summer the facility will need to close well in advance of park closing. Daily closing times will be publicised around the park, and announcements made via PA well in advance of closing so guests eager to experience the attraction do not miss out.

As a fail save in the event of a disaster cutting power backup facilities can control the dome transparency and climate control system for many days, allowing the dome to keep the existing timezone where supplies are likely to be restored shortly, or be "transitioned" to the local (outside) timezone over several days during extended power outages (e.g. after a large hurricane)
 
As the structure requires a large footprint to allow the animals inside a good amount of space, the structure is built in such a way to allow for external use; specifically a faux mountain surrounding the facility that can support other rides and experiences.
 
Inside the enclosure is a huge replica of a typical Sahara landscape, containing oasises, grasses and of course lots of sand. The majority of the space is a large open area filled with many species, However to prevent hunters and other carnavores eating other inhabitants these species have areas divided away from this by faux-natural barriers where specialist advice recommends this.
 
Although the "Animals inside" may at first seem problematic from an animal welfare point of view, the facility is extremely large, and the animals to be housed likely around the size of a medium family dog, for the animals inside they will have more space to themselves than they would at an average urban zoo, experience more "natural" conditions, and due to the nature of the ride system, experience less human interruption.
 
The Ride System (The Sahara Special)

The Ride system in based on a suspended monorail, running around the outside of the enclosure.  The cars and track are especially designed to be whisper quiet – meaning the animals should not notice at all the monorail train passing through.
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The station is near-futuristically themed to appear as the Cairo terminus of the “Cape to Cairo Railway” (a transcontinental railroad envisioned in colonial times but although never fully completed, for ride story purposes is shown as being completed with “showcase technology” as a sign of African Unity) with the Ride’s train being listed on departure boards as the “Sahara Special”.  The queue is within the station building with murals and artwork detailing scientific accomplishments in all fields by Africans of all nations.  Traditional African and Egyptian music plays through the building.
 
After you board, The Monorail heads towards the Enclosure/mountain.  The entrance and exit appear as you would expect a commercial rail line to appear, shortly thereafter you “exit” the tunnel and appear in the Sahara – the Glass ceiling appears dark with small twinkling lights and other illusions to make it appear as if you are outside.
 
Rather than facing forward, the riders face into the enclosure, in 2 level stadium style staggered seating, with the facing out side being all glass.  The ride narration is generated by computer on the fly from pre-recorded messages (although selected operations could include a live keeper answering questions, similar to other experiences offered by the park, for an additional upcharge).  The computer system identifies animals that are active or notable from the current ride location (based on RFID chips and image detection) and directs the riders attention to these animals using a system similar to that used in “Heads up Displays”, projecting shapes onto the glass around the animal being discussed.
 
In front of each guest is an LCD touchscreen.  This is updated as the guests ride with information on the animal being discussed by the recording, although manual control can be assumed by the rider as well if they would like more information.  There is an opportunity to request “fact sheets” on your favourite animal, or pre-order relevant books, DVDs, or sponsor an animal (these are available either from the gift shop, or Guest Services before you leave the park – saving you from carrying them around all day).  The exterior of the cars is also designed to be soundproof, although microphones on the exterior let in any outside noise into the car.
 
The Ride is more or less played straight. The animals are the stars and the ride doesn't pretend otherwise - adding "Excitement" would detract from their impact.

Animals
When selecting Animals, care has to be ensured that the creature is unlikely to become overstressed in the size of the enclosure, and will be compatible with neighbours, as such final species selection will require the advice and approval of suitable experts

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Golden Jackal, Striped Hyena and Rüppels' fox.
 
Featured Animals within the experience could likely include.
Fennic Foxes
Pale Foxes
Rüppels’ Fox
Monitor Lizards
Cerastes (Vipers)

African Hunting Dogs
Banded Mongoose
Barbary Sheep
Side Striped Jackal
Spotted Hyena
Striped Hyena
Ground Pangolin
Desert Monitor
Golden Jackal

Depending on advice, Gazelles and Addaxes may also be possible, however these creatures are much larger and may be less likely candidates.
 
Other notable features:
“A walk in the Desert” – rather than ride the ride, for an upcharge a keeper could take guests through the exhibit.
Legacy use – Given the size and construction of the enclosure, should the experience close the space could be used to house almost any ride or show imaginable, or collection of rides for an "all weather" area; or used to represent any other ecosystem.  The construction also allows the exterior to be used for other attractions.

From Manny Rodriguez
Posted June 12, 2012 at 5:00 PM
Okay Im Going To change My Idea I will Be Ready Soon.

From Brett Angwin
Posted June 12, 2012 at 5:28 PM
Coming soon to Bush Gardens Tampa's Jungala area, it is Gorilla Jungle.

Outside Queue:

You begin in the outside queue were you past a brand new enclosure designed especially for the Silverback Gorillas. The queue will be shaded to protect the guest from the blazing Florida sun. Along the tops of the roofs will be TV monitors that will have Jack Hanna giving you educational information about the gorillas. When you get near the entrance of the main building, the first couple of the monitors will show a professor talking about what is going on. Professor: "Welcome to the Gorilla Foundation. This is where we protect the Silverback Gorillas and watch the many jungles where the gorillas live in. There has been some suspicious things going on. We have been noticing many poachers coming into the the deepest and darkest part of the jungle and coming out with a sack. We need you to go in and stop these poachers from what they are doing. Your vehicles are waiting for you inside. Please come inside."

Inside Queue:

Inside, as you are waiting to board your vehicle, you pass many items that would b used when protecting the gorillas. When you get closer, you start to hear other animals and you start seeing green plants because the walls and the surround sound makes you think that you are outside.

The Vehicle:

The vehicles and the ride technology is based off of the Indiana Jones ride. The motion of the vehicles will react to the stuff happening outside of the vehicle.

The Ride:

When you set off, you are told that to be careful because there were traps along the road. Things get bumpy when you run into the gang of poachers and they start to pull out every way to stop you. You will feel bullets, hear traps go off, and even feel the poachers hit your vehicle from the sides sending your vehicles on an exciting adventure. Then you see lights in front of you. It is the Animal Rescuers with the Jungle Police. They take away the poachers and the professor tells you that you did a good job and that the Silverback Gorillas are safe. Then you would disembark and enjoy the rest of your day at Bush Gardens Tampa.

From Andy Milito
Posted June 15, 2012 at 6:29 AM
Before anyone says anything: yes, I know Busch Gardens Tampa already has a safari ride.
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serengeti-landscape

When you go to an animal themed amusement park, you can always expect "that one safari ride". Disney's Animal Kingdom has done it with "Kilimanjaro Safaris", and Busch Gardens Tampa has their "Rhino Rally". The basic concept is used at Magic Kingdom with "Jungle Cruise", only with a lot more Animatronics.

However, a brand new, one of a kind safari ride is coming to Busch Gardens Tampa, and it's like nothing you've ever seen before!

Busch Gardens Tampa is proud to present...

The Wide World of Wacky Animals!

Mixing the education Busch Gardens always offers in their rides with the entertaining interactive experience live animals can provide, "Wide World of Wacky Animals" is sure to be an experience that's fun for everyone!

The ride would be located to the right of the Serengeti Plain, on the other side of the train tracks.

Screens fill the jungle trek-themed queue. These small televisions constantly air fun trivia, quiz questions, and short documentaries about several animals. A few fans are scattered throughout the line to cool off guests from the blistering Florida heat.

Ride vehicles are GMC trucks capable of holding 30 passengers (10 rows of 3 seats each). In a cute reference to founders of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment (the private company that owns Busch Gardens), each ride vehicle is named after a founder of the company. For example, there would be one named after Jim Atchison, president of the company.

After all 30 guests have loaded up into the vehicle, the 7 minute ride is ready to begin!

Since real life animals, rather than Animatronics, can be unpredictable at times, ride operators often have to ad-lib the dialogue presented to guests. This entry is just one of many possible ride dialogues.

"Welcome to the Wide World of Wacky Animals! My name is Andy (just an example!), and I'll be your guide today as we go on a little adventure, checking out some of the wackiest animals of Africa!"

"We'll start out tour today with a view of some pangolins. These cute-but-deadly little guys have a unique set of plated scales running the length of their body. Much like hedgehogs, pangolins roll up into a ball when they feel threatened. During this state, you don't want to touch them; the scales can cause serious injury!"

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"Up next we have the secretary bird. This species of bird is so unique, it has to have its own family-name! The cross of eagle and crane characteristics makes this a one-of-a-kind creature. The funniest thing about the secretary bird? It has a cute little pair of cycling shorts!"

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"Another goofy bird on our tour is the marabou stork. This bird has a massive wingspan, measuring in at a whopping 3.5 meters! That little pouch isn't a double chin; it's actually used to store food!"

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"The last bird for now is the spoonbill. This bird is known for its large bill, which it actually uses like a spoon. It will drag its bill through the water, opened slightly, until an edible specimen is scooped up. Kids, stick with your old habits of eating; don't try this at home!"

"Next, we move on to the female gerenuk. These little ones use their noticeably long necks to reach food found in trees and bushes. These gals also look a little goofy due to their miniscule heads, which are even smaller than their ears!"

