Theme Park Apprentice 4: Challenge 4

Universal Haunted Thrill - Environmental Disasters

From Tim W
Posted June 26, 2012 at 4:51 AM
Welcome to our first new challenge of TPA4! This week we need to get plans for Halloween started so your build team can be ready by the time Halloween gets here.

Universal Studios is considered among the top tier of Halloween haunts and has a long tradition of extreme haunt attractions. Universal is looking for a Halloween attraction that is so good that they may be able to keep it around all year, even though it is being built specifically for the Haunt. To keep with the theme of TPA4, you will be designing a Halloween Haunt attraction based on the concept of Environmental and/or Natural Disasters. You will need to create this entire attraction out of your own head and may not use any established franchises or buildings. This can be a ride, walking attraction, show, restaurant, small scare zone, or combination thereof, but it must rate high on the thrill and scare factors. Don't worry about scaring little kiddies, they will not be allowed in.

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 30th at midnight, website time. The posting thread should be up after voting for the previous week has been completed and compiled.

From Bryce McGibeny
Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:37 PM
The Deadly Disturbance

The Deadly Disturbance is an upcoming indoor roller coaster attraction to Universal Studios Florida! Themed to a town ravaged by a recent hurricane where many of the local residents have turned into horrifying creatures due to a local nuclear power plant exploding.

The Deadly Disturbance is a custom Gerstlauer Eurofighter roller coaster. With a height requirement of 48 inches and with many scary images projected towards the riders, considerably more scary than the parks other indoor coaster: Revenge of the Mummy, younger riders, people with heart conditions, pregnant women and people prone to seizures  will not be advised to ride. The attraction will be a mix between thrilling roller coaster ride and terrifying dark ride.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Located in the World Expo, this thrill ride moves away from the trend of coasters at the front of the park and allows for a new big attraction to know be at the back-end of the park. The ride will be built in a new soundstage, large enough to enclose the entire roller coaster and queue line.

The facade on the outside is multiple buildings that resemble a small downtown area similar to downtown Fernandina Beach located in North Florida. Except, the buildings are heavily damaged. Windows are shattered, the buildings are collapsing, telephone poles are knocked down upon the buildings, trees are smashed through the buildings. 

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The regular and fastpass queue line starts through "Talbot Goods" a small convenient store named after the main character from the Universal classic known as, "The Wolf Man". The small convenient store is ravaged and empty. The items are knocked off the shelfs, some shelves are knocked over completely, glass is on the floor and the ceiling is falling apart. Clearly something horrible has happened. The queue continues through the "Staff Only" door at the back of the small store. 

Tall shelves and boxes tower over the queue as it winds through the dark storage room. Lights flicker, struggling to stay on. Water dripping can be heard all around, helping create an eerie feeling. The queue goes down through a large crack in the floor and the guests descend down on a old metal staircase. The guests find themselves in an old sewer which has clearly not been in use for a while. The loading area is elaborately themed to a dilapidated sewer. Riders are directed to their vehicle by the ride staff members. Each coaster train is two rows, just as any Eurofighter. Guests pull down the shoulder harness and embark. As they leave the station, an old rusty door opens for the train to pass through.

Scene 1 - The Sewer

Continuing the theme of the station, the train makes an immediate right out of the station and goes on a straight track section through the sewer. The sewer is damp and dimly lit. Speakers located on the coaster train project sounds of distant groans and water dripping. The lights suddenly go out before the train can reach the end of the sewer system and the train stops. The lights flash intensely as an animatronic on the right side (located behind bars) grabs for the riders. The animatronic is clearly a zombie and after he grabs for the guests for 5 seconds, the lights go out again and the train accelerates to 20 MPH in the darkness and makes an immediate right. The coaster stops at the 40 ft. vertical lift hill. Above the riders is an open manhole and lighting flashes from it. The train engages the lift hill and slowly climbs out of the sewer.

Scene 2 - The Streets

The train emerges into a dark alleyway set. Lightning flashes from above and images of a storm are projected onto the ceiling. The alley is heavily damaged and all the windows are shattered. The lighting flashes again and then animatronic arms reach out from the windows in the alley and the doors into the buildings begin to shake. Groaning from the zombies begin. The train speeds up again and turns right out of the alleyway. The train emerges into the stormy streets. Wind effects whip at the riders as they are in the middle of a hurricane. It appears the train has come to a dead end. The ride stops at the buildings (the same buildings featured in the outside facade) which are in front of the riders. The doors to each building slam open revealing multiple simple animatronic zombies reaching out towards the riders. The train speeds up to 15 MPH and shoots through the same door the riders entered through in the queue (Talbot Goods), barely escaping the zombies.

Roller Coaster Portion #1

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The train enters the darkness and goes down the small 40 ft. 90 degree drop and does a 30 ft. heart line roll and the a large downward spiraling helix. The top speed reached is 46 MPH, but the darkness gives the sense of much more speed and confusion. The ride halts suddenly after the final helix in a large warehouse setting.

Scene 3 - The Warehouse Lift

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The ride begins to climb up the 2nd vertical lift. Lighting flashes all around riders and arms reach out from the sides of the walls towards the riders. The zombies which were close behind the riders are now all around them. The ride crests the lift hill and then goes on a piece of straight track. The warehouse is heavily damaged from the storm. Hands and arms reach out from the floor and from the ceiling. Dead bodies sprawl the floor and blood stains are all over the walls. The train accelerates to 10 MPH and escapes from the warehouse and plummets into the darkness.

Roller Coaster Portion #2

The train goes down the 55 ft. 95 drop (where their pictures are taken) and whips into a 25 ft. over banked turn, the 2nd heart line roll and a final helix, all in pitch black darkness. As the train exits the 2nd helix riders are emerged back into the disgusting and dimly lit sewer. After a left turn, riders are taken back to the station and disembark from their coaster train.

Riders climb up another set of metal staircases and emerge into the gift shop, themed to a destroyed clothing store. Riders can purchase their on-ride photos and other souvenirs from the experience. Riders exit back into the World Expo.

From Dominick D
Posted June 26, 2012 at 7:01 AM
Coming soon to Universal Studios Florida is a ride that will not only scare you, but may even kill you.

The Terrifying World of Special Effects

From Tim W
Posted June 26, 2012 at 10:51 AM
We have to say goodbye to our second contestant this week, Karly Tenney.

From Robert Niles
Posted June 26, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Please keep the image widths under 450 pixels. Thanks.

From Manny Rodriguez
Posted June 26, 2012 at 7:30 PM
Bryce That Was Awesome I Wouldnt Ride That Tho sound Scary Good Post

From Dominick D
Posted June 26, 2012 at 7:54 PM
Manny, keep chatter on the chatter thread. We need the space.

From Dan Babbitt
Posted June 26, 2012 at 8:04 PM
Sorry but I have to say this but Bryce:

"Stop blowing holes in Roberts ship!"

From Andy Milito
Posted June 28, 2012 at 1:06 PM
Although many of my pictures are taken from the 2011 film "Contagion", my proposal is not based upon "Contagion", or any other medical disaster film.

A brand new, haunting experience coming to Universal Studios Florida is sure to make you wash your hands more often, and you'll find yourself touching other things less often!

Replacing the land taken up by Fear Factor Live, PANDEMIC is a fully interactive walkthrough experience featuring live actors that are sure to terrify guests!

View Larger Map

Walking towards the show building, guests could sense something wrong. Brand new suburban buildings surround the show building, but it's abandoned...a little TOO abandoned. Medical facility tubes run in and out of windows, doors, and garages.

After entering the queue, guests walk through one of the medical facility tubes into a medical laboratory. Waiting in here until they are allowed into the maze, guests continue to realize something is wrong. A local newscast broadcasts that an unknown disease has infected much of the world's population. Several body bags are spread on tables; results of the new infection.

As groups of 25 guests are called up to the medical workers, dressed in quarantine suits, they are informed that they are evacuating the city as quickly as they can. They direct the group to a door, telling them to just follow the road signs, and DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING.

With the final warning, guests enter the maze, which is a fully detailed, simulated city block. Featuring several buildings that can be entered, guests can either briskly follow the evacuation path, or take a more "dangerous" approach by investigating the city.

Following the evacuation path, guests would find bodies laid shoulder to shoulder in a ditch, uncovered and grotesque. Garbage is strewn everywhere. The eerie silence, other than the crunching to shoes on the asphalt, is haunting.


Behind doors, abandoned cars, bushes, and other objects are the source of the physical scares (with the whole idea of being trapped in an infected city with 24 strangers being the "psychological" scares): the "infected".

PANDEMIC- Infected

To keep things safe and conflict-free, the "infected" (which are just scare actors) are not allowed to touch guests. However, they have full range in creating scares that do not touch guests, such as chasing a terrified guest who is trying to evacuate.

The "infected" would appear from random locations as the guests either evacuate or explore, with them appearing several times no matter which path the guest chooses to take.

As these live actors are portraying infected citizens of the city, they would display extreme symptoms of this fictional disease. "Symptoms" would range anywhere from actors coughing up very detailed (but fake, of course) blood or vomit to simulated seizures, even the last seconds of a life as the actor slowly crawls to you, reaching for your ankles, stuttering out their final words.

For added effect, actors would often switch hiding spots, randomizing encounters with every walkthrough.

By following the evacuation path, the walkthrough would clock in at a rough 8-10 minutes, although the time would extend further for the curious folk who are brave enough to explore the buildings.

PANDEMIC truly is a one of a kind, horrifying experience that is full of terrifying scares, whether they are physical or psychological. Now, go wash your hands: you wouldn't want to get sick, would you?

From Alan Hiscutt
Posted June 29, 2012 at 2:39 AM
Halloween is a time when the ghouls and ghosts get the lime light. Dracula, Frankenstein, Werewolves. They all get headline billing. And there is a reason. All of these icons have scared generations. Tales of ‘demons’ who drink human blood go back hundreds of years. Monsters are a staple of any culture mythology and Wolves have held an almost spectral hold over our imaginations for millennia.

However, I put it to you that there exists far more terror in nature than in anything Hollywood can conjure. If you have ever been in a car crash, you know that kind of fear I am talking about. The type that freezes your body, takes your breath away and can even lead us to doing things that are normally so far outside our character we don’t even recognise ourselves.

That fear comes to Universal Studios Florida with the opening of MOTHER NATURES WRATH. A glimpse of just how terrifying Nature can be. Situated on the site of where Animal Actors and Barney used to stand (Barney will be relocated) the attraction features 3 separate ride experiences in one. The whole attraction is designed to scare you. Whether that is with hi tech ride mechanics or simple factual details, either way, it won’t be pretty. This attraction will not be suitable for those with heart conditions, pregnant women, people with back pain, small children, people who suffer from photo sensitive epilepsy, those with a nervous disposition or likely to suffer ill affects to adverse temperature changes.

The ride really starts in the queue, a loading station for the Local Transit Authority of the fictional town ‘South Copse’. The town is a holiday destination famed for its nearby mountains, great seasonal weather and stunning countryside. All this will be conveyed via posters in the queue area.

As you wait to board the cable car to take you up the mountain, the ground beneath you will start to rumble. A PA announcement will inform you that there has been some low level seismic activity but not to worry, the National Geographic Society has confirmed this is nothing to be worried about. As you pass the Ticket Machines which will disperse ticket (Obviously) that you will need to hand over to the attendant to get into the cable cars (In reality this is just an automated way of the attendants asking “How many in your group?” and will allocate you a row and seat number that you can pass back to the cast member before you get on the ride) The floor will shake again, much more violently but for a few seconds.