"Since its daylight hours, we won't get to see what I like to call the "Katy Perry lookalike", the bush baby. These wide eyed creatures are nocturnal, and are awfully noisy. Try the night tour for a better look at these little guys!"

"Surely the animals at our next stop have heard us coming. The bat-eared fox! Fossils from these fellas date back to 800,000 years ago! That's back when I used to ride my dinosaur to school!"

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"The last stop on our tour takes us to the okapi. Now, I'm sure you're wondering: 'What the heck is that? Is it a horse or a zebra?'. Actually, it's in the giraffe family! Of course, its neck is a lot shorter..."

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"Well, as we arrive back at the home base, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and I would like to thank you for coming out today. Once again, my name is Andy, and this was the Wide World of Wacky Animals! Enjoy the rest of your day!"

The guests would then exit into the gift shop, Wacky Keepsakes. The store would offer stuffed animals based around animals featured on the ride, souvenir pictures, t-shirts, and more.

From Alan Hiscutt
Posted June 14, 2012 at 12:47 PM

THE SERENGETI SKYFARI

The Ride is exactly what is says, a dawn til dusk safari of the Serengeti, as viewed from the sky.

The ride itself will last just 9 minutes, with continuous narrative supplied by both Bindi Irwin and David Attenborough, two of the worlds most noted presenters of wildlife documentaries. Not only will this add to the authenticity of the experience but also an International feel to the ride as well.

THE VEHICLE

The travellers will be transported from the park to the skies via that most romantic of vehicles, the Hot Air Balloon. Riders will travel on a specially adapted 6 person Air Balloon that will float and soar across the skies.

In actuality, the riders will step into a basket that holds 6, then with technology adapted from the Soarin rides, will be lifted up about 10 feet where the floor and walls will project the images as we are taken on out journey across the Plains.
The ‘arm’ should be able to hold 6 baskets with 3 tiers for a total of 18 baskets. With perhaps 3 auditoriums in place, this equates to about 12 minutes per ride including loading and unloading, so that’s a 4 rides an hour with 432 riders per auditorium and 1296 with all three in operation per hour. With the ride being held indoors, this could mean a rush during ‘wet’ times but that’s a pretty good footfall per hour.

The SKYFARI

We start the ride by the Balloon raising up and with wind blowing in our face, a warm air is pushed forwards, the floor and walls are slowly lighting to reveal the Serengeti at Dawn. David And Bindi give a brief introduction about the origin of the name Serengeti and where it is geographically, size etc., then as the sun clears the horizon we are lowered to a few feet above the ground to watch the Zebra as they move around the lake in the morning, David will regale us of the life of the Zebra for a minute before he mentions the vast size of the plains and the air balloon Is filled with hot air and we rise up to see the plains in their full majesty with a herd of Impala in the distance whom we follow for a while before dropping again as they race of to come face to face with the King of the Beasts, the Lion.

As David tells us about the Lion Bindi points out that although the Lion is mighty, the Elephant is Noble and steers us over the trees to a herd making their way to a watering hole as we approach Mid-day, they temperature in the balloon has risen and should start to feel quite a bit warmer than when we started, after the Elephants we move across the plains to a much lesser known creature, The African Wild Dog. Perhaps the most endangered species left on the Serengeti according to some sources. Bindi will talk us through this having seen them in Australia.

The Day is wearing on now and Bindi remarks she would love to see some more but time is getting away and the sun Is setting, our balloon rises up again for another look at the Serengeti and we see a pair of Hippo’s lounging in the setting sun before we rise up again and spot a flock of Flamingo in a watering hole just before the sun dips below the horizon.

The balloons will ‘land’ the riders will exit into a shop that will sell plenty of animal related gear, stuffed toys, postcards, Pictures and books with the option to ‘adopt an animal’ as well. In co-operation with WWF for a small fee, you can adopt a Lion, Elephant, African Wild Dog or Hippo for a year and the WWF will send you quarterly updates and plenty of news anywhere in the world you like. Perfect for a gift or a souvenir.

The ride gives Busch Gardens an ideal opportunity to educate as well as Entertain, obviously the narration provides plenty of information about the animals we see on the trip, as well as plenty of environmental information can be relayed by David and Bindi. The ride itself borrows from the Soarin idea of using the hanging sensation with movement and wind, heat, smells to add to the experience. The motion experienced will be gentle and should not be unsuitable for children at all. The Technology exists to make the ride a reality, with 3 ‘Theatres’ it has the ability to have 3 separate experiences should it need to with 3 totally different Skyfari experiences.

From AJ Hummel
Posted June 16, 2012 at 9:58 PM
Of the major Florida parks, Busch Gardens Tampa has always been the leader in one type of ride experience: thrill rides. With eight roller coasters (the most of any Florida park), including four of the world's top 50 steel coasters, there is no denying that it is Florida's coaster capital. However, all of these coasters lack one critical element: an immersive setting involving interaction with animals. BGT's 9th coaster will change all that. Introducing...

Falconidae
(pronounced fal-KON-uh-dee)
(scientific name of the Falcon family of birds)

From the entrance, Falconidae can be seen towering over the portion of the park between Gwazi and Sheikra. This formerly backstage area has been repurposed as the African rainforest. To experience the attraction, guests must turn left and head toward the Bird Gardens area of the park, where the queue begins.

Queue: At first, the queue appears to be a somewhat standard theme park line. However, as the winding path gets further and further from the main thoroughfare, the foliage gets thicker and thicker. Hidden speakers play recorded animal sounds, and misters can help with the heat on a hot day. Next, the queue heads into a large tent. Inside, a movie plays about birds and the dynamics of flight. Engineering-style drawings are scattered around the tent, depicting a machine that is capable of imitating flight. The queue in here is a standard cattle pen, and the size of the room is roughly comparable to that of the movie room in Indiana Jones Adventure's queue. An employee dressed up as a natural scientist stands by the exit to the tent, controlling the flow of guests and handing out pamphlets to each group who wants one. The pamphlets are a guide to the birds of Africa, with pictures and information on a variety of species, primarily smaller birds. Every so often, a certain number of guests are permitted to proceed through the cloth doorway of the tent into the next part of the queue.

Aviary: The back wall of the tent is actually the entrance to an aviary, but it is large enough and disguised in such a way that it isn't easy to tell. Inside, guests can view the species represented in the pamphlet. The path is dirt, representing the rainforest floor. It is clearly defined, and functions as a queue due to its narrow nature. The path winds along the bottom of the aviary, and eventually it reaches the exit, a wood doorway that has standard protective chains over it. This leads into the station, themed like a tree house.

For any guests that do not wish to pass through the aviary, a timed pass can be obtained from the employee in the tent. This pass will permit them access to the quick queue entrance at the designated time, or when the rest of their party exits the aviary. They are then shown out a different exit to the tent with a path connecting to the exit.

Quick Queue: Quick Queue users bypass the queue and aviary, and join the line at the aviary's exit. Access is from the ride exit and is monitored by an employee.

Station: Exiting the aviary, guests are reminded to deposit their pamphlet into a bin if they do not wish to keep it (they are reused or recycled depending on condition), then they proceed into the station building. Here, the queue splits. A sign directs riders to turn left for rows 1-4 or right for rows 5-8. At each end of the station, the queue splits again. Four staircases ascend to the upper level, where riders select their row and board the ride.

Ride System: Falconidae is a Bolliger & Mabillard Wing Coaster. The ride can operate with up to four eight-car trains, but on most days only three are used. With a 75 second dispatch interval and 32 person trains, the ride has a maximum capacity of over 1500 riders per hour. The trains are themed to the flight machine seen in the engineering drawing, and each train is named after a bird family. In addition, a different species from that family is painted onto each car of the train.

Ride Description: Unlike B&M's current Wing Coasters, the layout for Falconidae does not feature any inversions and is closer to a mega coaster layout. The design is meant to simulate the sensation of flight, and interacts with the jungle section of the park created for this attraction.

Pre-Lift: The train departs the station at dark ride speed and proceeds into the upper section of the aviary. Wire mesh keeps the birds from getting too close to the coaster while allowing the view to be unobstructed. Propelled by tires, the train negotiates a 180 degree left-hand turn and continues until it is clear of the aviary before attaching to the chain lift.

Lift Hill: The lift is 210 feet tall, making it the tallest roller coaster in Florida. From the top, riders have a good view of most of Busch Gardens Tampa. Sheikra lies to their left and Gwazi to their right.

Ride-1st half: The first part of the ride represents high altitude flight. The train plunges down a 205 foot, 70 degree drop into the jungle. At the bottom, riders feet are within a meter of the ground. The train then rises into a 135 ft inclined helix, finishing the element close to the ground and near where it was entered. Riders then proceed over a 165 ft airtime hill. At the top of the airtime hill, just as riders first experience airtime, the on-ride photo is taken. The train then rises into the B&M signature hammerhead turn, a 150 ft tall turn banked at a beyond vertical angle. Another airtime hill follows, this time 125 ft tall and featuring an s-curve: the track bends left during the ascent and right during the descent. The train rises approximately 80 feet, then does a diving helix to the left. It rises 60 feet and does a similar maneuver, this time to the right. The ride then rises to slightly under a hundred feet and enters the mid-course brakes.