The PA announcement will repeat but up ahead Cast members should be coming into view now, calling for people to hurry and not to waste time.

TV Screens inside the terminal will show breaking news footage of the mountain range near South Copse. A weather front is moving in and high winds are reported. In addition to this, locals have reported some earth tremors that have increased in intensity over the last few minutes. National Guard is standing by to assist with any potential evacuations. As you reach the station, there is a wind blowing, the Cast members will be chained to poles with karabiners for effect. The Tunnel that the cable car leaves through to protect in from the elements is well lit at this end and is acting like a wind tunnel. Your vehicle is waiting. Although dubbed the ‘cable car’ this is in fact a roller coaster car. The cast members will take your tickets and each car seats 8, 4 in front, 4 in back. There are two tracks, one either side of the loading station.


(an idea of how the station will look)

Once you board and start to move off up a tunnel, with a slight incline the ride vehicle starts to rock side to side. The Earth tremors are getting worse. As you start the climb, a voice comes over your car. “Listen folks, this is Captain Greene here, South Copse Police Department. Normally you’d be heading straight up to the next station but due to the weather, we are gonna slide you ride on past and get you back to base camp, so don’t be worrying about noth…..”

As you climb the voice cuts off and your car suddenly starts to spin, the lights all go out and wind is forced into the tunnel. Suddenly your car is picked up by the wind and is dropped 40 feet in the dark, wind is forced towards your vehicle and the sound of cables creaking and straining can be heard.

The roller coaster itself in pitch black with cold winds blowing at you, usual things, drops, banks rises with the climax of the coaster a downward spiral from 40 feet similar to the one featured in ‘The Big Spin’ at Six Flags. At the bottom the vehicle lurches and starts to slow down, the winds slow and the voice comes back on. “It’s ok….they seem to be safe, the backup pulley caught them, they are moving into service tunnel B. What do you mean? Since when? You sure?....A Volcano?”


(the spiral is similar to the one shown here)

The vehicle is moving slowly at this point with the odd Light bulb planted in the ceiling to give minimal light, the vehicle is actually preparing for the second part of the ride. As the vehicle comes to a stop, the lights flicker.

“I dunno if you can hear me folks but you’re in a pickle. Right after you left the station, we got hit with some real bad winds, we tried to divert you to the maintenance tunnels, figured you’d be safe but we just got word, that mountain you people like looking at….it’s a Volcano and those tremors were that baby getting ready to blow. We’ll pray for you.”

As the message ends, the vehicle should be locked down, the lights finally go off. The air starts to dry out and then heat starts to build.

The Floor is starting to shake, suddenly in the darkness, smoke is appearing and it has a nasty taste. There is a red light coming from somewhere and a noise that sounds like water, suddenly up ahead a large BOOM and your vehicle is thrust upwards again all in darkness and as you come back down the light start to come up and you should see the other vehicle as well.

The riders will debark here and through the Transit station where they can watch a video of their ride as shot through a Night Vision Camera that was on their vehicles.


(volcano rides and ‘shot/drop rides are well matched)

Spinning roller coasters are not a new thing, but they do add a level of unpredictability. And Dark spinning coasters are fast becoming the new standard. Anyone who is familiar with USJ Space Fantasy will get the concept very quickly. Because of the nature of the theme it is assumed that all riders will have an idea that the ride will feature events of a natural disaster. Universal Studios Florida already has ‘The Big One’ and ‘Twister’ and both rides have been popular for a long time so it is quite feasible that MOTHER NATURES WRATH could be a mainstay. This ride was not built with just Halloween in mind. Although it does scare and has elements of 3 distinct attractions. The queue system is similar to Twister with the floor shaking and cold air being pumped through the area, lights are flickering and it just creates an atmosphere that should be quite tense and anxious.

The roller coaster part of the ride is a tried and tested formula. Space Mountain, The Mummy, Rockin Rollercoaster. All are big draws, none are that tall, and the thrill is in the atmosphere and the theming. With Mother Nature, the darkness is pitch black at times and with the car spinning, it should be generate a good mix of fear, excitement and unpredictability. Finally we get to the Volcano. Rides that shoot up and drop down again are not new. The Technology is there, I don’t know of a roller coaster that switches to a shot ride, so this might just be the first of its kind (but then again it might not). The Volcano aspect should be generating heat, smoke and a level of “What is going on?” I would hope and I think I can convey this, being on a roller coaster for the last 2 minutes, coming to a stop, I would not expect to get shot up in the air 60 feet or so. That’s my opinion anyway, that in itself is going to be a scare I would hope!

The ride will last 3 and half minutes I would think. The Video watching at the end is there as we all love the photographs, plenty of rides offer DVD’s, and this is no different other than it being shot with Night Vision. Also it allows people to see their faces and reactions.

As I mentioned before Maurer Xtended coasters are not new. It’s a proven technology, the car seats 8 people, with simultaneous tracks, 16 people a time. 3.30 a run with loading and unloading say 5 minutes total time, 12 runs an hour, with a 3 run rotation, that’s 2 cars out every 90 seconds. In pure FFPH (FootFall Per Hour) numbers that’s 45 runs in an hour. 45 * 16 = 720. Not too bad.


(what riders will see for most of the ride)

From Chad H
Posted June 30, 2012 at 5:38 AM
Presenting: A Political Storm,

A dining and Ride experience
On this experience, you’ll get experience life as  this mini disaster/ghostly thriller movie happens all around you.

Universal Studios Hollywood, between Waterworld and Citywalk (allowing selected operations to accept guests from Citywalk)

Queue and experience options
There is no queue to this ride.  Due to the nature of the dining experience, Political Storm is (on paper) a FastPass/Reservation only attraction.  Fastpasses/Reservations are available from the usual places, as well as Guest Services, and days in advance (as this is in its main mode dining experience).  When booking your Fastpass, you are required to indicate a meal option (Where these are offered), and note any allergies/dietary requirements.  Bookings must be 1hr in advance (for dining options) as this ensures there is no wait for cooking time in the dining part of the experience.
The “Matree D” does have some limited scope to allow for non booked customers to ride in exceptional circumstances.
There are a few limited non-dining operations throughout the day.  Because of the Story background that is covered in the “Dining” section of the experience, this is not recommended for first time visitors, first timers who try to book this are steered towards the “Light Bites” option instead as a low cost option to get the full experience.
The following Dining options are available:
Park Open-10:00 – Pancake Breakfast (some non dining operations run during this time)
10:00 – 11:30 Light Bites (some non dining operations run during this time) (Lightbites is a fingerfood selection with no choices available beyond special dietary requirements).
11:30-14:00 Two course lunch
14:00-16:30 Light Bites (with some non dining operations)
16:30-19:30 Grand Banquet (3 Courses, Some operations accessible from CityWalk)
19:30 – Close: As you like it (Selection of a single course from other menus, or light bites, come operations accessible from Citywalk)

The Experience

Guests enter the Ride from Behind Waterworld (or during selected evening operations from a special Citywalk entrance), into a hotel with large convention centre/ballroom style facilities.  The “Preshow” room is one of the Hotel Bars (during most operations this is staffed, allowing guests to purchase beverages while they wait).  The hotel is themed as if it is in Washington DC, and as a part of this theming contains numerous televisions tuned to MSNBC (see NBC Brand Presence for more info) which explain some of the background to the upcoming experience.
Once the Main “Ballroom” is ready, the doors open guests are encouraged to enter by the "hotel manager".
During Dining operations, the Guests are served their choice of meal, and the “President of the United States” is introduced.  As the guests eat, the President makes a speech in the style of a typical “White House Correspondents” dinner (ie – a comedy routine).  


The speech also makes reference to how he came to power (In Short, the President ran as vice President, but his lifelong “Friend” and running made died whilst President Elect under “Mysterious Circumstances”).  When the guests have completed their meals, the speech is interrupted by a torrent of water breaking through part of the roof (well away from the guests).  The “Hotel Manager” comes on stage and advises the guests (and cast) that they are being moved to another Ballroom in the main Hotel Tower (the Ballroom in use is an annexe)
During Non Dining Operations, the President goes up to give his speech, but before he can start the water torrent starts, the experience then continues as normal. (As previously indicated, this mode is not recommended for first time riders because of the limited opportunity to hear the backstory to the president).
The guests, and the President are directed to a nearby (freight) elevator (explaining its oversize state), which takes them to the second scene of the ride, Ballroom 2.
As the guests exit the elevator, Ballroom 2 ahead of them appears dark, As the final guests enter, the doors slam closed behind them,and an apparition appears in the centre of the space.  It’s his deceased friend the “President Elect”, who has a message for the “President”.  Unless he confesses to his crimes, the City of Washington DC will be destroyed by the storm, if he confesses and repents, all will survive. 

The Storm “outside” is getting stronger with several windows in this room blowing in.  The door that the guests entered through is sealed shut, necessitating an exit through a nearby side door, which leads to a kitchen area.
As the guests enter the kitchen, there is a radio playing an NBC Radio Network programme, and again the door slams closed behind them.  The radio broadcast is soon interrupted by a broadcast through the Emergency Broadcast system – The Storm over DC has now been classified as a (Maximum Category) Hurricane and all residents are advised to take cover, and avoid travelling to the DC region. 

All other exits to this room are sealed… but just as all hope seems lost, the Service Elevator arrives.  Left with no other options, the guests (and the President) gets in.  After the doors close, the lights in the elevator flicker out, and the elevator begins to ascend, and stop… Opening to a scene in the President’s life.  The Elevator is extremely large as this elevator is designed to carry the carts providing room service throughout the hotel, so it shouldn't seem too extreme.
An obstruction prevents the guests from leaving the elevator, but they the “President” and the “president Elect” during a vote count, seemingly friends.  During a distraction, the “President” hides a number of votes for his friend, causing him to lose the vote, and a rather attractive female win instead, giving him a wink.  As the doors close, the “President” in the elevator makes an unconvincing protest “It didn’t happen like that, It was for his own good” etc.
The elevator seems to plunge, and then bounce (whilst in motion the words “repent” and “Confess” are wailed), when the doors open at a seemingly higher floor.  The President and the President elect are cashiers in a store.  The president is having a lot of problems with his cash count, and during a distraction takes cash from “Elect’s” register.  The Boss enters the area and Elect begins his count with his register now short; an upset boss also counts, and fires “Elect” on the spot.
Again, the Presidents protestsations are unconvincing, as the doors close and the elevator seemingly plunge, and bounce again. Opening to a Party convention floor.  The “President” congratulates the “Elect” for defeating him in the primaries who in turn asks “President” to be his running mate.  The “Elect” leaves to make a speech, whilst the president turns to a “Shady” looking character and says “So, how can we turn this to our advantage.  I can still be president after all”.  The Elevator closes again.  The Presidents feeble attempts to “Explain” are being bought by no one.
The Elevator plunges and bounces again, with the bounce this time forcing the elevator through the ceiling and into the air.  The greater-than-Hurricane-strength winds seem to catch the elevator car, with the car now variably rotating to help simulate this “Flight”, as it seems death is inevitable, the President begins to break down, and sobs, after a while saying “Its true, its all true” and begins to tell the full story behind the events seen before.  As he tells the tale the rotation stops, and the turbulence seems to grow less and less.  Just as he confesses to arranging for the “Elect” to be murdered, the elevator seems to arrive normally near the hotel lobby.
The Lobby, leading to the ride exit, is the epitome of “Normal”, a large screen plays real (Live) WeatherChannel footage. After the Guests exit the elevator, The President (Still in the elevator) notices this and asks the guests "You won't say anything, will you, I mean who would believe you", the doors close (and the lights go out as they do) with the President still inside, leaving the guests to the sound of his scream.