Ride-2nd half: The second half simulates low to the ground flying, and after the drop off the midcourse brakes the ride remains below the tree line and not visible from the park's pathways. The train drops off the midcourse brake, plunging approximately 80 feet. It continues into a low airtime hill, then rises up around a swooping turn to the left. Gradually dropping back to the ground, the train goes around a low right turn. Riders on the right of the train are only about a foot from the ground here. The train then goes over another airtime hill, then around a left hand fan turn. Next, the train tilts vertically to the right on a straight section of track, narrowly passing between two trees. The ride then has a descending helix to the right before rising up to the final brakes. The train then proceeds to the unloading station. The total length of the ride is approximately 5000 ft, making it the longest coaster in Florida, and the ride time is right around three minutes.

Exit: Once riders get back to ground level, they pass by the photo booth where they can purchase their on-ride photo. The exit pathway then passes several bird enclosures, featuring the larger birds of prey such as eagles, hawks, and, of course, falcons. All birds can be found in Africa, and all enclosures have informational plaques. In addition, a separate, optional pathway enters the aviary to allow viewing from an elevated platform (though not as high as the roller coaster). The exit pathway then heads back toward the main thoroughfare of the park, with the rainforest foliage gradually lessening as the path gets further away from the ride.

From Joseph Catlett
Posted June 16, 2012 at 2:57 PM
Busch Gardens Tampa proudly presents:

AFRICA: CRADLE OF MAN
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In the tradition of Busch Gardens Tampa’s emphasis on Animal and Ride experiences merging to tell a larger story. This new attraction melds a full sensory experience with animatronic figures and live animals to tell the story of the greatest of the primates, Man. This attraction will track the evolutionary progress through billions of years of the primate, all leading to Homo-Sapien and the closest of our evolutionary cousins, the great apes.

This omnimover style attraction will be housed adjacent to a new home for the park’s primates exhibits including everything from howler monkeys to orangutan to lowland gorillas to bonobo, otherwise known as pygmy chimps. The primates on display will be viewable on multi-levels and will feature realistic natural settings full of interactive activities for the animals on display to keep them mentally and physically happy. A breeding program will also be in full effect, and an exhibit on this subject will be highlighted. These animal exhibits will also focus on the characteristics that humans and the great apes share. These will include the use of tools, our shared genetic makeup along with the tight knit family/social structure we share.

You enter the queue which blends into the jungle setting where the primate exhibit is and sit in bamboo lined 2 person omnimover vehicles. The vehicle goes further into the jungle as mist slowly builds around you as the ride’s narrator, Morgan Freeman, begins to speak.

“Africa, the cradle of man. Scientists agree that life as we know it on this planet began on the African continent hundreds of millions of years ago. Everything you see from the common house cat to the mighty eagle, from the tiniest insect to human-kind itself can trace its ancestry to this verdant land. Let’s go back now, through the mists of deep time, back to when our story begins.”

At this point our ride vehicles enter a brightly lit star field, whose stars zip past us suggesting time travel. We now emerge into a prehistoric world with Dinosaur animatronics, volcanoes, heated and moist air and very small mammalian creatures in the trees.

“Here we are 85 million years ago. A time when the age of the dinosaur was slowly winding down and the age of the mammal was just beginning. There she is…right up there in that tree up there. Sure she doesn’t look all that impressive right now. To that dinosaur over there she looks more like lunch than anything else. However, that little mammal is fast, easily adaptable and one of our earliest ancestors. You see, from small seeds the greatest of trees may grow.”

From here, our vehicles enter a transition tunnel with video screens which show in quick time the millions of years of evolution which brings us from the earliest mammals to monkey to our next scene the dawn of the great ape. We then enter the next scene on the plains of Africa with early ape figures walking on the ground.
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“Its about 15 million years ago that the creatures that predate man came down from the trees from the first time. In fact these first primates starting walking bipedally. That means on two feet, however still preferring to use their knuckles to help them get along as you can see Gorillas and chimpanzees still doing to this day. This creature we see right now is Sahelanthropus…our last shared ancestor with our closest relative the Bonobo or pygmy chimpanzee.”

We now enter another transition tunnel where a video documents what our narrator discusses.

“Now you may say: ‘Chimpanzees? That’s crazy, I don’t look anything like that.’ Well, that’s where evolution kicks in. Through millions of years of adaptation and mutation the species learns to adapt to its environment. In fact looking at it on a genetic level, like with this strand of DNA, we can see that humans share 98 percent of the same DNA that a Bonobo has. We’re not the same animal, no not by a long shot, but we do share the common ancestor we saw just a few moments ago.”

Our ride vehicles then enter a room full of ape-like men figures experimenting with fire and using complex tools like early levers to move large stones.
“ These early men, Homo Erectus, were naturally inquisitive and like the chimpanzee used tools and were starting to become self aware. Their brains doubled in size over a few million years which allowed them learn and retain information to keep the tribe safe and well fed. They were also the first of our ancestors to leave the African continent and explore its world in Asia and Europe.”

We now transition to the next scene through a white out tunnel filled with cold air and snow effects as we enter the next scene in Northern Europe where a tribe of Neanderthals have a wooly mammoth cornered in the hunt. Our narrator continues…
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“Finding himself in a world filled with vastly different climates and an ice age in full effect, Homo-Neanderthalensis , had to be tough and strong to survive. Neanderthal man lived from 400 thousand years ago to 30 thousand years ago. That may seem like a long time ago, but in the greater picture of creation it is barely a few sands in the hourglass. In fact, it was during this era, 250 thousand years ago that we came on the scene. Yes, Homo sapiens…Modern Man came onto the stage.”

We now see around the corner from the hunting Neanderthals a tribe of homo sapiens spying on them from a bluff.

“Its believed by scientists that Neanderthals and Homo sapiens not only interacted with each other but may have also interbred which may have given the new weaker bodied but more adaptable Homo sapiens a leg up in a rough world by intermingling the DNA of the two species cousins.”

We now enter the rides final room filled with more screens filled photos of modern humans around the world.

“Now here we are back in our time again. The fully formed modern human…and that’s it right? We’re final and perfect. Well, not so much. Evolution is in continuous motion. It takes thousands of years to see how we adapt, after all its not an overnight thing. However, science has noted humans having a longer reproductive period as we tend to have fewer babies than in the past. The body adapting to allow the continuation of the species. We see lowering of blood glucose and blood pressure. Taller growing people due to better quality of food and longer life spans. We continue to evolve which begs the question….what will our great, great, great, great, great……..great grandchildren look like and how will they have adapted and evolved. Only TIME will tell.
This is Morgan Freeman, thank you .”

You then exit the vehicle back into the primate exhibits which highlight the behaviors and characteristics we share with the great apes.

From Jay R.
Posted June 16, 2012 at 5:07 PM
Busch Gardens Presents: Racing Researchers, an interactive scavenger hunt & thrill ride!

This attraction is located in the congo area of the park.

As you guest approach the attraction, the jungle setting is visible. Various types of trees, vines, etc. nearly cover the entrance. As guest go through the entrance, they see a researcher holding a container with 2 visibly large (real) insects. She speaks into her walkie, "This is Gina, & I've found a couple Goliath Beetles, they are 4 feet long, have a second pair of wings for flying, do you copy? She repeats this, but there doesn't seem to be a response. "Great", where is everybody?" and repeats this every so often.

The path takes visitors past more foliage, where guest hear another walkie that seems to be lost in the plants. The male voice states 'I've been observing the hippos, and they seem to exit and enter the water at the same spots and graze for four to five hours each night in loop patterns, covering one or two miles, with long trips up to five miles."

Soon the path takes the guest to the entrance of a very large building, the research center. The BG attendant limits the number of guest entering to 32 at a time. (To offset the varying number of "people in your party", there is also a single rider line as well, that fills in the gaps).

Each group of 8 are directed to 4 separate areas within the center, these are divided by color (Red, Blue, Green, Yellow). There are large doors in front of each color.

The research center is a large circular room & is filled with 5 large videos screens detailing info on particular animals, their habitats, their diets, prey, etc.

These pictures fade once the video message begins. "Welcome researchers, I'm Dr. Adams, I'm glad you've stumbled upon my facility! I've lost contact with my colleagues & I need you to meet me at base camp immediately with the data from the expedition! I haven't much time, so whichever team reaches me first, shall receive a reward! Each area of the journey will have either a series of questions or task you need to complete. Complete or answer correctly & you'll proceed. Answer incorrectly or fail the task, & you'll have a slight delay. On your marks, get set.........go!

At this point, the 4 doors open and a rep instructs the teams of 8 to enter the next room. Each room contains A BG employee & is designed as a camp. Each team can no longer see the other teams, so they are unaware of their place in the race. Each room contains the option of either answering multiple questions or completing a task. There is a large digital clock displayed in each room. Each team has 2 minutes to supply the correct answers or complete the task in each room. Once the 2 minutes are up, teams automatically proceed to the next area.

ROOM 1:

The screen displays questions that relates to info or clues hidden or given within the queue (How often do hippos graze? What type of beetle was discovered in the foliage? What was the name of the researcher outside?) When the correct answer is given, the BG employee removes the rope & directs the guest into the next room.

OR

Find the following items in the room (canteen, compass, and binoculars). Because rooms are designed like camps, this will require a search as they won't be easily noticed. Once completed, the BG employee removes the rope & directs guest to the next room.

ROOM 2:

Screen displays a question relating to the video segment in the research center (What animals were displayed on the screens, what are their diets, what was the doctor holding in his hand)

Or

Decipher the audio of a rare african bat & correctly write the message down on the canvas near the tents (There will be instructions on how to decipher)


ROOM 3:

Guest enter the final area where they board the ride vehicles. The vehicles are standard coaster style, similar to Big Thunder Mountain & are painted according to the color system above. The ride begins quickly (Like California Screaming), & the vehicles exit the facility. At this point the guest are now outside and can see the 3 other ride tracks near them. The coaster travels through the "jungle area" & eventually reaches the "base camp" where a screen displays your arrival number (1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th). Riders stay in the cars until the race is completed, with the "winning team" photoshopped with Dr. Adams and a large briefcase filled with money.

Because of the nature of the video questions and the "live" researcher at the beginning, this attraction can be experienced multiple times with completely different questions & task, & different outcomes.

From Dan Babbitt
Posted June 16, 2012 at 6:30 PM
Coming to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Florida:
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The Kings Curse

Dark Ride

Outside of the building you have the excavation of King Tutankhamen tomb and now the Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities have decided to open up the surrounding areas to guests to show Egypt’s rich culture, history and animals and to allow visitors into the newly excavated treasure vault of King Tut’s most precious valuables.

Preshow/Queue:

You enter the ride through an inconspicuous old historic stone building with a crumbling façade and an old Egyptian feel to it almost a pyramid but not. Remember Tut wanted to keep it a secret!

Guests enter into the building and go down though dimly lit stone corridors with Egyptian hieroglyphs on the wall depicting King Tut’s reign over Egypt and what he did over his time as King. They have been translated for you by archeologist who has come before you.

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Next you enter into one of 2 vaults. The first is just some of King Tut’s furniture and things you wouldn’t think that would be in a treasure vault like Egyptian boats, swords and armor, bows and arrows, saddles, and some other preserved stuff from ancient Egypt.

The second vault serves as the preshow. You into the room and it’s the best lite of all of the rooms and corridors. There is gold everywhere in this room from gold horses, gold statues, gold brush’s everything imaginable there is gold except where you are standing and are section off from.

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There is also an old projection screen one wall the projector flickers on and this guy named Jackson appears on screen and tells you some of the interesting tales of King Tut. He tells you also of who “found” King Tut, Howard Carter and how everyone thought he died because of the “Pharaoh’s Curse” because he touched one of Tut’s gold things. Here Jackson picks up a small gold statue and says “See nothing happened!” and then immediately the lights begin to flicker and the ground and stuff in the room shakes and what sounds like a deep guttural rumble is heard.

As it stops Jackson says “That’s weird Egypt doesn’t get earthquakes that often” and proceeds to tell you what to expect on the ride through the backlands of Egypt.

As Jackson will explain to you, you will board Automated Guided Vehicles controlled by himself through the plains, swamps, deserts, and rivers of Egypt to see the rich culture, and animals that Egypt has.

Ride:

The ride vehicles will be the Enhanced motion vehicle’s like the one used at Dinosaur and Disney’s Animal Kingdom that will trigger different movement synchronized to show scenes. All the animals will be audio animatronic.

Scenes:

The first scene after boarding the vehicles will be the Plains of Egypt. Here guests will experience complete darkness because the first 2 animals are nocturnal. Jackson will describe to you and teach you about the Fennec Fox and the Sand Cat.

Second scene will feature the Egyptian Desert. Here Jackson will explain and teach you about the importance of Camels on Egyptian society and trade and how it help spread the empire. Also a couple of creepy crawlies will be present such as the Scorpion and Saw-Clawed Viper will be introduced by Jackson!

The third scene as you are making your way to the swamp lands you encounter some rough terrain and as you are passing the Sphinx your vehicle get stuck in the sand. Then a deep booming voice is heard over head and starts talking to about entering a forbidden area Jackson replies “But I’ve been past and inside the Sphinx a million times?” and the voice goes “No not that area! Remember you touched something that doesn’t belong to you? Something gold and valuable? Having you heard of the curse?” Jackson “Yes but I thought that was a hoax? Who is this?” Voice: “It’s all real! THIS IS THE KING!!!”

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Then the Sphinx gets up and chases you. Jackson at this time gets the vehicle going and books it into the swamp near the Nile where it gets tangled up into the weeds and other vegetation. Jackson thinking that the Sphinx is lost and can’t find them continues the journey. Then the sun-god Ra sends in some of his minions and the chase continues! They shoot arrows and rocks at you while they run after you!

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There is only one other place where even the sun-god’s minions will not go and that’s the Nile river. Here the vehicle’s dodges and nearly misses several Nile Alligators until the biggest Nile Alligator that world has seen pops out of one of the banks of the river and bolts straight for you!

Jackson throws the vehicle into reverse and sends you straight back to headquarters and all through this Jackson is apologizing to you, to Ra, to the Sphinx but mostly to Tut to try to stop the curse. He tries to even negotiate with Tut to try to stop this madness. Tut is heard again and starts to laugh and then finally cuts off and the huge Alligator, the minions, and the Sphinx stops chasing you and you finally you make it back to headquarters and debark the ride vehicles.

Post ride:

There is a ride photo taken as the huge Nile Alligator chases you. There are some “live” video screen monitors of the second treasure vault where you can see all the gold valuables on the floor and in the corner of the screen you see Jackson cleaning the gold statues and the floor with a toothbrush!

From David L.
Posted June 16, 2012 at 8:38 PM
Congo Hippo Expedition

Odd events have been happening recently in the Central Congo Wildlife Refuge concerning the hippopotamuses in the area. Tourists are invited to help investigate these potentially dangerous occurrences.

Entrance and Queue: In the Congo area of Busch Gardens Tampa, Bengal Bistro has been redesigned to allow a new bridge to the Central Congo Wildlife Refuge. The bridge is the one way in and out of the area. About half way across the bridge (where the bridge will cross the train track), tourists enter a small visitor center with maps, a few souvenirs, and pictures depicting animals in the refuge. Most tourists will pass by in the large walkway through the visitor center before emerging on to the last part of the bridge, and into the Wildlife Refuge. (And most guests will fail to notice the train track underneath the visitor center). As tourists exit the bridge, a lush forest surrounds them with a fork in the road. The right path is framed by a large, aged, and wooden sign reading “Congo Hippo Expedition”. Tourists are drawn into the family coaster’s queue, a winding path through the jungle and a ranger’s house. The ranger’s house displays news clippings of many odd occurrences including hippos venturing into villages, missing people, abandoned hippo habitats, and most importantly, large amounts of migrating hippos. Some of the rangers have called volunteers to help find the migrated hippos. Upon exiting the ranger’s house, tourists learn that the anti-gravity hovermobiles, typically used to monitor and investigate the Wildlife Refuge, broke down recently. So, older vehicles with the “ability” to both drive on land and float on water are being used. (In reality, 12 seated coaster cars designed to look like aged “Ride the Ducks” vehicles). Tourists board the vehicles, and the adventure begins…

Ride: The trains glide up a 20 foot chain lift to begin the journey deep into the Wildlife Refuge. The track remains level with the ground so it seems as if the train is just climbing a hill in the jungle. After reaching the crest, the train follows a trail through the jungle that gradually swoops down with the occasional rise. After winding under tree boughs and passing abandoned watering holes, an angry hippo (AA) appears from behind a bush surprising riders and sending them on a sudden twisting drop away from it. The plunge sends riders into a dimly lit cave where the first launch occurs (25mph). Racing out of the cave, riders fly over a 30 foot hill before plunging into an occupied watering hole to slow the train down. Then most tourists will notice the hippos. They’re everywhere in this pool. The nearby hippos, seemingly disturbed by the tourist’s entrance, lunge at the train (now boat). The boat launches (12 mph) to avoid the hippos, yet stays I the water. More hippos swim toward the boat and 4 more small (12-18mph) launches are used to race the boat away. Finally, one extra large hippo actually attacks with its mouth wide open. The boat launches at 30mph out of the water and rides all the way back to the ranger’s station in gradually gentler swoops. Tourists exit, having found the migrated hippos.

Exhibit: After disembarking, the path leads through many hippo habitats for tourists to view the unique creatures both above and under water. Small education stations along the way teach hippo behavior and events that can change it. Finally, the path comes back to the bridge to cross into the Congo area, leaving the Central Congo Wildlife Refuge.

Specs: The ride system would be an updated Intamin AquaTrax. The ride track is about 3,200 feet long. The top speed is 35 mph (coming down hill from last launch).

Guests to Busch Gardens Tampa will be able to enjoy a new family ride unlike any other, Congo Hippo Expedition.

From Michelle Kowalski
Posted June 16, 2012 at 9:19 PM
ANTS: An Exploration

Ride Type: Dark ride/ Underground Family Coaster

Scientists in Africa have found a way to shrink human beings to the size of ants. The purpose of this project is to learn more about the inner workings of ant nests and study their behavior. Unfortunately, the project has taken a turn for the worst; a group of shrunken test subjects was sent into the nest. They never came back out.