The Hotel's gift shop has some political memorabilia for sale from the President Elect's campaign for collectors.
NBC Brand Presence
The Presence of other NBC/Universal brands within the ride is not at any stage meant to be the focus of the ride – this experience isn’t a NBC ride, however these brands are used where the audience would ordinarily expect to see/hear a familiar brand and is an alternative to creating a fake brand/network for the purposes of the story.  Using an in house brand, in addition to synergies, also helps boost the realisim of the experience.
Brand Placement 1 – MSNBC Rolling news, in the Bar.
In the “Bar” preshow area, a rolling MSNBC presentation is playing.  The presentation always presents the “Current date” as a day in the next 7 days (ie, not today), so there are 52 minor variations (none include the year to allow this to be reused).  The clip includes the following stories:
·         The President of the USA is due to give the Press Gallery Speech – Some coverage on how he came to power
·         Cult predicts Mayhem as the passing of a nearby comment is supposed to bring “The Day of the Dead”
·         Storm Cell Developing over the Atlantic diverting planes, but not expected to reach US shores.
Brands sold in the park can also purchase an ad slot in the channel to display their latest TV campaign.
Brand Placement 2 – NBC Radio Network
In the “Kitchen” area a radio has been left playing, with the station/program identifying itself as part of the NBC Radio Network.  The Broadcast is soon interrupted by the Emergency Broadcast Service which warns of a Hurricane (maximum Strength) bearing down on the Washington DC area, and advising all to take cover.
Brand Placement 3 – WeatherChannel
The “Lobby” / Exit has a live broadcast from the weather channel, including todays date (as opposed to the date in the previous NBC clip) and highlighting the current weather.  This acts as part of the signal that the paranormal storm is over, and reality has been restored.
Service Elevator – Ride Mechanism.
The Service Elevator is essentially a motion simulator combined with elevator shaft; the "Track/Shaft" for a better word can move left, right, and back (not "forth as that would run into the stages/entrance/exit), and can bounce slightly, The stages are on different levels, and up and down movement is also used to help simulate the "Bounce" and movement.

The Elevator car is actually based on a platform turntable which allows it to support the car when this goes "above" the elevator guide rail. This allows 360 rotation for the "Flying car" part of the experience after the elevator seemingly leaves the shaft. The Motion simulator parts here are also used to simulate turbulence, only small movements are required to worry your average non-frequent-flyer into thinking turbulence is extreme.

The Simulator is carefully calibrated to simulate turbulence at a realistic yet low level, to prevent stomachs from being upset.

To Add to the illusion there are small “windows” based in the elevator door allowing a peak into “Outside”, with the other side of the “Window” also presenting a screen.  As the external window is only visible during exit and entrance, there should be no problem with correctly displaying an “empty” car when required.
The "Past" Scenes
These are large video (4k resolution or better) screens that are oversized for the “Room” – the Floor and walls covering the bezel leaving only the screen itself visible.  There are slightly different versions for each “President” actor to reflect any minor change in looks between them, however careful casting/makeup should minimise the need for this.

From AJ Hummel
Posted June 29, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Meltdown is a new attraction opening in the San Francisco section of Universal Studios Florida. A high tech dark ride, Meltdown will replace the existing Disaster attraction and add a new thrill to the current line-up of world class attractions at the park. Due to the scary and somewhat disturbing nature of scenes depicted in the attraction, riders must be of high school age or older to ride (middle school age with parental permission).

Facade: The exterior of the attraction resembles a slightly futuristic convention center. Signage on the building advertises a current convention in progress on alternative energies, and notes that there is a special presentation today on nuclear power.

Exterior Queue: The exterior queue winds around the outside of the building in a nicely landscaped courtyard. During peak periods, live actors dressed as presenters interact with guests in line, simply telling them basic facts or answering questions. A few may carry posters to present a (fictional or real) form of alternative energy. Eventually, the line reaches the door and goes inside.

Interior Queue: The interior queue winds around the exhibition hall. Here, guests pass various models and displays on forms of alternative energy, including solar, wind, geothermal, and nuclear energy, among others. Once again, live actors may appear as presenters in this area during peak periods. The queue eventually reaches an auditorium, where guests are held until the room is available for a pre-show. Signs indicate that the presentation inside is the same one that was being advertised on the outside of the building.

Pre-Show: Guests are directed into a 400 seat auditorium for the presentation. Once everyone is seated, the 8 minute preshow begins. Three scientists walk on stage to discuss a new form of nuclear power, using a new nuclear power plant in San Francisco that just came online as their example. A screen above the stage shows animations to illustrate what they are talking about. They then start reading a frequently asked question sheet, eventually getting to the question "Is it safe?" After nervously reassuring everyone that the power plant is completely safe, the room starts to shake. The shaking intensifies and the structure appears to partially collapse around the audience. Once the shaking ends, an alarm siren sounds. The video projected switches to a military officer, who informs the audience that there has been an 8.3 earthquake and the power plant has suffered a total meltdown. Worse, a large amount of radiation was discharged into the air. The scientists warn that the radiation produced by the new fuel used in this plant will cause death within hours, but within minutes will transform anyone who comes into contact with it into a zombie-like creature. The officer then explains the plan: get everyone out on remotely guided transports. A safety video then plays displaying the vehicles and highlighting the interactive buttons present in front of each seat (a set of four arrow buttons with a center circle button). The exit doors then open and guests are advised to hurry to the parking garage to board the transports.

Universal Express: Universal Express users enter the building through a VIP entrance, bypassing the entire exterior queue. They then go through an alternate, significantly shorter interior queue before arriving at the preshow, where they merge with the regular line.

Single Rider: A single rider queue is available. This queue bypasses the exterior and interior queues, but not the preshow. A row of seats in the back of the theater is reserved for single riders, who exit through a door in the back and follow a different corridor to the loading area.

Loading Station: Guests exit the auditorium into a utility corridor that leads to the boarding area, themed like a parking garage. Here, guests board the transport vehicles at a dual loading station. Once guests are seated, the vehicles advance to a check point where the seatbelts are checked, then they proceed into the ride.

Ride System: The ride uses enhanced motion vehicles identical to those used on Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland, but with a different appearance. In addition, each seat has a small console in front of it with the previously described button set-up. These buttons light up simultaneously with the motion of the attraction, and blink when they will play an active role.

Ride Description: The ride is a drive through damaged San Francisco, with the goal of reaching the safe point before guests are exposed to toxic amounts of radiation. Along the way, they are attacked by zombified residents (all animatronic). At certain points in the attraction, the interactive buttons can be used. During the attraction, a synchronized audio score plays to accent the experience. In total, the ride lasts approximately four minutes, but this can vary depending on the programming (most of the stalls and accelerations during the ride are randomized unless specifically noted below).

Scene 0: The vehicle makes a turn and heads for the exit of the parking garage. The military officer informs them (over the radio) that he is in control and they'll get out of there fine. The exit gate then opens and the vehicle heads into the first scene.

Scene 1: The vehicle climbs a hill, passing destroyed buildings on the left and right. The vehicle tilts as it rolls over debris, giving a realistically bumpy ride. The street is deserted, and it is almost too quiet. Once at the top of the hill, the vehicle turns left.

Scene 2: Another street, similar to the first one, but level this time. However, as the vehicle passes down it, several shadows move on the buildings on either side. One of the buildings begins to topple, but the vehicle accelerates to avoid being crushed.

Scene 3: As the vehicle stalls by an abandoned building, one of the zombies lunges through a window at riders. It attempts to grab the riders on the right side of the transport, but the engine restarts and the vehicle lurches forward to avoid it.

Scene 4: The vehicle climbs a short hill. From the top, San Francisco bay and the Golden Gate bridge can be seen. The city of San Francisco below seems to be inhabited exclusively by zombies who are running amok all over the damaged city. The remains of the power plant are visible near the bridge, smoking. The vehicle makes a turn into the next scene.

Scene 5: The vehicle drives down the winding Lombard Street as quickly as possible. As it rounds the corners, zombies pop up and attack the vehicle. To keep guests from anticipating it, the pattern is randomized, and not all of the animatronics will attack each vehicle. At the bottom, the vehicle turns down a street, then leaves the road.

Scene 6: The vehicle drives through a park. All of the plants are dead due to the radiation. Here, guests encounter zombified animals, which pursue the vehicle across the grounds. Eventually, the vehicle reaches the bridge.

Scene 7: The vehicle slowly proceeds onto the Golden Gate Bridge, which appears unstable due to damage from the earthquake. The deck rocks as the vehicle drives out onto it. Right in the middle of the longest span, a creaking is heard and the bridge snaps, causing the vehicle to fall.

Scene 8: The officer comes back on the radio, announcing that he has activated aquatic mode. He also says that zombies have been sighted outside the city. At this point, a Geiger counter mounted on the front of the vehicle begins to indicate dangerous levels of radiation. The vehicle continues across the bay.

Scene 9: The vehicle emerges onto the beach and drives along it. After a short while, a few more zombies appear, and the vehicle is diverted up the hill. It is still off-road, so the riders are still jostled around.

Scene 10: The vehicle travels past military equipment that was left abandoned, then finds another set-up that the zombies have taken over. Riders are shot at as the transports swerve to avoid the worst of the fire. At this point, the officer informs guests that the transports have an emergency weapon that can be activated by pressing the center button, but it should not be used unless absolutely necessary. After a short distance, the vehicle escapes the fire and enters another damaged city.

Scene 11: The vehicle comes to a stop and the direction lights begin to blink. Over the radio, the officer informs guests that there is a problem with the transmitter, and they are on their own. In front of the vehicle, the track splits. A survivor steps out of a building in front of guests, informing them that they should go left. Just after he speaks, a zombie leaps out from the left alley and kills him, showering blood everywhere. Guests have five seconds to select their path, then the vehicle advances down whichever route more riders selected.

Scene 12A: If guests followed the survivor’s advice and chose the left path, they emerge onto a deserted street covered with dead bodies. The vehicle bounces around as it rolls over several of the corpses. At the end of the street, the vehicle makes a right turn to the climactic scene.

Scene 12B: If guests instead chose the right path, they are chased down a street by zombies. Several lunge at the vehicle as it moves. Unlike the previous scenes, the zombies will actually chase the vehicle instead of simply jumping at it. At the end of the street, the vehicle makes a left turn to the climactic scene.

Scene 13: The vehicle comes to a stop in a square surrounded by damaged buildings. Zombies begin to pour out from all over the place, emerging from the buildings and from the gaps between them. They all move toward the vehicle. At this moment, the officer comes back on the radio and says "Do something! You are almost there!" At this point, guests have five seconds to select a button (the left and right buttons are inactive), then one of three things happens.

A: If the majority of guests press the forward button, the vehicle charges through the crowd, mowing down zombies. Blood sprays up from the sides as they are killed. The vehicle then crashes through a building (actually a door that opens at the last second) with an explosion of sound and a shower of strobes.