In Ants: An Exploration, guests venture through the elaborate workings of an African Red Ant nest. They must help recover the missing subjects. Scientists fear that they may have fallen victim to the queen of the colony.

The attraction is marked by an enormous ant hill. In front of the structure are giant blades of grass shooting up from the ground. Atop the anthill are three red ants bringing food back to the colony. A winding path leads guest inside of the anthill.

The queue starts as soon as guests enter the anthill. The inside of the anthill is very open, with a skylight placed at the mouth of the structure. Along the line is a mass collection of ant facts, specimen, and information. There are also cement- poured molds of complex ant nests and three large, working ant farms along the walls.
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In the center of the anthill lies a large glass tube, protruding eight feet out of the ground with a diameter of 4 feet. This glass tube houses a working ant farm, visible from all angles. At the end of the queue, guests begin to take place in the grouper. From there they are escorted to their ride vehicles by cast members whom are dressed as nutty scientist.

The ride vehicles are mine carts like those of the Tower of Terror in South Africa. They run on a linear induction motor that will launch them at only certain parts of the coaster.
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From the loading station, riders are launched twenty feet ahead, then drop about thirty feet into the “ant tunnels”. Once they have reached the bottom of the first drop the vehicles precede straight at dark ride speed and make a small ten foot drop. The ant tunnels are now completely lit and are characterized by rounded dirt walls with lanterns hanging from the ceiling. The vehicles are again launched and take a tight right turn. At this point, the track starts to rise very slightly and is unnoticeable by riders. Returning to dark ride speed, the riders pass one of many chambers in the tunnels. In the first chamber there are two partially animated red ants placing food in a large pile. Passed the first chamber, the vehicles move about fifteen feet then makes a left turn. Riders are launched into a twisting motion where they get a small glimpse of two chambers filled with terrifying red ants. The vehicles then make a left turn while the track begins to decline. Shortly after, the vehicles make another sharp turn to the left. Riders pass the fourth chamber containing an abandoned camp site. The camp site looks disheveled with flickering lights and gear scattered along the ground. Another left turn is made and the vehicle drops about twenty feet. At the very bottom of the drop the vehicle rises again and drops thirty feet into a kind of helix. The track rises again and passes a small dark chamber where the only thing visible is multiple sets of large glowing eyes. At this point the lights above start flickering for about ten feet then go out completely. The vehicle takes a left turn and immediately the track starts to rise again at a noticeable pace. Still rising, the vehicle takes another left turn and riders pass two more chambers. The chambers at this point are becoming very suspicious as they contain ant eggs and larvae. The rising vehicle then makes a right turn. Noticeably the track starts rising at alarming rates. Riders begin notice a thick fog ahead of them. As they get closer a large pile of glowing ant eggs comes into view. At the highest point of the rise, riders are just a few feet from being completely under the eggs. Suddenly, a completely animated Queen ant pops up on top of the eggs and makes a loud screeching noise. Riders then make a plunging fifty foot drop and are swiftly launched into a rise back to the station.
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Guests are guided out through an exit tunnel and into a gift shop. In the gift shop, guests can buy many bug related goods. Things like ant farms, bug candy, butterfly nets, etc, can be found in the store. From there guest are free to exit the store back into the Edge of Africa area of the park.

This being an underground ride, there will be tunnel ventilation fans.

From Tim W
Posted June 17, 2012 at 9:39 AM
Dominick- You still have been showing progress during the challenges. The ride, similar to Disney’s concept of an aerial tram ride for the never built Venezuela pavilion, is such an interesting concept that should be built. The ride jumped from monkeys, into a frog scene leaving out many of the other wonderful aspects of the Amazon Rainforest. Most noticeable is the absence of some sort of aviary scene, a key part in the rainforest ecosystem. Frogs, I fear would be a bit hard to see, and could possibly be more of an “empty scene”. While the concept and ride mechanics (such as the swinging and jumping of the ride vehicle) are excellent, the ride could have benefited from a bit more explanation and a few more scenes.

Bryce- Focusing on the poacher aspect was an interesting take in this week’s challenge. While the concept is reminiscent of Kilimanjaro Safari, I think it was interesting to focus the entire concept around the hunting of two endangered species. You had a good explanation of the queue and façade within your proposal, setting the scene well. The ride sounds like an exhilarating experience and hair-raising adventure. Of course, it demonstrates the dangers that man can cause on wildlife, which I thought was an excellent angle for this week’s challenge. Lastly, I think you did a great job on expanding upon your scene descriptions more so during this week, and organizing everything in a better fashion.

Karly- While reading the proposal, the par that stuck out was the comment there are “people dancing on and around the carousel”. It is hard to understand if these are real people or audio animatronics, something that needs to be described further. Some explanation of the ride mechanics and ride vehicles could have further helped your proposal. The organization is a bit choppy, and it would benefit from looking at a few of the other contenders. Having more detailed sections to your proposal such as, the façade description, the ride experience, and ride mechanics can help you become more organized.

Chad- I think you stepped up your game a lot more this week, having organization to add to your storytelling capabilities. You clearly described your enclosure and I think this was beneficial to your proposal. You tended to explore in great detail what the dessert should feel like, in contrast to the humid Florida weather. I applaud you for this distinction. The ride system used I think was a bold choice by having a monorail in the structure. I liked that you made it interactive with the touchscreens on the monorails, enhancing the learning experience. I am also glad that you made it clear what animals would be included within the ride. Great work this week.

Brett- The queue is the starting place for these rides, and I was a bit lost in your description. One thing that needs to be done is to make the queue immersive rather than just explaining the video that will be shown. There were a few minor spelling errors within the proposal. As for the ride description, a lot more thought needs to be put into this. You do not even mention the gorillas until the end when you say that they have been saved. A breakdown of scenes would have made the proposal easier to follow.

Andy- I am aware that Busch Gardens does have a safari ride, so I think you could have possibly chosen another ride system to differentiate this proposal. I think it was a good move to have the statement at the beginning. That comment aside, I think your proposal was fun and inventive. You did a good job at explaining the ride vehicles, but could have expanded a bit on the interactive queue. The narration was a great addition to this proposal, and I enjoyed your choice of wacky animals to make this a different safari.

Alan- The use of a hot air balloon for a vehicle was a very bold choice. However, I am not sure that it is the best choice to get a view of animals, as opposed to scenery. The use of Soarin technology is something I do commend you on, making the ride system different. I think you started off with an excellent ride description, but could have gone into further detail on the animals that were present. Ending with the flamingo scene sounded like an excellent ending for the film. I enjoyed that you decided upon three different experiences to make the experience exciting. That comment seemed almost as an afterthought, which could have been fleshed out more.

AJ-You once again had an excellent description describing your immersive queue, especially with the aviary themed wait line. The addition of a quick queue was genius to include, and shows your attention to detail. You once again thoroughly described the ride system, even noting what type of coaster we would be riding. I think the inclusion of birds within the coaster was a great move, but could possibly cause for some disputes over the safety of birds and riders. The breaking down of the ride into two flight sequences was a superb idea, something that I never thought to be included.

Joseph- I thought the proposal was informative and a bold choice to go with. I’m glad someone explored the concept of evolution within this challenge and I think it works really well. The ride sounds like a primitive themed Spaceship Earth, which is a good thing. I think you did a much better job with the concept and storytelling this week, creating a very descriptive and educational experience based on evolution.

Jay- I think you set up your ride quite nicely by adding in characters to be acquainted with the audience. The queue is good, but could have been a bit more immersive. I am glad that you showed two different paths within this experience, something that was an excellent choice. Thee could have been explained a bit more with the interactive elements that would be present. The attraction seems like a fun experience that could be enjoyed multiple times per visit.

Dan-You did an excellent job by expanding your queue and preshow descriptions in this challenge. The scenes based on the animals of Egypt sound interesting, but could have been expanded a bit. The third scene featuring the sphinx sounds like the best part of the ride, making for an entertaining ending to the ride. I think a bit more emphasis should be placed on the animals, but you still did a much better job with storytelling.

David- Obviously TH is probably dancing in his seat, because of hearing of a ride based around hippos. You thoroughly described your queue and entrance, immersing guests into the environment. I think a breakdown of scenes within this ride could have been beneficial. I liked that you ended the ride with a walkthrough of the hippo habitats. The specs located at the end, should be located closer to the beginning to show a better sense of organization. I think you created a great ride for families to enjoy, while still being thrilling.

Michelle-The organization of this proposal is a bit messy, mentioning the queue about halfway into the proposal. I think it is exciting concept to be dropped into the world of the ants, directly going into the ant hole. The ride sounds exhilarating, and is described quite well within the description. The ride might be a bit creepy for some people, having the insect theme, but I still think it made for a thrilling coaster into the world of ants.

From Tim W
Posted June 17, 2012 at 9:48 AM
Due to the dropouts of 3 contestants this week, this will now be a single elimination round. One double elimination will come at a later time. Thank you.

From Dominick D
Posted June 17, 2012 at 10:55 AM
Tim, to make you understand better, you are the aviary, hence why your flying. Also, if I added more scenes this would of been almost an 8 minute ride.