B: If the majority of guests select the reverse button, the vehicle backs up. However, its progress is quickly halted by the closing zombies. Just as all seems lost, an aftershock occurs. The zombies are confused as the buildings begin collapsing around the vehicle. The vehicle darts forward just in time to avoid the collapsing buildings, passing through the door and into the same strobes as choice A, but with different audio.

C: If the majority of guests select the central button, an electric pulse surges through the room, frying the zombies. This is the most graphic ending, but it doesn't involve any blood spray. The vehicle then advances toward the crumbling building hiding the hidden door, making it through just before a portion falls and blocks the exit. Once again, the same strobes go off with a unique audio track.

Scene 14: The officer comes back on, announcing that the transmitter is working again. The vehicles make a right turn where they pass a group of military officers welcoming them to the safe zone, then turn left and pass through a gate in a gigantic wall, which leads to the unloading area.

Exit: The exit walkway is themed like a corridor through the safe building. TV screens show a fake news broadcast of the aftermath of the catastrophe, including a bunch of dead bodies among the destroyed city. They also pass a zombie containment area where zombies captured for research purposes are present. These zombies are portrayed by scare actors and can go after guests (numbers vary based on crowd level: none at low periods, many during peak periods/special events). Finally, guests pass the on-ride photo booth, where they can purchase a picture taken at one of several points in the ride (multiple photos are taken, usually 3-4, and the points where they are taken are random). Guests then exit the building and head back to the park.

From Dominick D
Posted June 30, 2012 at 3:26 PM
Coming soon to Universal Studios Florida is The Terrifying World of Special Effects, a haunting dark ride/thrill ride located in Production Central. The building takes place of Soundstage 44, the Old Shrek meet & greet, and Monsters Cafe. The ride is 5 minutes long and offers Express. The minimum height requirement is 52 inches and the age requirement is 17 (13 and up with a parent). Lockers are provided for loose articles. This ride is not recommended if you have high blood pressure, are pregnant, have motion sickness, claustrophobic, and are sensitive to fog and lasers. The ride is intended for mature riders only and is heavily emphasized in the queue.

The building looks like an ordinary soundstage since we're in Production Central. You enter by going into the corner by Shrek 4D. The queue can accommodate a 2 hour wait, anything more then that has to go into an overflow queue. While you're waiting, you watch videos on monitors with people who worked on special effects in films such as Jurassic Park and King Kong. When you reach the end of the queue, you enter the pre-show. 

The pre-show can accommodate 130 people at a time and lasts 4 minutes. The room looks like an editing studio with screens overhead of us. We're introduced to 2 newbies to special effects, Bob (played by Jonah Hill) and Bill  (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt). They explain to us this is their first film they are doing special effects in a major motion picture after doing work on You Tube. We get told that the movie is about a monster who was created by an oil and chemical spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The result led into a humongous beast standing 20 feet tall wrecking havoc in Miami.  They're about to start on some special effects and are creating the beast. They show us how everything works into inserting it, but of course, something has to go terribly wrong. Bob is taking our picture and putting us inside the movie for background characters. All was supposed to go according to plan, when actually WE the people get sucked inside the fake world thanks to a computer glitch. Sirens and fog are going everywhere until we're fully inside. The pre-show room does not look like a studio anymore, but a disastrous Miami. A speaker is hidden on the floor to make it like a guests phone is ringing. It's actually the special effect artists who  warn us a building is about to crash and we need to move NOW. They tell us that they just put in safety vehicles for all of us down the street. The preshow ends, the doors open, and we head to our vehicles in the cloudy night. 

The vehicles have 3 rows ( similar to Dinosaur ) and fit 4 per row. Over-the-shoulder harnesses are in use.


Scene 1- Upon departure from the street, the artists direct us to the American Airlines Arena where the Miami Heat is against the Dallas Mavericks.
AA players of the teams (including Pat Riley and Mark Cuban) are hiding behind the benches, when suddenly we hear the beast. He crashes in and kicks basketballs around, even hitting our vehicle. We don't see his full body, just his legs. We make a run for it down to the Miami Metrorail station, thinking we're safe from the beast. 

Scene 2-
We hear rumbling above us knowing that it's probably him. The artists ring in, and they tell us to evacuate quickly before he crashes in. Our only way out is via the subway track. We hop on, but we suddenly hear a subway train behind us, and we run for it! The vehicle reaches a speed of  55 MPH in 1.5 seconds. The track is identical to one found in Miami. 

Scene 3- Thirty seconds later we're up on the ground thinking we're safe. We stay still for a moment, but then we hear the beast. The vehicle accelerates to 65 MPH as we go through the streets of Miami, taking sharp turns and climbs. We get halted 45 seconds later when the beast catches us.

Scene 4- He picks us up, and we finally get a look at the beast. The beast is a giant AA which has two horns, a long snout, and is very scaly and scary. Being a monster, he shakes us around in pretty much every angle possible, even turning us upside down for 3 seconds! We get thrown down the street, when suddenly the FBI comes to our rescue to take down the beast. They don't stand a chance against him, and get crushed to their very gory death. 

Scene 5- Bob and Bill call in, telling us they're adding weapons to the front of our vehicle. Our vehicle has been upgraded with guns and bombs to take down the monster. We approach the beast and take him down. 

Scene 6- The artists are taking care of the weapons, we just have to make sure to stay safe. Real fire is in use with the bombs, and the guns sound lifelike. We're able to get him back in the water where he falls to his ultimate death. Now that he's taken care of, how do we get back? 

Scene 7- Bill says that we're gonna see some serious  s**t. Our vehicle ecellerates to 88 MPH in 2 seconds, as we must go Back to the Studio! We arrive back to the studio as the artists appear overhead on screens congratulating us for surviving and that we can come back any time! We then exit our vehicles and head out back to Production Central.

From Dan Babbitt
Posted June 30, 2012 at 6:32 PM
The Vagabond


The Vagabond Adventure Tours is the leading touring company in the world offering tours that are fun, exciting and yes even a little educational! But they are not your typical adventure company offering Safari trips in Africa or white water rafting on the Amazon, they offer Disaster Tours!

The Vagabond Adventure Tours offers disaster tours all over the world getting there adventurers closer to the event than any other disaster touring country could. They have had tours to New Orleans right after Hurricane Katrina hit, brought adventurers to the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland, and still offers adventurers a chance to get closer to the biggest nuclear power plant disaster at Chernobyl.

There newest offering to adventurers is a chance to see and experience an ongoing flooding of a whole American town. Willimantic is a large town located in California that just experienced an earthquake that partially damaged a dam uphill from them. The earthquake also damaged the Kravet Nuclear Power Plant near to them but The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has stated that has stated that the damage to the power plant was minimal and radiation leaks have been contained.


The 90% of the inhabitants of Willimantic are feared dead due to the sudden break of the dam and the flooding it caused. The Vagabond Adventure Tours has bought an abandoned sporting goods store and made that the meeting place for their new tour.

The Vagabond boat tour will get up close and personal experience of how destructive Mother Nature can be. This boat tour will go from leisurely, to thrilling, to chilling, to downright terrifying!


The area around the ride will look like an abandoned American town with store fronts and houses. The queue and the ride entrance will be a sporting’s good shop that has been abandoned but still intake and next to water.


Inside the shop it will look like people who were in there at the time of the earthquake and the flooding just dropped everything and left. The T.V.’s have been left on also to MSNBC and The Weather Channel and other Universal news organizations covering this whole event and then describing to people that there are tours going to the town.


The ride starts in the middle of Main Street Willimantic and the ride starts at a leisurely pace through some of the most prominent areas of Willimantic including government buildings and the town square. The boats also have speakers in them with Alex as the host of the tour explaining details of the town and giving you tips on what to expect. Then the tour takes it first drastic tour.

The first tremor hits the town. The tremor is actually more severe than the initial earthquake that hit the town. You hear Alex scream because the dam breaks and your leisurely tour take a wilder ride! Because the dam is uphill to the town the water now comes streaming down the hill and towards you. The boat bucks and twists the boat is straight and then backwards. The boat takes a wild plunge down some steep and long hills.

There will be 3 main drops the first is a 30ft drop, the second will also be a 30ft drop but backwards and the last drop is a 55ft drop reaching speeds of 42mph!


After the second drop where you go backwards you see the first signs of life. You see in the distance a family of 4, 2 adults and 2 kids. Then after the third and final drop you see more and they are starting to get close. Alex mentions that the other tour boats are seeing more and more but the only thing they can see clearly is a green glow emanating from their eyes.

Alex is coordinating effort with other tour guides from The Vagabond Adventure Tours to see if they can get them all together and get them out of Willimantic. She starts asking each where they are and when she asks for Jason he doesn’t answer and they presume he’s busy. Well they are right he is busy!

The boat then turns a corner and they see 4 people huddled close together with someone lying on the ground Alex believes it is someone that is hurt and they should stop to assist. When they stop the people turn to the boat their green eyes glowing brighter, you see the skin hanging off their faces, blotchy blood corpse like people. In the middle of the group lying on the ground is a body with a shirt just like The Vagabond Adventure Tours guides wear and he is being torn and eaten by these people! They look up again and start moaning lifting their arms and hands towards you and then get up and start walking towards the docked boat.

Yes this is also a Zombie ride! Apparently the nuclear reactor leak was not as minimal as first thought and the people that were feared “missing and dead” were not actually “missing” but here all along.

Alex screams and throws the throttle of the boat into full and gets away from this group. All along the edge of the “river” or “street” there are Zombies chasing or walking towards the boat. You can hear the moans all over the place and all over the boat. Alex thinks that if they go down a certain way they can find a way out.

Alex sends the boat down another path in which the buildings get closer and closer to the boat. Alex thinks that because the buildings are close the Zombies can’t get to them. Well Alex doesn’t take into the account that the Zombies are in the buildings! They start breaking through windows and reaching out to the boats. One even comes close to dropping into the boat!

Well finally Alex gets away from the buildings and says if they can get into the Hassler Tunnel, a tunnel system that connects to State Route 20. The boat finally gets into the tunnel and its dark but you can’t hear any moans so there’s got to be no one in there right?

You first see green eyes down in the distance in the tunnel, then in the back of the boat, then on the sides, and then you start seeing instead of one pair of eyes you start seeing dozens of them all around the boat and they are getting closer. Then you hear the moans again echoing all over the tunnel. Fortunately the lights are out and you can’t see them, well that change’s.

The fluorescent flood lights start to flicker and each flicker you see them. You see them snarling, walking towards the boats, you see some of them falling into the water and standing and still coming towards you. And each blinding flash you only see them for a split second and each one is more terrifying then the next. At one point during one of the flashes a camera takes a picture of you.

Alex decides that they have had enough with safety and guns the engines to the boat as hard as they can to get out of the deathtrap of Hassler’s Tunnel to get back to the sporting goods base.


You finally get back to Base and realize it changed a bit instead of the sporting goods store you saw before well the building hasn’t changed but the inside has. The army and CDC are here and inspecting everyone that has come of the boat making sure nobody is infected! Here are also video screens showing the pictures that were taken during Hassler’s Tunnel.

Is it over?

After seeing the photos and possibly buying them everyone is ushered into a final hallway to exit in the hallway they are ordered to wait for another boat to come and that person leaves. The hallway is white with other corridors and doors the end of each. On one side of the wall is a mirror. While waiting you hear a roar, then the floor shakes and the lights go out! You were hit with a second tremor.

Like before you see the green glowing eyes, hear the moans, and they are all around down each corridor and the door in front and behind you are locked! You hear over the loud speakers that they are working to get you out and just wait and that they are working on the lights. They again flicker and you actually see them getting closer to you, the mirror turns out to be a two way mirror and Zombies are seen and heard banging on the glass.

Finally the lights go fully out and the glowing eyes move back and finally fad away with the lights finally turning on for good. The doors open to the exit and as guests leave the hallway they are immediately met with a large tank sitting in front of the door with the barrel of the tank pointing directly at the door!

Technical Stuff:

The ride will be a Flume ride using the same boats as the Jurassic Park: The Ride at IOA and will be a good complement to it. The boats and the track will be adapted to go backwards as well as forward.

The ride will both feature audio animatronics and live performers. There will be more live performers during Halloween in which Hassler’s Tunnel and the Exit Hallway scenes will be even more terrifying!

I didn’t include pictures of the Zombies to get the website family friendly and also we all know they look like! Also what make my Zombies unique are the green glowing eyes which gets people to assume that the nuclear power plant is the cause. And yes I do realize that Universal and IOA will have flume rides but WDW has two also and are both very popular.

In conclusion you have an earthquake, water flume with 3 drops (one backwards), Zombies (especially with the popularity right now), Hassler’s Tunnel, and the piece de residence the Corridor Scene at the end!

A vagabond is a traveler who wonders wherever they wish to. Are you a vagabond? Then travel to scenic Willimantic California and see the wonders of what natural disasters can cause!

From Tim W
Posted June 30, 2012 at 7:31 PM
I have received word of another withdrawl this week. However, we will still continue with elimination. In effect, one challenge will be dropped from the lineup.

From Joseph Catlett
Posted June 30, 2012 at 9:21 PM
Universal Orlando Resort presents an ascent into madness….


This new horror nights maze will push your sanity to the brink as your worst nightmares come true and humanity is brought to its knees by the fuzzy faced agents of the Demon Llama! Nowhere you hide is safe, you can’t run from this evil beast that stalks the Andes and brings with it terror and destruction. If you trek into the mountains of Peru…well then, you’d better walk softly then, stranger because these llamas have a thirst for human blood, barbeque and Yoo-Hoo.

For years, humans and llamas lived in general peace. The llama, the humans believed, knew its place as a beast of burden and source of really warm sweaters and attractive blankets easily sold for exorbitant prices to tourists who don’t know any better. The llamas have, however, just been chewing their cud in the fields biding their time. They stand there and wait for the proper time to strike. Its nature run amuck, the NIGHT OF THE LLAMA, where the demon llamas run loose…do not believe the demon llama for he mixes lies with the truth…and vermouth!

You enter the maze through the wreckage of an air liner crash. The downed plane is still on fire and emblazoned with the name “ANDY’S ANDES AIRLINES”. The smoldering wreckage of the plane should warn any sane person to stay away, but because we’re obviously out of our minds we venture in the plane’s fuselage to see that the plane is completely devoid of any survivors. In fact there aren’t any non-survivors either, the place is empty. Maybe there are survivors we must think as we follow tracks in the dirt outside the plane which look like llama and human hoof and foot prints. We now venture into the night time wilderness of the Andes mountains of Peru and hear in the distant the sound of Peruvian Pan flute music. This either means someone is trying to sell us a CD at Universal Citywalk or that the natives are looking to keep the giant Guinea Pig away. All we know is that the music is growing louder as the night around us gets darker and the trees and rock work around us seem to be closing in. Around a corner we see a native village fire burning and a shaman warns us to turn around, go back to where we came from…its not safe to venture out when the llamas rule the night in these mountains. The fuzzy faced bane of humanity with huge red eyes, sharp teeth that gnash and really horrid tempers!

Of course as western tourists we opt not to take the shaman’s warning and head into the dark as we pass the mangled corpses of those that have come before us, some still not quite dead (they got better) who jump out at and lunge at us, muttering about the curse of the llama. We see evil glowing red eyes blink at us from all sides and llamas jump out at us.

We then cross a rickety bridge over a deep gorge and bats come flying out over our heads. After the bridge crossing we pass a number of red eyed llamas watching at us and then occasionally “spitting” us with compressed air and water effects, with this distracting us a giant llama with a half eaten human jumps out at us and then on the other side jumps out another llama for a one-two punch of scares.
We then head into a cave with a sign reading “Lair of the Demon Lllama…are you INSANE! Don’t go in here.” Then we see the next sign, “Seriously you’re really going in a dark cave in the Andes mountains that reads warning demon llama?” Then the next sign “You’re still reading these signs? Its obvious you don’t care about your safety, are you just a fan of reading and ignoring warnings?”

Above our heads drops of water fall from the ceiling and fall in pools of ancient underground lakes. We pass the mummified remains of human victims. The occasional mummy jumps to life and lunges for us and then we come to a central cavern in the cave filled with black candles and the strewn about remains of human arms, legs and heads. In the center of this horror show is a sacrificial altar with a screaming human being ripped apart with huge knives by three llamas wearing black robes and wielding large ornamental knives. As you pass by this ghastly scene as the entrails of the human sacrifice go flying, water gets shot at your face (is it water or is it blood…mwahahahahah!!) In the background of this scene we hear music being played, “The End” by the DOORS.
We now head deeper in the lair of the Demon Llama, past fire pits and fire monsters that grab at us from the molten walls and we now see through the smoky haze (“Living Dead Girl” by Rob Zombie playing) a pair of glowing red eyes attached to the largest llama we have ever seen. Its easily 15 feet tall and is snorting smoke and is eating the remains of the survivors the downed airplane we saw earlier…and they are drenched in barbeque sauce! It’s a barbeque and we’re next on the menu as llamas in chef hats and aprons wielding cleavers grab for us as we see another human victims on a spit being lovingly basted and turned over flames. We pass severed arms and torsos ready for the flames that occasionally spring to life and grab for us.

We try to escape this nightmare only to find that what faces us next is a giant llama head 20 feet tall with mouth wide open and a huge tongue licking back and forth. We step through its mouth and are apparently gobbled up. We exit the maze and back into the rest of the theme park as a satisfying BURP is heard behind us.
The moral of this maze is…Respect the llama, respect nature and be aware that you go great with barbeque sauce…so don’t tweak off mother nature. Go green, conserve, live locally and think globally, save the planet and all that jazz or the llama will come and get you. So sayeth Al Gore, so sayeth we all.

From David L.
Posted June 30, 2012 at 10:38 PM
The Shack on Whitaker Hill

“They say the Shack is haunted again, Mrs. McGillicutty.” “Mista Rick, you’ve always said that good-for-nothin’ Shack is haunted. Pretty soon, you’ll be scarin’ away my husband’s customers, them tourists!” “But Mrs. McGullicutty, ever since these earthquakes started, things have been happening. John Fredricks disappeared. Ms. Delobe found bones on her front porch…” “Rick! Take your stupid speculation and proclaim it to your furniture! It might actually listen to you!” And so the arguments of Mrs. McGillicutty and Mr. Rick continue in the street that leads up Whitaker Hill to the Shack that divides the town, ever since the 4.8 earthquake gently rocked the town two weeks ago…

Location and Entry: Universal Studios Florida has a new attraction, a mini-land per say. Located between Men in Black Alien Attack and the Simpsons Ride is a new path to the town of Whitaker Hill. After a short jaunt through the forest (about 20 feet), guests reach the town. Buildings stand on either side of the road. Mrs. McGillicutty, Mr. Rick, and sometimes other townspeople will be walking around chatting with both each other and with guests. The town’s buildings are old and worn. The courthouse (bathrooms), an inn (restaurant) and a pub are on the left. Two stores are on the right. The road slopes up to a gate, the entrance of the upper hill, the path to the Shack.

Queue: A large post to the right of the gate says, “Haunted Tours, the Shack on Whitaker Hill. Children under the age of 13 are not recommended for this attraction”. Recently added on top, a large, tacky plastic sign says “Thanks to the Earthquakes, more haunted than ever before!” The path continues up the hill, winding in a field toward the shack. Cracks and holes in the ground from the earthquake are visible everywhere, steam rising from many. Dead trees stand here and there. Crows flutter from tree to tree (food for crows is the trick to keep them around). The path finally reaches the Shack (Think Shrieking Shack) and guests enter for the pre-show.

Pre-Show: A short flight of squeaky steps lead to the main room. The door closes behind you and a sarcastically energetic tour guide appears. He/ She tells the history of the Shack. How it first became haunted in an earthquake back in 1872, and how the recent earthquake has made it all the more interesting. Suddenly, an earthquake shakes the shack. Rafters fall behind, covering the door. Where the guide was just standing, a hole has appeared leading guests into a never before scene world, the Underworld.

Ride: Guests, now prisoners, walk forward, passing the corpse of their guide lying to the right. Walls of earth and broken household materials make the prisoners feel claustrophobic. Ahead vehicles (think compact Kali River Rapids rafts minus the water) made of bones, broken furniture, and blood stains await. Facing inwards allows prisoners to see behind the person across from them, yet be oblivious to what’s behind their own seat. Prisoners are given no choice but to board. The ride through the Underworld begins.

Scene 1: The spinning vehicle takes off and an AA skeleton appears overhead. He yells in greeting, but quickly apologizes for startling the prisoners. He explains how he, Dr. Vanshultz, fell down into the Underworld in 1872, died, but was still able to control his body. He has decided to help the prisoners, but it will be a long journey to the surface. All the while, he disappears and reappears in a different spot (Different AAs) startling the prisoners who he appears behind. The vehicle takes off faster than before into an opener world with little light.

Scene 2: The vehicle enters a forest of dead trees. Dr. Vanshultz appears, telling all to be quite as a mouse (A dead one because it is quieter), or the trees will awaken. The vehicle creeps along, until Vanshultz steps on a bone. The trees (AA) awaken, leafless, with large red eyes. All the branches swing at the vehicle, trying to crush the intruders. The vehicle finally swerves out of the forest and into the caves. Vanshultz is thrown in the prisoner’s direction, away from the trees.

Scene 3: Vanshultz quickly tries to explain how terribly off course the vehicle is, but is cut short when an army of spiders (AA) attack, surprising the prisoners and tying Vanshultz in a web. The vehicle gets caught too, unable to spin away. Spiders lunge, but a massive earthquake opens a large hole and the vehicle falls (10 ft) deeper into the underworld.

Scene 4: Vanchultz is only crushed bone underneath a stone pile, but a voice loud and commanding steals the prisoner’s attention. A massive, faceless, red glowing, yet boulder-like entity (AA) stands and condemns the prisoners for entering so deep into the underworld. Flames surround the vehicle, licking at the prisoner’s necks. The entity lunges, but topples as another earthquake occurs, this one, more powerful than ever before. The vehicles lunge up into a certain cellar. Mrs. McGillicutty (AA) stands there gapping at you. A jaw held by a skeleton’s arm says, “See! I knew I could bring you back to the surface!” Guests disembark into Mr. McGillicutty’s gift store and back into the town of Whitaker Hill.

The Shack on Whitaker Hill gives guests a new haunted ride and miniland for many to experience both horror and humor all year long.