From Jeff Elliott
Posted June 17, 2012 at 11:14 AM
Dominick D – Forest Flyers – I do not quite understand the mechanism behind the “swing like a monkey” or the “leap like a frog” section. I think that your multiple track design at the end of your ride is a little impracticable as it really serves no purpose and would be very expensive to do. I think this is another problem like last week of disjointed sections. I really liked the idea of Forest Flyers and the picture of the bird was a nice clean image that was already telling a story. The queue was very well done in the rain forest, but the second we get to the ride, everything kind of falls apart. If you are going with a roller coaster, having a cast member riding along and giving commentary is probably not that practical and it keeps the little ones off of the ride. Most of the rides that have host do so because there is already a cast member there and they might as well put them to work, then it evolved into a separate driver and host in order to let the host work the crowd a little better on certain rides. Maybe a better mechanism would have been an inverted monorail system. I only suggest this because I don’t understand how the vehicle behaves during the monkey and frog sections. It sounds like it doesn’t roll independently at any point and is more like an inverted People Mover system (making it not a roller coaster by the strict definition). While I don’t doubt your enthusiasm in the least, I get the feeling that you are trying to put in too many unrelated things. Since this is Busch Gardens and not Disney/Universal it is probably not that big of a deal, but once we get back to those other parks, you will need to find a way to settle down into a single idea or narrative and explore it fully preferably with some kind of story arc. Independently I like each of your different sections, but together they are like a turkey, peanut butter, and sauerkraut sandwich. I think personally I would have really liked to see the narrator dumped and the monkey theme for the whole ride, maybe using on inverted roller coaster system or something similar to simulate swinging through the trees.

Bryce McGibeny – Quest for the Serengeti – I really like this idea. This is one that I would definitely stand in line for. Consider anything past this point to not be criticism but more suggestions. First of all, the ride seems really short, you could easily double the number of scenes that you have, this would have allowed you to tell a much deeper story than just the gazelles, stampede, and roof collapse scene. I would have done the briefing room as the final part of the queue so that as soon as you board the vehicles, you are off on your quest. I really like the idea of the vehicles going outside for a bit at the end to do a drive-by of the new pens. I really like the story line and even though it has certain similarities to the newly dumped story line at Animal Kingdom, it still works. Since Busch Gardens is not really a huge user of animatronics and realistic humans are very intricate mechanically, I would have probably gone with the holographic style projections (like the Harry Potter ride) instead.

Karly Tenney – A Lion’s Life Carousel – The major problem with this attraction is not what you did, but what the other people competing against you did. Most of the other competitors are throwing down hard core E-ticket rides, while you have proposed what is probably an A ticket or B ticket attraction. It then becomes an issue of trying to compare an apple to a space shuttle. While I like what you have proposed here and think that this is a very good attraction for the money spent, you will probably find your ranking fairly low this week because of the comparison to the other competitors. My only major complaint is that Busch Gardens already has two Carousels (Dapper Flappers and Carousel Caravan), although using the Cedar Downs ride system does make it distinctly different from the other ones. The lion pens sound nice and I really like the lion den exhibit, although you could have used a more lengthy explanation of both. My suggestion for next week would be to dream a little bigger, no one has ever been chastised for spending too much money or making too large of an attraction (I should definitely know), but the little attractions tend to get beaten up even if they are the perfect fit.

Chad H – The Desert at Night - I really like what you have done here. You have a very nice enclosure with a related series of animals with a very sophisticated and well thought through ride system, presented very well. What we don’t have here is the “wow” factor. While I think there would definitely be riders for something like this, it would also be a type of ride that if the line is too long, guests will skip it and move on. For the expense that you are going to here, there would need to be a significant spike in attendance to make it worthwhile and I don’t see this attraction doing so at Busch Gardens……in a standard zoo I think this would double (or more) their attendance, but at Busch Gardens I don’t think it would be that impactful. Don’t get me wrong here, there is nothing wrong with your attraction at all, I just don’t think it is a good fit for Busch Gardens Tampa. Very nice write-up. Please don’t be discouraged by this.

Brett Angwin – Gorilla Jungle – This is somewhat similar to what Bryce (& Disney’s Animal Kingdom) came up with but with Gorillas instead of Rhinos/Elephants. As I was reading Bryce’s proposal I couldn’t help thinking that the Indiana Jones ride system might be better, but chose to leave the issue alone because it probably doesn’t matter much, although the intensity of his ride is going to be higher than yours. While I am sure that your ride has a story line, you didn’t get into it at all once you have guests get on your vehicle. I like the idea of the queue moving past the gorillas first before moving onto the ride, it allows the guests to get emotionally attached to them before having to go out and save them, very well chosen decision.

Andy Milito – Wide World of Wacky Animals – I am going to assume right off the bat that you have many more animals than what were mentioned, like the duck billed platypus, the mudskipper, a sloth, a star-nosed mole, the Aye-aye, a yeti crab, and the tarsier. With no overarching storyline, I have to assume that you are going to make up for it in the amount and variety of wacky animals. This is one of those rides that is going to see success or failure on the basis of the delivery of the cast member, something that is a risky proposition. This is somewhat hard to critique since the major selling factor of the ride won’t be fully realized until it is built and run for a little while. To make matters worse, the safari ride and the safari train are going to sap customers away from this ride. It is hard to see how this type of ride will generate the attendance increase that such an addition should create, although this will be one of those rides that will generate a cult following.

Alan Hiscutt – The Serengeti Skyfari – I like this idea initially because Busch Gardens Tampa has very few indoor rides. This has an interesting ride mechanic, which I am not quite certain that it will work safely. The riders are in a basket and free to roam from side to side to look down and see what is going on, a situation that you would never want a bunch of idiot little kids doing by themselves. You would either need to make the bottom and sides of the basket out of Plexiglas, or come up with a better system that allows people an unencumbered view down without having to lean over the edge. Maybe the standard wave swinger mechanism might work with the swings attached to the outside of a hot air balloon, pushed to the outsides of the viewing area and looking in with a faux standard hot air balloon basket in the middle of the room hanging down and a potential place to originate the projection from. Still the problem becomes the danger of people trying to fall out of the ride system by looking directly down. I like the idea. The film sounds like it would work pretty well based on the mechanisms of Soarin’, but the ride system definitely needs some work to figure out some safety issues…..hopefully there is some way out there that could somewhat up the thrill factor while at the same time increasing capacity.

AJ Hummel – Falconidae – I don’t know if handing pamphlets out to guests right before they get on a roller coaster is the greatest idea in the world, unless they were small enough to fit in a back pocket, either way it would be cheaper to just have large posters with the bird information on them. I like how you slowly immerse the riders into the environment. I like that you have thought through the idea of having a second entrance for people allergic to birds. I really like how you have combined a learning intimate experience with a large intense roller coaster. Among several notably petty gripes is whether or not the thrill crowd and the live birds are going to get along with each other on a regular day to day basis. Usually when you have live animals in queues they are fish in an aquarium lit so that they cannot even see the guests. Other than that, I really like what you have.

Joseph Catlett – Africa: Cradle of Man – First thoughts are that you are going to have church groups protesting the park and the ride because of the main ride concept of evolution. The last thing that a park wants is immediate bad publicity upon opening a new ride. You have to take into consideration that certain families are so hard core in their religious beliefs that they will not allow their children to get on a ride that questions their beliefs, because to them such things are not real…..but they will turn right around and get on the Spongebob Ride right next door. The ride concept would have been perfectly acceptable until you added the last flourish of adding man. I like your concept your concept and it is assembled well, but I fear that whoever gave the approval for this ride would be skinned alive by the PR department people that had deal with the public backlash of church groups. Also, an omnimover system seems a little tame for Busch Gardens Tampa.

Jay R – Racing Researchers – Interesting concept here that sounds like a lot of fun. My first concern is about the replay level of the attraction, coasters can be ridden over and over again, but this attraction would need to change the questions often in order to get even same day guests a different experience each time. It also looks like the levels of staffing needed for the ride is going to be immense, not including the researchers trying to come up with new questions, in addition to a full staff to make the actual roller coaster work. While I really like different portions of your proposal, putting them all together creates a massively expensive to build (with four racing tracks) and expensive to maintain, which does break the back of most accountant’s bottom line. For exactly the same price, you could have an up charge attraction that awards actual prizes for competing in the parks racing trivia challenge and four new launched roller coasters all separately designed to an interesting animal.

Dan Babbitt – The Kings Curse – While you do have educational moments as well as animal moments, it does seem like the focus is on them, but reading over the challenge one more time, it looks like you are comfortably within the rules, making your proposal the orange that I need to compare to a bunch of apples. I like the concept that you have with the old but still working Disney cliché of “then something goes terribly wrong”. The sense of damage and excitement is definitely all over your proposal and there is a good beginning, middle, and end.

David L – Congo Hippo Expedition – Nice swipe at “anti-gravity hovermobiles”. I like this concept. It uses a more gentle roller coaster system, but at the same time has some thrill aspects going on near the track that would add to the sense of excitement without having to have the height requirements to the point that only adults can ride. I wonder why you chose to have a twenty foot lift hill and then launch section after that, it would almost be cheaper to just add another launch that has the desired effect of getting riders lost in the jungle….and then hit them with the hippo attack.

Michelle Kowalski – ANTS: An Exploration – I think this is a fun concept. It is very outside of the box creativity wise, but also done very well with a story line that seems to work out well enough. The one thing you don’t go into is the problem about getting guests down to the size of ants. After that, it is almost a page taken out of the “Journey to the Center of the Earth” attraction. This the mine train looking cars, it somewhat adds a sense of realism to an otherwise completely unreal situation. I am not quite certain I like the conclusion where we see the queen ant instead of mothering her tribe of ants, but as a huge monster….and we never get anywhere close to completing the quest to find the other scientists.

From Jeff Elliott
Posted June 17, 2012 at 11:16 AM
James Koehl is at work right now, but wanted me to post his critiques for him....

James Koehl---------------------------------------------------------

Dominick D. - Forest Flyers. Your proposal is a definite improvement from your past proposals, both in writing quality and continuity. Your theme was directly inspired by the challenge and your proposal covered all the criteria asked for in the challenge.
The queue area would be a great introduction to the attraction, and climbing a hill through a tropical rain forest rather than the usual steps to reach the launch station is a unique feature.
There are several major concerns I have with your attraction. First was the choice of your ride vehicle. A Manta-type coaster, while undoubtedly fun, would be too fast for the riders to be able to see the animals as more than a blur. The ride vehicle would have to move much slower for the riders to get anything out of it other than a good coaster experience with lots of green stuff rushing past. Having a live commentator giving narration would require a huge number of ride operators, something totally impractical financially and really unnecessary, since the track will always be following the same route (except for the free-flight area, which really does not need narration. A pre-recorded narration would be sufficient..
The concept of soaring down through the different levels of the rain forest is a great idea, but let's face it- unless the ride would slow down to a speed of about 2 m.p.h. and the riders knew exactly where to look, they would never see the frogs. The drawings of the frog jumping section were completely unreadable, distracting and unneeded. I would put the frog info, along with facts about other ground dwellers, in the entrance queue. Focus the ground level of the ride on plant life and larger ground dwellers. The free-flying ending would be fun, but seemed to be tacked onto the ride, and it seemed that the frogs were only used to justify the jumping above the forest canopy.
Overall, I think that this was one of your best submissions in these competitions. You are learning to analyze your proposals before you submit them. You should still take more time in preparing them, looking at them critically, try to figure out what doesn't work and what will make it better. Don't feel rushed in posting.

Bryce McGibeny: A major improvement over last week. Use of the WCS as a sponsor was a brilliant addition. It took a serious conservation theme and made it into a technically-complicated and entertaining attraction. This proposal was well-written and much better organized than last weeks, with good use of descriptive words to help the reader to visualize the attraction. Riders would come out of this attraction both entertained and educated.
My biggest concern was with the huge number of A.A. figures required. These are more a Disney specialty than a Busch Gardens one. I was also surprised that there was no mention of live animals anywhere in this proposal. In a park such as Busch Gardens Tampa, lack of actually experiencing the animals discussed in the attraction would be a disappointing conclusion to this attraction.

Karly Tenney: This was a potentially great idea, a unique approach to the challenge. You wrote a proposal that did relate directly to the challenge, and included all technical requirements that were asked for.
Unfortunately, it was not a very ambitious proposal. The writing was jerky in style, and capitalization was lacking in several areas. Some of the sentences did not make sense, such as "The queue is lion's galore." Talking about "jungle music" is a questionable concept in these politically correct times, and having people dancing on and around the carousel seemed both confusing and totally unnecessary.
I can't say this too often- after you finish writing your proposal, read it out loud and listen to how it sounds. Does it sound like something you or some else would say? Then have someone else read it out loud and get their opinion on it, how it sounds and what needs to be added, removed or explained better. You have potentially great, original ideas. Don't let them get buried in a confusing presentation.

Chad H.: Outstanding proposal, well presented, well written and extremely ambitious. I thought your choice of theme was original, and would fill a niche that has been overlooked by most animal parks and zoos. You obviously did major homework to get this proposal ready. I was especially impressed with the detail you went into in describing both the habitat structure and the ride mechanism. This would be an extremely sophisticated exhibit, and the cutting-edge technology required to get the full benefit of the available information to the riders would need some major explaining to the riders before they board the Sahara Special. The ride queue would be a good place for them to have access to training as to how to use the on-board LED touch screens. However, I think that every rider on this experience could have a wonderful time discovering The Desert at Night even if they just sat back and looked at the animals living in this remarkable environment you are proposing.
My only major concern was that you didn't mention exiting the Sahara Special. There would be a tremendous opportunity for further exhibits showing smaller creatures such as insects, snakes, etc. that would be too small to be seen well from the ride vehicle. A walk-through exhibit would fill this niche. Also, your proposal just stopped, like you ran out of time. Having a wrap-up paragraph and closing logo would make this great proposal that much better, and make it feel more complete.
This was a top-notch proposal, well thought-out and professionally presented. Excellent work!

Brett Angwin: You presented a proposal that fulfilled the necessities of the challenge. Your proposal's theme was appropriate for Busch Gardens Tampa. I realize that this is your first proposal, but to be competitive in this competition you will need to step-up your writing and creativity drastically. To be blunt, your proposal read like a book report that you were forced to write by a teacher. It was not bad, but it was bare-bones and not exciting. You need to make your readers want to ride the attraction. You need to use the words you write to allow the reader to "see" the attraction, from walking into the queue to leaving the ride after experiencing an amazing experience. Your proposal must convince the judges and the voters that your idea is the best answer to the challenge. Share the excitement you have for your concept, and if you are not excited by it, either change it before you post or write like it is the best idea you ever had and convince us that it is.

Andy Milito: "The Wide World of Wacky Animals" is a unique, extremely original and inventive choice of theme for this challenge. You presented a proposal that covered all requirements requested in the challenge.
This attraction is not adventurous in the technical requirements needed to create it, and that is not a bad thing in this case. The riders will not be distracted by any high tech gimmicks, and this will let them focus on the "wacky" animals that are featured in this wonderfully entertaining ride. You obviously did a great amount of research in finding so many strange, bizarre and unusual animals, and this attraction would introduce them to thousands of riders at Busch Gardens Tampa. I like how you use a mixture of birds and animals, and that the tour guides don't just give a dry, technical, boring lecture of facts but make the narration both informative and funny (hopefully). Naming the trucks after founders of SeaWorld is a clever touch which would probably not be noticed by anyone other than major SeaWorld geeks and the park management, but it is details like this that make the difference between a great proposal and an outstanding one. This is an outstanding proposal!

Alan Hiscutt: "The Serengeti Skyfari" is a very interesting concept for this challenge, using an available yet still high-tech presentation to provide an entertaining and educational attraction for Busch Gardens Tampa. I was impressed that you considered and calculated the riders-per-hour figures, something that few have done before.
I had some trouble with your written presentation. Your sentences are extremely long and tend to run together, making it difficult to follow the idea you are trying to share with us. This is becoming a mantra with me- read your proposal out loud, then have someone else read it before you post it. If it doesn't sound right, or if the other person has problems following your proposal (and be sure they will tell you the truth), then work on it more. This proposal is a case where a great and original idea is hindered by an awkward presentation.
I think that you had a terrific idea in the last paragraph, an idea that almost seemed to be an afterthought. Having each theater showing a different Skyfari with different narrators would provide three unique attractions for the price of one, guaranteeing plenty of repeat visitors and providing three opportunities to educate and entertain them. Africa, Australia, India and both North and South America would provide plenty of locations for this to be an amazing attraction.
The exit shop was well done, and working with the WWF to adopt an animal was a nice touch. Continue to work on your writing technique, be sure to make your concept clear and easily understood by your readers, and you have the potential to be a serious challenger in this competition.

AJ Hummel: "Falconidae" is an aggressive, exciting concept for this challenge. You provided a proposal that met and exceeded all required elements in the challenge. I was especially impressed that you proposed what is basically two unique attractions, the aviary and the wing coaster, and integrated them together. This is a classic example of how "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts." Each alone would be excellent attractions, but together they allow the riders to experience flight from a "birds-eye" view with a bird's understanding and appreciation of flight. Your choosing to not use any inversions to emphasize the flight experience was a bold move, one that some coaster enthusiasts (cough, cough, Jeff Elliott, cough, cough) might question but I think is the best choice in this proposal.
One thing you did that I applaud, and that I do not remember seeing yet in any previous proposal (and someone certainly may correct me in this) was the reuse or recycling of the pamphlets given upon entering the aviary. You specified that they would be given to groups who wanted one, not shoved into the hands of everyone passing by whether they wanted one or not, and that they would be collected at the end if the guest did not want to keep them. As this competition progresses, you should notice more and more emphasis being put on recycling, "Green" technology and minimizing the carbon footprint of the attractions. Your seemingly small detail about recycling the pamphlets stood out as an example of environmental awareness. This is another outstanding proposal.
And the coaster part looks AWESOME!!!!!!