From Tim W
Posted July 1, 2012 at 11:05 AM
I have to start by saying, that I feel the majority of contestants missed the point of this week’s challenge. While there were environmental disasters featured in some proposals, they were mostly a supplementary or non-existent feature for the haunt that was designed. It pained me to see so many of the contestants resort to a heavy usage of zombies within proposals, especially when one could have utilized a volcanic eruption, blizzard, or even a hurricane as a more prominent feature. However, we do have to continue, and move past this challenge…

Bryce- You had a great start to your proposal, describing what coaster would be used, and a brief explanation of the backstory. Besides the coaster pictures, the other pictures that you used through the proposal were unnecessary and were not provided with much explanation. The queue started off amazing, and I applaud you for extending the backstory to the beginning. As you began the ride in the sewer scene, I think you did a great job by introducing the haunting aspect of the ride with the zombies. Going into the streets, we finally get glimpses of the natural disaster at hand, the storm. I feel that momentum has been building up to this point from the entrance onward. Guests have been anticipating this storm coming, after seeing the wreckage, and now they find themselves facing the ride of their lives. While this is a lot of emphasis on the coaster mechanics, instead of the story in the two roller coaster scenes, I think that it describes the fearful coaster that guests would be enduring. In conclusion, I think you had a wonderful and scary theme, that would certainly haunt viewers on visits.

Andy- You have definitely redeemed yourself after last week, with Pandemic this week. I would like to start off by saying that the tag line is clever advising guests to wash their hands. Having a walkthrough ride was a bold choice to go as Universal debuts new walkthroughs during every Halloween season. I think you took a slight misstep while having the guests actually walkthrough the medical tubes, introducing an illusion that they have been shrunk in size. Getting back to the walkthrough, I think you set up the scene nicely with the bodies and garbage laying dead on the city block. The introduction of the infected is where the ball starts rolling on this proposal. The diseased theme of this proposal works best with the reoccurring zombie theme, than in any other proposal. I think the feeling of constantly being trapped by the infected inhabitants of this city is a certainly scary aspect to this walkthrough. The walkthrough would require some seriously talented actors for this job, not only causing scares, but simulating a disease at the same time. This walkthrough accurately depicts a scary encounter with diseased individuals, where individuals would be unable to escape. Great improvement with this proposal, again.

Alan- The little bit of ramble towards the beginning starts the proposal on a flat note, as we do not understand that this will be an encounter with Mother Nature until the third paragraph. When the actual proposal begins, I think you made an interesting decision to feature three separate ride experiences, making this more of a united experience rather than just a single ride. There is definitely a premonition of wind and earthquakes in the making, starting in the queue. I thought the direction you were taking with the cold and wind was marvelous, but then you switched gears a bit. Going into the exact opposite of what people are expecting, a volcano was not my favorite decision. While it will certainly make for a surprising twist, I am not sure that it cohesively relates to what you have been trying to convey in the story. This dilemma was resolved a bit with the mention of the fact that the mountain is really an active volcano, but of course, I am not positive this could happen in real life. After the ride was completed, you ended with what seemed to be some more rambling about the coaster mechanics, with comparisons to other famous coasters. It just did not make for prime organization in this proposal and left me feeling a little confused once the ride began again. You continued with a few personal notes, making this seem like a rough draft copy that still needed some edits in the end.

Chad- I went into this proposal extremely hesitant to what it would be like, so forgive me if my interview seems a bit confusing. I still believe your organization and storytelling skills have grown over the past four weeks and have been finding harmony together. This is a tough thing to accomplish, especially for a new contestant. Essentially what sounds like a mystery dining theater production, I think this was a great choice to take for the challenge, mixing a haunt and a dining experience. For being a haunt, the show does start off rather pristine, giving slim implications that this is going to be a haunted experience. I’m not sure the whole premise of politics would have the biggest fan base, as some (including me) are often bored by politics. One thing I would like to have understood in greater detail is to how this “storm” will be taking place on the outside. This experience immediately goes to a Tower of Terror-esque ride, where guests enter a service elevator to escape. While there is clearly a very interesting story going on with deceit and lies, I think the whole experience falls short of being considered a haunt. Instead it comes across as a Presidential themed dinner with a Tower of Terror experience.

AJ- You really know how to adapt and think of everything possible related to a proposal. Mentioning the actors walking outside was a nice touch to help immerse the reader in the story that you are telling. The pre-show reminds me something that Disney does to further make the experience as real as possible. The terrifying experience begins in this pre-show, something that was a good choice to go forward with. When getting into the story, I think the whole turning into zombie theme turned a bit old for me. We have heard this scenario done three times, but I think yours was well with the nuclear explosion to add some intensity. However, having a nuclear explosion is not something I would technically consider an environmental disaster, but more of a manmade disaster. I think it is great how you even decide to break the ride queues up into different sections, one for single rider, and universal express. Details like these are not overlooked by me in any means, and I think they show great professionalism. All the scenes are done well, telling the story in an organized manner. The fear is definitely at its highest point now, elevating with each passing scene. From the zombie attack to the destroyed Golden Gate Bridge, and ending with the variety of scenes, the ride is exhilarating in every way, surely frightening its passengers.

Dominick- You continue to show improvement starting with the cleaned up logo, to a better organization structure of your proposals. Some of the aspects in the preshow are a bit confusing to me, and can still be explained better. Stating, “ the people get sucked inside the fake world”, may confuse some readers or show visitors that may not understand this concept. I’d just try to look back at a proposal, and find anything that can benefit from minor touch ups or extra explanation. The scenes are comprised of an eclectic mix from the basketball scene to the subway. As for the premise of your ride relating to the challenge, I think you took a misstep here. I think a natural disaster needed to be emphasized a lot more than just a monster who is attacking a city. In scene 4, the beast actually picking the car up would be virtually impossible to do, and if completed would be a designer’s nightmare. Then you throw the guests out of the car, onto the street. In conclusion, the ride tends to be veering away from a haunting experience, and becomes an unsafe attraction instead.

Dan- I think you took a different approach to the challenge this week by having an adventurous water experience, as opposed to the typical dark ride, show, roller coaster. Immediately, you focused on some major natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the Icelandic volcanic eruption. You started great by introducing a flood and an earthquake to a standard American town. The nuclear path again, was a little overplayed this week, and I wish you would have stuck to your two original central themes. However, I do think that you redeemed the proposal by showing how truly terrifying some of these experiences can be. You have begun to start showing a better sense of organization within the proposals, and have improved greatly on the storytelling in the ride. Again, I wish you would have continued on the route you were on, avoiding zombies to allow your proposal to stick out more. However, I do think this was a major improvement over the past few weeks.

Joseph- I honestly think you had the most fun and imaginative proposal during this week’s challenge. An attack of demon llamas was priceless in every way. Your comedy in writing style outshone your sense to terror a bit within this week’s proposal; however, I still think you included enough of gore to make it scary. Obviously, this would be not suitable for kids, but I think it might attract brave kids because the proposal sounds like it would be a top-notch experience. While I do wish you included more of an environmental style disaster, the llama theming does work for me. The proposal was original, and I think you had fun with this week’s challenge. I think you combined the perfect mix of comedy and horror to create an interesting, and bizarre proposal for this week’s challenge.

David- I think starting the challenge with a dialogue was a very artistic choice to begin with. The creation of the mini-land of Whitaker Hill would be much appreciated to try to actually fit this haunt in with an appropriate theme. The experience is essentially a haunted house with a twist since it has been attacked by an earthquake. I think you did a great job of incorporating some nature scenes within the proposal to relate it back to the environmental theme of our competition. The experience sounds like a lot of fun, yet haunting indeed. The non-inclusion of zombies was certainly a breath of fresh air, even if the ride did not relate solely to an environmental disaster.

From Andy Milito
Posted July 1, 2012 at 11:14 AM
Tim, remember in E.T., when Eliott's house is quarantined because E.T. gets sick? And the large plastic tubes are used to move through the house without catching the disease?

THAT'S what I had meant by "medical tubes" in the queue :)

From Dominick D
Posted July 1, 2012 at 11:21 AM
Tim, guests are in the vehicle at all times.

From Jeff Elliott
Posted July 1, 2012 at 1:49 PM
James Koehl is at work and wanted me to post this for him...

From James-----------------------------

Bryce McGibeny: "The Deadly Disturbance" certainly meets and exceeds all basic requirements of the challenge. I am not sure that the title is really the best choice, since it doesn't really tell you in advance what is going to happen. I am also not sure that the first two pictures you used really added anything to your proposal, especially the first one of a large white wall. The third one showed the outside facade of the building, and your description in the proposal explained how it would appear to be damaged. With only five pictures available to use, be sure you are using the best ones to help the voters visualize your concept. Where were the zombie pictures? They are the core of your proposal, but we didn't see any.
At the beginning of your proposal you said that the town was ravaged in a hurricane and the local nuclear plant exploded, but nowhere in the preshow did you tell the riders this, so they have no idea what happened other that there is a nasty storm. Be sure to establish why things are happening, why the people are now zombies.
Assuming the riders know why they are being attacked by zombies, I think that they would all have a great and potentially VERY scary time on this attraction. I liked your vivid descriptions of the ride movements, how you increased the scare factor as we got deeper into the action, and especially how we returned to the facade where we entered the ride. The ending was a let-down. If we were on the coaster to escape from the zombies, all we did was end up back in the sewer and never did escape. I could see the attraction ending one of two ways: 1) We can't escape on the coaster. We arrive at the end of the ride with no way out, and we are told to get out of the train and try to escape on foot (through that most horrible of places, the gift shop, with zombies manning the sales counters), or we arrive at a refugee center set up by FEMA (also terrifying) having escaped from the zombies.
I really did like the basic concept, the multitude of zombies reaching out for the riders, and the entire feel of the attraction. The beginning and the end need some work, but the core concept is very strong and very well thought-out. Your proposals are improving every challenge. Very good work!

Andy Milito: Your proposal for this challenge, "Pandemic", is a very well-planned, well-organized and well-presented concept. It meets all requirements for this challenge. I liked the logo very much, except for the colors (which you might not be able to do anything about) and especially how you had an introductory and closing section to the proposal. They provide a nice set of "bookends" for the proposal, and were especially effective by both using the "washing your hands" concept.
What are "medical facility tubes"? I assume you mean the big plastic walk-through tunnels that were seen in "ET" (the movie, not the ride), but be sure to explain anything that you suspect your reader might not be familiar with. The entrance scene before the show building, with the tubes going through the houses, etc. is a very effective and disturbing intro to the experience.
I think that the experience of Pandemic would be a scary, creepy and disturbing one for those few lucky enough to get in, but that is my main concern. Assuming the ten minute walkthrough time you stated (more or less), that would limit Pandemic to 150 guests per hour, an extremely small number for a major attraction such as this. Also, even though you mention that the "evacuees" will be warned multiple times not to touch anything, human nature says that some will. What provisions are made to keep those who don't (or won't) follow the rules from physically defacing the attraction or following the live actors as they enter or leave the space? It wouldn't surprise me for some jerk with too much beer in them to walk over to an actor who has just "died" in front of them and kicking them to show off to his girlfriend that he's not really dead. You would need some security guards, perhaps as civil defense or National Guard, to be on the street at all times. Allowing the evacuees to explore the site on their own would be great fun for them, but would cause some to stay way too long and lead to congestion, or would cut into the number of people going through it even more. Requiring them to stay on the evacuation path and just observe the surrounding disaster, while less fun than exploring the area, would provide for better traffic flow and control. Yes, it would be a blast to explore on your own the surrounding buildings, but not in a theme park attraction where numbers of guests/hour is a major consideration. Making this an up-charge attraction would be controversial, but I don't know any other way of keeping the number of "evacuees" manageable with this design.
I really hate writing so much negative about such an interesting approach to this challenge. Your attention to details was great, and I could visualize this attraction as a grim, gory and potentially terrifying experience that would leave my daughter (17 y.o.) with nightmares. I would love to experience it myself, but I just can't reconcile the problems with the theme park setting. This would be a kick-butt crown jewel in any of the multiple scare parks around the country, but not at Universal Studios Orlando.

Alan Hiscutt: "Mother Nature's Wrath" is a challenging advance in theme park technology, challenging but certainly doable. Combining multiple types of rides into one unique attraction was a very interesting concept, one that would turn two traditional rides into one non-traditional experience. I was impressed with the technical details you included at the conclusion of the proposal. These are details that would be part of any professional proposal, which is what we are aiming for in this competition- professionalism and quality.
I thought the backstory, while a bit contrived, was adequate to set the tone for the attraction and explain why things were happening to the riders. Not every backstory has to be a classic- sometimes basic functional simplicity is enough. I feel that you described the rather complex movements of the riders through the coaster/tower layout well. I didn't have any problem following the action. I thought that it was odd that a cable car would be stuck in a tunnel, but I think that I could suspend my disbelief enough to ignore that. Ending the ride with a launch tower was really inspired, and would be a great ending except that, with this much storyline, you should somehow explain how, after being blown out of a volcano, the riders suddenly return to the station. How? Don't ask me- you're the designer ;+)
This is not a blood, guts, scary monsters kind of scare attraction. It is a scary situation ride through the unknown of a natural disaster, and in that way you were especially true to the theme of the challenge. You took the harder route- very commendable. This would be a very popular attraction, for the mix of a coaster and a launch/drop tower as one ride if for no other reason. Very good work!
BTW, what is the first picture, the one of the coaster in the loading station, from? I didn't know that North Korea had a coaster like this. They do look like North Korean army soldiers, don't they?

Chad H. : "A Political Storm" was certainly an unusual concept, combining dining and a thrill ride. You were extremely well-organized with your description, breaking it down into sections that made it easy to focus on each facet of this attraction. You had planned extremely well with the meals, times, etc. The NBC placement throughout the experience would definitely increase the realism of this attraction.
But there are problems. The main one is, in my opinion, insurmountable. There is no way that any theme park, except perhaps the Kaeson Youth Park in Pyongyang, North Korea, would create a multimillion dollar attraction centering on the assassination of the President of the United States, even one not yet inaugurated. Way too controversial, morally objectionable, legally get my concerns. Getting beyond this, the use of the elevators reminded me of Tower of Terror without the concern for guest safety. Putting people into an elevator is fine as long as the movements are slow and smooth and normal elevator movement, but when you start to spin it around with no provisions for people to sit, you are going to have people getting dizzy, falling down, getting hurt and suing Universal. Also, they are going to have a terrible time seeing the various scenes when the doors open unless they are in the front, and just like in a parade, the tallest people are always in front. Finally, many if not most theme park attractions are designed for repeat riding. I would be surprised if anyone would want to ride this more than once. If the food was good, they might come back for a meal, then insist on leaving before being forced into the elevator.
Chad, I can see that you put a lot of work into this proposal, and it is an interesting idea, but it would require a vast amount of rethinking to make it a viable attraction.

AJ Hummel: "Meltdown" would be an exciting, technologically challenging attraction, well suited for the San Francisco area of USF. You met all the technological requirements of the challenge. Your proposal was well organized and easy to read and follow.
It seems to me that there are two main weaknesses to the proposal. First is logistical: I had a concern with your queue arrangement. I don't understand why you have visitors enter the Interior Queue and go into an auditorium to wait for another auditorium to see the preshow. The first one was not needed. After the preshow the riders are sent to board the escape vehicles. Is it realistic to board 400 people into ride vehicles that seat 12 in the eight minutes that the preshow takes before the next 400 people arrive to board?
The second is the heavy usage of a.a. figures throughout the escape from San Francisco. This is Universal, not Disney, and it would be unusual for USF to have so many extremely complicated a.a. figures, especially in the later scenes (zombies chasing the vehicle, etc.). These figures would be challenging for Disney to create, much less Universal.
I did have one minor concern, based on human nature. When the officer informs the guests that the transports have an emergency weapon that can be activated by pressing the center button, but it should not be used unless absolutely necessary, every Tom, Dick and Harry and their little brother will be hitting the button, regardless of what the officer says. People love to play with buttons. These buttons would have to be either always inactivated or only turned on when needed.
You may be surprised, but I think that this would be a fun and potentially terrifying ride. I loved the way that the riders can chose the scenario- this would lead to many repeat rides. The vistas of San Francisco being destroyed by an earthquake and the resulting radioactive mutations could be memorable for the riders. It would provide some blood and gore for the riders, although how it would be cleaned up before the next ride vehicle comes along is a mystery.

Dominick D : "The Terrifying World of Special Effects" proposal meets all of the requirements for this challenge. I think that your opening logo photo was especially effective except for the choice of colors in the title- they were a little bit too close to the background colors to really grab the reader's attention- but the choice of photo was excellent.
The background story was well-written, if a bit - ok, a LOT- contrived, but I think that, if it was established from the start that Bob and Bill are incompetent klutzes that screw up everything they touch (like Rick Moranis in HISTK) this would work well and the audience/riders would accept it, but only if the wacky silliness is maintained throughout the attraction. This would only work if you didn't have the FBI crushed to "their very gory death". It felt to me like you started with a silly idea, with the monster throwing basketballs around, then suddenly went gory and violent. An attraction needs to be consistent in its atmosphere- what you establish at the beginning of the attraction sets the mood for the rest of it, and if you suddenly change the atmosphere it will take a while for the riders to understand what is happening. You don't have time for that. I personally don't see a problem with an attraction being both funny and scary- many people laugh after being scared.
I think the ride vehicle technology was quite confusing. Is it a coaster? An enhanced motion vehicle? A hybrid of both? Its movements would be extremely difficult to create without a major advance of technology, esp. its sudden accelerations. And the language used in Scene Seven was not necessary, even in its ** form.
Grammatically and from the perspective of technical writing this proposal is a very good one. The pictures definitely were an asset to the proposal. Now it's time to start focusing on the "meat" of your proposals.

Dan Babbitt: "Vagabond Adventure Tours" is an interesting approach to the age-old question, "How can I make zombies seem fresh and new?" and for the most part you succeeded. As far as the basic requirements for this challenge you were not very complete, including where it is situated and approximately how long it takes.
I thought the storyline was well-conceived, with a backstory that is just creepy enough (and supposedly I know creepy) that I wouldn't be surprised to find out that there is a travel company that does this. Gradually introducing the zombies into the adventure after the drops (which are traditionally at the end of most water rides) was a very good choice. You through lots of changes in throughout the ride, including the spinning backward plunge of the boat, and that would cause disorientation for the adventurers, a good thing in this attraction. I especially liked how, after leaving the boat and feeling like the attraction is over, the adventurers are hit with the exit corridor nightmare. Mixing multiple sensory attacks at the adventurers was a really inspired way to keep them off guard and in terror- very well-conceived!
You had some technical writing areas that were clumsy, that didn't read very well, but I will give you extra points for spelling Eyjafjallajökull (which I didn't even try but copied and pasted into this critique! Overall, this was a good proposal, a very complicated attraction that guests would get their scares from and their money's worth out of.

Joseph Catlett: Whatever the drug was that you were on when you conceived "Night of the Llama"- I have GOT to get me some!! I was laughing my butt off from beginning to end reading this comic masterpiece you created. OK, I've got to say that you didn't say where this attraction would be placed. That is the only complaint I could find. Perhaps I was laughing too hard.
Nope, I just reread it. Twice. Still laughing, now at stuff I missed the first few times I read it. Is this a really scary haunted maze? No. So what? It was vastly entertaining, with some startling scares thrown in for good measure. Those pictures were a brilliant addition, taking an extremely well-written and conceived experience up to masterpiece level. By far the best thing you have ever written for any challenge!
Now private message me with where I can get that stuff you were on.

David L. : I am still very impressed with the improvements you have made throughout these competitions (I sound like a guidance counselor, don't I? Sorry!). "The Shack on Whitaker Hill" would be an extremely fun adventure through a very weird underworld, perhaps not the scariest adventure ever, but with potentially enough startling effects to get the heart running a little faster.
I liked the fact that you thought beyond just one attraction, but an entire new land. My disappointment was that you didn't give just a few more details about it, such as the type of restaurant (southern home-style, Memphis BBQ, saloon grub, etc.) and what the stores sold (in general). Still, I congratulate you on adding this idea to your proposal. That was a very good addition to your proposal, one that made it stand out from the rest.
In killing off your tour guide, you made one mistake- how are you going to get the audience to proceed into the ride vehicles? Keeping the guide alive but scared and having them direct the riders through the new opening to the ride vehicles would not harm the story line and would keep the crowds moving.
I thought the use of Dr.Vanschultz as a guide (in all of his dismembered conditions) was an inspired idea, giving continuity to what could have been a random collection of scary scenes. The scenes would be visually exciting to experience, especially knowing that there are thing happening behind you. Making sure that the vehicles turned so that everyone could see everything eventually would only be fair- if something behind you is scary and everyone else is looking at it and is scared, then yes- you would be scared, but you also would want to see it yourself. And if you see something on the other side of the vehicle that is scary, and suddenly you are being turned so that you are directly in front of it, that is another kind of scary. If that made sense, that is scary also.;+)
This was an excellent proposal, one that met and exceeded all the requirements of the challenge.

From Jeff Elliott
Posted July 1, 2012 at 1:49 PM
Bryce McGibeny – The Deadly Disturbance – I don’t know if the story has been setup very well. The queue line is the first place to introduce and start creating an atmosphere of tension, but by just having a destroyed town and items that have fallen off the shelves, I don’t think any of that is going to keep people from having a conversation with their friends. Your first scare comes after the guest are already on the ride and into the first scene, but it is a scare tactic, and it wouldn’t matter if it was a zombie or a cardboard cutout of Rosanne Barr… fact I think Rosanne would be scarier because you would be expecting a zombie. This ride almost seems like an inferior rip-off of Saw: The Ride at Thorpe Park. The difference is that the Saw queue is actually scary and the Gerstlauer Eurofighter coaster that they use actually comes close to various set pieces that appear much more dangerous. With no tie-ins in your story arc, I am not certain what this really has to do with an “environmental and/or natural disaster”. I was hoping for something really scary for this challenge, but it seems like this is not as scary as an existing ride that they let everyone tall enough on.

Andy Milito – Pandemic – I know that it is a good concept to theorize about, but nothing is going to look abandoned in a busy amusement park, you might be able to police tape off an area, but you will need to do more just to keep the strollers out of your abandoned area. I like the idea of the medical tubes to make people walk through as well as the videos and bodies, it is definitely getting right to the point. Interesting……you have created an open world haunt……but quick questions, how do you keep the guest funneling through it? Silence is going to be something else that is going to be really hard to do in a busy amusement park. I like the concept but it has some issues. You have several paths that people can take through the attraction. You can assume that the people with are easy to scare, are going to go down the middle of the street, never getting close to either side, making try to jump out at them the hardest. Scaring people who don’t scare easy is a waste of time, so therefore while I like your open world concept, I don’t think it is very feasible since the ones that you get the best reaction from are going to take the most conservative line. In order to fully stock an entire city block both inside and outside, you are going to need an army of scare actors, which is going to make this a very expensive attraction to maintain.