Joseph Catlett: Wow, what a different approach to this challenge! Excellent "thinking outside the box", which you know I love. It reminded me quite a bit of the "Triumph of Man" exhibit that Traveler's Insurance put on at the New York World's Fair '64-'65. It provided a nice change from the many thrill rides that Busch Gardens Tampa has been adding recently. Your proposal met and exceeded all the basic requirements of the challenge.
Is this an exciting attraction? No. It will not get anyone's blood pressure up, and nobody will go through the attraction with their hands up, but that is alright. You emphasized the education part of this park's mission, something that has been getting overlooked in these days of the big coaster and flashy show. Visitors will come out of "Africa: Cradle of Man" both refreshed by being out of the Florida sun for awhile and educated about how we fit into the evolutionary niche we share with other primates. This was a classy, extremely well-researched and well designed attraction, which integrated a new dark ride attraction with a new environment for display of the primates at Busch Gardens Tampa. As always, an excellent job.

Jay R.: Another "outside the box" concept, quite original and unusual. I liked the audience participation aspect, where they actually get involved with the action and must actually pay attention to the videos and surroundings to get the full benefit of the attraction. I do think that the relatively small size of the groups and the tasks they must perform to get to the coaster part would limit the rides-per-hour, making this a slow loader. Also, although I think it would be fun to experience, I wonder how many people would really care about the research camp part of the ride and just want to get it over with to ride the coaster. This could lead to some situations where part of a group is really into it and wants to participate and part wants to screw around, making everyone upset and limiting the educational part of the attraction.
It is a unique approach to the challenge with great potential but some possible problems to solve.

Dan Babbitt: Your proposal, "The King's Curse" continues Busch Gardens Tampa's emphasis on thrill ride attractions. It incorporates our interest in Egyptian antiquities, esp. King Tut, with the often-overlooked animal life of the Nile River and surrounding desert. I liked how you chose this over a better-known biosphere. The preshow would be fun and would set the mood for the ride portion well. The ride portion would be a classic example of educating a captive audience, and if they don't know they are learning something they will enjoy it more. Having the various Egyptian/desert animals introduced to them during the ride would be a fun way of teaching the riders about them, even if in a cursory way, and the Jackson character could be lots of fun. It was good to have a unifying character throughout the attraction to guide the riders through and provide continuity to what could be a disjointed experience.
I was disappointed that there was no mention of live animals. Having a post-show area where guests could actually see live versions of the a.a. creatures they experienced during the ride would have gone a long way towards making this both entertaining and educational. An indoor display of scorpions and saw-clawed vipers, an outdoor alligator pit, camels, etc. would have complimented this attraction and made it a more complete package.
Dan, I know that you tend to wait to write until inspiration hits you, which is usually about a hour before the proposal is due, but it is starting to show in your writing. There were some uncharacteristic spelling and grammar goofs, but mostly the writing didn't seem to have your usual flair. This is going to be a tough competition- I think you know that. Be sure that your written proposal meets the high standards of your concepts.

David L.: First of all, I want to tell you how disappointed I am that the anti-gravity hovermobiles were broken down. I loved that!! Your proposal met all the requirements for this challenge. I liked how you were very detailed in the specs of the attraction, and in its location in the park.
This proposal included both entertainment (the coaster) and education (the exhibit). I assume that all the hippos in the ride section are a.a.(not just the one you mentioned) and the ones in the exhibit section are live, but you should be sure to mention that in your proposal. Also, be sure to mention that visitors can access the exhibit without having to ride the coaster part. This is not an extremely original concept, but it doesn't have to be to provide an entertaining and educational experience for the guests.
David, I am impressed with how your writing and proposal quality has improved throughout these competitions. It is obvious that your hard work in creating these proposals is paying off. Good work!

Michelle Kowalski: This proposal met the requirements of the challenge. It made very good use of live ant farms in the queue area, and this area would provide lots of information to the guests waiting to experience the ride. I think the interior of the queue could be especially impressive- I got the impression from your description that it would be much like the interior of Mythos Restaurant at IOA, but much larger. I liked how you didn't get involved in the "shrinking" part of the ride. Who cares how we are shrunk to the size of ants- we just accept the fact that we are shrunk.
There were several things that bothered me. First, you didn't explain the backstory to the riders. They need to know why they are doing what they are doing on the coaster, or you might as well not bother with the animatronics. Second, I think you got bogged down with describing the movements of the coaster and sacrificed the smoothness of the presentation. I got confused with all the specific up, downs, turns, etc. when I should have been focusing on the story line, the different chambers in the ant hill, the attacking ants, etc.
My biggest complaint? What happened to the people we were supposed to be rescuing? Don't set up a story line and forget about the ending.

From Dominick D
Posted June 17, 2012 at 11:17 AM
Judges, I really sort of rushed to make changes. I can understand if I'm going to the vote :(

From Jeff Elliott
Posted June 17, 2012 at 11:17 AM
Round 2 Results

1. AJ Hummel – Falconidae
2. Chad H – The Desert at Night
3. David L – Congo Hippo Expedition
4. Bryce McGibeny – Quest for the Serengeti
5. Joseph Catlett – Africa: Cradle of Man
6. Andy Milito – Wide World of Wacky Animals
7. Alan Hiscutt – The Serengeti Skyfari
8. Jay R – Racing Researchers
9. Michelle Kowalski – ANTS: An Exploration
10. Dan Babbitt – The Kings Curse

The following people are going to be in the elimination vote (in alphabetical order)
Brett Angwin – Gorilla Jungle
Dominick D – Forest Flyers
Karly Tenney – A Lion’s Life

From Manny Rodriguez
Posted June 19, 2012 at 10:30 AM
Hey Tim Could I still post My Ideas I was on a Unexpected Trip To North Carolina So It Would Be cool If I could Still Post my Rides And Such But Not Be A Contestent.

From Dominick D
Posted June 19, 2012 at 11:31 AM
Manny I don't think that could happen. The thread is needed for contestant space.

From Manny Rodriguez
Posted June 19, 2012 at 6:33 PM
I could Do It in the TPA Chatter Room??

From Dominick D
Posted June 19, 2012 at 7:55 PM
We need that for questions, not posting proposals. You could of sent a message to Tim that you would of been out of town, but you didn't bother.

From Karly Tenney
Posted June 19, 2012 at 8:13 PM
Manny I'm sorry if this sounds rude but you can probably not post anything at all to be apart of this TPA. Even if you wanted to post your ideas. But when another comes up you can sign up for it. And post again I know you were out on a unexpected trip but you should contact Tim personally about this and not post on the discussion board about this matter. I know Dominick also posted about this but this my opinion. Kind regards,Karly

From Dominick D
Posted June 19, 2012 at 9:11 PM
+1 to Karly. You had every chance to email Tim that you were going away but you blew it. He said in the past if you're out of town please let me know and we can work it out. Now you're back saying would it be ok if I can play just for fun? The judges have said that these threads are needed for contestants uses, and the chatter thread is used for talking about TPA, not posting ideas. Sorry if it was rude, but you should of known this.

From Chad H
Posted June 20, 2012 at 6:56 AM
I don't have a problem with people (noncontestants, eliminated contestants, etc) posting their ideas in an "unofficial" forum after the challenge closes. Seems easy enough to open a new thread, and those who don't want to read it need not click on the link.

At the end of the day this is for fun, and part of that fun is in reading the what-ifs.

From Tim W
Posted June 20, 2012 at 7:17 AM
In the past we have always allowed contestants who have been eliminated or contestants who missed the signups to post their ideas. However, it has to be after everyone else's ideas are up. And the judges will not be able to post critiques of the submissions by anyone who is eliminated. It won't be part of the competition, but people other than the current contestants can feel free to post, after all submissions are completed on Saturday.

However, if it is readmission after missing a week, the answer is no. Everyone was strongly advised to let the judges know ahead of time if anything would not allow posting on time. Excuses after the submission due date are not acceptable.

From Manny Rodriguez
Posted June 23, 2012 at 11:05 AM
How Am I supposed To Know His Email when I dont Have A account Ether In The Past I have Seen Eliminated Contestants Post There Ideas On The Thread So why Can"t I do So Hmm It Seems That We Are Picking Favs Here Past Contestants Can I have A civil Right To Do so As well.

From Dominick D
Posted June 23, 2012 at 11:26 AM
Manny You Have A Email It's What You Signed Up With.

From Manny Rodriguez
Posted June 23, 2012 at 11:43 AM
It Got Deleted I dont know we Forgot The Password

From Dominick D
Posted June 23, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Make a new one. Problem solved.

From Chad H
Posted June 23, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Just click on the persons name and it messages directly, otherwise a public message saying theres a problem could have done the job... Also as an internet forum, you have whatever right the rules and terms and conditions on the website say you do.

From Andy Milito
Posted June 23, 2012 at 3:01 PM
^ As well as the rules created and used in a website game...

From AJ Hummel
Posted June 23, 2012 at 3:14 PM
Manny,

If I interpreted Tim's statement correctly, here is what you may do.

-You MAY post your own proposal for the challenge in the challenge thread provided that you wait until all contestents have submitted and the critiques have been posted by the judges. Your idea will not be critiqued. I believe any non-contestant or eliminated contestant is permitted to do this.

-You MAY NOT be readdmitted to the contest after failing to submit a proposal on time and not notifying the judges prior that your submission would be late. This would be unfair to those who did participate, especially any who were eliminated. If you do not have the e-mail address of someone on TPI, you can click on their name and then send them a message through the site.

In short, you can post any proposals provided you follow the rules for non-competitors, but you are no longer a contestant for this season and cannot re-enter the current competition as one.

This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.

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