Alan Hiscutt – Mother Natures Wrath – While I really like what you are doing here, I have a big question about the shaking effect. Is that something that is on the vehicle or something that is simulate by shaking the scenery? While there are two roller coasters with drop sections, there are none with a straight up launch section, which I would assume that the technology would be similar. I really like your tongue in cheek picture about what the riders will see most of the time. I think overall we have a good concept that has done a very good job of sticking to the challenge almost to the letter. I would have hoped that it was much scarier, but other than that, I think it is a pretty cool ride, although a spinning coaster in the dark may be the perfect mix of elements that beg for protein spills.

Chad H – A Political Storm – Chad, this was a fantastic start, you had all of the elements you needed to tell a really compelling and scary story. There are some problems with the elevator lift as your transport vehicle and dire problems with the capacity of this attraction. If this is essentially a dinner theater, having an extremely expensive ride system is not going to be cost effective if only 20-50 people get the full experience every hour. The fact that you are tossing people up in the air and jostling them around right after eating may also be a problem. Every single one of the above list problems are actually ones that I could live with if the middle and the end of your attraction’s story line were really good. But for some reason, the guests/riders were never let in on the threat, only just the president. And you somehow make it seem like a president would give two craps about DC being wiped out as long as he was able to keep his job. But the guests were never scared and the President’s problems seem shallow at best. This is one of those concepts that I think that if you had taken another couple of cracks at the middle and end sections of the attraction, you would have blown everyone else out of the water……your setup was that good.

AJ Hummel – Meltdown – This is a tough call on the 400 seat auditorium….it seems like a lot of extra expense to just give a bit story, but likewise I understand why you are doing it. I just wonder if maybe there was a better way to do this than with an 8 minute pre-show. Maybe doing it Great Movie Ride style, where you are in a theater but the queue line keeps snaking its way through it. I don’t know. The problem is that when most people sit down for something, they seem to think that it is the entire attraction….this technique usually only works after the ride portion. I hope that you don’t actually use the work “zombie” in your movie……and just show people who are zombie-ish in the video. The whole theater thing would actually work really well if you threw a couple of zombies in the auditorium with the guests… would also create the imperative to get out of there quickly… There are some problems here with the amount of distance you are going in the vehicle and the drop from the Golden Gate Bridge into the water and back out again……and your story starts to make less and less sense as the riders in the vehicle are ok, yet everything outside the vehicle is zombies……and yet despite the fact that the power plant is near the bridge, you are driving your vehicle toward it…..suspension of disbelief is a good thing, but there is a certain point at which even the most gullible is going to question this. I think this is one of those case where you had too many good ideas and decided to throw them all in together…..creating a bit of a mess.

Dominick D – The Terrifying World of Special Effects – That transition of getting people from the real world to the movie world might take a little more work to convince anyone of it realism. Wait……you were already in a vehicle, but now you are on a subway in a vehicle…..I don’t think that makes a whole lot of sense. Wouldn’t it have been better to theme the ride vehicles to a Porsche or something similar and start driving really fast down the highway? And you never say how we get off the subway……seems like it was a throwaway element. I am having a tough time with this……first off, there is a movie monster that is chasing you, something that is already bending the belief horizon, and then you start going through various icons of Miami, and then an FBI person is killed out of the blue, and then the two actors add weapons to the vehicle…….at this point we are so into ludicrous world that the rest is hard to finish. It isn’t particularly scary, at least it doesn’t seem that way, and the different elements of unbelievability take all elements of danger completely out of the equation. This is another attraction that really got lost on the middle and end, which should be the strongest elements of your proposal. I think this a step back from your previous proposal, whereas last week’s I didn’t like only because of the park you were putting it in, this one feels like a random dump of ideas that have very little to do with the natural/environmental disaster theme of this week. If the story element of this had been stronger and you had particularly spent more time on the a specific beginning, middle, and end, you would have been much better……but for some reason you just went into flee mode instead of developing a coherent story.

Dan Babbitt – The Vagabond – The idea of a company that specializes in disaster tours is just American and ridiculous enough that I would actually believe that someone is doing that. Some of the middle bits of storyline could stand to get punched up a bit, but overall it is not too bad. You have scare elements sprinkled nicely throughout but nothing really overly scary…although it would be based on how graphic you made up your zombies to be. This will be one of those rides that will greatly depend on how believable your ride host is. For some reason I really like the idea of hassling people after they get off the ride……before scaring them one last time….

Joseph Catlett – Night of the Llama – Ummmm…..where to start… was brilliant…..please don’t think otherwise….scary? …ummm…not so certain about that. Funny? …..yes….quite so…..but that was not the point of the challenge. You have some great imagery here and some gross out moments as well as truly funny bits…..but it has nothing to do with an environmental/natural disaster. And now I have to figure out if I am going to reward you for brilliance or punish you for breaking all of the rules………..

David L – The Shack on Whitaker Hill – Nice start……and very good job setting up a simple story that you can exploit later. The story needs a little bit of work, but I like all of the elements that you have assembled. The skeleton appearing behind different people is actually a really good idea throughout the course of the ride……I think this idea needed one more element to put it over the top and take it out of the “flee” attraction that the majority of people did this week. Something is simple as Dr. Vanshultz is actually luring you in instead of trying to help you out of the place might be enough…….and a more convincing end would be a requirement. Other than that, I like what you have here.

From Jeff Elliott
Posted July 1, 2012 at 1:50 PM
Round 4 Results

1. David L – The Shack on Whitaker Hill
2. Joseph Catlett – Night of the Llama
3. Dan Babbitt – The Vagabond
4. Alan Hiscutt – Mother Natures Wrath
5. Bryce McGibeny – The Deadly Disturbance
6. Andy Milito – Pandemic

The following people will be in the elimination vote (in alphabetical order)
AJ Hummel – Meltdown
Chad H – A Political Storm
Dominick D – The Terrifying World of Special Effects

From Andy Milito
Posted July 1, 2012 at 2:34 PM
At least I escaped the vote *sigh of relief*

From AJ Hummel
Posted July 1, 2012 at 3:16 PM
I thought my idea would end up a bit higher (5th place or so), but oh well. A couple notes for the judges:

Replies to James:

-There is only one auditorium. I re-read it and realized this could be confusing, but it would be the same set-up as most 4-D attractions (a holding pen/line, then an autitorium, not two separate auditoriums).
-Assuming one pre-show every 12 minutes to allow for the filling and emptying of the room in addition to the 8 minute presentation, the ride would need to dispatch one vehicle every 21 seconds to accomodate everyone. Based on what I have observed on the Indiana Jones Adventure attraction at Disneyland, this is a realistic assumption provided there are not excessive delays.
-I agree with what you said about aa figures, and I do feel that one of the biggest issues is that this is a Disney-budget attraction for a Universal park. It is something that would work in theory but would probably not be feasible in reality.
-The buttons do nothing except at the end of the ride. The left and right are only active at the split point, and the others light up in the final scene when they can be pressed. Pressing any button at any other time will have no effect on the ride.
-The blood sprays (actually colored water) would be concentrated toward a hidden drain and small enough that no extensive clean-up would be required. I guess I should have specified this.

Replies to Jeff:

-The only reason I have seats in the auditorium is because I don't feel it would be safe to simulate an earthquake with people standing. I could easily see someone falling, scraping their knee, and suing because the attraction is "unsafe."
-The word "zombie" is not said at any point during the attraction. I used it in the description so that readers would have a reasonably good idea of what to picture.
-The power plant is not supposed to be near the bridge, but just visible beyond it. Forced perspective would be used here to make it seem somewhat distant, and the other bridges would have already collapsed. More description could have definitely helped here.
-I definitely should have described some of the features of the vehicles a bit better. The idea is that they are shielded from radiation, and that guests start far enough away from the power plant that they aren't yet affected. I also agree that the story isn't the greatest, and I guess that's what happens when I write these things at 2 A.M. in the morning.

I hope that clarifies a few things. No, I'm not trying to change my rating, I just wanted to make sure everything was understood.

From Dominick D
Posted July 1, 2012 at 4:19 PM
Since we're waiting for a new chatter thread, this will be the temporary chatter thread.

Dan, yes I write my ideas at night ( around 11 usually :P )

From James Koehl
Posted July 1, 2012 at 4:56 PM
AJ, there is nothing wrong with clarifying your proposal when there is something not clear to the reader. I am probably the champion of defending my proposals, as Tim will agree. Perhaps this is something to use for future challenges- look at it from a completely critical perspective and try to find things that people will complain about. If you can't do so, find someone else who will do it for you, then fix what they don't understand.

From Tim W
Posted July 1, 2012 at 5:11 PM
James, I agree with eveeything said...including the part of being the champion of defending your proposals. ;)

From James Koehl
Posted July 1, 2012 at 5:41 PM
Tim, let me explain what I meant by...oh, you agree with me? Really?! Wow!!

From Andrew Dougherty
Posted July 1, 2012 at 8:07 PM
I'm going to put up a TPA 4 Chatter thread, if Tim or Jeff want to make a more official one than I have no problem with that.

From Karly Tenney
Posted July 1, 2012 at 8:18 PM
Andrew there already is another chatter thread.

From Dan Babbitt
Posted July 1, 2012 at 8:32 PM
This one was hard for me because I hate haunted mansions and being scared in general. There is a difference, at least to me, to watch or be scared and to be thrilled. Maybe others see it differnetly but thats my opinion.

I can not do nor do I want to do Halloween Horror Nights at Universal. I do like Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party because---well its not scary and a ton of candy.

I hate Halloween in general also and flipping through the channels on tv is like going through a mine field because you dont know when or where a horror movie will be on!

I originally didnt have Zombies in my proposal. I did have the tunnel and corridor scenes but with more water but I didnt think it would be scary enough so I went with Zombies but with my own personal touch.

From James Koehl
Posted July 2, 2012 at 2:06 AM
Dan, it really surprises me that a TOT guy like you doesn't like haunted stuff. I thought you would be immune to it by now. You did a good job for working way outside your comfort zone.

From Dominick D
Posted July 2, 2012 at 6:02 AM
I'm with you Dan on HHN. I love MNSSHP!

From Dan Babbitt
Posted July 2, 2012 at 4:35 PM
James, I didnt think of that. I didnt pick the TOT but after I found out I was going to Sunset Attractions I had to call the training coordinator and she had a series of questions for me: Do I mind heights, Do I mind enclosed dark spaces, and do I mind medium length spiels. I answered no to all because I was fine with them and she said I was going to TOT.

I thought I was going to Rock N' Roller Coaster because they all fight those questions. I HATED that ride and only did it twice before in 14yrs of visiting WDW and I was horrified that I was know going there and had to ride the ride. But I LOVE it know.

In hindsight those question fight more with TOT then RNRC.

From Sandra McCormish
Posted July 2, 2012 at 5:32 PM
Enjoy the videos and all the places you travel to the different parks.

From Sandra McCormish
Posted July 2, 2012 at 5:35 PM
So very interesting watching the DVD's and everyone having much fun.

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